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Full text of "[City documents, 1847-1867]"

BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



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City Document, — No, 22, 



REPORT 



2as.ii53aaEJ4i^a<DS3r 



GRAMMAR SCHOOLS 



CITY OF ROXBURT, 



FOR THE YEAR 1847. 




ROXBURY: 

PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE, 

JOSEPH G. TORREY, CITY PRINTER. 

1 847, 



IN SCHOOL COMMITTEE, ) 

November 3d, 1846. \ 

Ordered, That Messrs. Dillaway, Thompson, Bond, Caldicott, 
Pay, Parker, Allen, Greene, and Cotting, be appointed the Annual 
Examining Committee. 

JOSHUA SEAVER, Sec'y. 

At a meeting of the above Committee it was resolved to divide 
themselves into two Committees ; one to examine the Primary, and 
the other the Grammar Schools, as follows : Messrs. Dillaway, 
Thompson, and Bond, for Primary Schools ; and Messrs. Caldicott, 
Fay, Parker, Allen, Greene, and Cotting, for Grammar Schools. 



IN SCHOOL COMMITTEE, ) 

JEtoxbury, February 17, 1847. \ 

Ordered, That the Reports of the Sub-Committees, appointed to 
examine the Grammar and Primary Schools, which Reports have 
been made and accepted, be printed under the direction of the Com- 
mittees which presented them, and distributed for the use of the 
inhabitants. JOSHUA SEAVER, Sec'y of 

School Committee. 



GRAMMAR SCHOOLS. 



Gentlemen : — Your Committee, to whom was assigned the task of 
examining the Grammar Schools, have performed that work ; and 
now submit for your consideration the following 

REPORT: 

Some days previous to commencing the examination, a meeting of 
the Committee was held, at which time a Chairman was elected, and 
the following plan of operations adopted : 

First. To construct a Tabular Abstract, marked No. 1, shewing 
the studies pursued, the text books used, and the page reached in 
each class. 

Second. To procure forms of printed questions on the following 
studies :— Definitions of Words, Geography, Grammar, Arithmetic, 
History, Algebra, Natural Philosophy, and Philosophy of Natural 
History. 

Third. That these questions should be given out to the first 
division of each of the Grammar Schools simultaneously. 

Fourth. That the oral examination should be conducted by be- 
ginning with the lowest division of each school, and with the lowest 
class in each division ; and proceed from that up to the highest. 
Their object in adopting this order, was, that they might observe the 
advance of one class and division beyond the other, through each 
school ; and that they might not begin with too high a standard of 
expectation. 

In pursuance of this plan, Monday the 25th ult. was taken up in 
obtaining written answers to the printed questions. The whole of 
Tuesday, and Thursday morning, was spent in oral examination in 
the Dudley School. Wednesday was given for the same purpose to 
the Westerly. Thursday afternoon, the whole of Friday, and Sat- 
urday morning, to the Washington ; and the whole of Monday, the 
1st inst, was employed in the same manner, in the Central School. 
Every class in each school was thoroughly examined in every study 
pursued by that class, except in two or three instances in the first class 



of one or two of the first divisions. From this labor your Committee 
have obtained the following 

RESULTS : 

In the examination, by printed questions, there were in all seven 
thousand one hundred and thirty-six questions asked, four thousand 
seven hundred and seventeen of these were answered correctly, being 
sixty-six -f- per cent, of the whole. Seven hundred and fifty-three 
questions were incorrectly answered, seven hundred and eighty-four 
questions were imperfectly answered, and eight hundred and eighty- 
two were not at all answered. In making up these answers no ac- 
count was taken of the spelling, grammatical construction of the an- 
swer, capital letters, or the punctuation. There were many inaccu- 
racies of the above character, but not more than might reasonably 
have been expected. Your Committee confined themselves to the 
sense of the answers ; where this was correct, they set down that 
answer as correctly given, when a question contained several partic- 
lars, and some of these were correctly answered, and the others were 
not answered, or answered incorrectly, or where a definition or des- 
cription was not completed, but only partly given, the whole was 
marked as an imperfect answer. 

A Tabular Abstract, marked No. 2, has been prepared, showing 
the studies embraced in these questions, the number of scholars that 
were examined in each school, in each of these studies — the average 
age of each class, the number of questions asked, the number 
correctly, incorrectly, or imperfectly answered, together with the per 
cent, of correct answers, and the rank of the class in each exercise, 
as compared with the corresponding class in the same study in the 
other schools ; so that at one view the comparative excellency or de- 
ficiency of each school may be seen. It will be seen by this table, 
that some of the schools were not examined in all the studies em- 
braced in these printed forms ; only four of the eight forms were given 
to every school. The table shows the rank of each school in these four 
studies combined; then the average and rank of each in all the 
studies. 

Although these results exhibit a number of imperfect answers, yet 
your Committee can but express their satisfaction that the per centage 
of correct answers is so large. 

Your Committee have prepared a Tabular Abstract of the oral ex- 
amination. They adopted the figure 6 as denoting a certain degree 



5 

of perfection to which they thought each class should have attained. 
When any class in any study did that which perfectly satisfied 
your Committee, they designated their entire satisfaction by that 
mark. Any number below that shows how far, in their opinion, the 
class was from the degree of perfection desired. This table is marked 
No. 3. It shows the opinion of your Committee respecting every study 
pursued by every class in all the Grammar Schools. The average of 
each school in each study is shown under its appropriate head, and 
its comparative rank with the other schools in the same study. The 
table is completed with an average of all the studies, and the com- 
parative rank of each school, as a whole. 

Your Committee have drawn up this abstract that they might pre- 
sent, at one view, the condition of each class, division and school, that 
the excellencies and defects of each, in every study, might be seen ; 
and that no department needing special attention, should be over- 
looked. In order to arrive at a correct and impartial estimate of 
every study, your Committee previously agreed to mark, each one for 
himself, his own opinion of it, then to come together and compare 
notes ; the numbers as they appear in the Abstract, are the result of 
such comparison. 

It will be seen that the schools, as a whole, do not fully come up 
to the perfection desired, but it is matter of great pleasure that they 
fall so little below it, the whole average being five and two-ninths, 
while six denotes all that would have been asked. The oral exam- 
ination included those classes and some of those studies, which were 
examined by printed questions, as well as the other classes. 

By these two methods of examination, the knowledge of the pupils 
was pretty fully tested, and some important facts were ascertained, 
such as whether the mode of instruction to which they were accus- 
tomed was entirely confined to the books, or the scholars taught to 
think for themselves, and whether they could express their thoughts 
in writing with as much freedom and correctness as they could 
orally. In one school the class attained a high rank in the written 
answers, while in the oral examination and in the same study it is 
marked low. In another school the written answers were very im- 
perfect in some studies, but the oral exhibits the same class as very 
expert. 

