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

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oHo * 6345, 55 

V. 1 




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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.