City Document — No. 16.
®ittj a! 1U lining,
PRINTED FOE THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE.
CHiti) of Ho*bttvji.
In School Committee, May 2, 1855.
Mr. Ryder was appointed Examining Committee for the English High
Schools for Boys and Girls.
Messrs. Wayland, Marsh, Flint, Waldock, Mann and Seaver
were appointed for the Grammar Schools.
Messrs. Leach, Morse, Ray, Streeter and Farley, for the Inter-
mediate and Primary Schools.
Attest, JOSHUA SEAVER,
Secretary of School Committee.
June 20, 1855.
The several Committees submitted their Reports of Examinations, and
the Chairman of the Board also submitted a General Report, which several
Reports were accepted, and twenty-five hundred copies ordered to be
printed and distributed to the citizens as the Annual Report of the School
Committee of the City of Roxbury.
Attest, JOSHUA SEAVER,
Secretary of School Committee.
J. JW. Hemes, Printer.
During the past year the system of public education in Rox-
bnry has been completed by the establishment of a High School
for Girls, which is now, as will be seen by the Report, in a state
of successful experiment. Our city can safely challenge a com-
parison with any portion of the State, in the provision she has
made for the free instruction of her children. From the earliest
age at which it is suitable and safe to receive pupils, they are well
supplied with educational facilities necessary to prepare them for
the ordinary demands of life and business, or to fit them for the
University. The last link in the chain — the provision for the
higher culture of the girls — has been secured with but a slight in-
crease in the annual expenses of the city. By placing the super-
intendency of the Grammar Schools for Girls in the hands of
ladies, while generous salaries are given to the Principals, the
expenses of the schools have been decreased to an* amount about
equivalent to the current pecuniary requirements of the High
School for Girls.
Our citizens will be gratified to learn from the careful examin-
ations of the several Committees, that the Principals of these
schools have succeeded admirably in their responsible positions.
The plan is considered no longer an experiment, but a well-estab-
lished policy ; and, while it has the recommendation of economy,
it offers a higher recompense and a worthier field of development
for the sex than she has been accustomed to receive.
During the present municipal year no outlay has been requir-
ed for the schools except for the ordinary current expenses, which
4 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
of themselves now amount to a very considerable sum. The build-
ings which were commenced last year have been finished and fur-
nished in a generous manner, by the Government of the city, in
accordance with the plan proposed, and are now occupied by their
respective schools. Two Primary buildings, each containing four
schools, and the Grammar School for Girls upon Gore Avenue,
have been added during the year to the public property of the
city, and to its provisions for education. The elegant new edifice
for girls, combining all the modern improvements in its internal
arrangements, and situated in one of the finest positions in the
western part of the city, has received from the Committee the
name of the Mayor who was at the head of the City Government
at the time of its erection, and whose personal interest and exer-
tions were called into requisition to secure its erection ; and ft is
now known as the Coming School. The foundation of a good
library for the school has already been made through the liberality
of the late Mayor, and a fund of five hundred dollars has been
placed in the hands of trustees, the annual income of which is to
be devoted to the enlargement of this library. Such expressions
of noble and thoughtful generosity, not uncommon in this portion
of our State, are worthy of all commendation. They become per-
petual springs of usefulness, blessing in their continued flowing
The number of pupils in our Grammar schools for Girls will not
exhibit the usual annual increase. Provision has been made by
the Catholics in the vestry of St. Joseph's church for the educa-
tion of their girls, and one hundred and seventy pupils are in
attendance. They propose to erect a school-house upon their
property on the Turnpike, which will be better adapted to the
purposes of education than the present rooms. The excellent
provisions made by the city for the free education of all, and the
rapid advancement which pupils invariably exhibit under our pub-
lic training, offer very strong, and perhaps the only proper in-
ducements to Catholic parents to send their children to our schools.
Numbers who have temporarily left us, have returned again, and
quite earnestly sought their forfeited positions in their classes.
Free schools of the highest character, and free school-books
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 5
when necessary, under a wholesome Christian and scriptural, but
unsectarian discipline, form the safeguards of our liberties, and
■will commend themselves, in the process of time at least, to the
good sense and approbation of all classes in our communities.
There is one reason why the State and the City should feel a lively
interest in the character of the daily instruction received by her
children. In our republics, our only hope of perpetuity and the
safety of our institutions, rests upon the character and principles
which the coming generations are receiving in our midst. Upon
this truth our system of public instruction is based. The found-
ers of our most excellent educational system not only felt that
they had the right, but that it was a sacred duty which they OAved
to their free government and to their God, to perpetuate their
civil and religious liberties by the proper education of those into
Avhose hands they must ultimately be committed. All appropriate
measures within the well-defined guards of individual freedom, a
municipality or a State may, and should, take for its own defence.
No one can .question the right of a community to provide every
appropriate facility for free education, to compel its vagrant and
exposed children to attend upon school, and to offer every honor-
able solicitation to the young to embrace the opportunities which
she establishes herself.
The outline of our school system is now completed, but it will
be some time before all the details in the plan are filled up. It is
desirable to raise, as soon as it is practicable, the standard of re-
quirement for entering the Grammar Schools, in order to provide
these schools with a better foundation upon which to commence
their course of instruction. Now that the classes in the High
School are quite well sustained, the upper divisions of the Gram-
mar Schools can be more thoroughly trained than they have been
for the past two years. The present apparent lack of grade in
the first divisions of these schools is, in no degree, a reflection
upon the diligence of the instructors, but a necessary evil attend-
ant upon the establishment of the High School ; indeed, it cannot
be called an evil, for the pupils have been well instructed, under
accomplished teachers, in schools of a higher grade. The higher,
however, the standard of graduation from the Grammar Schools,
6 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
the greater will be the benefit that the pupil will receive from his
High School training. A well-defined plan is now being rapidly
developed, and by a harmonious cooperation between the Princi-
pals of the schools, those of both grades may be brought up to the
highest standard of possible excellence.
