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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 



CITY OF CHARLESTOWN. 



DECEMBER, 1852. 




CHARLESTOWN : 
PRINTED BY CALEB RAND. 

1 S 5 3 . 



R E FOR T . 



The School Committee of Charlestown respectfully sub- 
mit the following Annual Report : 

At the commencement of the fiscal year, the Board pre- 
sented to the City Council its estimate of the amount of 
money that would be needed to carry on the schools, name- 
ly, twenty-five thousand dollars and the City's portion of 
the school fund. This sum, however, was not sufficient to 
meet the total of the current expenses ; but there was in the 
hands of the treasurer funds that had accumulated mostly 
from the interest on the notes held by the board ; and most 
of this, one thousand dollars, it was thought best to use 
for the annual expenses. So that the above sum of twenty- 
five thousand dollars was all that the committee required, 
and this was appropriated by the City Council. 

During the past year the Board voted to establish an in- 
termediate school. It is sometimes the case that pupils of 
eight or ten years of age in the primary schools, who come 
from abroad without previous school advantages, and others 
from neglect or absence,are unable to keep up with their class ; 
but are too old to attend the primary schools and too little 
qualified to' enter the grammar schools. It is the object of 
this school to receive such pupits, and qualify them for the 
grammar schools. This school will be kept in the new 
building on Winthrop street. With this exception, there Jias 
been no change of the organization of the schools. 



As this school has not yet been opened, there are now but 
three grades of schools, the Primary, Grammar, and High 
Schools ; twenty-seven primaries, eight grammar schools, 
and one high school. At the close of the October term, there 
were 2029 pupils in the primaries, 108 more than in 1851 ; 
1330 pupils in the eight grammar schools, 1 18 more than in 
1851 ; 94 in the high school, 18 more than in 1851. The 
total number of pupils in the schools is 3453 ; increase over 
last year, 204. As the expense of the schools is about $27,- 
000, it follows that the city pays about eight dollars a head 
for the instruction of its youth ; and as the population is be- 
tween sixteen and seventeen thousand, it follows that one- 
fifth of it consists of pupils in the schools. 

This increase of children, points clearly to an increase of 
schools. The tables of the primary schools will show how 
crowded they were at the October examination. A new 
school was established in November in Ward Two, and is 
kept in the Ward House; and a new school will be required 
in this locality. The houses in the neighborhood of Law- 
rence street have much increased, and some of the grammar 
schools are also too full; thus the Winthrop has about sixty 
more pupils than it has seats. Hence the annual appropria- 
tion for the next year must necessarily be increased. 

PRIMARY SCHOOLS. 

The following tables contain statistics of the Primary 
Schools at the close of the winter and summer terms : 





Primary Schools. 


■ 








E^ 


i ■ 


3^ 


1- 


«i 


1 j 


si 


:§ 








liocation. 




^s 


s 


o 


t 5i 


n 


3 


Ma 


s| 


^o 




® 


Teachers Wames. 




















2 


cu » 


