r^ oHo * 6345, 55 V. 1 R Y -E. 3^ Ci^^'^'^^ &.6, ANNUAL REPORT OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE OF THE CITY OF CHARLESTOWN, DECEMBER 1853. CHARLESTOWN : PRINTED BY WILLIAM W. WHEILDON 1854. SCHOOL REPORT. In compliance with tlie law of the Commonwealth, the School Committee of the City of Charlestown, re^ spectfuUy submit the following Repokt : The superintendence of the method of instruction for over thirty-six hundred children, the care of the school rooms, the adjustment of dif&culties between teachers and parents growing out of cases of discipline, the per- severance in a steady progressive policy, constitute a work of no ordinary responsibility. To do it thorough- ly requires a heavy tax of labor and time. These have been freely bestowed, during the past year, by the School Committee. They have, besides the usual vis- its to the schools, twice thoroughly examined each of them, class by class. The results have been given in reports on the condition of each, containing more or less in detail as the circumstances seemed to require, pre-r sented to the Board. Annual public exhibitions of the schools also have been g'ven, which have been attend- ed by the parents and friends in as large numbers as the capacities of the rooms would afford. After such inspection, the Committee feel safe in stating that the heavy taxation for the support of educational purposes, has been applied to the support of a system that fur- nishes an enviable opportunity for the education of the youth of our community. The amount asked of the City Council, at the com- mencement of the year, was twenty-eight thousand dol- lars, and this sum was appropriated. A small portion of it was expended in the alterations made in the Har- vard school rooms, by altering the partitions, and in repairs in various schoolrooms, but the most of this sum has been used for the teachers' salaries, fuel, and the care of the rooms. Two Primary Schools have been established, and the Intermediate School has been put in operation. These constitute the principal changes made the past year. There are now four grades of Schools : the Primary, the Intermediate, the Grrammar, and the High. There are twenty-nine Primary Schools, one Intermediate School, eight Grammar Schools, and qjie High School. At the close of the October term there were, in the Pri- maries, 2071 pupils, forty-three more than at the same time in 1852 ; in the Intermediate School, 49 ; in the Grrammar Schools, 1414, 84 more than there were last year; and in the High School, 86, eight less than there were last year. The total number of scholars in Octo- ber, 1852, was 3453 ; in October, 1853, it was 3,620 ; increase, 167. The increase from 1851 to 1852, was 204; total, in two years, 371. This increase of scholars shows the necessity there will be for an increase of schools. Some of the Primaries and the Grammar Schools are much crowded, and this will require a heav- ier appropriation for the schools. PRIMARY SCHOOLS. The following tables contain the statistics of the Primary Schools at the close of the winter and summer terms : — 5" VVint. Term, ending Apri 11853 i '"^^'^*'*'*^ (3 o 1 u Primary Schools. 1 6 Is --» to o >9 Names op o 1 Teachers Names- o 3 3 3 6r5 1^ 1 'i ^1 =2 Sub-Committees- ' 1 Mary J. Brown, 93 45 431 75 40 35 45 65 4 A. B . Shedd. J 1 2 M. B Skilton, lis 56 62 107 59 57 74 81 6 Warren Rand. \ , Hannah H. Sampson, 106 55 51 86 45 41 61 75 7 " " 4 Charlotte M. Moore, 96 56 40 74 44 SO 60 65 8 LVV . Blanchard. 5 Charlotte Poole, 76 39 37 64 35 29 49 49 8 " " 6 iJ. L. Everett, 94 46 48 72 33 34 57 57 5 N.W errill. 7 Susan L. Sawyer, 108 59 49 51 35 26 52 52 7 James Adams. 1 8 J. M. Uanstead, 81 42 39 69 37 32 4S C9 29 Solomon Hovey. 9 Martha S. Lothrop, 93 49 44 75 42 33 56 48 27 " " 10 Frances E. Smith, 117 59 58 94 48 46 67 81 6 Natl an Merrill, U Joannii S. Putnam, 96 45 51 81 43 38 56 71 8 " " 12 Elizabeth A. Lord, 94 56 38 83 50 33 61 61 4 0. C . Everett. 13 Martha E. Lincoln, 83 45 43 77 43 34 51 65 9 James Adams. \ U Sarah E. Smith, 109 53 55 84 48 36 61 71 10 " I 15 Jane E. Rug^', 99 4'i 56 86 34 52 52 77 4 O. C . Everett. i 16 Abby E. Hinckly, 117 59 58 101 51 50 80 85 6 Jame s Fogg. 17 Emily S. Pernald, 97 42 55 83 36 47 52 60 7 James G. Fuller. \ 18 Ellenora Butts, 131 73 58 77 38 39 54 66 8 it " Id (jouisa VV. Huntress. 