In the Report of the School Committee of last year, the value
of a set of philosophical instruments to the High School for Girls,
was ably set forth, and it is our oflice to notice the fact that the
same deficiency in our High School apparatus still exists. " Na-
ture abhors' a vacuum," and it is to be hoped that her action in
this regard will not be hindered. During the year provision has
been made for a library, and nothing is wanting to complete the
plan, but boohs to fill its shelves. If our citizens would give them-
selves the pleasure of visiting this school, and of hearing a few
excellent recitations, they would undoubtedly be quite as much
impressed as the Committee with the importance of securing a
supply for the deficiencies alluded to.
There seems to be no other important call for school accommo-
dations, except in the vicinity of Cliff and Warren Streets — a
necessity that has existed for several years. A fine school-house
has been erected upon Munroe Street, with accommodations for
two schools, but at the present time only about a dozen pupils
regularly attend. It is a question of expediency, whether this
building should be removed, or a new one erected. Early meas-
ures of some description should be taken to supply primary school
accommodations in the locality above specified.
The Report will bring satisfactory evidence that the annual
outlay upon ouj schools is not misapplied. All of them appear to
be at present in a comparatively prosperous state. The teachers
are enjoying the confidence of this Board and of the community,
and have the respect and affection of their pupils. In scholarship
they have reached the average standard of the best schools in the
vicinity. There is always room, however, for improvement ; and
what is ever to be desired, is a spirit of earnest inquiry on the part
of the teachers. Nothing but a constant mental cultivation and
improvement — continued reading, study and thought — will pre-
serve the teacher from falling into a lifeless and mechanical style
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 7
of instruction. A teacher must have enthusiasm in his profession
to deserve and secure success, and to retain it when once gained.
There is no question in reference to the possibility of falling from
this grace. There is no profession that exceeds this in responsi-
bility. Into the hands of our public teachers are committed the
most sacred trusts of the community — the children of our families,
the men and women of the next generation. It ought never to
be considered a final dispensation from the claims of conscience
and duty, on the part of the teacher, when the favorable report of
a necessarily casual examination has been secured. The real
measure of faithfulness can only be applied when all errors have
become irremediable. The physical, mental and moral natures —
the whole of the man and of the immortal — are intrusted during the
principal active hours of their most susceptible period into the hands
of our teachers ; and it is a work of no ordinary solemnity to pre-
side over their development. The health, intelligence, and moral
character of our coming population, in a very important sense,
are committed to the keeping of these gentlemen and ladies who
preside in our halls of education. The second trust — the cultiva-
tion of the mind — will be the chief subject of examination, and
go far to determine the capacity of the teacher, but it is not the
most vital point. The health, without which so much of the use-
fulness of life is lost and all its comfort, and which is always, more
or less, exposed in the school-room or in its vicinity, is a serious
demand upon the care and intelligence of the teacher. There
must be both a familiar acquaintance with the general laws of
health, and also a personal knowledge of the physical susceptibili-
ties of the various pupils. To acquire this knowledge will require
acute observation, careful study and much time, but life is at
stake ! Our teachers must necessarily affect the moral character
of the pupils more than the clergyman, and compete closely with
the parent. They receive their charge so early, remain with
them so long, and are placed in such a commanding relation to
them, that, while they have extraordinary opportunities for culti-
vating the principles of goodness, justice and piety, they may also
through thoughtlessness be of incalculable injury to this para-
mount portion of the living mind, placed in their keeping. It is
8 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
evidently the sublhnest feature in the office of the teacher, that
he is to develope character and to give the moral direction to
a life. The effect of his training can only be fully realized
when his mistakes can no longer be corrected by himself, or even
by the subject of them. It certainly would give a weight and a
depth to instruction, if teachers could fully comprehend this re-
sponsibility. Every day, would suggest new labors, and the cure
of the heart would divide the anxieties of the teacher with the
care of the mind and of the body. Without encroaching a hair's
breadth upon the distinctive creeds of churches, and removing one
of the most specious charges of Roman- Catholic, and certain other
objectors against the public school as Cfodless, the common and
fundamental grounds of all virtue and piety, the claims of God,
the morality and affections of the Bible, may be effectually en-
forced and beautifully illustrated in the life and temper, by the
public school teacher. It is a matter of peculiar satisfaction that
these topics will have no aspect of novelty to the minds of the
most, at least, of our instructors. They have been subjects of
frequent and earnest reflection, and have, in a degree, become
embodied in their daily practices. The attention of the commu-
nity is invited to these parts of the teacher's office, that efforts in
this direction may meet their hearty concurrence, and that the
teacher may know that his highest endeavors are appreciated ;
and also, that any one in our corps of instruction, whose duties
are becoming tame, and whose sense of moral responsibility in any
measure has become blunted, may be re-impressed with the serious
nature of the trusts devolving upon one holding such an office.
It would be, undoubtedly, of great advantage to the teachers,
especially to those of the Primary Schools, if quarterly meet-
ings could be held, under the direction of the School Commit-
tee, for informal conversations, and discussions upon questions
relating to the discipline and instruction of the schools. The most
serious objection to this measure is to be found in the additional
care which would be brought upon the members of the School
Committee, already burdened by the claims upon their time, aris-
ing from the large number of Schools, and the limited size of the
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 9
The importance of a general Superintendent of Schools, ap-
pointed from within or without the School Committee, is seen in
the great aid which such an officer might be to the teacher
through these social gatherings, conducted under his direction, as
well as in the oversight and management of our whole educational
system. It is hardly to be expected that there will be any decid-
ed advance in our Primary Schools, without such an appointment
is made. Our teachers need a normal training in their work ;
and under an experienced Superintendent, a general improvement
would undoubtedly be witnessed. Such an office, now becom-
ing common throughout our State, in the larger towns and cities,
and always justifying by the experiment the wisdom of its crea-
tion, has been repeatedly recommended in annual reports, and in
the messages of the Mayors of the city. It is to be desired that
the matter should receive the careful consideration of the School
Board, and that its expediency should be fully discussed.
