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.No* 6345. 55
>->TW'a<^9Z' 0. Wi€^/^^j^t9ta('
CITY OF CHARLESTOWN,
PRINTED BY WILLIAM W. WHEILDON,
The School Committee submit the following as their
annual report of the condition of the several public
schools in the city ; and they are happy to congratu-
late their fellow-citizens upon a general state of pros-
perity in this department of the public interest.
In making up their appropriations at the commence-
ment of the present financial year, the City Council
granted the sum of $30,600 for the support of schools;
and in managing and providing for the various schools
under their charge, the committee have remembered
and been guided by the amount of means thus placed
at their disposal. The sum allowed was a liberal one;
but in a growing city like ours, large and increasing
appropriations will have to be made every year, and
prudence and careful management will hardly then keep
the expenses within the limit of the allowance.
At the close of the term ending October 31, 1855,
the schools to be provided for were as follows :
28 Primary, with 28 teachers and 1908 scholars,
1 Intermediate, 1 teacher and 60 ''
8 Grrammar, 32 teachers and 1688 "
1 High, 4 " and 124
38 schools, 65 " 3,780 "
The committee have been deeply sensible of the great
fesponsibility resting upon them, not only as the ser-
vants of the city, but as the guardians of so large a
number of children in so important a matter as their
education. They have given their time and services
cheerfully, and have only regretted their inability to be
inore attentive to the interests of the children and the
encouragement of the teachers; and they have no doubt
that future boards will as cheerfully, and perhaps more
faithfully, attend to the duties of their office. They
are, however, strongly impressed with the belief that
the interests of the schools would be promoted, by the
employment of a person whose whole time would be
devoted to their superintendence and management. A
faithful officer of this kind, it is believed, by frequent
and careful examinations of each school, and by com-
parisons of the different schools, would exert a good
influence on the teachers, and keep up such an accu-
rate understanding between them and the committee,
as would result in real advantage to the schools.
The attention of the city government has been re-
peatedly called to this subject in the reports of the
school committee, and we would again recommend that
measures be taken and means provided for the estab-
lishment of the office of Superintendent of Schools.
We present the following statistics of these schools,
at the close of the Winter and Summer Terms, and we
regret that the inequahty in the numbers of the scholars
in each school has not been regulated^ by a change in
the districts, the necessity for which is so apparent ;
and while we repeat the reason given in the last an-
nual report, that other duties seemed to be more impe-
rative, as our excuse for neglecting to make this change,
we would respectfully suggest to the next board that
their early attention to the matter will promote the in-
terest of the schools and the comfort of the teachers.
The semi-annual examinations of the Primary Schools
have been made by the sub-committees, and reports
made to the Board of their condition. In some cases
want of tact and care have been found to exist, but gen-
erally the teachers are reported to be competent and
faithful, and the schools in a satisfactory and prosper-
So important are these Primary Schools, and so vital
to the character and education of the children are the
habits here formed, that the influence of the teachers
not only in imparting information, but upon the tempers
and dispositions of those under their charge, cannot be
too carefully watched ; for on no consideration should
the young mind be exposed to the example of indolence,
carelessness or indifference. To be interested in child-
ren no less than in education, to be patient and conde-
scending as well as earnest and decided, are essential
qualifications in the primary school teacher; and it
is gratifying to add, that we have many teachers
possessing these qualifications. We are also glad to be
able to say, that at the examinations, many of the pa-
rents were present, evincing an interest in the schools ,
a matter of the most decided importance, stimulating
and encouraging to both scholars and teachers.
Wiiit. Term, ending April 1855'
Mary J. Brown,
M. B Skilton,
Susan L. Sawyer,
Juliu M. Ranstead,
Martha S. Lothrop,
Frances E. Smith,
Joanna S. Putnam,
Pauline B. Neale,
C. W. Trowbridge,
Sarah E. Smith,
Jane E. Rugg,
Abby E. Hinckley,
E. H. Rodenburgb,
Louisa W. Huntress,
Mary F. Wyman,
Frances AI. Lane,
Helen G. Turner,
Susan T. Croswell,
H M. Sanborn,
Louisa A Pratt,
Mary M. Decoster,
Mary J. Underwood.