112 60 52 81 48 33 62 70 8 Edw Thorndike. ( J) EiizabetliC. Hunting 77 36 41 67 29 33 38 50 2 James G. Fuller, t Jl Luuise J. Hunting, 76 37 39 71 37 34 54 61 8 John Sanborni i2 Frances M. Lane, 72 38 34 60 31 29 52 45 10 " I£ 23 \'ary A. Osgood, 82 40 42 69 37 S3 33 53 3 A. B . Shedd. 2-1 (>. M. Chamberlain, 70 42 £8 51 31 20 37 44 8 James Fogg. ( 2.5 H. M. Sanborn, 125 67 58 90 47 43 62 69 8 Edw Thorndike. 2G r<;. H. Rodenburgh, 31 19 12 22 14 8 19 20 6 John banborn. }7 Louisa A Pratt, 135 57 78 103 46 57 67 78 3 Ed\v Thorndike. J8 Mary M. Decoster, 66 3-1 32 60 2i; 34 48 48 10 O. C , Everett. ^ 2659 1352 1307 2128 1103 1020 1501 1726 229 2 Primary Schools. be C C o ..J ct c c S o = Teachers Names- Location- 2: u li i> = o 3 - B o 5 c3 ci < » 'i o 1 y^'M tl'^ rt > i 'Vl.iry J. Brown, B. 11. i^jchool House lie 54 5b 80 4C 40 58 57 ~s 2 VV. B. Skilton, Mead street, 142 60 82 70 34 36 75 75 3 H. U. Sampson, Re;irof 187 Main-st. ill 55 56 76 39 37 59 57 14 4 C. M. .Moore, War. School-House, 102 59 43 88 47 41 68 77 10 5 Charlotte Poole, Elm street, 85 45 40 65 39 26 50 58 61, 6 Mary L. Everett, Elm street. 105 66 49 80 44 38 67 60 6, 7 Susan L. Sawyer, Main street. 83 39 44 59 27 32 46 50 5^1 8 Julia M. Ransteatl, Bartlett street. 71 38 33 67 37 30 55 65 19 9]iMariha S. Lothrop, Bartletl street. 67 31 86 41 20 21 59 36 20' 10 Francos E. Smith, Common street, 120 61 59 77 42 35 55 53 T4 111 Joanna S. Putnam, Common street. 97 55 42 80 45 35 60 68 13 112 E. A. Lord, Bow street. 105 58 47 85 48 37 65 72 SJ 113 Martha E. Lincoln, " , 101 50 51 83 44 39 57 65 55 114 Sarah E. Smitli, " 88 43 41 78 41 37 60 72 5) 115 Jane E. Ru??, (t 122 54 68 98 44 54 70 78 105 il6 A. E. Hinckly, Common street, 107 59 48 75 41 34 60 63 13l ill Emily S. Fernald, B. H. str., at Point. 100 49 51 79 39 40 50 62 8'i il8 Ello'iora Butts, tf tc 102 57 45 73 26 47 54 54 10' 1 19 L. VV. Huntress, Moulton street. 91 49 42 75 37 38 58 62 3i ■20 a. C. Hunting, VVinthrop street, 78 3-' 46 68 28 40 39 43 4 31 Mary F. Wyman, Bartlett street, 85 41 44 80 41 39 52 54 14' 22 Frances M. Lane, It <( 68 33 30 68 36 30 48 52 13 23 -Mary A. Osgood, Haverhill street, 83 39 44 63 29 34 45 53 4 124 S.T. Cromwell, Common street, 63 34 28 60 31 29 42 44 14; 25 H. M. Sanborn, No. 2, Ward Room, 113 60 53 98 53 45 69 75 6; '58 E. H. Rodenburgh, Almshouse, 39 23 16 22 13 9 21 21 6,1 27 Louisa A. Pratt, Bunker-Hill, 160 79 81 120 59 61 69 85 10 '28 Mary M. Oecoster, Ward Room, No. 2, 79 S3 46 65 34 31 43 44 lll 2675 1349 Im 2071 1068 100811 556 1656 262^ The statistics of these schools will show clearly one unfavorable condition for a good school — the large num- ber of scholars the several teachers have had under their charge. In some cases these have been accommodated in small-sized rooms. This is not only most unfavora- ble to the progress of the jDupils, but it is a severe tax on the health of the teacher. Two additional schools have been established the past year ; the first in Ward Two, which is kept in the Ward House; the last one in the neighborhood of numbers two and three, in Ward Room of number three. Though every endeavor has been made, by equalizing the districts as far as locali- ties will permit^ to equalize the schools, yet there are several schools consisting of over a hundred pupils. — Hence. there will be a necessity for larger appropria- tions for this department the next year. That these interesting schools should be properly accommodated — that each pupil should have a separate seat — that the rooms should be airy — ^that the locations should be healthy — that care should be used as to comfort and convenience — are what the citizens will expect ; and as the number of children increases, there is no other way but to increase the school rooms and teachers. Q^he semi-annual Reports of the Sub- Committees state the deficiencies and the excellencies of each. Most of them are favorable to their condition. When the school is in an unsatisfactory state, the reasons are gen- erally found in causes outside of the school room. The following is a specimen of one of the unfavorable reports as to a Primary School: "The teacher of this school complains much of disorderly conduct, idleness and tru - ancy. There are several scholars too old for the Pri- mary, and not qualified for