It has for several years been esteemed advisable that the
charter of the city should be so far amended, as to constitute the
Mayor of the city ex officio Chairman of the School Committee,
thus securing a more immediate relation to the City Government,
and introducing another member into the Board, whose time can
be more readily given to the public service, and whose position
will afford him especial opportunities for the intelligent discharge
of his duties. Through certain misapprehensions, the proper
measures to secure this object have not yet been taken. At an
early day it may be advisable for the School Committee to pass
such a resolve as will bring the proposed change before the Board
of Aldermen and the Common Council.
His Honor, the Mayor, called the attention of the government
of the city, in his inaugural address, to the evening schools which
have been held, for a few seasons past, under voluntary supervi-
sion, and with great benefit to certain classes of our population.
In many of the cities of the State these schools have been includ-
ed within the general system of instruction, and placed under the
charge of the Board of School Committee. In the city of New
York, ten thousand dollars were devoted last year to sustaining
schools of this description, and a Report of no ordinary interest
10 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
has been made in reference to the character and progress of the
pupils, the majority of whom were adults. As this subject has
been submitted bj the City Government to an able Committee,
who have presented a printed Report, upon which no action has
yet been taken, it does not fall legitimately within the limits of
our duties to discuss its merits at the present time.
No special examination has been given to the Latin School, as
it is not embraced within the general classification of studies, or
so immediately connected with the progress of the pupils through
the lower schools. Its high position, however, among schools of
corresponding rank and character, is well understood in this com-
munity ; and occasional visits of the General Committee have
assured them, that under the present accomplished Principal, the
school fully sustains its well-earned reputation. Like the English
High School for boys, it is under the supervision of an able Board
of Trustees, and rests upon a valuable foundation which the gene-
rous wisdom of a former day established, and which will ultimately
afford a noble educational endowment for the city. All the youth
of the city, of suitable qualifications, have free access to these
schools, the city paying annually such an amount as may be re-
quired above the income of the fund to meet the current expenses.
Pupils here are thoroughly trained for the University, and thus
far have taken enviable rank as to scholarship upon their matricu-
The undersigned, in closing, with this year, his official connec-
tion with the schools — having now for five years been a member
of the Committee, and considering himself both fairly entitled to
a release from its duties, and that a change would be for the ad-
vantage of the city, bringing in new and more efficient services —
takes this opportunity to express his thanks to the teachers for
their courtesies during the period of his connection Avith them,
and to render his hearty testimony to the community in reference
to the continued improvement of the schools, the well-devised
arrangement and completeness of the present system, and the
general prosperity characterizing every department of education
in our city.
B. K. PEIRCE,
Chairman of School Committee.
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 11
ENGLISH HIGH SCHOOL FOE BOYS.
MOUNT VERNON PLACE.
S. M. WESTOBT, Principal.. ..K. C. METCALF, Assistant.
Examined May 24, 25.
The High School for Boys has already won an elevated place
in the confidence of the School Committee, and in the esteem of
the citizens generally. It has now been in operation about three
years, having been organized August 25th, 1852. It was com-
menced under very discouraging circumstances, in the upper part
of the small brick building immediately in the rear of Guild's
Block, but in the following season was transferred to the new,
spacious, and convenient edifice near the Latin High School.
Three classes now occupy the High School building. The first
and second are in the upper room, under the charge of the Prin-
cipal ; the third is in one of the lower rooms, in the care of the
Assistant. The Third Class numbers thirty-four members ; the
Second Class seventeen ; the First Class six. It is to be regret-
ted that the First Class has been reduced to this small number.
Perhaps, in the opening of a new High School for Boys, such a
result ought to have been anticipated. Doubtless parents thought
they were acting wisely in taking their children from the school,
and putting them to some secular employment. In some instances
circumstances may have controlled their action in this particular,
even contrary to their deliberate judgment. Taking into view
the numerous conditions which are to be embraced in such a de-
cision, we cannot charge upon parents an indifference to the supe-
rior advantages of this school, nor an over anxiety to have their
children earn their own living. They are supposed to be the best
judges of their own circumstances, and more than others, are re-
sponsible to God and man for the good conduct of their children.
Nor do we think this falling-off any way traceable to a lack of
12 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
confidence in the school, or to the indifference of the teachers upon
the subject. Facts which have come within the knowledge of the
Committee leave no room for doubt upon either of these points.
In a word, did we not feel assured that every intelligent parent
among us places a high value upon this school, and appreciates
the advantages which it furnishes for a solid education, and that
no sensible person will allow a parsimonious spirit, or any consid-
eration grounded in personal ease to interfere with the highest
moral and mental culture of his children, we should take a differ-
ent view of the present size of the class, which will graduate in
August next, and of the not infrequent leaving of scholars from
the other Divisions. As it is, we have only to add, that the fact
is somewhat prejudicial to the highest usefulness of the school. If
pupils are not there, they cannot reap the benefits which it fur-
nishes for them, and, by consequence, the school will return less to
the city for the liberal expenditure in maintaining it.
Owing to the smallness of the First Class at the commencement
of the present year, the Principal very generously undertook the
instruction of both the Second and First Classes. This arrange-
ment saved the salary of a third teacher, but added, of course,
very greatly to the number and weight of the Principal's cares.