The two Tables should be examined at the same time, in order to 
get a correct idea of the exact condition of each school, and reference 



ought to be had to the average ages of the pupils, the number ex- 
amined, the time they have been in the class, together with the num- 
ber of studies pursued by them. 

It is the opinion of your Committee, that the Grammar Schools 
were never in a better condition, as a whole, than at the present time, 
yet they think that improvements may and ought to be made in some 
departments ; these will be noticed in their remarks upon the schools 
severally. 

A Tabular Abstract, marked No. 4, has Been made to show the 
number of schools, divisions, scholars in a division, attendance, 
tardiness, absence, average age, and number of punishments for the 
last quarter. This Table is not completely filled up; some of 
the Teachers were unable, from imperfect registers, or registers im- 
perfectly kept, to give all the information necessary to complete this 
abstract. 

It appears to your Committee a matter of no small importance 
how the statistics of a school are kept. The registers of a school 
have the same relation to its order and efficiency, as the day-book, 
journal and leger of the merchant do to his business ; nothing can 
be well done without correct accounts. It may not be easy to frame 
a register that will suit every school, any more than to make the 
same set of books suit every form and kind of business ; and it may 
be desirable as well in the school as in the counting room, that each 
Teacher should adopt his own method of keeping his accounts ; but 
whatever be the method, he should be prepared from these accounts, 
at all times, to give approximately the condition of his school ; and at 
stated times, say monthly, quarterly and yearly, to give accurate 
and exact information touching certain points ; for instance, such as 
are contained in the blank form annexed to No. 4. 

It is with pleasure your Committee observe a considerable de- 
crease from the last year's reports in the number of absences ; and 
they are persuaded that these will continue to decrease ill about the 
same proportion as they are accurately reported. It will be seen 
that the number of corporal punishments is much smaller than 
formerly ; two of the schools, report no punishments during the last 
quarter. It is the hope of your Committee that the time will come, 
when the moral powers of all pupils shall have been so trained, that a 
resort to this mode of government will be no longer necessary. There 
may be cases, and among some of our rude boys it seems there are, 



"where the moral sense is so low, that there seems to be nothing 
else to appeal to than a sense of pain, but such cases they think are 
rare. If due attention should be given to the order, quiet, and genteel- 
ness of the school, if the statistics should be accurately and minutely 
kept, if time should be spent and pains taken to cultivate the kindly 
and gentle feelings of the pupils, so as to enlarge their moral sense, 
this would very soon almost, if not entirely remove the necessity of 
an appeal to the rod. It is Tioped and expected that in no case a 
Teacher will punish so severely as to bruise or maim a pupil ; any 
thing ougl it to be done rather than this. Every Teacher should take 
pains, and by experiments try to discover, even in the very worst of 
his scholars, some spark of generosity, gratitude, or kindly emotion, 
that may be influenced, drawn, directed, led ; and having discovered 
it, he should foster and fan it with all the interest and care of a 
traveller in the Polar regions over the spark he has just drawn from 
the hard and "brittle steel, which spark if saved, will soon kindle a fire 
of sufficient intensity to soften the very substance from which it was 
drawn. Teachers need to feel that pupils require a moral as well as 
an intellectual culture, and that time and effort must be given to the 
former as well as the latter ; nay, that the former is infinitely the 
more important. 

Your Committee will now give a view of the schools separately. 

The Washington School, 

This is a school for boys, and numbers in all its divisions four 
hundred and forty-nine scholars. There are eight divisions, having 
an average of fifty-six and one-eighth scholars to a division. Several 
changes have been made in this school during the past year, both in 
the building and internal government of the school. A room on the 
lower floor has been finished, and neatly furnished for the seventh and 
eighth divisions, an addition has been made to the back of the school, 
consisting of four recitation rooms, and a room for two furnaces. 
No money was ever more judiciously expended than this. The reci- 
tation rooms, by furnishing separate apartments for the upper 
divisions, prevent the necessity of such loud speaking, which used to 
be an annoyance to persons living in the vicinity of the school, a 
means of confusion in the school, and a draft upon the strength of 
the Teachers which was killing them ; these rooms have cured these 
evils. The new furnaces have removed the complaint of want of 



heat in the upper rooms, and the necessity of setting fire to the builcP 
ing, in order to make it hot enough; the smoke pipes passing" through 
the recitation rooms, are sufficient to warm them, while the heated 
air is ample for the large rooms. There is however, still a deficiency 
of heat in the lower rooms ; these are warmed by a small furnace in 
the cellar, which is entirely inadequate for the purpose, it being im- 
possible frequently to get the thermometer above forty-five degrees- 
all the morning. Attention should at once be given to remedy this 
defect. 

A change has been effected in the government of this school. It is 
now mider one head, who has the government and responsibility of 
the whole. The scholars no longer either change their room or their 
Teacher, but each Teacher is required to instruct his or her division 
in every branch studied by that division. It is the duty of the 
Principal to see that every class is thoroughly taught, and that every 
Teacher does his and her duty. To give him time to do this, he is 
furnished with an assistant female Teacher, who is to take charge 
of his division when he is absent upon any duty in the school, and she 
is to teach a part of his division when he is present, or to assist any 
of the other Teachers, if directed so to do by the Principal. The 
second division is taught by an assistant master, the others by fe- 
male assistants. This change has thus far produced a very beneficial 
influence upon the school. There are some peculiar excellencies in 
this school, in the study of Arithmetic, Mathematics, and defining of 
words, in the first division ; and in the Reading and Grammar in the 
second. The principal defects, are the Reading in all the divisions, 
except the second and fourth, and the Arithmetic in the second. As- 
a whole, the school ranks high ; there are excellencies in every divi- 
sion, and every Teacher seems to have labored hard to do his and 
her duty. 

The Dudley School, 

This is a school for girls, and occupies two buildings ; the one on 
Dudley street, and the other on Bartlett street. It numbers four 
hundred and eight scholars ; these are separated into eight divisions, 
each having an average of fifty-one pupils. It is under one master, 
who has eight female assistants, one of whom instructs a part of the 
first division. The internal government and arrangements of this 
school are, as nearly as possible, like those of the Washington, the 



9 

Principal having the same authority and responsibility, and being 
furnished with the same number of aids. During the last four 
months, the Principal has been unable, through sickness, to attend 
regularly to his duties. These have devolved chiefly upon his first 
assistant, he visiting the school occasionally; yet notwithstanding 
this lack of service, the school still maintains its high character. — 
Latin and French are taught in this school by the first female assist- 
ant. She has three classes, two in Latin and one in French. These 
are instructed in these branches, either before the school begins 
in the morning, or at the time of intermission at noon. The excel- 
lencies of this school are many ; among them may be reckoned 
Reading in all the divisions, Singing in the fifth, Writing, Alge- 
bra, and Natural Philosophy in the first. The defects, if any 
need be named, are in Arithmetic, Geography, and Spelling, in some 
few classes. This school still retains its first rank among the Gram- 
mar schools, as is shown by the tables ; they show also, that it does 
not now very far exceed them ; this, however, is not because it 
has fallen, but because they have risen, — not because it has receded, 
but because they have advanced. 