the Grrammar School. It is hoped the Intermediate School will remove this dif3&- c'ulty. The appearance of this school was not so good as your Committee hoped to find it. This deficiency is 8 owing in part, no doubt, to the irregularity in their at- tendance, and to other causes, not under the control of the teacher." A school of a different character is thus characterised : "This school was examined by the Com- mittee in the presence of quite a large number of the childrens' friends. It was very gratifying to see so much interest manifested by the parents, and undoubt- edly it has exerted a very beneficial influence upon the whole school. The exercises were very interesting, showing great fidelity on the part of the teacher, and an evident interest on the part of the pupils. There was a promptness and distinctness in the recitations which was highly commendable, and a thoroughness which evinced great care and attention in the instructions." The exercises of these schools are interesting, and the studies are important ; and an intelligent and devo- ted teacher may do a salutary and permanent service. But this requires on her part the requisite degree of self-culture, both of disposition and of mind; for habit- ual self-government is necessary in order to maintain an easy school government, as accurate knowledge of the things to be taught is a necessary basis for correct teaching. It is true that the studies pursued in these schools are few and simple. In going through with them, however, much may be done to promote the future progress of the good scholar, both as to knowl- edge and as to habits and love for school. Indeed, the manner as to reading and the training as to behavior, will be felt sensibly in the Grammar and the High Schools. It is, therefore, important that the instruction should be accurate ; that the vocal organs should be properly trained while they are so pliant ; that the en- trance to the portals of knowledge and mental discipline should be made attractive and cheerful by kindness, and sympathy and good judgment. Such has been the ob- ject of the Committee as to these schools. It has been 9 attained to a reasonable extent in some of them, and should be reached in all. INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL. The Intermediate School was established for a class of children who were too old to be instructed in the Primary Schools, and not far enough advanced to enter the Grammar Schools. In addition to these, on going into operation, "it gathered into it," the first report in November states, "others of a different class, and these influenced unfavorably the school, as they were not brought into that subjection or into that interest in their studies which is desirable." It has received quite a number who never enjoyed any instruction in early childhood. It is therefore characterized as an ex- perimental school. After a full report of its difficulties, its struggles through them and its progress, the Com- mittee state that they "still think this school is actually needed, and may become a very efficient help in the present system of public instruction." On the exami- nation, three boys and three girls were found to be qualified to enter the Grammar School. It then had 49 scholars — 33 boys and 16 girls. The average at- tendance was 29. The whole number during the term was 58 — 40 boys and 18 girls. GRAMMAR SCHOOLS. The following table contains statistics of the Gram- mar and High Schools : — 10 ooopppop SCHOOL RETURNS, AT THE SEMI-ANNUAL EXAMINATIONS, HIGH AND GRAMMAR SCHOOLS. ^^ to »-s lo to Whole Nuraber of Scholars for the Terrn. CI O 00 O "O ^J vJ Ol ^ Boy; Gu'ls. Number at its cloie. oooocowcnooco Boys. CO ^ O O O O -? -! -J .^^ hS CXi ~. o to -» to o *-» Girl5. CO o o Ji. -~i 01 ^ -JO m — OJ 00 COJ^tOW— 'OCJVON2 Average attendance. S5 OiOOSi-^OOSlOJ:^^ to CI ^ CO >-' M :i3 to y3 Present at Exarairialion. Number of visiis of School Comrailtee. 1-5 en CO to to to 00 to M C^J ^ Ul to to H- O to ►- to — t- (O o o to O C5 C: Whole iinmber of Scholars inr ihe Term. Boys. GirLs. I— I-. ^ H- to ^ tJ H- CO i5 •» -O =. Ct 1— ^( CO G0O0i*^a)O00--JC5 Number at its clo.se. OOCOOCOOOCiOW -vl--JtO^00COK-O0-.l Boys. to OOOOOOH-^OioOJi. — ojw^iootoiicb Girls. 