bUbTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
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WILLIAM VV. WHEILDON, PRINTER.
For more than half a century, it has been the custom of the
Trustees of the Public Schools in Charlestown, to present their
report to the citizens at the close of the period for which the suc-
cessive Committees have been elected.
These School Reports have generally been presented about the
the 1st of April— rthe time for closing the financial affairs of the
town, which period, has also been the time for closing its munici-
By an act of the last Legislature of this State, the charter of the
City of Charlestown was so far amended as to fix the time for
electing the several boards of city officers, on the second Monday
of December in each year, and to change the period for closing its
municipal year, to the first Monday in January, while its financial
year remains as before.
With two exceptions, the school reports were not printed previ-
ously to the year 1838. At that time, and for each successive
year, the report has been printed and distributed to the citizens,
before the annual election of the School Committee. Your pres-
ent Committee, in accordance with this practice, would now sub-
mit their report of our public schools; not however, "as a philo-
sophical treatise," — for this is rarely looked for in a common
school report, and would not be "in accordance with the fitness of
things;" but as a plain and simple statement of the affairs of our
public schools at the present time.
The last school report was made up for the year closing on the
31st of January last. This report, in order that it may be distrib-
uted previous to the election of a new committee and the close of
the present municipal year, is made up to the 31st of October,
1849; — embracing a period of nine months from the date of the
The usual semi-annual examinations of the schools have been
attended to by their respective sub-committees, and they have de-
voted much time to this service, especially at the recent examina-
tions in the month of October. The annual exhibitions of the
Grammar Schools, have invariably taken place in the spring of the
year, at about the close of the winter term of these schools. This
term is generally less interrupted by vacations, and is more fully
attended than the summer term; therefore, it is the most appropri-
ate season for these occasions, and affords a better opportunity
than any other period of the year, for judging of the success with
which the teachers have labored and of the attainments made by
By the rules of the School Committee, the time for holding the
exhibitions, is at some period during the first fifteen days of April
in each year. This arrangement gives to each new Committee,
an opportunity of conducting one semi-annual examination and also
the annual exhibition of the schools, before the time for the annual
election of teachers, which is held at the last regular meeting of
the Board in the month of May.
The Committee have not thought it expedient or proper to
change the time for holding these exhibitions, though they have
usually been held about the time of presenting the annual report.
Scholars who are eight years old and who are found qualified,
are promoted from the Primary to the Grammar Schools, on the
first Monday of May and November, after the close of the semi
annual examinations of these schools; but no promotions are made
from the Grammar to the High School, except on the first Monday
of May in each year.
The following table contains a statement of the number of
scholars, together with other statistics relating to our Schools at
the close of their examinations on the 31st of Occober, 1849.
Rank of School.
S No. of Teachers
^ i and Assistants.
. No. of Scholars
' Nine Months.
C No. of Scholars
oo < at the close of
^ ( the Term.
' Average attend-
ance during the
' Nine Months.
High School. .
Grammar Schools . .
In this table is stated the number of scholars who have been
members of the High and each of the Grammar Sehools during
the past nine months, together with the per centage of absences in
' Whole Number of
Scholars for Nine
' Whole Number of
' Scholars at the
close of 9 months
S3 2 c
^ c 2
High School. .
li 11 n
Warren . ,
li << «
<( a <<
(( it it
* The absences
in this Sch
confined to a very f(
individuals, and 1
lave been m
casioned by sickness.
The Grammar Schools will be increased on the first Monday in
November, (5th day) by promotions from the lower schools as fol-
lows, viz : —
To the Bunker Hill No. 1, ... 5
No. 2, . . .22 — 72
'♦ Warren No. 1, ... . 19
No. 2 19 — 38
" Winthrop, No. 1, , . .30
•* " No. 2, . , .26 — 56
" Harvard, No. 1, ... 14
No. 2, . . .19 — 33
Total increase, — 154
The laws of this Commonwealth have heretofore required
School Committees to make a return of the number of children in
their respective Cities or Towns, who were between the ages of 4
and 16 years, on the first day of May in each year; but by an act
of the last Legislature, the return is now required for those between
the ages of 5 and 15 years; and in conformity to this law, a census
of the children in this city between 5 and 15 years of age on the
first day of May last, was taken in that month, when there were
found to be 2,792 of the above ages.