2402 1200 1202 2001 1020 990 1390 1645 191
A. B. Shedd.
H. K. Frothingham.
C. C. Sampson.
George E. Eliis.
Nathan A. Tufts.
George E. Ellis.
James G. Fuller.
James G. Fuller.
James G. Fuller.
O. V. Everett.
(J. C. Everett.
H. K. Frothingham
ill Primary Schools.
I Sum. Term, ending Oct. 1855.1
Elizabeth N. Lane,
M. B. Skilton,
Hannah II. Sampson
Susan L. Sawver,
.'Mice S. VViloy,
.Mary J. Emerson,
l.oui.^a A. Pratt,
Joanna S- Putnam
Pauline U. Nealo,
C. VV. Trowbridge,
Sarah E. Smith,
Ellen M. Rugg,
Abby E. Hinckley,
E. H. Rodenburgb,
Louisa W. Huntress.
Elizabeth C. Hunting
F. E. Everett, .
Frances M. Lane,
Helen G. Turner,
Susan T. Cro-well,
AJalinn M. Smith,
Cath. M. Kimball,
Mary M. Uecoster,
Mary J. Underwood,
Near B. M.S. House
Ward Room No. 3,
B. H.street, at Point.
Common street, I
Ward Room, No. 2,
Ward Room No. 3
The following table contains statistics of the
mediate, Grammar and High Schools, viz.
J High School-
j Bunker Hill,
do. - -
AT THE SEMI-ANNUAL EXAMINATIONS
C5 vT' O s, 1 i '
p o o o o o o o
1 ^^ t-i p _fc- K> h- lo ^
High;Grammar, and Inlermediate Schools-
Whole Number of Scholars
for the Term.
Number at its close.
Present at Examination.
Number of visits of School
Whole number of Scholars
for the Term.
i-i 1-1 1-1 i-> 1— i->
Number at its close.
l-l 1-1 !_. h- l-l
1-1 1-i 1-1 )-l 1^
WC005 — ooooo4i.^^^s
Present at Examination.
Number of visits of School
Teacher— MISS ANN NOW ELL,
Sub-Committee— H. K. FROTHINGHAM,
A. B. SHEDD,
This school answers well the purpose for which it was
established, and under the excellent discipline and in-
struction of its teacher, a class of children who cannot
be provided for in the primary or grammar schools, are
making the most gratifying progress. Another school
of the kind is much needed in the upper part of the
city, and the committee would suggest that in making
up the appropriations for another year, an amount sufl&-
cient for the purpose should be added to the allowance
for schools. The sub-committee on the school in their
last report remark : "If as has been said, this school
was established as an experiment, it has proved a more
successful one than even its warmest friends anticipated.
It has afforded great relief to the upper divisions of the
Primary, and the lower divisions of the Gramimar
Schools, by taking those who are too old for the one,
and too backward for the other, and giving them that
attention and instruction peculiarly adapted to their
wants." The committee add: "We need another
school of the same kind, and we call the attention of the
Board to the subject, that measures may be taken to
secure so desirable an end."
BUNKER HILL SCHOOLS.
No. 1. No 2.
WM. H. SAUNDERS, Principal.
MARTHA A. BIGELOVV, 1st Assl.
PHOEBE A. KNIGHTS, 2d do.
McLAURIN F. COOK, Principal
ANNIE M. LUND, 1st Assistanl.
CAROLINE PHIPPS, 2d do.
Sub- Committee— I. VV. BLANCH ARD,
A. B. SHEDD,
H. K. FROTHINGHAM.
The sub -committee on these schools in reporting
to the Board upon their condition in May, use the fol-
lowing language : " Our visits to the schools have
been frequent ; and on all occasions, gratifying de-
monstrations were afforded of the proficiency and pro-
gress of the scholars, and of zealous and faithful labor
on the part of the teachers." A small number only
from these schools having been admitted to the High
School, they refer to the examination of the candidates,
and "injustice to the teachers remark upon disturbing
causes during the winter, which prevented the usual
careful study and review pursued prior to that exami-
nation. A severe sickness prevailed in the district, on
account of which many of the scholars were detained at
home, and the Principal of No. 2, was obliged to be
absent for several weeks." In closing their report,
they state, that they "feel fully warranted in again pre-
senting the schools as excelling in good discipline and
thorough and practical training in the elementary
branches of education." In their November report
they say : "A steady progress has been made during
the last six months, and we have no reason to alter the
favorable opinion heretofore expressed." The assistant
teachers are highly commended for their ability, faith-
fulness and patience ; but the committee are very decided
in the expression of their opinion, that the employment
of another assistant in each division is necessary to
develope the real strength and c£|.pacity of the schools.