d^ 




"A 










II 






°4 






> 


H 


^M 




T 


Mary J. Brown 


Bunker Hill School House 


83 


42 


41 


60 


■^9 


~3T 


46 


55 


7 




2 


Malvina B. Skilton 


Mead street 






83 


42 


41 


77 


37 


40 


57 


69 


9 


^ 


3 


Hannah H. Sampson 


Rear of 187 Main street 


99 


51 


48 


63 


30 


33 


50 


57 


IP 




4 


Cliarlotte M. Moore 


Warren School House 


68 


41 


27 


54 


33 


21 


40 


48 


13 




5 


Mary J. Chandler 


Elm street 






64 


37 


27 


.54 


31 


23 


39 


41 


14 




6 


M. L. Everett 


Elm street 






97 


56 


41 


70 


40 


30 


50 


53 


14 




7 


Susan L. Sawyer 


Rear of 187 Main street 


114 


50 


64 


94 


40 


54 


52 


84 


n 




8 


J. M. Ranstead 


Bartlett street 






72 


42 


30 


58 


34 


24 


43 


51 


2{ 




9 


S. E. Woodbridge 


Bartlett street 






73 


31 


42 


70 


30 


40 


49 


52 


9 




10 


Frances E. Smith 


Common street 




69 


36 


33 


57 


31 


26 


45 


55 


fi 




U 


Joanna S. Putnam 


Common street 




82 


42 


40 


75 


38 


37 


50 


62 


9 




12 


Catherine D. Flint 


Bow street 






84 


46 


37 


73 


43 


30 


52 


60 


9 




13 


M. E. Lincoln 


Bow street 






75 


38 


37 


64 


35 


29 


44 


49 


10 




14 


Sarah E. Smith 


Bow street 






110 


47 


63 


86 


41 


45 


60 


80 


11 




15 


Jane E. Rugg 


Bow street 






72 


35 


37 


67 


34 


33 


42 


58 


7 




16 


Abby E. Hinckley 


Common street 




96 


46 


50 


75 


40 


35 


55 


62 


8 




17 


Emily S. Pernald 


Bunker Hill st 


., at Point 


127 


62 


55 


82 


39 


43 


56 


72 


IC 




18 


Ellenora Butts 


Bunker Hill st 


., at Point 


122 


59 


63 


106 


60 


46 


67 


85 


13 




19 


Louisa W. Huntress 


Moulton street 






113 


54 


59 


84 


41 


43 


50 


72 


9 




20 


Elizabeth C. Hunting 


Winthrop street 




62 


30 


32 


58 


26 


32 


35 


42 


4 




21 


Louise P. Hunting 


Bartlett street 






80 


44 


36 


75 


42 


33 


45 


66 


9 




22 


Frances M. Lane 


Bartlett street 






92 


45 


47 


75 


37 


38 


50 


64 


12 




23 


Mary A. Osgood 


Haverhill street 
























34 


C. M. Chamberlain 


Common street 




66 


38 


29 


59 


32 


27 


40 


50 


4 




25 


H. M. Sanborn 


No. 2 Ward Room 




103 


56 


47 


83 


55 


38 


51 


52 


(' 




26 


Charlotte Poole 


Elm street 






61 


37 


24 


25 


16 


9 


32 


34 


13 




27 


Louisa A. Pratt 








101 


42 


59 


67 


25 


52 


43 


57 


3 






Primary Schools. 


2 u 


S. 


4 


II 

il 


1 


•S 


4 


S.s 


1 

> g 


Names or 




2 


Teachers Names. 


■3 S 


n 


5 


n 


t3 


5I 


2 1 
a< S 




Sub-Committees, 




1 Mary J. Brown 


99 


43 


56 


68 


38 


30 


50 


59 3 


Charles D. Lincoln. 




2 Malvina B. Skilton 


117 


51 


76 


95 


40 


55 


67 


81 5 


George Bradford. 




3 Hannah H. Sampson 


107 


52 


55 


84 


43 


41 


58 


64 


9 


it (4 






4j Charlotte M. Moore 


82 


46 


36 


66 


40 


26 


53 


61 


17 


Andrew K. Hunt. i 




5; Charlotte Poole 


92 


53 


39 


70 


43 


.27 


58 


58 


14 


a u 






6 M. L. Everett 


100 


46 


54 


79 


35 


42 


.59 


68 


10 


William Williams. | 




7 Susan L. Sawyer 


128 


64 


64 


96 


48 


48 


69 


90 


8 


a « 






8 J. M. Ranstead 


72 


41 


31 


61 


33 


28 


52 


56 


10 


Lemuel Gulliver. 




9'S. E. Woodbridge 


69 


31 


38 


61 


27 


34 


44 


54 




1( (C 






lOjPrances E. Smith 


95 


46 


49 


76 


37 


39 


55 


68 


9 


Nathan Merril 


. 