It appears from the returns made by the teachers of the several
schools, that members of the School Committee, have made 18
visits to the High School, 333 to the Grammar and 420 to the
Primary Schools, during the past nine months; in these, however,
are not included all the visits which were made for the semi-
annual examinations of these schools.
There has been no change made in the organization of our
Schools, nor in the number of teachers employed in them, nor in
the amount of salary paid for their services, these all remain as
they have been, for the two years past. Our citizens have contin-
ued to them their confidence and support, and it has been the ear-
nest endeavor of the Committee, to render them worthy the patron-
age which has been so willingly bestowed upon them.
The city ordinances provide, that a detailed statement of all the
expenses of the city, shall be made by the City Auditor at the
close of each financial year; therefore a statement of the school
expenses is unnecessary here. Besides, as the financial year does
not now close with the municipal year, a complete statement of the
school expenses could not be presented in this report.
The following table contains the statistics of the Primary
Schools, showing their location,— the number who have been
members of each, for the nine months ending October 81, — to-
gether with the average attendance,— the sub-commitiee of each
Wt^oibsi— 'O^c/D <t Ci m >t^ ca ^s
O "^ ^ • 3 r*
«-i CD S3 taj •:*. S'
•^ *2 £. C 3
ca D3 o CD cd
c c o o o
•^' ?i ^
rti (t) 3 on m
7 --I O ^ ET
j3- ' 3 CO re
-: s. (y, re
trjE-^^re ^t» re
of Scholars for
months to Oct. 3
ance tor nme
' Present at the
Joseph F. Tufts
Henry K. Frothinghaoa
Joseph F. Tufts
Henry K. Frothingham
N. Y. Culbertsoo
George P. Sanger
George P. Sanger
N. Y. Culbertson
N. Y. Culbertson
Charles W. Moore
Charles W. Moore
Joseph F Tufts
It will be seen by the foregoing table, that there are now 1,634
children belonging to the Primary Schools, which is an average
of 65 to each school, and that the average daily attendance since
the date of the last school report, has been 1,150, or 46 to each
The Committee do not always find, where the studies are feweit
in number in these schools, that the chidren are the most thor-
oughly taught, or that they are the most interested in their teacher
or in the exercises of the school. If it be true that "the teacher
makes the school," then we must look to the energy, the interest
and the devotion with which she pursues her daily task, if we
would estimate the kind of results we may hope to realize from her
labors with those over whom she is placed. The spirit with which
she conducts her school, will be imparled to her pupils, and they
in turn, will generally manifest the same degree of, life and interest
which is portrayed to them by their teacher.
Thoroughness in whatever studies are pursued in these schools,
is essential to the succesis of the scholar when advanced to a
higher school, and the importance of this should not be lost sight
of by the teacher, in her desire to transfer her pupils to the Gram-
mar Schools, nor by parents, in their earnestness to see their chil-
dren promoted to these schools at the earliest period at which they
are allowed to enter them: — let them be thorough in what they
attain in the Primary Schools, and success will more surely follow
their efforts when promoted to the upper schools.
The Primary Schools are generally in a good condition, and
their teachers competent, faithful and devoted to their work.
These are a class of Schools which often require a great degree
of patience and perseverance on the part of those who are placed
over them; — they must truly be those "in whose hearts, love, hope
and patience, have kept school," and there been carefully cultiva-
ted and thoroughly disciplined. It is not unfrequently the lot of
these teachers, to come in contact with neglected, or perverse, or
self-willed children, who require almost unremitted effort on the
part of the teacher, to fashion anew their manners and soften their
habits ; — demanding a renewal of her patience, as each morning
brings her to her labor and each evening closes upon her with
hardly a perceptible advance from the point at which she com.
menced her morning task. Nor can these labors be cheered or
lightened, except by her faith in the power of Christian love, and
her hope, that by her kind and ready sympathy, she shall at length
win their hearts to the love of goodness, and their minds to the
pursuit of knowledge; — thus, by turning their thoughts to the ways
of happiness and their minds into the channel of true wisdom, she
will feel that her labors are blest, and that in this she has her reward.
It is expected, that those who are presented for promotion to the
Grammar Schools, will be able to read easily and correctly from the
reading lessons which they are accustomed to use in the Primary
Schools, or from others similar to them; — to spell accurately, —
answer readily the early and easy lessons in the four ground rules
in Arithmetic; — to be familiar with the rules for punctuation and
abbreviation, and also with the early exercises in the vowel and
consonant sounds and their combinations.