No. 1. No. 2.
GEORGE SWAN, Principal. JOSEPH P. SWAN, Principal,
MARY A. OSGOOD, 1st Asst. JANE P. RUGG, 1st Assistant.
MARGARET VEAZIE, 2d do. MARY M. MAYHEW, 2d do.
MARIA BROWN, 3d do. ANN J. CHANDLER, 3d do.
Sub- Committee— OUYER C. EVERETT,
CALVIN C. SAMPSON,
The committee on these schools in their May report,
remark as follows : "They continue to maintain their
well-earned reputation. Both schools have suffered
from changes among their teachers during the past two
years. They have also labored under disadvantage, in
consequence of the large attendance without proper
accommodations; the lower divisions, especially are
crowded, and the recitation rooms are coinpletely over-
run — so that it is impossible to give each scholar the
time and attention which are necessary to insure thor-
oughness of instruction." In November, the commit-
tee speak of the principals and other teachers, in terms
of high commendation. They say "they have given
unwearied attention to the arduous duties of their ofh-
ces, and the result of their devotedness is shown in the
general thoroughness of the exercises, the regular and
large average attendance of the pupils, in the good order
of the building, and in the prevailing satisfaction of the
parents." The committee express gratification with
the attention given to Penmanship and Music, and
with the decided interest manifested by the scholars in
all their studies. "The severe illness of several of the
teachers, and the crowded condition of the pupils, have
operated to the disadvantage of the schools; and the
committee urge upon the Board the necessity of provi-
ding further accommodations for a portion of the schol-
ars;" they also suggest the expediency of dividing
B. F. S. GRIFFIN, Principal
SOPHIA W. PAGE. 1st Assistant.
SARAH A. RUSSELL, 2d do.
SARAH ODELL, 3d do.
the large rooms by partitions similar to those in the
Harvard School building.
No. 1. No. 2.
SAMUEL S WILLSON, Principal.
JULIA A. BRIDGES, 1st Assistant.
AGNES E. CASWELL, 2d do.
E. A. RICHARDSON, 3d do.
R. M. PERKINS, 4th do.
Sub- Committee— JAMES G. FULLER,
GEORGE E. ELLIS.
In May, the Sub- Committee report upon these
schools as follows: "The fourth division of School
No. 1, was found to be in a very good condition. The
teacher possesses energy of character, and combines
with her experience, diligence and patience ; and her
good influence ' is plainly to be seen among her pupils.
The third division was not in a satisfactoty condition ;
but under the care of the newly-appointed teacher, the
committee think it will soon regain its former standing.
The second division shew faithfulness on the part of the
teacher, and the recitations were quite satisfactory."
Of the first division, they report: "competency and
industry on the part of the teachers, and close appli-
cation on the part of the scholars, are evident from its
appearance." Of School No. 2, they say : "The third
and fourth divisions appeared to be in good condition,
but the upper divisions were not so satisfactory." In
November, the Committee say of SchooLNo. 1 : "It is
at present supplied with a good corps of teachers, all
of whom are capable and faithful. Their labors har-
monize, and all their efforts are directed to the promo-
tion of the best interests of the school." School No* 2,
they add, "is materially improved since the last exam^
ination. All the teachers labor faithfully, but owing to
a difference in tact and experience, with somewhat dif-
ferent results." "After the summer vacation, incon-
sequence of the crowded condition of the schools,
twenty-five scholars from No. 1, and forty-five from
No. 2, were placed under the charge of a new assistant,
in the Ward Room, in the same building ; and there
are still seventy- two more scholars than desks. This
fact taken in connection with the rapid growth of this
part of the city, render it certain that further accommo-
dations will have to be provided ; and the committee
believing that consolidation rather than division, is the
true policy for Grammar Schools, as it admits of better
classification, recommend an enlargement of the Win-
throp School building, so as to accommodate eight
No. 1. No. 2.
