The Chicago Board of Education to Jane Addams, May 21, 1906

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May 21st, [1906?].

Miss Jane Addams,

Chairman, School Management Committee.

My dear Miss [Addams]:

In the summer of the year 1902, it became necessary to print additional copies of the list of supplies for kindergartens. Mr. Cooley referred the old list to a committee for revision. This committee consisted of kindergarten teachers and one district superintendent.

On Sept. 17, 1902, the Board of Education agreed to a revision of the list and ordered that the Supply Department should keep in stock the various materials named on the list. Previous to this, the list of supplies to be purchased was submitted to different kindergarten houses and the entire contract for all supplies to be furnished was given to the lowest responsible bidder, and to the successful firm was left the task of making up the orders for the different schools.

Adoption of the new plan whereby supplies were to be kept in stock in the Supply Department involving as it did, the collection of samples and the submitting of bids from a variety of firms other than kindergarten houses, required considerable time, so that the first contracts under the new plan were awarded Sep. 2nd, 1903. During the intervening year, supplies were furnished on the old plan. After the contracts were awarded under the new plan, it of course was not possible to furnish supplies by the old plan. New firms that received the contracts were slow in delivering the goods, and as a result, there was a considerable delay during the following months in supplying orders for kindergartens.

There was some dissatisfaction with the list of kindergarten supplies, and at Mr. Cooley's suggestion Miss O'Grady was asked to revise the list. This list she prepared during the school year of 1903 and 1904. It was the intention to continue furnishing the supplies under the old list until the new list should be in operation. Unfortunately, the new list was presented to the Board for adoption on the same date, Oct. 25 1904, that an order for the purchase of supplies under the old list was presented. The Business Manager ruled that since the new list was adopted, he could not purchase the supplies ordered under the old list. This necessitated considerable delay since the new list contains 245 items, and it necessitated the collection of a large number of samples. The purchase of supplies under the new list was awarded Feb. 11, 1905; contract for supplies was awarded Apr. [26], '05. Further purchases have been ordered May 10, '05, Nov. 22, '[05], March 28, '06. The first delivery of goods to Supply Dept. under the new contract was very slow.

There seems no way to avoid this difficulty, (the slow delivery by business houses). To meet it, the following plan is at present in use. During the fall of the present year, a kindergarten order was filled for each school. This order contained sufficient supplies to last until about the first of March. During December, when the supplies had been all about delivered, the second kindergarten order was asked from each school. The filling of these orders was begun at once, and has about been completed. A few weeks ago, each kindergarten was asked to send in an order for supplies sufficient to carry on the work for the first six months of the next school year. These orders have all been tabulated and sufficient supplies have been asked for to completely fill these orders. It is believed that these supplies will be delivered to the Supply Department in time to make up the orders and deliver them to the schools by the first of Sept.

It is the plan to continue with this method,- that is, to ask for two orders from each kindergarten during the year, and to have the orders in in time to have them properly filled. It is my opinion that at present this plan is working satisfactorily. I have also heard a number of favorable reports from kindergarten teachers. The following items (see above) [end of letter was written at top of page] are now made at the shop of the Board of Education: peg boards, pegs for peg boards, modelling boards, kindergarten tables. Attached to this is a copy of the list of kindergarten supplies; also a list of the acts of the Board of Education in relation to kindergarten supplies.

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