"c on; Crq
C p o
• « •
,. CO ffl
• «< c
M *-= O
93 g C
No. of Scholars
for 9 months.
I— < w
f No. of Scholars
2 (, at end of Term
1— 1 Vr
to *•. ^-i I— *-- eo
OC I— OD -J »t^ ^"
05, > Reading.
JS 00 I Orthography.
0> >-.■ V. .
oa 00 )
CO tt>- i
. 5 Geography.
00 ? Composition.
Map and other
No. of Vols, in
€aleI5 Emery, Principal. William C. Bradlei, Sub-Master
Rebecca T. Duncan, Assistant.
The visits which have been made to this school, and the recita-
tions which have been occasionally listened to by members of the
Committee, have made them acquainted with the condition of the
school and the progress which the several classes were making in
the studies pursued by them.
Recently, the sub-committee of this school have given it as ex-
tended an examination as their time would permit. "The number
of classes in the school is sixteen, exclusive of exercises in reading,
declamation, composition, drawing of maps, &:c. To each of these
classes an hour was given by the Committee — both members of
the Committee being present at the examination of fourteen of the
classes ; one only at the examination of the other two classes."
The Committee report the "condition of the school as highly satis-
factory; there was a marked improvement in the tone of voi<te in
which the recitations were made, over that of the last examination,
which leads the Committee to look with confidence, for still further
improvement in future. In the recitations in Physiology, Natural
Philosophy, Grammar, Analysis and in Latin, your Committee
noted thorough training on the part of the teachers and a com-
mendable degree of proficiency on the part of the pupils. Your
Committee feel that they cannot too highly commend the appear-
ance and recitations of the first class in Latin and in Geometry.
They would have done credit to a class in our colleges, for prompt-
ness, thoroughness, exactness, and for a full understanding of the
Language, or of the Problem which was to be solved. A higher
perfection in the discipline of the school can hardly be desired, and
yet there is no appearance of harshness or an undue exercise of
The prominent idea in the discipline of the school appears to be,
that the pupil shall know himself, not only with respect to his
conduct in school, but also to his fidelity in the prosecution of his
studies and the attainment he makes in them; — thus fixing a
standard by which he shall measure himself and de ermine his po-
sition in his class, which place he will either fall from or advance
above, in proportion to the effort he makes, relatively to the exer-
tions of his associates in the class and in the school. "The result
of this exaraination in the miuds of your Committee, is, renewed
confidence in the teachers of the school and a firmer belief, that
the High School is doing a good work. If it is permitted to exist
long enough for a fair trial and test of what it can accomplish in
the cause of education, its best and most eloquent advocates will
be, the young men and women who have been favored with its
privileges and taught within its walls."
BUNKER HILL SCHOOLS-
No. 1. No. 2.
David Atwood, Principal.
Joseph B. Morse, Sub-Ma3ter.
Martha A. Chandler, Assistant.
M. Louisa Putnam, Principal.
Mary A. Stover, Assistant.
"The Committee are happy to say of thes6 schools, that by the
united efforts of the teachers connected* with them, the scholars are
believed to be making good progress in the various studies pur-
sued, and that they appear to be orderly, industrious and happy."
"The instruction in School No. 1 appears to have been syste-
matic and thorough, and the scholars appear to understand what-
ever subjects they have gone over." In School No. 2, *'theTe
prevails an air of quiet and order which is very pleasing and cred-
itable to both teachers and pupils." Owing to the great accessions
which have been made to the lowest classes in this division of tha
school, since February last, (about fifty having entered them since
that period) they do not appear quite as well as at some former ex-
aminations; — 30 have entered the lower classes within about four
months; it can therefore, hardly be expected, thai they should be
found in thorough training in all respects, in so short a period.
No. 1. No, 2.
Calvik S. Pennell, Principal.
Thomas Metcalf, Sub-Master.
M. Louise Burroughs, 1st Assistant.
M. M. Hayes, 2nd Assistant.
Joseph T. Swan, Principal.
William S. Reynolds, Sub-Master.
Mary J. Chandler, 1st Assistant.
Sarah T. Chandler, 2nd Assistant.
