A History of Madison Central School
Written by Jim Ford - Madison Central School Class of 1965

The below article offers a brief summary of our district's history. View a more comprehensive and detailed version of our district's history, as written by Mr. Ford.

The Madison Central School District has always had a history of academic excellence, parental/guardian involvement, and community pride.  The success of our students has proven that to be true over the past decades.

On June 19, 1812 the government of the State of New York passed legislation that each township of the state was to be divided into common school districts.  This was quickly done in the Town of Madison and the Town of Augusta.  These one-room schools were spaced throughout each township with the idea that no student would have to walk an excessive distance to school.

The basics of Reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic were taught along with Respect and Responsibility.  These were the famous five R’s.  The success of the one-room schools cannot be overlooked.  Students looked back to their education in these schools with fond memories.

Students had jobs at school such as hauling drinking water, starting the fire in the stove, and cleaning the school building.  Until 1900 teachers were paid as little as $6.00 per week and often stayed in the homes of the students on a rotating basis.

In the 1870’s, Union Schools were built in Madison and Knoxboro.  These buildings had multiple rooms and the schools offered more subjects.  Also, you could now graduate with a Regents diploma.

The 1920’s and 30’s saw a push from the state to consolidate the rural one-room schools into central school districts.  Voters in the Madison area followed this trend and built the original portion of our current school.  The school opened in 1932 and had a lower and an upper floor.

The first addition to the our main building in 1939 meant the closing of the Madison Union School building, as well as those of Madison Center and Bouckville.  The years 1945-1947 saw the addition of districts from the Knoxboro-Augusta area.  In 1948 the elementary school in Knoxboro was built.

Further additions to the school occurred in 1959, 1988, 2001, and 2015.  And, as with all school buildings, renovations have often been a necessity.  The voters have been very generous in assuring that we have a safe and up-to-date educational facility.

We encourage you to stop and take a look at our present school building.  We think that you will be pleased. 


Good Ol' MCS
An original poem written in 2003 by Carl Stone, Class of 1967

In the little town of Madison

Back in nineteen thirty-two.

The work they'd started, finally done,

They had a brand new school.


The people came from all around

To get a look inside.

It was the center of the town,

A source of immense pride.


So large that it cannot be filled,

The people then would say,

But those ole farmers on the hills

Set out to fill it anyway.


So additions were put on it

As the years went by.

And the people looked upon it,

With a prideful caring eye.


But it's a struggle for a small town

To keep up in this great race,

'Cause progress goes in leaps and bounds

at such a frightening pace.


So a merger then was talked about

With schools just down the road.

The people answered with a shout

In a resounding NO!

Sure, learning was what it's about

But it was even more

Like the kids that played their hearts out

Right there on that gym floor.


All, the hot night graduations

All the concerts, all the plays

All a part of education

Back in their ole school days.


And what about those ole school dances

While they listened to the band

When some shy boy took his chances

And tried to hold her hand.


For some it was the big events,

For others just the small

But even if it made no sense,

That ole buildin touched 'em all


See, to them that school was so much more

Than just concrete and lumber,

'Cause it held memories for sure

Too numerous to number.


It was a measure of their strength

And of their pride I guess.

'Cause they would go to any length

to save ole MCS.


That brings us right to where we are,

At a building dedication.

What do we think we've gained thus far

With this massive renovation.


Exactly what was our main goal

When we fixed up this ole school?

The truth of it should now be told

Lest some of us be fooled.


Will our kids all now be smarter?

I can't imagine so.

Will they all study harder?

The Good Lord only knows.


Now will our staff achieve perfection

As they go about their tasks?

Flawless in their direction?

That would be a lot to ask.


NO, There is no guaranteed success,

Just an opportunity,

For those that come to MCS

To be the best that they can be.


This building shows the faith we have,

And we will boast of it,

In our great children and our staff

To make the most of it.


And now a tribute we should pay,

To those back in thirty-two,

For where we've been, and are today

And what we've yet to do.


Cause it's a building that we dedicate,

And it's fitting that we do it.

Just remember what will make it great,

Are the PEOPLE that pass through it.