Colonial Schools of the Eighteenth Century 31
conditions and problems. All the children must be taught, and to reach them " moving schools " were devised — that is, the towns voted that a school should be kept for a part of the year in each of several vicinities. The Massachusetts town of Scituate ordered the school to be kept one-third at each end of the town and one-third in the middle; Yarmouth decided to have the school in five places varying from one to four months each ; and in Sutton, where a more scanty education was provided, the school was kept at the discretion of the selectmen in four places, one month to each. It was permissible in some of the towns for the scholars to follow the schools, but this privilege was probably not much used. The various divisions of the town were called " angles ,: or " squadrons " at first, and later "districts." For a long period few of them had schoolhouses, but presently the school was made conditional on the district's-erecting a building. By the middle of the century the towns began to allow the districts to draw their proportion of the school money and spend it as they liked. The schools ceased to be town schools, and the choice of teachers, their pay, and the time the schools should keep, was taken out of the hands of the selectmen.
The early dame schools had been privately supported, but they were gradually absorbed into the public school system, and we find such entries on the town records as : —
Paid Widow Walker ten shillings for schooling small children.
Paid for boarding schooldame, at three shillings per week.