CORNELIUS 5. CARTEE, Prin.
ANN E. WESTON, 1st Assistant.
SARAH S. STOCKMAN, 2d do.
MARV F. WYMAN, 3d do.
JOSEPH B. MORSE, Principal.
ELIZABETH SWOUDS, 1st Asst.
CAROLINE S. CROZIER, 2d do.
HANNAH E KNIGHTS, 3d do.
JOSEPHINE iMISKELLY, 4th do.
Sub- Committee— NATHAN A. TUFTS,
EDWIN F. ADAMS.
In May, the sub-committee report as follows : "We
are happy to be able to say that both schools are in a
most excellent condition. The examination in each
school, and in all the divisions, was thorough and pro-
tracted, and evinced the faithfulness of the teachers
and the diligence of the pupils. We can find at this
time no cause of complaint in the general appearance
and scholarship of the schools." The committee add :
"We desire to make one general remark. It is in re-
gard to discipline. Though the same end may be ac-
complished, it may be by different means ; these means
having untold influence upon the future moral and
social well-being of those subjected to them. Kind-
ness and gentleness, the charms of virtue, and the ad-
vantages of knowledge, avail more with the youthful
mind, and fit it better for the trials of life than the iron
rule of sternness and severity. ' If it be possible live
peaceably with all men,' should be the motto of the
teacher in the school as well as the Christian in the
world. We hope that this spirit may characterise the
teachers of all our schools." In November, the com-
mittee make a very favorable report of the condition of
both schools. They say : "The teachers and scholars
appear to have a laudable ambition to excel in the
various branches of study. In examining the schools,
we spent the same time in each, giving both alternately
a hearing, and turning from one division in one school
to the relative division in the other, in order to make a
fresh and just comparison of their respective merits. —
The examination of both schools was critical and thor-
ough in every branch taught ; and we are happy to say,
that in the principal branches, both schools have at-
tained a good degree of perfectness. In some former
examinations Harvard No. 1, would occasionally run
behind No. 2, in some branches ; now is seen an equal
proficiency, so that both schools run about an equal
JPrincipal, A. M. GAY.
1st Assistant, C. E. STETSON.
1st Female Assistant, Mrs P. G. BATE^.
2d do. do. Miss H. M. SMITH.
Sub^dommittee— GEORGE E. ELLIS.
OLIVER C. EVERETT,
ISAAC W. BLANCHARD.
In May J the gub-committee report : "We are happy
to express our unqualified satisfaction with the condi-
tion, the discipline, and the standard of proficiency iii
the institution. This we do, not as a matter of course^
but as the result of a scrutinizing inquiry, and of a,
fair estimate of what the school has accomplished.—^
While we may still discern deficiencies in the method
there putsued, they are such as are incident to all pro-
cesses until a long and varied experience has conformed
thesm to the best practical plans. The imperfections
which we should be g'lad to remedy relate almost en -
tirely to the course of study now pursued^ taken in con-
nection with the period of time over which it is distrib-
uted. Parents are anxious that the studies of the
school should be made to bear more directly upon the
actual interests and business of life. The desire is rea-
sonable, and we ought always to have it in view, and
to direct our measures in reference to its full gratifica-
tion. The committee are of opinion that the course of
study should be extended over four years, and will soon
submit a plan based upon such a projected change."