The High School for Boys is under the united supervision of
the City and the Board of Trustees. The annual examination
was conducted by Committees from both branches, who were aided
by the presence of members of the School Committee, of the City
Government, and other gentlemen.
The Third Class have attended during the last year to Modern
Geography, Ancient and Modern History, English Grammar, Ex-
ercises in Analysis, &c. from Quackenbos, Arithmetic, Composi-
The Second Chass have attended to Ancient and Modern His-
tory, Algebra, Geometry, French, Bookkeeping, Composition,
The First Class have attended to Geometry, Algebra, Trigo-
nometry, Application of Algebra to Geometry, Mensuration, Nat-
ural Philosophy, French, Principles of General Grammar.
. EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 13
The school "was examined in all of the above studies, and the
Committees were unanimous in the opinion that the scholars sustain-
ed themselves well. Very few mistakes were made ; the answers
were ready and intelligent. In our judgment the school deserves,
as it no doubt receives, the hearty support of the School Commit-
tee. While we do not think there is any lack in either of the
studies pursued in this school, it appears to the Committee that
Mathematics are remarkably well taught. This is the strong
point. The several branches embraced in the course of study
adopted here, are fully understood by the teachers, and presented
to the pupils in the clearest and most comprehensive manner.
Principles are largely dwelt upon, and well grounded in the minds
of the scholars. This course of teaching is not the most rapid,
nor the most showy, but is entirely satisfactory, and believed to
be the only true system of instruction.
Considerable might be said in reference to each study in which
the pupils were examined. Such a detailed statement does not
appear needful in the present instance.
Moral Philosophy is included in the Course of Study, but had
not been taught at the time of the examination.
The Declamations were on the whole rather common-place.
There are some half dozen young men in the building who possess^
fine speaking talents. The most of the others were evidently not
so absorbed in the topic of their speeches as to be insensible to
the drudgery of repeating them. The compositions averaged
above fair. Some of those written by the members of the advanc-
ed Classes were superior. The writing was generally good.
Some portion of the examination of the Third Class was con-
ducted by Hon. S. H. Walley, who unites with the undersigned
in expressions of confidence in the ability and fitness of Mr. Met-
calf for the position to which he has been called. He has thus
far succeeded well.
The English High School for Boys is no longer an experiment.
Its character as a first rate school is already established. In the
judgment of those who are familiar with all its parts, it has no
superior in this Commonwealth, as a thorough and efficient school.
14 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
The examination of candidates for admission to the High School
for Boys for the ensuing year, will take place on the Thursday
before the last Monday in July, at which time it is anticipated
quite a full class will enter from the Grammar Schools.
W. H. RYDER,
HIGH SCHOOL FOE GIELS.
KENILWORTH STREET. '
IEOBEKT BICKPOKD, Principal.
Examined May 21, 22.
The High School for Girls was opened in October, 1854, and
had consequently been in operation less than eight months at the
time of the annual examination. The whole number of pupils re-
ported as belonging to the school is forty, of whom there were
present during the first day of the examination, thirty-eight — one
of the absentees sick ; during the second day thirty-seven — one
absent sick. The average age of the pupils is sixteen years.
The oldest scholar is nearly nineteen years ; the youngest a little
over thirteen years. There is only one Class in the school, but
this is practically divided into two Divisions, the relative sizes of
which . change with the different studies. The school holds one
session of five hours each day, except Saturday, when the session
is three hours long. There is one recess of twenty minutes dura-
tion in each session : at the close of nearly every recitation there
is a brief intermission, during which the pupils are allowed the
free use of the room.
The Committee are happy to report that they were aided in the
examination by the presence of several literary gentlemen, includ-
ing his Honor the Mayor, the Chairman of the Board, and a
few of the parents and female friends of the scholars. The fol-
lowing outline will indicate the Course of Study pursued in the
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 15
school, the length of time which had been devoted to each study,
and the impression made upon the mind of the Committee by the
History [Worcester's]. Thirty-five pupils, in a single class,
commenced this study at the opening of the school. They had
gone over 110 pages of text-book, by two lessons per week. The
only topic in which they were offered for examination is Rome.
The class sustained themselves creditably ; there was nothing
worthy of special remark in this exercise.
Arithmetic [Leach and Swan's] . Twenty pupils attend to this
study. They were examined to page 182, . and acquitted them-
selves well. It will be seen that just one half of the scholars
pursue this branch ; the other half have not studied Arithmetic
in this school ; they were supposed, by the Principal, qualified to
enter at once upon a higher branch of Mathematics, by their long
and effective training in the Grammar School.
Algebra [Sherwin's High School]. Algebra had been taught
in the school from the commencement of it. There are two Divi-
sions. The first contains eleven pupils, all of whom had studied
Algebra in the First Division of the Dudley School, — they were
examined to page 219 ; the Second, containing twenty-five pupils,
began the study in October, — they had gone over 117 pages.
Each Division had three lessons per week. The recitations in
this Department were very encouraging. Your Committee saw
no evidence of shallowness in the knowledge of the pupils ; on the
contrary their answers evinced a clear and comprehensive view of
the several subjects to which their attention had been turned.
Should the present First Division remain in the school another
year, and continue as studious as they have been during the past
year, they will silence the objection that young ladies cannot be-
come good mathematicians.
Geometry [Legendre's] . On the 16th of March last, twenty
pupils took up this study. They have three recitations per week,
and were offered for examination to page 41. The class acquitted
itself very handsomely. The figures were unusually well drawn,
and the propositions demonstrated with great clearness and pre-
16 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
Latin [McClintock and Crook's]. All the pupils in the school
commenced the study of Latin at the opening of it. After a short
time the class naturally divided itself into two sections ; the first,
comprising seventeen pupils, had gone over 183 pages ; the second,
including the remainder of the school, had gone over 151 pages.