111 Joanna S. Putnam 


93 


45 


48 


76 


37 


39 


56 


66 


8 


ti il 






12 Elizabeth A. Lord 


93 


57 


42 


72 


41 


31 


51 


64 


7 


0. C. Everett. 






13 M. E. Lincoln 


81 


37 


44 


51 


26 


25 


42 


50 


13 


William Tufts 






14 Sarah E. Smith 


121 


59 


62 


87 


43 


44 


66 


74 


9 


a £. 






15 Jane E. Rugg 


89 


41 


48 


78 


33 


45 


52 


65 


8 


O. C. Everett. 






16 Abby E. Hinckley 


122 


63 


59 


84 


43 


41 


63 


67 


4 


James Adams. 






17 Emily S. Pernald 


100 


44 


56 


86 


39 


47 


64 


72 


7 


J. G. Puller. 






18 Ellenora Butts 


122 


68 


64 


101 


53 


48 


73 


76 


7 


« ti 






19 Louisa W. Huntress 


113 


62 


51 


98 


53 


45 


68 


80 


5 


Edw. Thomdike. 




20 Elizabeth C. Hunting 


63 


39 


34 


49 


20 


29 


50 


50 


2 


J. G. Fuller. 






21 


Louisa P. Hunting 


97 


50 


47 


75 


37 


39 


60 


66 


5 


John Sanborn. 






2S 


Prances M. Lane 


100 


55 


45 


80 


41 


39 


60 


75 


5 


U ii 






3C 


Mary A. Osgood 


95 


45 


50 


65 


29 


36 


56 


53 


2 


Charles D. Lincoln. 




2^ 


C. M. Chamberlain 


74 


41 


33 


65 


35 


30 


42 


51 


4 


James Adams. 






2^ 


H. M. Sanborn 


129 


76 


53 


96 


58 


38 


59 


76 


5 


Edward Thorndike. 




2C 


E. H. Rodenburg 


115 


67 


48 


23 


13 


10 


26 


23 


6 


John Sanborn. 






2- 


Louisa A. Pratt 


129 


43 


69 


87 


40 


47 


60 


60 


4 


James Adams. 






_ 




2696 


1321 


1375 


2029 


1026 


1003 


1513 


1727 


19S 









The reports of the sub-committees of the several primary 
schools, represent some of them to be defective as to man- 
agement and progress, but state that the^ost o^ them are 
teaching well the few and simple, but still important and 
interesting studies, that are required in them. Here the pu- 
pils may acquire habits, which, if good, will materially aid 
their future culture : but if bad, will as materially retard it ; 
and hence it is necessary that those who assume the office of 
teachers of these primary schools, should aim for themselves 
at a thorough self-culture. Take the accomplishment of 
reading. In these schools the voice may be trained proper- 
ly ; the pupils may learn how to attain command of it ; may 
acquire habits of distinct articulation ; may be taught to read 
carefully and distinctly ; and no small progress may be 
made, thus early, in giving proper expression in those pieces 
which can be fully comprehended. In all this, at least, the 
right way may be pointed out. It is feared, however, that 
it is not every teacher who has given this subject that atten- 
tion its importance demands. This surely ought not to 
be the case. While good judgment in governing a school is 
one requisite, another, no less important requisite, should be 
careful study of the subjects that are taught. 

It was this consideration, as to the importance of the pri- 
mary schools, that induced a special committee, appointed 
to consider the qualifications for the admission of scholars to 
the Grammer and High Schools, to remark : 

•'Your committee are happy to learn that the graduates 
from all the schools the last spring have appeared better pre- 
pared than in any former year. Still there is a deficiency, 
especially in reading, which seems to point to the Primary 
Schools, where more attention should be paid to enunciation 
and articulation, as it is well known that the voices of the 
young are more pliant and easily trained than in after years. 
We would therefore recommend, that geopraphy be discon- 
tinued in the Primary Schools, in order to give more time 
for the thorough use of Tower's books, which are the only 
reading books approved by the Board." 