In November, the committee say : "Besides making
frequent visits to the school in the course of the term,
we devoted three days of the last week of it, to a thor-
ough examination of all the classes. Our general judg-
ment upon the result is an approving one ; in some
respects it may be highly commended ; in no single par-
ticular have we cause of complaint or censure. The
order of the school has been well preserved, considering
the interruptions caused by the vacations which came
in the summer term ; the average attendance has been
remarkably large. The variety of studies pursued in
the school continues to cause some embarrassment to
the committee, as there are occasional complaints from
parents that their children are overtasked, accompanied
with requests that they may be discharged from one or
another of the regular exercises. While intending to
give a fair hearing to such suggestions, we do not al-
ways see. reason to yield to these requests, or to admit
the grounds on which they are advanced. We believe
that if the teachers, as they are desired to do, will ac-
company the recitations with considerable oral expla-
nation and instruction, and if the pupil will have in
view the advantages of a close and cheerful pursuit of
their studies, their tasks will be lightened and made so
inviting as to be divested of all that is irksome or severe.
While we were gratified with all the recitations made
before us, we would express a peculiar satisfaction with
the appearance and exercises of the classes in Natural
Philosophy and Physiology. The apparatus used in
explaining the text book in the former study, was put
to service by the pupils themselves, in the presence of
the committee, and it was evident that the actual object
of scientific processes, and the visible effects produced
by them, at once infused the life of reality into abstrac-
tions which are difi&cult of comprehension by young
The committee express their full satisfaction with
i-he ability and fidelity of the teachers, and by their
whole report, confirin and strengthen the general belief
that the High School is an honor to the city, worthy of
all the interest which has been taken in its establishment
At a meeting of the Board, on the 17th of May, the
snb-committee submitted the plan referred to in their
semi-annual report, for a change in the course of study
in the High School. The whole report has already
been printed with the catalogue of the teachers and
pupils in the school ; but as that publication did not
have a general circulation, we deem it advisable to
republish the following extracts from it :
"It is now proposed that the appointed course of
study shall be distributed over four years, leaving it to
the members of the two higher classes who are already
in the school to go on and graduate within the term
defined when they entered, or to remain and improve
the opportunities of the new course, according to the
wishes of their parents. The first two years of the new
course will offer the same method and materials of
study to all pupils alike. At the close of the second
year, an opportunity will be offered to the pupils to
choose between two courses for the two remaining
years, according to the purpose which they may have
in view in graduating. As so small a proportion of all
the yearly graduates of both sexes desire to be prepared
for college, it would be wholly unreasonable to- dispose
the arrangements of the school with exclusive reference to
them. As so large a proportion of the graduates wish for
information and a training which will fit them, more or
less thoroughly, for some of the practical tasks of young
persons, in this busy age, their most reasonable expec-
tations are entitled to a paramount regard. This dis-
tinction. furnishes the rule by which two different cour-
ses of instruction will be arranged for the second and
the first classes during the third and fourth years of their
pupilage. Only those boys who wish to be prepared
for college will receive instruction in the Greek lan-
guage. That they may have the more time for this
study, they will not be admitted into the classes in the
French language, as a knowledge of this is not required
of a candidate for college, and as colleges offer the
means for acquiring French with the best facilities. —
All the other members of the -echool will be required to
study Latin in their first year, and French and .Latin
in their second and third years ; and in their fourth year
they may give up either one of these languages, at their
option, for the sake of greater advances in the other.
The studies of the third and fourth years Will be em-
phatically designed for the preparation of pupils of both
sexes for the practical tasks of life ; for book-keeping,
for mercantile and mechanical pursuits, for the scientific
employments of the chemist, the engineer, the surveyor,
the constructor, and for the office of teaching. , If the
present instructors of the school should lack time or
facility for imparting a knowledge of book-keeping, a
competent teacher should be provided for a class in the
fourth year. An effort ought to be made by means of
the best text-book, by oral instruction and experiments,
hot only to teach, but to interest the minds of the pupils
in the science of chemistry, the principles of mechan-
ics, the processes of working raw materials, the metals,
cotton, wool, and linen, and the arts of construction,
so that book-learning may be made intelligible and
more practically useful. The Constitution of our coun-
try and some of the more simple principles of political
economy, will be found to have the place that belongs
to them in the course of study.