The Central School 

This school is located in Eliot street, on Jamaica Plain, and ©con- 
pies part of a building belonging to the Trustees of the Eliot Fund. 
This building is rented by the city, at an annual expense of three 
hundred dollars. This is a school for boys ; it numbers eighty, and 
is under one master, assisted by one female. It appears from the ta- 
bles, that this school ranks the lowest of all the Grammar Schools. 
Whether this arises from any defect in the mode of government, of 
instruction, or in the material of the school, is, in the estimation -of 
your Committee, an important question. There are some excellen- 
cies in this school ; among others, may be named Grammar, Arith- 
metic, Geometry, Defining Words and Spelling, in the first division, 
and some good Spelling in the second. Also, good Singing — this 
exercise is taught by the female assistant. This school, though 
marked lower than any other, yet comes as a whole, within 1 of 
the standard required — the standard being 6, its average being 5. 
Still there are in it some marked defects, as the Reading throughout, 
&ut especially in the second division ; and the Arithmetic and Geog- 



raphy in the same division are inferior — these defects greatly reduce 
the average of the school. There are two classes of winter scholars^ 
one in each division ; their average age is greater than the other 
classes. These boys are kept at work mostly out of doors, except in 
winter, when they are sent to school. In making an average of the 
school, these classes serve to increase the age, while they lower 
its rank. The same is true of the other schools, hut not to 
anything like the same extent, as in this. The first two classes 
of the first division will bear a comparison with any other corres- 
ponding classes in the other schools, especially when their ages are 
taken into the account. 

There is in this school a lack of that high degree of order and 
refinement, which is so conspicuous in some other schools. Ener- 
gy, activity, and mental strength are not wanting, but these are rather 
the rankness and roughness of the newly cleared forest, than, the 
symmetry and beauty of the well cultivated farm ; and while there is- 
evidence that the teachers have been at work, and hard at work, yet 
it seems more like the work of the pioneer than the old settler. 
Some reason may be found for this, in the fact that the inhabitants 
of the Plain do not generally, as in other parts of the city, send their 
sons to the city school, but to some one or other of the excellent pri- 
vate schools which abound there. This school needs the influence 
of a greater number of those children who are accustomed to habits' 
of refinement and order at home. If such persons, generally, would 
send their sons there, it would, in the opinion of your Committee, 
greatly change the appearance of the school, and be the means of 
bringing it up to a level with the others, in every respect. It is of lit- 
tle use to complain of some things, or try to remedy them, while this 1 
influence is withheld. It seems important that our native citizens; 
should inquire how the many foreigners, who are constantly settling 
amongst us, may be elevated, refined', enlightened, and assimilated 
to themselves, so that their presence may prove a blessing and not a 
curse. This cannot surely be done by keeping aloof from them, but 
by mingling amongst them ; and where, or how, can this be done to 
any extent, but in our common schools ? Let the elevating process, 
then, commence here. Let not parents be afraid that their children 
will be degraded by the association ; rather let them feel that others 
will be benefitted, and that they themselves finally shall reap a rich 
harvest from the process. Upon the whole, your Committee think 



li 

that the defects of this school are not so much to be attributed to the 
incompetency of the teachers, as to some of the peculiar circum- 
stances of the sehool. 

The Westerly School, 

This school is located at the West end of the city, and includes both 
sexes. It consists of ninety-one scholars, and is under the direction 
of one master and a female assistant. This is an excellent school, — 
has a superior order of pupils, and is subject to fewer interruptions 
from occasional scholars, than any other school. Among the excel- 
lencies of this school, may be named its neat appearance, perfect or- 
der, genteel manners, writing, singing, and drawing of outline maps. 
There is needed for the lower room, a thermometer, a clock, and a 
set of outline maps. 

In concluding this report, your Committee wish to express their 
conviction that the inhabitants of this city may be justly proud of 
their schools, and as willing as ever to contribute freely for their 
support, from the belief that no expenditure of money yields them 
so valuable a return. 



Signed, 



T. F. CALDICOTT 

CYRUS H. FAY, 

DAVID GREENE, 

BENJAMIN E. COTTlNG, ( CmmU ^ 

JOSEPH H. ALLEN, 

THEODORE PARKER, 



I 

TING, ( 

\ \ 

ER, J 



Eeport on New School Houses. 



Your Committee to whom this subject was referred, recommend 
that one school house of two stories, be erected near Newman's 
blacksmith's shop, either on Eustis or Mall streets, in Ward 1. That 
one school house of two stories be erected on Vernon street, near the 
lead factory, in Ward 2 ; and that one school house of two stories 
be erected on Parker street, north of Washington street, in Ward 3. 
That these houses be erected as soon as possible, and be fin- 
ished and furnished throughout. That as soon as the house in 
Ward 1 be finished, the school No. 21, now in Spring Hall, be re- 
moved into it ; and school No. 14 from the lower room of the school 
house on Yeoman street. That No. 12 be removed into the room of 
No. 14, and that the house now occupied by No 12 be abandoned. 
Your Committee recommend that as soon as the school house on 
Vernon street be completed, the Sumner street be relieved of all 
those children who reside west of Washington street, and on the 
west side of said street, who now attend the Sumner street school ; 
there are upwards of fifty such. It is desirable that the Sumner street 
school be reduced, if possible, to a reasonable number ; and there 
is no way of doing this but by the erection of this house. This 
house would also relieve the Centre street school of all those who 
reside north of Dr. Putnam's church. 

Your Committee recommend, also, that as soon as the school house 
on Parker street is finished, that the school No. 4 be removed into 
it, and that the house now occupied by No. 4 be abandoned. This 
house would help to relieve the Orange street schools of their over- 
flowing numbers. 

The above sites for the new school houses are recommended on the 
ground of their affording the best accommodation to the greatest 
number of children, and being so located as to relieve those schools 
that are, or soon would be, over-crowded. 

The abandonment of Nos. 12 and 4 is recommended, from the fact 
that these houses are utterly unfit for schools ; they require at once, 
extensive repairs, and then would be unfit ; and besides, they do not 



13 

really belong to the city. The vacating of Spring Hall is advised 
from the undesirableness of paying rent, and the school not being 
quite free from interruption in that place. 

The following Table will show, at one view, the necessity of this 
additional accommodation ; though at present, it gives but forty- 
eight scholars to a school, there can be no doubt but by the time 
these houses are finished, there will be sixty numbered on each 
register, which will give an average attendance of fifty to each school ; 
this will accord with the views of the Committee of Examination 
for Primary Schools. Should these houses be erected on the sites 
recommmended, there would be little difficulty in equalizing the 
numbers through this part of the city. 