"The sub-committee on these schools, are gratified in being able
to report, that in their discipline — the general deportment of the
scholars and in all other respects, they are in a satisfactory condi-
tion. Several of the classes, for thorough scholarship in the vari-
ous branches they are pursuing, are eminently creditable to their
teachers, and to the high character of the public schools of this
city." "The proficiency of the upper classes in their exercises in
reading and their recitations in Arithmetic, Grammar and Geogra-
phf, were highly gratifying, and with the recitations in the lower
divisions, the Committee were fully satisfied." "The teachers ap-
pear to be competent and faithful, and to have done their whole
duty to the children intrusted to their care."
No. 1. No. 2.
Luther W. Aitdersoit, Principal.
Charles F. Latham, Sub-Master.
Amt M. Bradlet, 1st Assistant.
S. Abba Cutler, 2nd Assistant.
William S. Williams, Principal.
Samuel S.Wilson, Sub-Master.
A. A. Morton, 1st Assistant,
Lucy F. Hall, 2nd Assistant-
All the classes in both schools were examined by the sub-com-
mittee on these schools; both members being present at the exam-
ination of the upper divisions in each, and but one, at the examina-
tion of the classes in each of the lower divisions.
"The Committee deem it sufficient to say, generally, of the two
lower divisions in each of these schools, that, without making a
nice discrimination, they are in a prosperous condition, and that
the recitations were generally prompt and correct. The results of
the examination of these divisions, were creditable to the teachers
and satisfactory to the Committee." The two upper divisions of
each of these schools, under the charge of the Principals and Sub-
masters, "passed a satisfactory examination in the various studies
pursued, and your Committee are happy to express a favorable
opinion of the ability and fidelity of the teachers" in these divisions
of the Winthrop Schools.
No. 1. No 2.
Stacy Baxter, Principal.
William PL Ladd, Sub-Master.
Julia E. Hinckley, 1st Assistant.
S. F. KiTTREDGE, 2nd Assistant.
John P. Averill, Principal.
Hiram A. Oakman, Sub-Master.
Rebecca Drake, 1st Assistant.
Adeline M. West, 2nd Assistant.
"The committee on these schools would state, that in most of
the studies, the scholars of all the principal divisions, manifested a
high degree of proficiency and thoroughness, which was alike
creditable to the teachers and their pupils. By the intelligent
and ready answers to a great variety of questions put to the
scholars in the two upper divisions of each school, your Committee
cannot but feel assured, that their instruction has not been me-
chanical, but that they have been taught to think for themselves."
"The scholars in the third division of each of these schools, gen-
erally gave satisfactory evidence of assiduity and improvement,
evincing fidelity on the part of the teachers havings charge of these
divisions. Several of the exercises in the junior divisions, were not
as satisfactory to the Committee as they could wish; — from some
cause not fully accounted for, there appeared to be a v/ant of inter-
est on the part of many of the scholars, which it is to be hoped
will be remedied in future."
In the death of Mr. John S. Osgood, Sub-Master of Harvard
School No. 2, which took place on the 22d of September last, this
school and our corps of teachers, have been called to sustain a se-
vere loss, occasioning a degree of sadness which has shown the
strong hold he had gained upon the respect and esteem of his
colleagues, and in the affections of the children who were immedi-
ately under his instruction.
J. Edgar Gould, Teacher of Music in the High and Grammar
The teaching of vocal music has been continued in these schools
the past year.
But few will deny, that music has a power over the moral feel-
ings, and when associated with words which appeal to the higher
sentiments of the human heart, and echoed upon the car from the
hundred-voiced throng of a well-filled school-room, it can rarely if
ever fail of producing there, a salutary influence.
It can be taught without interfering much if any with the other
branches of study pursued, — it cultivates a taste for this accom-
plishment, the influence of which will be felt in the community, —
it is conducive to health, — an aid to good order and discipline in
school, and an improvement in the work of popular education.
One thing to be guarded against in promoting scholars from
the Primary to the Grammar Schools, is, sending them to these
schools before they are properly qualified. The requirements for
admission to the Grammar Schools are as low as prudence or the
welfare of these schools will warrant, and therefore, it becomes a
matter of some importance, that they are carefully adhered to ; for
unless the scholar is v;ell tr^tined in Cwsq studies required before
entering the upper school, he will not be very likely to make much
progress after his admission, as the inducement to efTort is then
to some extent removed, because he will no longer be stimulated
by the encouragement of his Primary teacher, or by the appeals
of his parents, to make him ambitious to find his name early en-
rolled among those of his associates who have already gained ad-
mission to these schools.