1 |_i h- ^ W- _ — 1 H- Ui^COCi^lili 4i'00 tOOOOOO^lO t-CO Average attendance. Present at E.vamination. Number of visits of School Committee. CD oq o <! OO en 11 BUNKER HILL SCHOOLS. Bunker Hill School, Number One, is under the charge of Laurin F. Cook, Principal; and Annie M. Lund and Caroline Phipps, Assistant Teachers. Number Two, is under William H. Saunders, Principal ; and Sa- rah J. Knights and Martha- A. Bigelow, Assistants. — ■ The Sub-Committee are Isaac W. Blanchard, Solomon Hovey and A. B. Shedd. Both of these schools, under the able instruction of their late teachers, Messrs Saunders and At wood, at- tained to a high reputation. In the semi-annual report of May, the Sub-Committee state : "In the first official visit which your Committee paid to these schools, they were most agreeably impressed with the good order and general deportment of the scholars, and with the cour- teous and dignified bearing of the teachers. Subsequent visits have fully confirmed these favorable impressions, and at the recent examination abundant proof was given that the method of instruction pursued in these schools is of the most thorough and practical kind." The No- vember report expresses the belief that the good repu- tation which these schools have attained, will suffer no diminution under their present teachers. WARREN SCHOOLS. Warren School, Number One, is under the charge of George Swan, Principal; and M. J. Chandler, N. R. Sampson, and Margaret Yeazie, Assistants. Number Two is under Joseph T. Swan, Principal; Sarah J. Chandler, Mary M. Mayhew and Ann E. Chandler, Assistants. The Sub-Committee are 0. C. Everett and Warren Rand. The Sub-Committee, in their May report, stated that School Number One had evidently suffered from a change 12 of assistants, as it did not present a uniform thorough- ness in all the divisions ; but it spoke in high terms of the order and quiet which generally prevailed in the school, and of the interest manifested by the pupils in their general attendance. The November report speaks in gratifying terms of the improvement percept- ible in the school, and the progress made in all the di- visions; and expresses the confident expectation, "that the whole school will raise its standard, if the present efficient corps of teachers can be secured for some length of time." The May report remarks of School Number Two, "that it continues to bear a good name for thoroughness, good order, and general interest;" and the November report, after detailing the appear- ance of each division on the examination, closes by com- mending this school to the continued confidence and regard of the community. These schools are so crowded that there are more scholars than there are seats. Of both the schools this report remarks : "It is to be hoped that no material change will be made in either school for a long time, that they may both attain to the high- est standard through a constant and progressive course of instruction, and so strengthen the mutual affection and confidence of teachers and pupils." WINTHROP SCHOOLS. Winthrop School, Number One, is under the charge of B. F. S. Griffin, Principal ; and Sophia W. Page, R. S. Richardson, and Anna Delano, Assistants. Num- ber Two, is under S. S. Willson, Principal, and Misses I. A. Bridge, A. M. Gregory, and E. A. Richardson, Assistants. The Sub-Committee are Edward Thorndike, James G. Fuller, and John Sanborn. In the winter term. No. One, suffered from a change of teachers, — the appointment of Mr. Cof&n having been 13 followed by great insiTbordination. The Sub- Commit- tee in May remark : " A change of teachers, by the sub- stitution of one good teacher for another of equal merit, is always productive of embarrassment or retro- gradation, but much more so when a good teacher is succeeded by a poor one." These remarks will apply forcibly to the change caused by the resignation of Mr. Anderson, and the appointment of Mr. Coffin, his imme- diate successor. It will require time to re-establish the former high standard of this School. " In the No- vember report, the Committee state that this school, on the examination, exhibited improved order and disci- pline, aptitude in teaching faithfully applied by the teachers, and a fair degree of proficiency in the several divisions of the school. The insubordination which ex- isted when the present master was appointed, has ceased, and a good