The following is the qualification which the Board haye 
adopted for admissions to the Grammar Schools : 

" Each candidate shall be able to Read fluently from some 
easy lesson in the Intermediate Reader ; to Spell common 
words of one and two syllables ; to repeat the Tables of the 
Vowel and Consonant Elements, of the Abbreviations and 
Numbers, of the Points and Characters used in Writing; to 
answer, promptly, simple questions in Addition, Subtraction, 
Multiplication and Division." 

GRAMMAR SCHOOLS. 

The following table comprises statistics of the High and 
Grammar Schools : 



iHigh School, 

Bunker Hill, - - - No. 3. 

do. - - - - No. 2. 

Warren, - - - - No. 1. 

do. No. 2. 

Winthrop, - - - - No. 1. 

do. - - - - No. 2. 

iHarvard, - - - - No. 1. 

do. - - - - No. 2. 


SCHOOL RETURNS, 

AT THE SEMI-AIfNUAL EXAMINATIONS. 

HIGH AND GRAMMAR SCHOOLS. 


t— ' 
o 


JOio^^iOlOJOl-'l-' ^ 

iOJOOl— v300irf^<! 

C5 -vj Ct C; i,1 -^ 05 M M 


Whole Number of Scholars 
for the Term 


H 
a> 

B 

^ i 

CTQ ! 

> 

>-> 
>-" 

GO 

^ ll 

1 1 


00 

oo 

CO 


iCH-ioI^-'i-itOVICO 

•^?a»JOiOOc;i*>.:cn;i 


Boys. 


00 
ox 


COl-'OOiO-.CVIOS*!. 

'0}ocoi^&<>;^j0i(^to 


Gh-ls. 


1— ' 


1— ii— '1— 11— 'iOi— '1— '^^ 
Cj 00 C2 QD O -^ CO CO Ci 
CCU1OC«MOC0**0T 


Number at its close. 




CC --O M CO 'i O V! M JO 

1— '•t'CCvjcr. H-i— •^■joo 


Boys. 


00 
CB 


1—1 
VlOOOOD-'ODOiOtCO 
JOH-i — OC— i-^JO-^M 


Girls. 


1— 1 

to 

JO 

00 


OT^OOOO-^OOOJO 


Average attendance. 


1—' 


)<i. VJ rfi. Cj M M I— Oi 

CO CT CO "^1! c;i JO Oi JO 


Present at Examination. 


CO 

8 


JO*i.C0C0C5rfi.*>.C0IO 
M CO ^l :c C-. 00 Ci vl 3; 


Number of visits of School 
Committee. 




JO JO JO JO JO JO 1-1 1-" ^ 
C0C0>^Cnt«^J04^0iO 
JO Ci M O Cl' CO Ol VH- 


Whole Number of Scholars 
for the Term 


2 i 
B i 

o 

S' ! 
o 

o 

O 

o- 

CD 
00 

at 


{O H- 1— ' (to <0 H- iO "<J oo *»■ 

^ vj ci c: 00 Ci o i4^ oc io 


Boys. 


§ 


►-JOJOJOCOOvlvjOi 

CTO^JOOCOl—OO 


Girls. 


1— ■ 
to 


^1 VI M "-C CO C5 JO CO 'sC 

JO <C OT OT JO CC iT *. ^ 


Number at its close. 




OODOC'.£OOODC5*>JCO 
•fr'OOCOODi-'rfi-MiOO 


Boys. 


o VI tc oc •£! o VI c« cr, oi 

iO 001— O'-Jl-'^-ODiOCn 


Gu-ls. 


1— ' 

1— ' 


JOOiJOOOOO^CO 


Average attendance. 


00 




Present at Examination. 