All which is respectfully submitted. 

T. F. CALDICOTT, Chairman. 



TABLE, 

Showing the necessity of erecting three new Primary School Houses. 

NO. 1 

Shows the number in attendance upon the following Schools : 





a . 

£ ® 

O c 


a £ 
J" 


Orange 
street. 




a 
to 

c . 

13 e 
cfl is 
gl ■ 


"a 
— 
Ml 

.2 

'in 

— 


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Cm -£ 

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'S5 02 




o „• 

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o 

bfi o 

cd m 

11 


No. of Sell' I 


17|I4|I2| 


1| 2 


|19| 20| 


3|I6|| 4| 


2l| 


15|13|| 13 


78l)|| 60 


No. of Schlrs 


49|59|64| 


50|108 


|46| 82|j38|80|| 55 1 


39| 


71|39|| 



NO. 2 

Shows the number of Schools and Scholars as recommended. 



Name of 
Schools. 



4> ■£ 



No.of Sch'l. 117112 



Wo. of Sclilrs.|50|50 



14121 



|50|50 



S 2 



II 2 



50|50 



24125 



50150 



t3 *3 

,o a> 

<3* 



13115 



50150 



be i) 
S V 

* h 

6" 



19120 



50J50 



3116 



50150 



4126 



50150 



23 I 2 



161780 43 



,*00 



Report on Intermediate Schools, 



Your Committee to whom was referred the subject of establishing 
an intermediate school, have performed that duty ; have taken pos- 
session of the vacant room in the Washington school ; have collected 
from the Primary schools and from the streets, one hundred and three 
boys, over eight years of age, who are not prepared to enter the 
Grammar schools. They have placed over them as teacher, Al- 
bert Farnsworth, who has, for some time past, been assisting Mr. 
Dodge, in the Washington school. They recommend that he have 
a trial of his ability to take care of such a school, and in case he suc- 
ceed, that he be appointed its master, with a salary, for the first 
year, of three hundred dollars. Also, that it be left with the School 
Committee and the Chairman, to furnish him with such assistance as 
may be necessary. 

Your Committee regard the establishment of this school as one of 
the most important acts of the School Committee during the year. 
It makes just the provision for such a class of boys that they need ; 
it frees the other schools of what was a great hindrance to them ; 
it gives to all the other schools more symmetry, while there can be no 
doubt that the improvement of this class of boys will be much 
greater in such a school, than elsewhere. A clock, desk, chairs, ther- 
mometer, &c, are needed for this room, and your Committee would 
recommend the passage of the following resolution : 

Resolved, That the City Government be requested to furnish the 
east room of the lower floor of the Washington school with new 
forms and chairs, for the use of an intermediate boys' school ; the 
present furniture being in a very unfit condition for use. 

T. F. CALDICOTT, Chairman. 



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18 
No. 2.— TABULAR ABSTRACT, 

Showing the result of the Examination by Printed Questions. 





■k^ o 


i < 


- 


SP H 


3 


-n 


3 


-a' 




— 






& 0) 




a TS • 


W) 


§ «2 . 


o r d 
a ai 


M 


m 


v 


02 


w 


Schools. 


32 •§ 

O !d 

3H 


<2 < 

SD O 




3 2 <*- E p S a & 
^ S £ 5 .2 3 ^ g 

3 P 3 & t_ £ , cS 


Cm 

° 2 


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cd 
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> 


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a 




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O 03 


5 

"3 


Pi 


02 




K 


<H 


z i 


5 » 


? ! 


5 


P* 


Ph 


Pi 






Washington 


47 


13 


752 


446 


136 


117 


53 


.59+ 


.104 


1613 




Q 

03 


Dudley 


40 


18J» 


640 


365 


90 


76 


109 


.57+ 


.098 


0558 




O 


Central 


20 


12f 


320 


175 


42 


28 


75 


.54+ 


.250 


.1350 




O 


Westerly 


18 


13* 


288 


100 


23 


82 


83 


.34+ 


.019 


.0669 




£ 




























Washington 


21 


12| 


420 


333 


6 


31 


50 


.79+ 


.046 


.0363 




ed 


Dudley 


25 


13| 


500 


360 


9 


38 


93 


.70+ 


.061 


.0427 




he 
O 
0> 


Central 


22 


13} 


440 


284 


15 


47 


94 


.64+ 


.275 


.1760 




o 


Westerly 


18 


13 


320 


250 


7 


28 


35 


.81+ 


.197 


.1595 






If 


14 


14f 


140 


129 





8 


3 


.92+ 


) 






t-> 


Dudley { 


















y.08 


.0700 




Si 

o 


2( 


19 


14 


152 


129 


1 


14 


8 


.83+ 


) 






B 


Westerly 


1 


15 


10 


10 











1.00 


.0108 


.0110 




c3 


Dudley 


9 


14J 


180 


170 


8 


2 





.94 


.022 


.0206 




J- 

09 

be 


Westerly 


1 

i 


15 


20 


20 











1.00 


.0108 


.0110 




< 


Central 


2 


14* 


40 


19 


12 


4 


5 


•47+ 


.025 


.0117 






Dudley 


46 


13£ 


460 


287 


40 


123 


10 


.62+ 


.112 


.0694 




g 

s 

CO 



Washington 


25 


13* 


250 


126 


31 


81 


22 


.50+ 


.055 


.0275 




Central 


17 


12* 


170 


67 


29 


62 


IS 


.39+ 


.212 


.0826 






Westerly 


7 


141 


7C 


36 


5 


15 


14 


.51+ 


.076 


.0387 





19 



No. 2. — Tabular Abstract, continued. 



to" 

'1 


Schools. 


i 

"o -d 

U i. 

so S 
9 § 

is 


o 

CD 
bj) o 

RS — 

u o 
gOQ 


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GU r. 

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CD 

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s 


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a 

« 


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s 


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S 


Dudley 
Washington 
Central 
Westerly 


47 
31 
20 
10 


14 

m 

13§ 

1*A 


648 
467 
293 
163 


460 
346 

204 
134 


109 
97 
68 

26 








79 

24 

21 

3 


.71+ 
.74+ 
.69 

;82+ 


.115 
.069 
.250 
.019 


.0816 
.0510 
.1725 
.0893 




CO 

O 


Dudley 
Westerly 


10 
1 


14J 
15 


120 
13 


108 

10 


2 
2 


5 



5 
1 


.90 

.77— 


.024 
.0108 


.0216 
.0077 




Ml 

s 


Washington 
Dudley 


4 

22 




40 
220 


32 
117 



11 


4 
19 


4 
73 


.80 

.53+ 


.008 
.053 


.0064 
.02S0 





Whole number 
Whole number 
Whole number 
Whole number 
Whole number 
Whole per cent 
Whole number 



SUMMARY. 

of Questions asked, 7136. 
of right answers, 4717. 
of wrong answers, 753. 
of imperfect answers, 784. 
not answered, 882. 

i. of right answers, .66+. 
of sheets examined, 497, 



20 



No. 3.— TABULAR ABSTRACT, 

Shewing the result of the oral examination of the Grammar Schools'. 