The first section had four lessons per week ; the second, five les-
sons per week. This exercise was very pleasant and showed a
good deal of study.
French [Bolmar's Perrin's Fables] . French has been under
the immediate direction of Prof. J. P. Edwards, of this city, who
was recommended to the favorable consideration of the Committee
by his long experience in teaching, and his thorough knowledge of
both the French and English languages. Prof. Edwards was born
of English parents, in Paris, where he was educated, and is
unquestionably well qualified for the vocation to which he has
devoted himself so successfully. His connection with the High
School for Girls has been particularly gratifying to the local and
Examining Committees, as well as to those ladies and gentlemen
of the city who have witnessed the progress of the pupils, or are
receiving through their children the benefits of his services. The
plan of teaching adopted by Prof. E., makes it necessary for each
scholar thoroughly to understand the meaning of each word by
the sound of it. The French thus becomes to the class a living,
and not, as by the common methods of teaching, a dead language.
Conversations in French are already carried on to a limited ex-
tent between the teacher and his pupils — these will be rapidly
enlarged. The time is not far distant, if the present admirable
system shall continue, when the young ladies of the High School
will be able to converse in French with naturalness and fluency.
English Literature [Cleaveland's Compendium] . This is the
reading book of the school. Two lessons per week are assigned
to each pupil. The " Compendium" is made up chiefly of bio-
graphical sketches of celebrated authors, ranging from Sir John
Mandeville to William Cowper, and of selections from their writ-
ings, such selections being in the English of the time in which
their authors wrote. The pupils are expected to familiarize them-
selves with the principal facts contained in a biographical sketch,
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 17
before they enter upon the reading of the author to "whom it re-
lates. There are obviously several advantages to be derived from
this method of teaching reading, and these may be sufficient to
outweigh all that can be rightfully said against it ; but if we were
to rest our judgment upon the exhibition in the school under no-
tice, we should not say they were. The reading to our view was
the least satisfactory of all the exercises of the school. It cannot
in truth be said that the members of the class are not qualified to
give this plan a fair trial, for the majority of them were known to
the Committee to be unusually good readers when they entered
the school. Nor are we inclined to question the correctness of
the standard in the mind of the Principal. Our present impres-
sion is, that the difficulty lies in the plan of the reading book. It
contemplates a higher order of culture, in a particular direction,
than the young ladies have reached, or can reach without great
exertion. Let us illustrate this. Under the head of Shakspeare,
there are selections from the Merchant of Yenice, As You Like It,
Richard III., Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, &c. Is it too much to
say, that there is not more than one person out of every hundred
in any community of those who are called good readers, who are
capable of rendering these extracts correctly ? Besides, if it be
possible to instruct a class of scholars in the art of reading, so
that they can render Chaucer, Shakspeare and Milton in a style
which shall satisfy the critical ear, is such a result worth the cost
of it ? May not the time be more profitably spent in some other
way ? — Of course, these remarks will not apply to every portion
of the " Compendium" ; it contains many extracts far less diffi-
cult than those which we have named, and by a judicious selec-
tion, it is conceded, the force of our objection might be greatly
lessened. As at present advised, we do not recommend the dis-
continuance of this book ; we rather call the attention of the Board
to the subject, and suggest to the Local Committee the propriety
of using, in connection with this, at least, some one of the reading
books which may have been purchased by the pupils heretofore.
The American First Class Book, or Sargent's Standard Reader,
is eminently proper, and sufficiently difficult.
The general tone of the school appeared to the Committee
18 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
elevated and pure. The manners of the pupils were respectful
toward the teachers and examiner, cordial toward each other,
and every way becoming such an establishment. The scholars
were all in good spirits, and seemingly very happy. Considering
the newness of the school, we found in it less of questionable pro-
priety, less to desire otherwise, than we had expected to meet
with. Obviously the general tendency of ambitious pupils is to
go over too much ground, and by depending upon active memo-
ries rather than enlightened understandings, actually learn less
than they suppose. Thoroughness is indispensable. The number
of studies, and the progress in each study, must give way to this.
The value of any school is to be determined by the amount of ac-
tual knowledge which is imparted to the pupils, the moral and
mental discipline which is secured in its acquisition, and the
greater fitness thereby for the numerous demands of life. While,
therefore, we rejoice to witness on the part of any body of pupils
a desire to obtain a comprehensive education, we regard it as
clearly within the duty of the Principal of the school, with the
advice of the Local Committee, to hold them to such studies, and
within such limits, as in his judgment will best promote their per-
On the whole, we think we are fully warranted in saying, that
the High School for Girls is doing well ; that the Committee were
fortunate in the choice of a teacher ; and that, as members of the
School Committee, and as citizens of this city, we may congratu-
late ourselves upon the cheering prospects which the present state
of the school opens to our view.
Before dismissing this Report, it is proper for the Committee to
add, that there are sixteen pupils in the First Division of the
Dudley School, who will be qualified, in the judgment of the Prin-
cipal of said school, for admission to the High School at the
examination of candidates on the 26th of July proximo. This
number, it is supposed, will be increased from other sources to
not less than twenty. What arrangements had best be made for
the accommodation of these pupils it may not be required of the
Committee to state in form ; it is, however, believed possible to
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 19
furnish a suitable place for them in the present High School
building, without much additional cost to the city.
W. H. RYDER, Ex. Committee.
FIRST DIVISION. AWEEIUTE SEA.VEK, Principal.