JO 


►-'•-'I— 'JOCiCOl— 'H-irf^ 
OOrf^COOtOCinQOi^JO 


Number of visits of School 
Committee. 



BUNKER-HILL SCHOOLS. 

The Bunker-Hill School, Number One, is under the charge 
of David Atwood,* Principal; and Dorcas E. Farnsworth and 
Caroline Phipps, Assistant Teachers. Number Two, is un- 
der A. B. Saunders, Principal ; and Sarah J. Knights and 
Ann Nowell, Assistant Teachers. The sub-committee are 
Charles D. Lincoln, Lemuel Gulliver and George Bradford. 

It was stated in the last annual report that more force was 
necessary in both of these schools ; and this, in the early part 
of the year, was supplied by placing an additional female as- 
sistant teacher in each of them. The April reports speak de- 
cidedly of the beneficial influence which these teachers ex- 
erted on the school, which was seen immediately in the pro- 
gress made by the pupils of the lower classes. The sub- 
committees state that both schools, under faithful teachers, 
were doing well. In April, they say that the exhibitions 
" were of an exceedingly interesting and satisfactory char- 
acter ; and although on both occasions the weather was un- 
usually boisterous, yet a large company of the friends of the 
schools were present, which showed that they were heartily 
cherished." In October, they state that the school under 
Mr. Atwood was maintaining its hitherto excellent charac- 
ter, with the exception of the classes under one of the assist- 
ant teachers, where improvement was needed ; and the one 
under Mr. Saunders, who has been more recently appointed, 
was a well drilled, well governed and well instructed school, 
making excellent progress. They present the Bunker-Hill 
Schools, as a whole, as " taking post in the very front rank 
of our grammar schools." 

WARREN SCHOOLS. 

Warren School, Number One, is under the charge of George 

Swan, Principal ; and Elizabeth Upton, M. J. Chandler and 

N. R. Sampson, Assistants. Number Two, is under Joseph 

T.Swan, Principal; and Sarah T Chandler, MaryM. May- 

2 



10 

hew and Ann E. Chandler, Assistants. The sub-commit- 
tee are Andrew K. Hunt, Oliver C. Everett and William 
Williams. 

The reports of these schools continue to be highly favora- 
ble. In April, the committee remark: "Excellent order, 
general punctuality, reciprocal confidence and studious at- 
tention, characterise these two nurseries of education, and in 
our opinion they^^augur well for the future." In October, 
after remarking on their general excellent condition, and that 
they were accomplishing all that might be expected of them, 
the report makes a discrimination that will apply to all the 
schools : " Those scholars who are constant in their attend- 
ance, and who are dilligent in the improvement of the ad- 
vantages which they so richly enjoy, are making commend- 
able progress ; while those whose seats are often vacant, and 
who, for slight and trivial causes, are permitted to absent 
themselves, find it difficult, and in fact impossible, to keep 
pace with the constant attendants." 



WINTHROP SCHOOL. 

Winthrop School, Number One, is under the charge of B. S. 
F. Griffin, Principal ; and Sarah E. Russell, R. S. Richardson 
and Anna Delano, Assistants. Number Two, is under S. 
S. Willson, Principal ; and Misses J. A. Bridge, A. M. Greg- 
ory and E. M. Richardson, Assistants. The sub-committee 
are Edward Thorndike, James G. Fuller and John Sanborn, 

The sub-committee in April made an elaborate report of 
the appearance, recitations and general condition of each of 
the divisions in both of these schools on the examination. 
While there it is discriminating as to the merits of various 
classes, the state of both schools is characterized, as to pro- 
gress, as being highly gratifying; and the discipline and or- 
der in them, as entirely satisfactory. At the period of the 
October examination, school Number One lost the services of 
Mr. Luther W. Anderson, who had been in it over five years, 



11 

and had been a valuable teacher. He was succeeded by- 
Mr. Isaac Coffin, whose appointment proved unfortunate. 
He resigned his place in December, and was succeeded by 
Mr. B, S. F. Griffin, who is an able and experienced teacher. 
Changes like these are always unfavorable to a school ; and 
yet, so high has been the character of this school, that it is 
believed the pupils w.ill go on now in their accustomed suc- 
cess. The committee, in October, stated that school Number 
Two "exhibited continued assiduity of the several teachers 
in their various departments, and fair proficiency in the 
pupils generally." 