A » 


Divisions 1st 


2d 3d 


4th 5th 6th | 7th | 8th 




3 
53 


Classes 1 2 £ 


!123 1 


2 12 1 


2 1 2 


I 


2|12 


3 Average 


fafi 


Washington.. 5 4 

Westerly 66 4 

Central 5 4 2 


65 61 
666 5 
454 
.434 


S 6 6 6 
5 6 6 5 


4 5 5 

5 5 4 


6 

5 


5 

5 


66 
55 


5 6ft 

5t 3 t 

3| 


1 Divisions 1st 


| 2d | 3d | 4th | 5th j 6th | 7th | 8th 


i 


Classes | I|2j3|l |2J3|1|2|3|1|2|3|1|2|3|1|2|.3|1 -S 


!3|1|2 


3 Average 


■ 

C3 

a> ^ 
O 


Washington. . 6 5 
Westerly. ... 65 


65565 
55566 

5545 

5545 


55 5' 
55 4^ 


1555 
5 6 5 


665 
6 6 


54 
55 


5 6* 

5 
5 


■ 

CD 

s . 
■5.2 

•c *• 


Washington . . 6 6' 
Westerly.... 651 


5 5 65 
154466 
3 5 5 5 
5545 


5666( 
65 6( 


$66 6 5 
) 555 


64 
61 


\5 


54 
65 


4 5£ 
6* 




Divisions 1st 


2d 3d 


4th 5t 


hi | 6th 


7th 


8th 






Classes 1 2 I 


U23 1 5 


2 12 1 


2 1| 2 


IS 


5;j 


12 


3 Average 


"3 T3 

a c 

be fee 
MSB 

.5 "3 3 

3<ST> 
aQw 

EC 


Dudley ..... 65 
Washington.. 6 5 
Westerly.... 5 5' 
Central 6 5\l 


66 6 
666 6 

15 64 

5564 


5 6 5 5 
5 5 5 5 


5 5 5 
5 5 6 


5,' 
5( 


5 4 


65 
45 


5 5 T V 

5t 6 t 




Divisions 1st 


2d | 3d 




Division | 1st 






Classes 1 2 I 


J I 2 3| 1 \ 


I Av'rag 


Classes 


1 2 


3 Average 


1 


Washington.. 6 5 
Westerly .... 65' 


655 5 
666 
1 


5£ 
5 


as Dudley. . 
■g Washing. 
&JD Westerly 
*$ Central.. 


6 
5 

65 
55 


6 
5 

5 



Geometry 5. 
Elements of Music 6. 

6. 
6. 
6. 
5. 



Washington. Surveying 5. Central. 

Westerly. Drawing Maps 6. Dudley. 

Dudley. Writing 6. General appearance, order, &c. 
Washington. " 5. " " 

Westerly. " 6. " " 

Central. "5. « " 

STUDIES NOT EXAMINBD. 

Dudley. Mrs. Phelps's Botany ; Latin and French. 
Washington. Worcester's History and Olmsted's Philosophy. 

Note. The figure " 6 " is used to denote the degree of perfection 
that in the opinion of the Committee each class in each exercise ought 
to have attained ; any number below that shews how far short of that 
standard was reached. 

Dudley as a whole, stands at*(as nearly as possible) 5£ and ranks 1st 
Washington «i " " ** 5| " 2d 

Westerly " " " " 5 T V " 3d 

Central " " " " 5 " 4th 



21 
No. 4— TABULAR EXTRACT, 

Shewing the average age, tardiness, absences, and number of punish* 
ments during the quarter ending February 1st, 1847. 













•« . 


d) 


t~l 00 








O <B 




O CO 


o aj 


•3 a 






o 
o 

J3 

o 


s 
o 

"an 

5 


S3 « 




119 2 

S3 c3 


i_ en 

CD -2 


O -, o 

m.S'3 

S S'S 

CD g .5 


u a 
• 5 
>a "5 

s a 


REMARKS. 




1 


51 


12H 




•03* 








S3 


2 


64 


12* 




.09 








C 


3 


59 


11 




.10 








fee 

s 


4 


64 


10* 




.13 








'M 


5 


60 


9^4 




.09 










6 


64 


®U 




.15 








7 


44 


8§ 




.14 










8 


43 


8J 




.13* 








"3 

u 


1 


40 


14 


.27 


.15 








CD 


2 


40 


9H 


03 


.15 










1 


47 


14* 


.026 


.13+ 











2 


60 


13W 


.05 


.11+ 









t»> 


3 


48 


12* 


.029 


.12+ 









<u 


4 


52 


lOf 


.037 


.11 











5 


54 


n T V 


.033 


.16+ 









« 


6 


48 


9§ 


.028 


.12+ 











7 


48 


Ht 


.026 


.16+ 











8 


51 


9 


.028 


.20 









>s 
















Absences mostly 


0) 


1 


48 


12* 


.036+ 


.20 







in consequence 


03 
















of sickness. 


► 


2 


43 


8| 


.031+ 


.20 










23 



<KHrar $v &«k&&tok& 



IN SCHOOL COMMITTEE, ? 

RoxburyFeb. 17, 1S47. \ 

Ordered, That in all the Grammar Schools, the teachers be required 
to insist upon regular exercises in Composition, upon subjects, and in 
forms, adapted to the age and progress of the pupils ; that the exer- 
cises be required at stated seasons of the first two divisions of each 
school, and that the first class, of the first division, be required to 
write compositions every week. 

Ordered, That the quarterly Examining Committee hereafter ex- 
amine and report upon the proficiency of the scholars, in the art of 
written composition. 

Ordered, That the Secretary furnish a copy of the foregoing order 
and of the order of this day adopted, in relation to the study of 
" topics" to every Grammar Master. 



IN SCHOOL COMMITTEE, \ 
Roxbury, Feb. 17, 1847. \ 

Ordered, That the teachers of the several Grammar Schools, and 
their assistants, be required to impart more oral instruction to their 
pupils than they have been accustomed to do, and for this purpose, 
that topics be specially assigned for consideration, in one or two 
weeks, after the time of announcement. 

Each pupil shall prepare himself, or herself, by careful study of 
the subject or character assigned, and for this purpose the schools 
shall be furnished with books of reference to be selected by the 
Masters with the approval of the Chairman of the School Committee. 