understanding prevails." Number Two has not suffered from change of teachers. The Sub-Com- mittee in their May report state ' ' That this school is overrun with scholars entitled to its privileges ; their number largely exceeding the number of seats for their accommodation. Depletion must be resorted to by some process to " some extent, or the school will fail to af- ford the advantages which the pupils are entitled to." In November, the Committee states that this School at the examination " exhibited faithful and well directed service on the part of the Teachers, and commensurate improvement among scholars availing themselves of the advantages of their labors." Both schools, the Com- mittee say, ' ' are in a crowded condition since the reg- ular accessions for the last Term from the Primary Schools, and it may be regarded as a case needing speedy relief." 14 HARVARD SCHOOLS. Harvard School, Number One, is under tlie charge of C. S. Cartee, Principal ; A. 0. RoUins, T. T. Stockman, and S. F. Kittredge, Assistants. Num- ber Two, is under Joseph B. Morse, Principal ; and Julia Morton, Elizabeth Swords, and H. E. Knights, Assistants. The Sub-Committee are Nathan Merrill, James Adams, and James Fogg. The Sub- Committee, in May, in commending the general progress of School Number One, remark : "It is believed that more time and attention should be given to the attainment of a higher degree of correctness in orthography, both written and oral. The acquirements in this branch of study, in the Harvard School, do not, perhaps, fall below the average in other schools, public or private. So far as we can learn, the impression pre- vails in the minds of many intelligent friends of education, as it does in our own, that this important subject is too often lost sight of in the desire to advance in what are supposed to be higher and more important studies. This is not as it should be. We, therefore, do not hesi- tate to recommend a renewed exertion to the attainment of a higher degree of perfectness in this study." Of Number Two the Committee remark that " the examina- tion was highly satisfactory, and the results, produced by the efforts of the corps of Teachers, reflect great credit on their ability and skill." The Harvard school-rooms have been re-arranged during the last year. The Halls and Recitation-rooms of each have been divided by partitions into four apart- ments. But these are so constructed that the black- boards make a part of the partitions : and these boards can be raised, so that the principal, for the general ex- ercises, can have a view of the whole school. Thus the interruptions necessarily caused by the pupils leav- 15 ing the seats for the recitation-rooms are avoided ; there is no confusion from having two recitations in one room ; the pupils are under the immediate eye of the teacher who instructs them ; and the space occupied by the Recitation-rooms is all occupied and the capa- city of the School-rooms is enlarged. This important change, thus far, appears to be a decided improvement ; and the Board look confidently to see a corresponding progress in the studies. The Sub-Committee, in their November report remark in relation to this change : — ' ' The separation of the Halls into four rooms gives great satisfaction to both Teachers and pupils ; and your Committee express with confidence the hope, that, at no distant day, the other schools of our city may enjoy similar advantages." HIGH SCHOOL. The High School is under the charge of A. M. Gay, Principal; Charles F. McDonald, Sub-master, and Mrs P. Gr. Bates, Assistant. The Sub-Committee are James Adams, 0. C. Everett, I. W. Blanchard, and James Q. FuUer. The reports as to the condition of this school have been uniformly of a favorable character. In November the Sub-Committee report that it "maintained its posi- tion as an honor to the city, and a blessing to its youth." The recitations, with few exceptions, are sta- ted to have been satisfactory, and to indicate "faithful- ness on the part of the teachers and diligence and application on the part of the scholars." The report remarks : — " While this school has during the last five years been furnishing the means of mental discipline to more than three hundred and fifty of our children, it has also given proof of its practical usefulness by pre- paring