HARYARD SCHOOL. 

Harvard School, Number One, is under the charge of C. S. 
Cartee, Principal ; Misses A. 0. Robbins, S. J. Stockman and 
T. F. Kittredge, Assistants. Number Two, is under Joseph B. 
Morse, Principal ; and Misses A. M. West, Elizabeth Swords 
and H. E. Knight, Assistants. The sub-committee are 
William Tufts, James Adams and Nathan Merrill. 

The sub-committee in April, reported both schools to be 
in a gratifying condition. Number One, in consequence of 
increased force being placed in it, having much improved. 
They state: "In summing up the results of their labors, 
they would, in general terms, testify to the excellent condi- 
tion of both schools ; to the ability, and successful efforts of 
the teachers, assistants as well as principals ; and to the 
good order, attention to studies, and exemplary deportment 
of the scholars." In October, ttie report was equally encour- 
aging. It says: " In the thorough training of the children 
in the principles and elements of the studies pursued, the 
teachers evince a fidelity, zeal and competency highly grat- 
ifying." 



12 

GENERAL REMARKS. 

These reports represent the condition of the Grammar 
Schools generally in a favorable light. There can be no 
wiser policy as to them than to elevate their character, to 
increase their attractions, to require and expect that their 
teachers should present their classes as making regular pro- 
gress, from the youngest to the oldest. This, albeit a severe 
test, ought to be the test, of a good school. Hence, in a well 
managed grammar school, it has been the policy to hold the 
head masters as evert accountable for a proper progress on 
the part of the lower classes ; to require them to exercise so 
much of a supervision as, ?.t stated periods, to hear the classes 
recite ; and in this way to infuse unity and spirit into the 
school. This is believed to be a sound principle. At any 
rate, every thing ought to be done that can be, to keep these 
schools at as high a standard as possible, for to thousands of 
children, a large majority of youth, these furnish all the 
school advantages they will enjoy. 

Such considerations induced a sub-committee, in treating 
of the qualifications for admission to the High School, to re- 
mark: " The improvement of our school system, the large 
number of successful candidates, the increased expectations 
of the High School, seem to justify us in requiring now what 
was recommended and approved two years ago, to be pur- 
sued in all the Grammar Schools. We have added easy 
composition, which will only require a little more attention 
to the grammar exercises already introduced in some of the 
grammar schools. It does seem requisite for the larger part 
of the pupils who will go from the grammar schools intp 
active life, that they should be able to write a letter or com- 
pose a paragraph in a proper manner, conveying their own 
thoughts and opinions upon a question or subject on which 
they become interested. Without reference, then, to the 
High School, the committee would press the importance of 
composition and declamation, as originally designed to be a 
portion of the grammar school instruction, believing that 



13 

these studies may be pursued without any disadvantage to 
those already required, while they will prepare those who 
enter the High School to proceed more rapidly and satisfac- 
torily in the higher course of instruction." 

The following qualifications were estabhshed for admis- 
sion to the High School : 

Each candidate shall be able to pass a thorough examina- 
tion in Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar, Modern Geog- 
raphy and Maps, Wilson's History of the United States, part 
I, n, III, omitting in part Hfrom chapter III to chapter XIX, 
inclusive; Colburn's Intellectual Arithmetic; Greenleaf's 
Common School Arithmetic, as far as section XXXVIIl ; 
Easy Composition. 

HIGH SCHOOL. 