The motives which induce children to attend school, are so
mixed and varied, that no general rule or incitement can be pre-
sented by a teacher to the members of his school, and produce the
same effect upon all. Some of his pupils will be brought to the
school-room by a love for study, — some to acquire what they be-
lieve may be of value to them in after life, — some from a sense of
duty to their parents, — some from a wish to excel, — some from a
love of approbation,— others from a desire to stand well in their
own estimation, or in the estimation of their teachers or school-
mates, — and a few because they are driven or almost forced to the
school-room by parental authority. The teacher, therefore, must
consider the nature and character of the minds upon which he is
to operate, and while he is guarding against the excitement of
every unworthy motive, take care to draw out and encourage by
all appropriate means, every virtuous aspiration and every noble
sentiment of the heart.
In the matter of teaching, there is but little reliance to be placed
in those systems which claim to give a "thorough knowledge of
English grammar" in two or three evening lectures, or which will
enable the learner to read, translate, or pronounce accurately and
fluently, the Latin, French or Spanish languages, by the help of
books alone — unaccompanied by the aid of a skilful and experi-
enced teacher : — knowledge so acquired can never be of great
value to him who thinks he has secured it.
To be properly gained it must be labored for, and that which is
worth having is worth the labor it requires, and if properly secured,
its value to the possessor is increased, and affords him that true
satisfaction, which always attends the successful efforts of constant
and persevering industry.
Your Committee believe that the condition of the Public Schools
in this city, is such as will satisfy the expectations of every reason-
able citizen. They have just been thoroughly examined, — much
time having been devoted to each of the Grammar Schools, by the
several sub-committees on them, and the requisite amount of time
to ascertain the standing of the Primary Schools, has been devoted
to tkem ; and the Committee feel bound to aay, that they are in a
standing creditable alike to the teachers and their pupils. To say
that there were no defects in any of them, would be saying that,
which would hold true with but few, if any schools here or else-
where. These defects, however, were of no considerable moment,
and wherever noticed, were promptly pointed out, and will doubt-
less be remedied.
Your Committee are confident, that our Schoolt will bear the
test of a rigid examination by any who may wish to make them-
selves acquainted with their condition.
For several years, the subject of establishing one or two inter-
mediate schools, has been alluded to in the school reports, with a
view of providing for a class of children which is always found in
populous districts, who are too old to be retained in the Primary
Schools without injury to these schools, and yet, they are not
enough advanced in their studies to be admitted to the Grammar
But as this class of scholars must be in one or the other of theee
schools, it has been thought upon the whole, that they could be
better managed in the Grammar Schools. They enter in the low-
est division, — embarrass its standing and prosperity, and increase
the labors and perplexities of those in charge of this portion of out
This division of these schools would appear much better, if thie
class of children could be provided for elsewhere, until they are
fitted to enter them.
The School Committee, in closing the duties which have been
intrusted to them, are aware, that their actions are to be judged
by those who have conferred upon them this trust.
Whether this judgment comes from those who have the requi-
site means of determining how this trust has been fulfilled, or from
those who have not even a tolerable acquaintance with the condi-
tion of our schools and the duties of those who are daily called to
labor in them, your Committee have no desire to shrink from the
responsibility which rests upon them for the manner in which their
duties have been discharged. They are conscious that they have
been actuated by a desire to promote the best interests of our
Public Schools, and preserve them unimpaired, among these
cherished institutions of our land.
It is believed by this Board, that our Schools justly merit the
confidence and support of our citizens, and on resigning them to
our successors, we cannot but feel assured, that they will earnestly
endeavor lo promote their welfare and usefulness, and strive to
maintain for them, the high rank which is awarded to them among
the Public Schools in this Commonwealth.
HENRY K. FROTHINGHAM, Chairman.
School Committee Room, )
Charlestovvn, Nov. 21st, 1849. \
Votedt That the foregoing Report be accepted by this Board.
Voted, That twenty-five hundred copies be printed for distribu-
tion in this city.
EDWARD THORNDIKE, Secretary,