After the scholars shall have been interrogated upon the topic, the 
teacher shall give his or her views, more or less at length, in the form 
of a familiar and instructive lecture. 

These exercises shall take place as frequently as practicable, in the 
opinion of the Local Committee and teachers. 



24 

IN SCHOOL COMMITTEE, ) 

Roxbury Feb. 17, 1847. \ 

The Committee to whom was referred the subject of the introduc- 
tion of music into the public schools, beg leave to report : 

That in their judgment it is expedient to provide instruction for 
the advanced scholars, to the number of two hundred, in the Dudley 
and Washington Schools, and for all the pupils in the Central and 
Westerly Schools, or as many as can be taught in one room. 

Your Committee recommend that Mr. T. B. Moses be appointed 
teacher of music for one year, subject to the existing regulations as 
to all teachers, at a compensation of one hundred dollars, for each 
school, except the Dudley, and seventy-five dollars for that school ; 
Mr. Moses to furnish Piano Fortes for the Washington, Central and 
Westerly Schools. 

Respectfully submitted by order of the Committee, 

SAM'L. H. WALLEY, Jr., Chairman. 



City Document.— No. 23. 



REPORT 



iisra^ioj siajxsiasrixaa®Ei 



PRIMARY SCHOOLS 



CITY OF ROXBURY 



FOR JANUARY, 1847. 




ROXBURY: 

PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE. 

JOSEPH G. TORREY, CITY PRINTER. 

1 847. 



PRIMARY SCHOOLS. 



The School Committee, impressed with a belief that the Primary 
Schools of this City had not the same high rank with our Gram- 
mar Schools, and that owing to their increased and increasing num- 
ber, it was desirable that some general system of discipline and 
instruction should be established, which should render more uniform 
the preparation and attainments of those to be transferred from 
them to the Grammar Schools, appointed the subscribers a Com- 
mittee in August last to examine all the Primary Schools of this 
City, to ascertain their comparative rank, and to suggest any im- 
provements in the methods and means of instruction, which might 
occur in the course of their examination. 

The Committee endeavored faithfully to discharge the duties 
assigned them. They together examined every school, as directed, 
and besides visited several of the best schools of the same class in 
Boston, to enable them more fully to ascertain in what respects, if 
any, those institutions were superior to ours. 

They found a great diversity in the management of our schools, 
and in the relative attainments of the children. Some of them, both 
in discipline and instruction ranked so low that it was alhiost dis- 
couraging to attempt to improve them, while in others the discipline 
was as good, and the progress as great as could be expected under 
the system of instruction adopted, and with the apparatus and facili- 
ties granted to the Teachers. 

The best of them, they were satisfied, could be improved. An 
erroneous idea of order seemed to prevail among our Teachers, that 
a child should be disciplined to the most uncomfortable restraint of 
all his physical powers, and with or without any lesson to study or 
other mental exercise, should sit erect during school hours without 
moving hand or foot, and this in most of our school rooms, upon seats 
contrived more for economy than for the comfort of those destined to 
use them. Such a system certainly tends to make the school any- 



28 

thing but attractive to children. The Committee esteem the best 
order in a school, to be that which most fully employs each child 
without annoyance to the rest, and this they were pleased to find in 
some of the best Primary Schools in Boston Which they visited. 
They were mortified to see how far superior they were to ours in 
whatever regards the personal comfort of the children. Instead of 
dirty rooms and bare walls, they found neatness everywhere ; they 
found busts and pictures adorning the walls, bouquets and growing 
plants in the windows. Various articles of natural history were on 
the table and shelves. Everything there, seemed calculated to culti- 
vate good taste, and attract the attention of children. When a class 
had finished its recitation, the children were not required, as with us, 
to sit unemployed till their next recitation came round ; they all had 
slates and were taught to use them. Every child had something to 
do. Every one seemed happy. The seats were far more com- 
fortable than ours, and seemed to have been made with especial refer- 
ence to the ease of the pupils. They were small armchairs, with 
places of deposit underneath for the slates. They cost but a trifle 
more than the miserable apologies for seats now occupied by our 
children. 

In the two new school houses recently erected in Roxbury, these 
chairs have been adopted, and in these and in some of our other schools, 
a small sum has been expended for the decoration of the rooms ; 
while for all, such arrangements have been made, as will give to 
them the apparatus they need. 

The examining Committee were better pleased with the course of 
instruction adopted in the Boston schools, than that prevalent here, 
and recommended its general adoption. The School Committee, how- 
ever, preferring to proceed cautiously, have adopted it as an experi- 
ment in schools Nos. 18, 19, 20, 22 and 23 ; the experience of a few 
months simultaneous trial, will show by which the children make the 
most progress. Upon the recommendation of the examining Commit- 
tee, the following votes were passed by the Board : 

I. That Part 1, Title 10, Chapter 23, Section 7, of the Revised 
Statutes, be annually published, with the Regulations of the School 
Committee. 

II. That the instructors shall be required to pay strict attention 
to the morals of their pupils, and to exert themselves to comply with 
so much of the foregoing statute as relates to them. 



29 

III. That the several Local Committees give their attention es- 
pecially to the foregoing particulars, and endeavor to aid the teachers 
in this department of their lahors. 

IV. That the Examining Committee make enquiry upon the 
points above mentioned, and report concerning them. 

V. That the teachers be required to keep their several registers 
with accuracy and completeness, and that the Local Committees be 
instructed to report upon the manner in which this requisition is ob- 
served. 

VI. That whenever any Local Committee shall have omitted for 
two successive months to visit the school under his charge, he shall 
be considered as having vacated his office, unless satisfactory evi- 
dence be given that his omission -was occasioned by sickness, or other 
good and sufficient cause. 

VII. That the Primary Schools shall contain as nearly an equal 
number of pupils as practicable, it being desirable that the average 
number of daily attendants should be about fifty in each school. 

VIII. That every scholar shall be provided with a slate, and em- 
ploy the time, not otherwise occupied, in writing, printing, or draw- 
ing. As soon as they are able to do so, they shall be required to 
print their spelling lessons on their slates, and continue to do this in 
all the classes. 

The scholars 'shall occupy a portion of the time of every school 
session at the black-board in drawing or printing. 

Simple oral lessons in arithmetic, adapted to the ages of the pupils, 
shall be taught in each class. 

The Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments shall be taught to 
all the scholars in a simultaneous exercise. The audible repetition of 
the former, by every scholar, shall form a part of the opening exer- 
cises of every morning. The Commandments shall be audibly repeat- 
ed in the same manner at least once a week. 

Singing shall form a part of every school session. 

The scholars shall be taught the meaning of the stops, and other 
marks of punctuation, as they occur in their lessons. 