In History, Arithmetic, Reading, and Defining, the pupils
gave satisfactory evidence of close and faithful study. In
Grammar, also, this Division has made successful advance ;
and the result of the examination (it having been held by
a member of your Committee, who carefully inspected the
classes of this Division at the commencement of the term,) was
highly satisfactory. The Teacher may justly feel that her ardu-
ous labors have produced results amply repaying her for the care
and anxiety she must have experienced during this, the first term
in which she has filled the important position of Principal.
Your Committee would take this occasion to say, that from the
marked success of Miss Seaver in her new position, there can be
no doubt that the substitution of females for males as Principals in
the Girls' Grammar Schools, is not only an economical but alto-
gether a judicious change. Charles Marsh, Ex. Com.
SECOND DIVISION. SOPHBOM1 F. WKIGHT, Teacher.
The examination of this Division did not meet the wishes of the
Committee in all respects. The Reading was not so good as ex-
pected. The pupils were not sufficiently attentive to the requests
of their teacher. The examination in History and Arithmetic
The teacher is indefatigable in her exertions, and the Commit-
tee does not wish to express a want of confidence in her cpualifica-
tions, by the representation made of the condition of the school.
Charles Marsh, Ex. Com.
20 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
THIRD DIVISION. MAJKT WAKD, Tetusher.
This Division appeared well. The examination was not very
minute, from the fact that the present teacher commenced her
duties in this Division but a few weeks previous to the close of
this term. Sufficient evidence, however, was obtained to enable
the Committee to say that this Division will rapidly improve dur-
ing the next term. Charles Marsh, JEx. Committee.
FOURTH DIVISION. CLABA B. TUCKEK, Teacher.
The Committee found this Division in good condition : in some
branches more advance had been made than was expected. The
pupils deported themselves very well, and, generally, the exam-
ination was satisfactory. Charles Marsh. Ex. Com.
FIFTH DIVISION. £UM A.. MAKEAIT, Teacher.
This Division was examined in all its departments. The Read-
ing was good ; Spelling perfect, not a word misspelt in the entire
Division. The First Class, during the term, had gone over fifty-
one pages — and the Second fifty-four pages.
In Arithmetic, the First Class commenced on the 70th page of
" Colburn," and had reached the 111th page ; the Second Class
commenced with the 63d page, and reached the 90th. Their re-
citations were very good.
In Geography, the First Class commenced with the 50th page
and reached the 95th page ; the Second commenced the book,
and reached the 38th page. Their recitations were good.
Their Writing-books were also examined. They appeared very
neat, and a good deal of attention appears to have been given to
this very important branch, and I think most of the scholars Will
make good writers if they continue to take the pains they appear
to have taken this term. The teacher is one who has been long
in the employ of the Committee, and, from the appearance of her
school, continues to maintain the high character she has heretofore
sustained as a faithful teacher. Order perfect.
Examined by Joshua Seaver.
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 21
SIXTH DIVISION, CA.ROI.iafE AIDES', Teacher.
On the 24th of May, this Division was examined in all its de-
partments. The Reading and Spelling were good ; as far as they
had proceeded in their reading books, they appeared to have gone
perfect. The First Class, during the term, had gone over some
43 pages ; the Second, 55.
Arithmetic, — the First Class had gone over 70 pages ; the Se-
cond, 59. Their recitations were good, and their answers prompt
Parley's History, in the First Class of this Division, takes the
place of Written Geography, and they were very perfect in that
to the 47th page ; their exercises on the Maps were very inter-
esting. Writing-books next ; a good deal of time is very properly
applied to this branch, in this Division. This Division, and the
Fifth, are upon one floor, and both Divisions gave the Committee
some fine specimens of Singing, which was very pleasing. The
order of this Division, as well as the Fifth, was perfect.
I find no record of corporal punishment in this or the Fifth Di-
vision, which speaks well for the pupils and their teachers.
The teacher has given evidence of faithfulness, and the appear-
ance of the school shows that her labors will produce good fruits.
Examined by Joshua Seaver.
SEVENTH DIVISION. HEXEIEXTA M. TTOUISTO, Teaclier.
In consequence of the formation of a new District about the
first of April for the Comins School, the Divisions of the Dudley
School were necessarily so much broken up as to render a reor-
ganization of them imperative, especially in the lower Divisions.
At the time of the examination, (May 23d,) this Division was
composed, in part, of scholars who had been in the school but a
short time, many of them quite recently promoted from the Pri-
mary Schools. In view of these unfavorable circumstances, pro-
ficiency in their studies could not be expected. It cannot be said
they sustained more than a fair examination.
Under the instruction of their present efficient teacher, there is
reason to expect they will soon take their proper position in point
of scholarship in this excellent school.
Jos. H. Streeter, Examining Committee.
CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
This school consists of eight Divisions, numbering from thirty-
six to fifty-five pupils each, having an average age of from nine
and one-third years in the Eighth, to thirteen, and one-third years
in the First Division, and under the general superintendence of
Mr. John Kneeland, the Principal. The First Division, under
the immediate charge of the Principal, assisted by Miss Sarah H.
Page, — and the Third and Fourth Divisions, in charge of Miss
Anna M. Williams and Miss Hannah R. Chadbourne, — occupy
one large school-room on the third floor. The Second, Fifth and
Sixth Divisions — in charge of Mr. Benjamin C. Yose, Mrs. Har-
riet E. Burrell, and Miss Sarah M. Vose — occupy a similar room
on the second floor. The Seventh and Eighth Divisions — in
charge of Miss Margaret A. Mathews and Mrs. Caroline C. Drown
— occupy separate rooms on the first floor.
The following Abstract, prepared by Mr. Kneeland, will afford
a general view of the condition of the school for the last three
Annual Report of the condition of Washington School for Three Quarters,
ending May 25, 1855.