our sons for college and the various pursuits of 16 business life, and our daughters for increased usefulness in social life and for the highly important duties of teachers — ^more than twenty of whom are now employed in our Grammar and Primary Schools. And we have good reason to expect, that most of these teachers hav- ing been thoroughly instructed in the Latin language, will, with a few years' experience, be more successful in giving instruction in the English language than the graduates of the State Normal Schools, where the Latin is not taught ; in fact, it is almost impossible for a per- son to become a good teacher of the English language without a thorough knowledge of the Latin, from which so large a portion of the English is derived." This interesting institution, with the advantages of a well-appointed academy, is renewedly commended to public confidence. By an impartial method, in which merit is the only test, such pupils of the first classes of the Grammar Schools as succeed in reaching a required standard, gain admission into it. Here they have ample means to pursue the work of mental culture — an excel- lent school room, appropriate philosophical apparatus, a well-selected library, and capable and faithful teachers. It is only necessary that these opportunities be properly improved by good scholars, to enable them to graduate with such mental discipline and such attainments as shall carry them creditably into college or into active life. The appearance of the school is such as indicates that these opportunities are appreciated. Its order is excellent, which is maintained without difficulty ; and the recitations indicate commendable proficiency in the various branches of study which are pursued. In a word, the school has the aspect of a High School. It is necessary that it should always retain that standard, both in order to do a benefit and not an injury to the Grammar Schools, and to meet the important ends of its establishment. 17 GENERAL REMARKS. The thorough semi-annual examinations by the sub-committees of the several schools, and the annu- al exhibitions, give renewed confidence in the bene- ficial character of the system of public instruction which this community maintains. The motto of Gharlestown has ever been that of progress in this department of her municipal duties ; and on a wise and liberal foundation to incorporate any well tried improvement. Such fundoubtedly will be the motto in the future. The patriotic and the good can have but one desire, and that must be to make this system as perfect as it is practicable. The principle that every child should have a right to share educational advantages, and that property should pay for them, is a sound one ; and were an order to go out depriving any portion of the youth from the enjoyment of this right it would create a stamp-act ferment. And yet its no less strange than true, that there are in this city as in every large city, many who do not avail themselves of the priceless advantages that are thus so freely provided lor them. This neglect is intimately connected with the subject of juvenile vagrancy and crime. During the past year efforts have been made to check this in this city. Though the truant laws have been in force, yet the milder corrective process of personal inter- course with the youth and with parents and guard- ians has been more effectually resorted to. The Board appointed Rev. 0. C. Everett, one of its number, as a special agent to look after truants and he was induced to accept on the understand- ing that he was to act rather the part of a friend and counsellor than that of a police. In such a spi- 3 18 rit he applied himself to efforts to check the neg- lect of early opportunities for instruction, and his labors have been both with the parents and with the young. In the discharge of such a duty he has made an elaborate report to the Board containing the re- sults of his observations. On applying to the teachers of the Grammar Schools, the gratifying fact was established that truancy, among their regular pupils, was not an ex- tensive evil. Two of the schools afforded a list of two each, one of four, and one of ten names. Thus truancy, or absence from school without the parents' permission, was not a wide-spread evil. Absence from school with the consent of parents