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Schools changed with the times.

Many things have changed in education over the years. From their beginning until the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954, schools were segregated in Springfield. The city, to its credit, was one of the first to successfully integrate after the decision. An historic footnote is that the youngster who lent her name to that historic case, Linda Brown, was graduated from Central High School here in 1961, having moved from Kansas.

There have been changes in curriculum and purposes of schools as well with many things added to the early "reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic," including comprehensive programs for vocational skills and for those with other special educational needs.

Private and parochial schools have long been a part of the changing educational picture here. The Catholic Loretto Academy was in operation as early as 1878. The Catholic churches have offered an education system since 1892 when St. Joseph's School got its start. Today, there are three elementary schools and Catholic High School.

Private schools operated by other religious denominations appeared in the community in the early 1960's with the largest being Christian School of Springfield. In all, there are about 1500 students enrolled in private and parochial schools today.

A graduating class from Lincoln School, the colored school, in the early 1900's. Schools were integrated in 1954.
The first Catholic school in the city, St. Joseph's, was started in a stable on the Heer property in 1892. About the same time, a college was started adjacent to it. When the college did not prove feasible, the school moved into those quarters and later into a new building on Scott Street in 1908.
Many Springfield young women attended school at Elfindale Academy, opened here by the Sisters of Visitation in 1906. It closed its doors to students in 1964, and the property passed from church hands.
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