<P «w CD
:3 § s
At the close of the term
in July, 1854, the time of
the last Annual Examin-
ation, 299 pupils belong-
ed to the school. Since
then, 238 have entered,
and 174 have left, mak-
ing the present No. 363.
The present Principal entered upon the duties of his office in
September last ; he has consequently had charge of the school
but three terms. During this short period, however, he has been
eminently successful in elevating the standing of the school, —
already much improved by his predecessor, Mr. G. L. Weston,
whose sudden decease, in the midst of his plans and efforts to this
end, filled the community with sadness.
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 23
The school labors under a disadvantage, to which no other
school of the city is subject : that the house was built upon the
old plan, and has not been remodelled, so that but two Divisions,
as was stated above, have separate school-rooms. Notwithstand-
ing this evil, it has continued to make marked and rapid improve-
ment from month to month, and is at the present time in a highly
The whole bearing and appearance of the school is exceedingly
satisfactory. Good order prevails throughout its several depart-
ments. The discipline is strict, but apparently not more so than
the circumstances and welfare of the school require, and not
amounting to severity. A good understanding and friendly feel-
ing seems to characterize the bearing of the pupils towards their
teachers and the intercourse of both teachers and pupils among
The school has attended, during the year, to the following stu-
dies : — Reading, Spelling, Defining, Arithmetic, Grammar, Geog-
raphy, Writing, Drawing of Maps, Declamation, and Singing.
About twenty pupils — rather more than three-fourths of the
graduating class — will offer themselves for admission to the High
School in September. This large proportion bears honorable tes-
timony to the value which the community set upon the ample
privileges and facilitiesfor education that our city affords.
JOHST liXEEEASTO, Teacher SARAH SI. PACE, Assistant.
I examined the above Division, as requested. The following
are the results :
Arithmetic, very good ; Grammar ; Geography, very good ;
Heading good ; Writing, very good. The order of the Division
was excellent, and the whole examination highly creditable to the
Principal and his efficient assistant.
24 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
SECOND DIVISION. BESJ. C. TOSE. Teacher.
I examined this Division according to request. The following
are the results :
Arithmetic, very good ; Geography, very good ; Reading, good ;
Writing, good ; order, excellent. I have given this Division the
same marks of approval as the first, and with no more than justice.
Judging from these Divisions, I should think the school never in
a more promising condition than at present.
THIRD AND FOURTH DIVISIONS.
The third and fourth Divisions of the Washington School, under
the charge of Miss Anna M. Williams, and Miss Harriet R. Chad-
bourne, were examined on the 21st and 22d days of May, in
Reading, Spelling, Defining, Arithmetic, Geography, Grammar,
and Writing ; and they were found to be in good condition. The
Recitations were, with few exceptions, prompt and correct, and
gave evidence of thorough instruction and discipline on the part
of their teachers.
Your Committee were pleased to see that a cousiderable ad-
vance has been made in these Divisions within the last few
months, in the standard of attainment made in the several depart-
ments of Grammar School education. More attention is now
given in them than formerly to written Arithmetic and Grammar.
We were informed by Mr. Kneeland, the Principal of the
school, that a combined effort is being made throughout the seve-
ral Divisions, to raise the standard of study ; so that boys, when
they graduate from the school, shall have more nearly accomplish-
ed the course of instruction embraced in the text-books of the
several departments of study.
We believe that such effort is called for in our schools, and that
if it be persisted in, and be authorized and encouraged on the part
of this Board, by a strict adherence to the adopted standard of
qualification for admission from the Primary Schools, much benefit
will result to the Grammar Schools of the city.
James Waldock, Examining Committee.
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 25
FIFTH DIVISION. HARSIET E. BITBEELL, Teacher.
This Division is under the charge of one of our experienced
teachers ; is in good condition in all its departments. The order,
and general exercises, are perfectly satisfactory.
Examined by Joshua Seaver.
SIXTH DIVISION. SAKAH M. VOSE, Teacher.
This Division I found in very satisfactory condition.
C. Marsh, Examining Committee.
The examination of the Seventh Division, made on the 17th
May, your Committee regret to report, did not quite equal ex-
pectation. The Recitations generally were defective, the pupils
inattentive, and the average scholarship inferior indeed to that of
the Division next lower in grade. But this state of things we
believed to result more from want of ordinary capacity in the pu-
pils, than from any lack of faithfulness on the part of the teacher,
whose efficiency, so favorably known to this Board through a long
period of service, needs not, at the present time, even a word of
Your Committee venture the prediction, that should the classes
now composing this Division, in the course of time be promoted in
company to the care of other teachers, they might find similar,
perhaps greater difficulty in causing them to attain the required
standard. John Sydenham Flint,
The Eighth, or lowest Division, ranks next in order above the
Primary School. The past three months it has been under the
tuition of Mrs. Drown, whose position, as yet, is probationary.
During this short period, the progress of the pupils has been suf-
ficient ; the various Recitations, which were made with great
promptness and accuracy, gave positive evidence of careful train-
CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
ing, and the deportment during the presence of your Committee,
was generally correct. The punishments have been few, and only
of the mildest kind, affording some slight evidence that other
means than corporal chastisement may be successful in maintain-
ing order, and that love and respect for the teacher may prove
more available than fear, as the governing principle. The
teacher has labored with untiring industry and energy, of which
the appearance of her classes bears creditable witness, and she is
confidently recommended for confirmation, as an able and efficient
teacher. John Sydenham Flint,
The annual examination of the Dearborn School was made on
the 17th, 18th, and 23d days of May.
This school consists of five Divisions, numbering from thirty-six
to fifty-one pupils each, under the charge, respectively, of Mr.