Oral instruction shall form a part of the duties of the teacher, oc- 
cupying not less than a quarter of an hour each session, at such time 
as may be most convenient to the teacher. The exercises may be 
common to all the classes, so as to explain their reading and other 



so 

lessons, and impart a full meaning of all that is read by the pupils ? 
or taught to them. 

The Committee have since made another examination of the Pri- 
mary Schools, and are pleased to report, that in nearly all of them 
they discovered a marked improvement during the last three 
months. They are satisfied that the teachers have exerted themselves, 
and have full confidence, that their efforts, if properly seconded by 
the School Committee and parents, will raise our schools to as high a 
standard as any schools of the same class, in other cities. They 
think that the importance of these Primary Schools has been hereto- 
fore underrated, and that they have not received that share of atten- 
tion from the School Committee which they deserve. Parents, too, 
have not given them that encouragement which they ought. Every 
parent who has a child in one of these schools should feel interest 
enough in his welfare, to make frequent visits to the place where so 
much of the time of that child is spent, and where his future charac- 
ter, to a great degree, is moulding into form. Whatever may be the 
indifference of others, the parent surely should feel a deep interest, 
and not be satisfied without knowing what is done, day after day, 
and week after week, at the school house. 

Among the greatest difficulties that our teachers have to contend 
with, is the frequent occurrence of tardiness and absence. We are 
aware, that for this they are partly to blame, for if their schools were 
more attractive, the children would be less eager to avail themselves 
of every excuse for remaining at home. The Committee were par- 
ticularly impressed with the truth of this view, in visiting one of the 
Boston schools, where, with a favorable change of teacher, the aver- 
age number of absences during six months, decreased more than one 
half. The teacher, however, can do but little unless she is assisted 
by the parents. If the child sees that he is sent to school merely as 
a matter of convenience to the household, to get him out of the way 
at home, and that all the regulations of school must give way to do- 
mestic convenience, it would not be surprising, if he should never 
learn to regard it as other than an irksome task to go there. On the 
other hand, if the parent manifests an interest in the school by send- 
ing him regularly and punctually, regardless of his personal con- 
venience, as well as in his instruction while there, the child's in- 
terest will be increased and the teacher's hand strengthened. 



31 

Keeping steadily in view the importance of arranging a more uni- 
form system of education in our Primary Schools, particularly in 
those in which candidates are fitted for the Washington and Dudley 
Schools, the Committee have endeavored to discover and remove 
every obstacle to such an arrangment. Prominent among these and 
productive of much evil, is the great disparity of age among the 
pupils. They esteem it very desirable that the standard of attain- 
ments requisite for admission to the Grammar Schools, should be 
kept as high as possible, and that such a system of transfer from 
the Primary Schools, should be adopted as will give the greatest de- 
gree of uniformity in the classes thus transferred. To effect this, in 
the five lower Wards of the City, they deem it important to relieve 
these schools of all children over eight or nine years of age, and to 
make a rule, that hereafter none shall be received into them over 
seven years of age. This they would do by organizing one or more 
schools to receive such children as are beyond this age and are not 
qualified to enter the Grammar Schools. They are satisfied, that in 
such schools, where they are classed with children of their own age, 
they will progress much more rapidly, while now, they prove a de- 
cided hindrance to the progress of the smaller children, with whom 
they are associated, and a still greater one to the good order and moral 
standing of our Primary Schools. A great proportion of these are 
neglected children, many of whom have contracted immoral habits, 
and who finding themselves ranked with children much younger 
than they, create disorder within the school, are truants themselves, 
and not unfrequently, as in a striking instance stated in the last report 
of the Examining Committee, lead others astray with them. 

The Committee would have it expected of every Teacher, that 
her children should be qualified by the age of eight years, to be 
transferred to the Grammar Schools, or that she show good cause 
why they are not. This they deem a measure important towards 
establishing the system desired. 

Appended to this report is a Tabular view of the condition 
of the Primary Schools in Roxbury, on the aimual examination, 
made in January, 1847, which they commend to the careful perusal 
o£ the citizens, 

CHARLES K. DILLAWAY, 
AUGUSTUS C. THOMPSON, 
GEORGE WM. BOND. 



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Harriet W. Taber 
Sarah L. Mecuen. 
C. F. Moore. 
Sarah W. Wyman. 
Louisa E. Harris. 
Caroline N. Heath. 
Ann M. James. 
Louisa Newton. 
Sarah J. Morse. 
Mary 0. Larkin. 
Ellen A. Marean. 
Louisa Mitchell. 
S. P. Jennison. 
Jane M. Swain. 
Louisa Newell. 
Martha Parmlee. 
Ann C. Bell. 
Caroline Williams. 
S. G. Prentiss. 
E. A. Pearson. 
A. P. Prentiss. 
Sarah Morrill. 
M. A. Hamilton. 
Elizabeth Thomas. 

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Washington st. 
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Spring street. 
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Mill Dam. 
Yeoman street. 
Oxford street. 
Yeoman street. 
Oxford street. 
Centre street. 
Yeoman street. 
Nute's Corner. 
Orange street. 
Orange street. 
Eustis street. 
Mt. Pleasant. 
Higlilands. 


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1 



IN SCHOOL COMMITTEE, ; 

Roxbury Sept. 10, 1846. \ 

The Sub-Committee to whom was referred a communication, made 
to the School Committee, bearing date 27th July, 1846, with the fol- 
lowing order attested by the City Clerk, viz : 

11 Ordered, That the School Committee be requested to furnish the 
schools with all necessary articles that shall be wanted from time to 
time, for their use, and to make all the ordinary repairs in the school 
rooms, that may be wanted from time to time." 

With instruction to consider and report what action the School 
Committee will take relative to said communication, have considered 
the subject referred to them, and 

REPORT : 

The School Committee of last year recommended to the Town 
that certain changes should be made, and that certain new school- 
houses should be erected, &c. and that a given sum of money would 
be requisite to meet these expenditures, and sustain the schools for 
the years 1846-7. Soon after the organization of the City Govern- 
ment, the amount of appropriation, which had been recommended 
by the School Committee of the last year, was granted by the City 
Council, except the item of compensation for the members of the 
Committee, which had uniformly been allowed by the Town in years 
past, and which may, if the Committee so desire, be claimed of the 
City, under the provisions of Chap. 105 Sec. 4 of the Revised 
Statutes of 1838. 