The High School is under the charge of A. M. Gay, 
Principal; Charles F. McDonald, Sub-master, and Mrs. P. 
G. Bates, Assistant. The sub-committee are James Adams, 
James G. Fuller, O. C. Everett, and Lemuel Gulliver. 

This school continues under the same organization that 
was described in the last annual report. It has three classes 
— the juinor class, which studies Arithmetic, Algebra, 
Geometry, Physiology, and the Latin reader ; the middle 
class, which studies Natural Philosophy, Geometry, and 
Caezar ; and the senior class, which studies French, Natural 
History, and Virgil. 

The -reports of the examinations, both in April and. in 
October, speak in the most gratifying terms of the fidelity 
of the teachers, and the prosperity of the school. The latter 
report thus alluded to the character and number of pupils : 
"It is with great pleasure the committee presents the re- 
port, confident that the school continues to maintain its high 
character, and is worthy of the highest confidence of the 
community. The progress of the scholars in the various 
studies is slow but sure. Your committee were very much 
gratified with the thoroughness of the recitations and in the 



14 

apparent interest in the pupils. It was a large class that 
was admitted, and with very few exceptions proved itself well 
trained for the higher branches which were pursued. It was 
thought by the board that a number would leave soon after 
entering, as has been customary in previous years. But it 
was not so. There have continued to be more pupils than 
there were desks to accommodate. This shows an un- 
usual interest in the new members, and we trust also the in- 
creased interest of parents to keep their children in the 
school, that they may enjoy longer the advantages which are 
offered." 

This school, with all the advantages of a well appointed 
academy, is attaining a high rank. It has a cheering pub- 
lic opinion to sustain it ; while it affords to deserving pupils 
to attain a higher culture than it is possible for the grammar 
schools to afford. 



GENERAL REMARKS. 

The several sub-committees have devoted much time to 
the examinations of the schools. These have, hence, been 
really examinations and not exhibitions. They were com- 
menced without previous notice or previous special prepara- 
tion, and continued with the object of ascertaining what the 
pupils knew about the studies they had gone over, and to 
what extent they had been required to think and to work out 
results of themselves. An instance will serve to indicate this 
thoroughness. One sub-committee states: "In the ex- 
amination of the different divisions ai>d classes, the commit- 
tee were engaged some twelve or fourteen afternoons ; de- 
voting to each branch of study brought under review as much 
attention as circumstances and their own time would per- 
mit." Both schools were subjected to a careful scrutiny. 
This duty has been done twice during the past year. It has 
been continued, in the belief that the influence of it has been 
in various ways beneficial. The glistening countenances of 
the pupils of a school room, better than any words, speak 



15 

the welcome of the members of the committee ; while their 
presence serves to cheer and encourage the teachers in their 
arduous labors. After this scrutiny, reports more or less in'de- 
tail, are presented at the regular meetings of the board. Has 
a teacher been neglectful or lacking in ability ? The deficien- 
cies are detailed in the report and commented on in the com- 
mittee. Has a teacher been faithful and successful 1 This, 
too, is made known and remembered. This statement will 
serve to indicate the vigilant watch that has been kept over 
this important branch of our municipal service. 

In addition to the semi-annual examinations, there have 
been annual exhibitions of all the schools, when the exer- 
cises have been left to the judgment of the teachers and been 
witnessed by as large a number of the citizens as the several 
rooms would contain. These have been occasions of deep in- 
terest and pleasure both to pupils and friends; and, inasmuch 
as they constitute so many local practical lectures on the vari- 
ed advantagesof early culture, they are by no means without 
a salutary influence on the cause of education. In relation 
to them the committee make one remark ; they believe them 
to be advantageous to the pupils, and satisfactory to the 
community, in proportion to the impartiality that character- 
izes them. This will be manifested in the way in which all 
the scholars of a class are called on to take a share in them. 
The quick sensibilities of parents, no less than the keen eyes 
of youth, are jealous of favoritism; and all appearances of 
it should be carefully avoided in the schools. 