"Considerate persons will no't fail to remind them-
selves, that all these advantages offered to the pupils
will require ability and devotion from the teachers, and
employ laboriously all the hours they are engaged to
give to their exacting tasks. The teachers must be al-
lowed to regulate the method of study, the arrange-
ment of the classes and the order of recitations. They
have a great deal of service to distribute over a few
hours daily. When the course of study reaches that
point at which a choice is submitted to the pupils for
one or another aim in their subsequent pursuits, they
will be requested to make the choice, under the advice
or sanction of their parents ; and it must be understood
that changes cannot be made afterwards merely to gra-
tify caprice or a fickle mind. There must be classifica-
tion and careful arrangement of hours with their duties,
to secure the felicitous working of the plan proposed ;
and an hour which belongs to a class cannot be bestowed
upon an individual. It is not consistent with the pros-
perity of the school, with justice to the teachers, nor
with the rights of the pupils in general, that the order
and classification of the school should be disturbed to
gratify the wishes of a parent or a scholar in any vari-
ation from the appointed course."
We have thus given the substance of the reports of
the sub -committees of the Grammar and High Schools,
and it is gratifying to be able to present them in
so healthy and encouraging a condition.
The uniform interest manifested by all classes of our
citizens in the welfare of the schools, and the cheerful-
ness with which they have always acquiesced in appro-
priations for their support, have not only been a source
of pride and satisfaction to every true friend of the city,
but evidence of a sincere and earnest attachment to
the principles of a free government. And we call at-
tention to new wants, with entire confidence that they
will as soon as kpown be provided for. An addition to
the Winthrop School building large enough to accom-
modate the surplus scholars in all the Grammar Schools,
the establishment of another Intermediate School, and
the employment of additional teachers in the Bunker
Hill School, are matters which we are united in recom ■
mending as absolutely necessary, and the appointment
of a Superintendent of Schools, the Board by nearly an
unanimous vote have decided to be expedient.
For the enlargement of the Winthrop School-house
an appropriation was made at the commencement of
the present season ; but although it was larger than the
amount asked for by the School Committee, it was found
to be insufficient. The committee, in asking for the
appropriation, were governed by the opinion of a me-
chanic as to the probable cost of the alteration, but an
accurate estimate made after the appropriation bill had
passed the City Council, rendered it certain that a mis-
take had been made, and that a much larger sum would
be required. For this reason the committee, perhaps
by a mistaken policy, determined to postpone the im-.
provement for another year.
Acting upon the suggestion contained in the last
Annual Report, the City Council early in the season,
passed an ordinance concerning truant children, which
ordinance was duly approved by the Court of Common
Pleas, as required by the statute. The proper of&cers
to carry it into effect were appointed, and a place pro-
vided at the alms-house for the commitment and secu-
rity of persons convicted under the law. Twenty-one
boys have been sentenced for truancy, but the necessity
for restraint and confinement has not lessened the obli-
gation for instruction, and twice in a day they have had
the advantages of a school under the care of a competent
teacher. Six of these boys, for sufficient reason, have
been pardoned by the magistrate who sentenced them,
who has shown his interest in the welfare of the unfor-
tunates, by visiting the institution, and making a per-
sonal examination of the arrangements for their security
and care. It is believed that the effect of this truant
law will be very salutary, and that while it will admon-
ish and forewarn wayward children and neglectful par-
ents, it will relieve the schools and the community of a
great cause of annoyance and trouble.
Our schools have been established and are kept up,
for the purpose of developing the mental energies of
of our children, and giving ihem such habits of thought
and action, as will conduce to their own happiness in
after life, and secure their good influence upon the so-
ciety of which they will be members. The permanence
of liberal institutions depends upon the intelligence
and virtue of those who enjoy them ; and habits of
order, industry, perseverance and friendship, no less
than intellectual attainment, are the fruits which we
desire to reap from our schools. The teachers, then, it
is plain, should not only be skilled in intellectual cul-
ture, but possess sound characters and warm hearts ;
and the responsibility rests upon the committee to be
certain that such example and influence exists in each
school. Then comes the responsibility of parents, to
encourage faithful teachers by a manifestation of their
interest in the welfare of the schools, and to aid them
with that wholesome home influence, without which the
result of their labors is uncertain ; with which, they are
in most cases sure of success.
We commend the schools and their interests to the
faithfulness of all whose influence can be exerted for
By order of tlie committee.
TIMOTHY T. SAWYER, Chairman.
Charlestown, Dec. 20, 1855.