is no uncom- mon occurrence. But another gratifying fact w^as elicited ; that the great irregularity in the attendance was on the part of a few, which, of course, depreciat- ed the average attendance of the whole school. — Even with this drawback of a few, the average at- tendance of the regular pupils is significant, for in the first divisions of the Grammar School it is as high as eighty-seven per cent., and in the lower divisions it does not fall below eighty-one per cent. On this result the report remarks, "When we consider the great diminution in averaging which is caused by the irregular attendance of a very few, and especially by the great diminution of members on stormy days, we may well be proud of our excellent system, showing a very fair interest on the part of pupils and parents, and that the teachers have not been idle or labored in vain. There is doubtless more irregularity than there ought to be. Many trifling excuses are allow- ed which a proper regard for the importance of edu- cation, will not for a moment tolerate. We may take courage however that the system of education here established works, if not perfectly, yet admirably." 19 The report of the agent presents facts of interest as to the localities where the most neglect to attend school is seen, and as to the causes of this neglect. — He names three, the Fitchburg Railroad Depot, the Point, and the Navy Yard Gate. The report re- marks as to the latter : "I visited more frequently in the neighborhood of the Navy Yard gate, and have succeeded in securing several at the intermediate school. Several also found employment. My visits thus far seemed to have had some influence as they bestirred the young, or their parents, to seek situations of usefulness. I endeavored to see and speak with the parents and their children, and to set before them the advantages of education, and the evils of vagrancy and ignorance. In a few cases I provided suitable clothing and so encouraged their attendance on school." In relation to the causes of truancy the report states : — "I have endeavored to find the causes of truancy, that some remedy may be suggested. The evil exists chiefly among the children of foreign par- ents and proceeds in part from the ignorance, pover- ty and inefficiency of parents, and in part from the temptations to which the young are exposed, and in part to the want of interest in their schools and stud- ies. An efficient parent will not allow the habit of truancy to be formed, and an intelligent parent will not be deceived, blinded, cajoled by the artifices and excuses of the young. The first offences are too often palliated and excused, and later offences are committed and unheeded. Many parents, therefore, have only their own weak folly to blame for the con- firmed truancy and gross ignorance of their children. "The poverty of parents sometimes leads to this evil. The mean and ragged garment deters the young from attendance. The tardiness occasioned 20 by the disorderly habits of the household, and by the irregularities of the time-piece, induces others to stay away, while the ignorance or absence of the par- ent prevents an excuse being written or obtained. — The scanty supply on the table drives others into the streets to improve any opportunity to get a few coppers, wherewith to gratify more than the cravings of hunger. So far as the parents are in fault, this can be remedied only by timely aid and judicious counsel. They need friendly visits from teachers, that they may be informed of the regulation of the school and the government of the teachers, and en- couraged in their endeavor to manage a numerous household and prepare them for a decent appearance in school." Tiie great object is to induce all the youth of the city to avail themselves of the benefits of a thorough system of education. But it is too true that there are numbers here who in the dawn of life neglect such opportunities. In such cases the causes may be traced to deficient home management. Some pursue a course of vagrancy, others neglect school to gain the pittance necessary to support their parents ; a few are truants ; some are are stained with early cri.Tfie. Juvenile neglect, and carelessness, and de- pravity are the usual incidents of City Life. How many of the youth of this population are thus grow- ing