It is after such examinations, that the committee would 
commend our excellent system of public instruction, with 
increasing confidence, to the community. If not perfect, it 
certainly has many things in the right direction. It aims to 
welcome all the children with a like encouragement. It 
meets them with a paternal yearning for their mental, moral, 
and religious well-being. It endeavors to make them realize 
the value of the intellectual mine that is within them, and 
presents every inducement that is just and proper, to persuade 



16 

them to work it and improve it ; and it begins to do this at 
almost an infant age, and ceases not until an age of maturity 
and action has been reached. Such is the open pathway, on- 
ward and upward, of the various grades of our schools. 
Such a system is worthy of the fame of this ancient place. 

The evils that have been and are now connected with our 
schools — tardiness, absences, and defective descipline — have 
been so often commented on that the committee consider it 
to be inexpedient to go at length into a consideration of them. 
But another evil, that of truancy, is a great one in this city 
as it is in all large cities. In some esses it requires to be 
met by the stringency of law, but in a large majority of 
cases other modes of treatment, in connection with a strin- 
gent law, have been found most efficacious. Thus out of 
625 cases of truancy dealt with by three agents appointed 
by the city of Boston, only 31 were sentenced to the House 
of Reformation and the Reform School — the larger portion of 
the remainder being persuaded to attend school. This ex- 
perience shows the benefit of a judicious agency appointed 
to look after habitual truants, and to confer in a humane 
spirit with their parents or guardians. It is an evil to take 
children away from their homes, collect them in large num- 
bers, and give to one person or a few persons that control 
over them which parents or guardians exercise ; and any 
well-considered plan that will obviate the necessity of 
this, and that promises to operate beneficially, merits a trial. 
And hence the committee recommend such an agency to be 
established in this city. 

But however vigilent may be officers of the law, or how- 
ever valuable may be the advantages afforded by our schools, 
they be all vitiated or rendered nugatory by deficient home 
management. One instance of this is the habit of allowing 
boys of tender age, while yet attending the school, to be out 
evenings, and even until late at night. Groups of them for 
purposes of sport, or sometimes for worse purposes, may be 
seen and heard in favorite localities. Now this is the time 



17 

when juvenile criminals at large use most their entices and 
do their most mischief. Evening is the time for petty thefts, 
for early gambling, for corruption of all kinds. This is the 
time when much of temptation is first presented to youth. 
Now is this enough thought of by parents and guardians? 
Do they consider enough the fact that here is so often the 
beginning of the corruptions of boyhood 1 There could 
hardly be a more beneficial reform than to require boys to 
remain always at home or in doors during evenings. For 
this purpose let the home be made attractive; and then, 
while it will keep youth out ot the paths of temptation, it 
will serve to nurture in them good influences, and thus 
powerfully aid in promoting those high aims that our schools 
are designed to foster and reach. 

This community need no argument as to the duty and 
necessity of supplying opportunities for the education of its 
youth that shall be free alike from sectarian or partisan in- 
fluences, be open alike to all, and be shared and enjoyed, 
like the bounties of Providence, in common. These are the 
foundation stones of our system of free schools. Public 
opinion here is fixed on their vital importance, and the only 
question is, whether, on such a basis, the superstructure has 
risen to the mark of the progress of the times ; whether 
here are enjoyed all the advantages that well tried experi- 
ence has sanctioned. In proportion as our schools reach 
this mark they will be accepted— in proportion as they fail to 
reach it, will the community be dissatisfied. The commit- 
tee have reason to believe that the closer the comparison be 
made between the advantages enjoyed here and those enjoy- 
ed elsewhere, the more will the result redound to the credit 
of the city. 

By order of the committee. 

RICHARD FROTHINGHAM Jr., Chairman. 

Charlestown, Dec. 1852.