The appropriation having been granted, the next question which 
arose was, whether the City Government would continue the prac- 
tice that had prevailed under the Town administration of confiding 
the specific appropriation for each matter, (whether the building of a 
school house, or general or special repairs,) to the management of 
the School Committee, or whether it was expedient and prudent tp 
5 



84 

change the usage, so that the City Council should themselves, or by 
their Committee, actually superintend the various expenditures of 
moneys thus appropriated. The Council deliberately determined 
that it was their province and duty to expend as well as to appro- 
priate the funds ; and the School Committee having ascertained such 
to be the wish and intention of the City Council, passed certain re- 
solves upon the 19th day of June, to which we refer as part of this 
report, being determined to avail themselves of the opportunity thus 
afforded them of relieving themselves of that which, for years past, 
had proved to be an irksome and burdensome part of their duties. 
This determination of the Council was made apparent by a succes- 
sion of acts on their part. On the 11th of May last, Mr. Comins 
submitted an order in Common Council, to the effect that the School 
Committee be authorized to purchase land and erect a suitable build- 
ing for a Primary School upon Mt. Pleasant, agreeably to the appro- 
priation for that purpose ; and further, that all bills, orders or cer- 
tificates for money incurred or authorized to be expended by the 
School Committee, shall be examined by the Committee on Accounts, 
and if correct and approved by them and the Mayor, shall be paid 
by the Treasurer. This order was rejected. 

On the 15th of May, Mr. Eaton submitted an order directing the 
Committee of Public Instruction, to confer with the School Committee 
as to the purchase of land and the erection of two new school houses, 
and the repairs and alterations of the Washington school house, 
with authority to make the purchases. This was adopted, and on the 
18th of May, concurred in by the Aldermen. On the 28th of May, 
the Committee on Public Instruction submitted a report recommend- 
ing the reconsideration of the vote, by which the City Council 
authorize them, "to purchase land and erect School houses," and 
further recommend the referring the whole subject of school expendi- 
tures to the School Committee. 

This report was laid upon the table. In Common Council, June 4th, 
the report was amended, by striking out the second branch of the 
report, and was then accepted and sent up. At this meeting three 
joint special committees were ordered to be chosen by ballot, to 
purchase land, erect school houses, and repair Washington school 
house, agreeably tP plans to be furnished by the School Committee. 

It is thus eyident, by the action of the Council, in rejecting the or 



35 

der offered by Mr. Comins, on the 11th of May, and by refusing to 
accept so much of the Report of the Committee upon Public Instruc- 
tion, as recommended the referring the whole subject of school expen- 
ditures to the School Committee on the 28th of May, that it was the 
intention of the Common Council, not to empower the School Com- 
mittee to build school houses, or even to make any expenditures on 
account of the schools. 

The Committee however, being unwilling to throw any obstacles 
in the way of the erection of the new houses, and the alterations of 
the Washington school house, appointed committees of consulta- 
tion as required. All matters of expenditures being thus in the 
hands of the City Council, the Local Committee of the Dudley 
School preferred a request to the City Council, that the amount ap- 
propriated for that School, and included in the estimates, might be 
expended in making the contemplated repairs. This was on the 6th of 
July. Owing to a difference of opinion between the two branches, 
as to the appropriate Committee, action was delayed on this matter 
for several weeks, and finally the subject was referred to a special 
joint Committee, under whose direction the repairs are now in pro- 
gress. It is a matter of regret that these repairs had not been com- 
pleted by the close of vacation ; but there was doubtless some una- 
voidable detention in the work, after the appointment of the special 
Committee. 

The question now presented is, what is the proper course for the 
School Committee to adopt for the future 1 Shall they, or not, com- 
ply with the request of the City Council as expressed in the com- 
munication of the 27th of July % It is the wish of the School Com- 
mittee to subserve the interests of the City, and of the Schools, in 
every way in their power, and they will not, we feel sure from false 
pride, and hardly from self-respect, allow the schools to suffer, if in 
their power to prevent it. We believe that the welfare of the schools 
has been somewhat affected, and may be seriously injured by the 
present arrangement ; perhaps all the injury which can accrue has 
happened, and everything will go on as we ali desire for the time 
to come. We must confess we have our fears, that all is not right 
yet — and will not be, if we accede to the wishes of the City Council. 

It is perfectly obvious, for example, that there is a difference of 
understanding among the members of the City Government, as to 
the proper construction of the very order under consideration. It is 



36 

supposed by some, that " ordinary repairs" includes everything but 
erecting new buildings or enlarging old ones ; others restrict the 
phrase so as to exclude the purchase of seats and the making of such 
repairs as are now in progress in the Dudley School house. 

What then are ordinary repairs ? What are necessary articles, &c. 1 
These are questions that have been asked, and must frequently be 
suggested. They may or may not occasion difficulty in their solution, 
but we can conceive of an honest difference of opinion as to the ne- 
cessity of repairing a room, or the kind and degree of repairs required. 
Under this order, who is to judge whether any repairs, and if so, of 
what description are required, for the convenience of children or the 
preservation of property % If the City Council do not feel justified in 
authorizing the School Committee to expend moneys appropriated 
for specific objects, then ought they not to appoint an individual to 
superintend the public property, who should be under the direction of a 
Committee of their body 1 and if the appointment of such on officer 
is unnecessary, from the fact that the public property is not of suffi- 
cient magnitude to warrant the expense, then there is no ground for 
the comparisons which is instituted between Boston and Roxbury in 
these matters. 

In fine the School Committee ought, in our judgment, either 
to be authorized to expend all the appropriations granted for 
the building, repairing and furnishing school houses, or none ; the 
City Council ought to make their expenditures, each and all, by a 
committee or agent of their own, or to delegate the power to the 
School Committee, as may seem to the City Council most fit and 
proper, and of this matter they are the proper judges. But we insist, 
that the duty named cannot be conveniently and properly divided, so as 
to be performed by two bodies, as is contemplated in the order under con- 
sideration. 

Before we perceived, as we have done in the case of the Dudley 
School house, the practical difficulty of giving a construction to 
the term " ordinary repairs," we were disposed to recommend, 
for the sake of harmony and good feeling, that we should acquiese 
in the wishes of the City Council, and conform to the terms of 
this order. But upon more reflection, we are of opinion, that the re- 
sult of such action cannot fail to be perplexing, and to involve greater 
difficulties than any we have yet experienced, and therefore that it 
is more prudent for the School Committee to decline any interference 



37 

in relation to expenditures for school houses, unless after a more ex- 
plicit statement of the items which are understood to be included in 
the matters of expenditure referred to the Committee. 
- If the City Council feel bound to make the expenditures, ought 
not they, or their agents, to make the whole? If they think otherwise, 
it is at least necessary that they should specify the particulars so as 
to prevent any future conflict of jurisdiction, if upon examination they 
should find such a specification to be practicable. Many heads can 
plan, but it is best that one alone should execute. Being called upon 
to surrender the trust which we have held under the Selectmen, 
in years past, of erecting and repairing school houses, we prefer 
to surrender the entire trust, and confine ourselves to the internal 
affairs of the schools and matters of instruction. 

Submitted very respectfully, by 

SAMUEL H. WALLEY, Jr. ) 

CHARLES K. DILLAWAY, ) Sub-Committee. 

BENJAMIN E. COTTING, )