up there is no means of knowing. The city has no adequate means provided whereby properly to treat this juvenile disease. It needs a house of re- formation for juvenile offenders. During the last year, in a few cases of pilfering, the offenders have been sentenced to the State Reform School. This subject is earnestly commended to parents and guardians. In connection with it, is the pre- 21 valent habit of allowing boys who attend school to be in the streets evenings, and even until late at night. This practice is pregnant with many evils. — In fact the whole system of home management bears intimately and powerfully on the welfare of the schools. It should be constantly remembered that the parents, guardians, or friends of the pupils can do much to aid the teachers and the committee in the work of education. Indeed it is not so easy to measure the extent, as it is to witness the effects, of Home Influence on the public schools. It can injure them or it can benefit them. It can add to the evils of tardiness and absences by undue indulgence in granting excuses, or it can ensure regular attendance by constantly enjoining punctuality ; it can render healthy government ditficult if not impossible by list- ening too readily to exaggerated representations as to discipline, or it can make discipline easy and salu- tary by conferring in a spirit of confidence with the Committee or teachers in difficult cases, and by incul- cating the duty of cheerful obedience to the rules of the school ; it can make a resort to corporal punish- ment at times a necessity by relying on it as the chief means to ensure good behavior, or, by habit- ually employing the modes of kindness and persua- sion, it can do much to banish the rod entirely from the school room ; it can be indifferent to the intellect- ual or moral progress of the scholar, and thus beget indifference in return, or it can keep the watchful eye on the conduct and exhibit the sympathizing in- terest in the studies, and thus awaken powers, foster zeal, and encourage youthful and susceptible minds and hearts to go steadily on in the path of progress. The proper Home Influence most assuredly will aid immensely the efforts of the capable and faithful 22 teacher ; and the great fact cannot be too often or too earnestly presented. The care of the schools has become as important as it is laborious. The duty of watching the progress of thirty-six hundred children, of seeing that no abuse creeps into their government or that no sluggishness pervades their instructors, is of itself an onerous work. It would be beneficial to have the criticism of one fully competent mind on all. In addition to this there are the varied labors of discipline, the care of the rooms and the selection of teachers. So large has become the interest to be looked after that the expediency of employing a Superintendent of the Schools has been often suggested. This, however, the Committee leave for the consideration of their successors, with the expression of the opinion that such an officer would render valuable service to the city. The Committee, with this suggestion, resign the charge of the Public Schools. Their endeavor has been, as it has been that of their predecessors, to gather in them the youth of the city, that they may profit by appropriate moral and mental culture. — Opportunity for this has been provided in the spirit of a wise equality ; for the community bears a like relation, as the educational parent, to the friend- less orphan and the child of prosperity, and therefore, as matter of right, as to the schools, both stand on the same footing. It is needless to dwell on the priceless value of such institutions or of their rich perennial fruits. They are appreciated by all who hold right views of the duties of government or of the proper objects of society. This community have ever taken a just pride in its schools and it will unite in keeping them free from political partizanship or re- 23 ligious sectarianism. That the system by which they are conducted, has arrived at perfection, none will affirm, but it is believed that it will compare favor- ably with the systems of other places. As such the Board commend our schools renewedly to public confidence. By order of the Committee. RICHARD FROTHINGHAM, Jr., Charlestown, Dec, 1853, Chairman.