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Full text of "Annual report of the School Committee of the City of Charlestown"

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ANNUAL REPORT 



OF THE 



SCHOOL COMMITTEE 



OF THE 



®itK of Sljiiiie^totoiu 



Octolbei*. l§lf>. 




CHARLESTOWN: 
WILLIAM VV. WHEILDON, PRINTER. 

1840. 



REPORT. 



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- 
pal affairs. 

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 
previous report. 

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 
their pupils. 

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. 


m 

"o 
o 

o 
02 

o 
6 

1 


S No. of Teachers 
^ i and Assistants. 


. No. of Scholars 

during the 
' Nine Months. 


C No. of Scholars 
oo < at the close of 
^ ( the Term. 


Sexes. 


' Average attend- 
ance during the 
' Nine Months. 


en 

o 

31 


5 


High School. . 


119 


50 


95 


Grammar Schools . . 


5 


29 


1907 


1274 


G30 


G44 


109G 


Primary Schools 


28 


25 


2479 


1G34 


842 


792 


1150 


34 


57 


4505 


2989 


1503 


,.148G 


2341 



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 
each school. 



SCHOOLS. 


' Whole Number of 
Scholars for Nine 
' Months. 


' Whole Number of 
' Scholars at the 
close of 9 months 


Sexes. 


■ <D 

5 

S3 2 c 

^ c 2 

95 


o S 


CO 

o 


to 

O 


High School. . 


. , 


119 


81 


31 


50 


5i* 


Buuker-Hill, No. 


1.. 


1G7 


136 


68 


68 


105 


16 


li 11 n 


2.. 


102 


85 


44 


41 


72 


14i 


Warren . , 


1.. 


248 


175 


82 


93 


143 


m 


li << « 


2.. 


290 


176 


72 


104 


153 


19 


Winthrop. . 
<( a << 


1.. 

2.. 


300 
245 


175 
IGl 


90 

86 


85 
75 


144 
134 


20 

18^ 


Harvard. . 


1.. 


283 


186 


97 


89 


169 


17 


(( it it 


2.. 


272 


180 


91 


89 


176 


15^ 


2026 


1355 


661 


694 


1191 




* The absences 


in this Sch 


ool are 


confined to a very f( 


iW 


individuals, and 1 


lave been m 


3stly 00 


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 
school, &c. 



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Whole Numher 
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months to Oct. 3 



Whole Number 
in School 
Oct. 31. 



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Boys. 




Average attend- 



o 




ance tor nme 
months. 


o 
o 




' Present at the 

recent 
' Examination. 


Joseph F. Tufts 
Lemuel Gulliver 
Lemuel Gulliver 
Henry K. Frothinghaoa 
Joseph F. Tufts 
Henry K. Frothingham 
James Adams 
Henry Lyon 
Henry Lyon 
N. Y. Culbertsoo 
James Ad.ims 
William Tufts 
George P. Sanger 
George P. Sanger 
William Tufts 
N. Y. Culbertson 
George Cutler 
George Cutler 
Edward Thorndike 
N. Y. Culbertson 
Charles W. Moore 
Charles W. Moore 
Joseph F Tufts 
James Adams 
Edward Thorndike 


cr 
1 

O 

o 
S 
5 

«-•■' 
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re 



8 

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 
school. 

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. 



10 



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f No. of Scholars 
2 (, at end of Term 



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Present at 
Examination. 



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Grammar. 



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No. of Vols, in 
the Library. 



HIGH SCHOOL. 

€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 
authority." 

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 

2 



12 

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. 

WARREN SCHOOLS. 
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- 



13 

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." 

WINTHROP SCHOOLS, 
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. 

HARVARD 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, 



14 

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. 

MUSIC. 

J. Edgar Gould, Teacher of Music in the High and Grammar 
Schools. 

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 



15 

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 



16 

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 
Schools. 

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 
Grammar Schools. 

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. 



17 

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, 



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