William H. Long, the Principal, Miss Louisa E. Harris, Miss R. P.
Stockbridge, Miss Martha Stone, and Miss Louisa J. Fisher.
The following Abstract, prepared by the Principal, will give a
general view of the condition of the school for the last three
Annual Report of the condition of Dearborn School for Three Quarters,
ending May 26, 1855.
S, B-'oO £ s=
£i^ © ' % B
> © ^Q • K
1321120 lUi 62
^ ti-. ,Q
At the close of the term
in July, 1854, the time of
the last Annual Examin-
ation, 212 pupils belong-
ed to the school. Dur-
ing the three succeeding
terms, 132 entered, and
120 left, making the pre-
sent No. 224.
The several Divisions were examined in Reading, Spelling,
Defining, Arithmetic, Grammar, Geography, Writing, Drawing
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 27
of Maps, Declamation, and Singing. They gave evidence of ac-
curate and thorough instruction in all these departments of study,
and of diligent improvement of the time devoted to the various
The methods of teaching adopted, and the kind of discipline
employed, seemed to be in accordance with well-tried and approv-
ed principles of mental and moral culture. The influence exerted
by the teachers in their several Divisions indicated an earnest,
harmonious purpose to secure obedience, industry, and love of
study, by appealing to the highest motives of action. The whole
bearing and appearance of the school gave your Committee assur-
ance, that an eminently good understanding prevails among the
teachers, between them and their pupils, and among the pupils
themselves ; and that the community included within its district,
take a lively interest in its welfare and progress.
. In the department of Reading, your Committee had occasion to
notice the importance of selecting for all pupils — the youngest as
well as the most advanced — text-books that are compiled with
good judgment and taste. Those used by the younger classes of
the school contain some selections that are trivial in style and
matter, and are written hastily, and without a nice regard to the
rules of grammatical construction.
Of all the books by which the young pupil is led on in the ca-
reer of education, the Reading book stands preeminent in the
early influence it exerts. It makes the first, the deepest, and the
most enduring impressions upon the unfolding imagination. The
continued perusal of one book, into which the author has breathed
the inspiration of an earnest spirit, and a gifted and highly-culti-
vated intellect, is sufficient, in some cases, to form and fix irrev-
ocably the intellectual taste of the child.
It is essential, of course, that the Reading book be adapted to
the mental capacity of the class of pupils that use it, and it is thus
adapted, in the highest degree, we think, when it is somewhat in
advance of that capacity. Every one that has learned to read,
will recall the pleasing and salutary impressions made upon his
mind by selections from the masterpieces of English literature,
with which he may have become familiar at an age when he could
28 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
catch their spirit indeed, but could not comprehend and analyze
their full force and meaning.
A Reading book for any class, should be made up of selections
from the best, rather than the most popular writers. Our lan-
guage is rich in classical authors of refined taste and pure and
simple style, whose writings will furnish examples of dialogue, de-
scription, and simple narrative, appropriate to the capacity of the
In the department of Geography a system of instruction is
adopted in the upper classes of the school, which appeared emi-
nently useful and successful. A list of topics is used, embracing,
in their appropriate order, all the important natural, political, and
civil divisions and features of the several continents. A thorough
preparation of this series of questions, by reference to maps and
text-books, must be a very interesting and profitable diversion
from the ordinary routine of study in this department, whereby,
in some cases, a vast amount of minute information respecting the
smaller subdivisions of the Earth's surface is heaped upon the
laboring mind, to hinder it from making more important acqui-
sitions, and to leave it forever at the earliest practicable oppor-
Instruction in the department of Grammar is confined, at pre-
sent, to the two upper Divisions of the school, which have made
commendable progress in this branch. It seemed to your Com-
mittee that a familiar and practical exercise in Grammar might be
introduced profitably into lower classes. Incorrect habits of ex-
pression are liable to be formed very early in life, and, when once
acquired, are eradicated with great difficulty. In view of this
fact, it seems desirable that the study of Grammar, in some form,
be begun quite early in the Grammar School, and be carried to as
high a degree of proficiency as the age of the pupil will allow.
In the department of Arithmetic, yoxvc Committee observed that
a new text-book of Intellectual Arithmetic has been introduced
lately in the lower Divisions, of which teachers that use it gene-
rally speak well. We should suppose, from what we have seen of
its use in the schools of this city, that it involves severer mental
discipline than even " Colburn," which was in use before this.
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 29
We presume that it -will prove, in many respects, an improvement
upon the latter, and that, if used rightly, it will be found exceed-
ingly serviceable as an elementary text-book.
It has been very much the practice, in Grammar Schools, to
confine the younger scholars to a long course of instruction in In-
tellectual Arithmetic — that is, by oral exercise alone — as a prepa-
ration for the use of the slate ; and to give the plain, practical
demonstrations of Written Arithmetic only to the more advanced
classes. This seems to be reversing the order of nature. To
make an Oral Arithmetic profitable in the highest degree, every
process should be wrought out and practically illustrated upon the
blackboard. The slate should be the child's earliest and most
constant, as it is his most pleasing companion.
One feature in the general condition of the school, seemed to
your Committee undesirable, though it is probably unavoidable
under existing circumstances. The lower Divisions do not seem
to have attained to an advance in the various branches taught in
the school, quite proportionate to their average age. This is to
be attributed to the fact, that the standard of qualification for ad-
mission from the Primary Schools is not always strictly adhered
to. We were informed by Mr. Long, that, owing to want of room
in the Primary Schools, pupils were received from them last year
before they were qualified ; and, in accordance with this fact, we
found the lowest Division of the school attending chiefly to Pri-
mary School studies.
The standard of qualification for admission from the Grammar
to the High Schools, moreover, is not as high as it might be pro-
fitably fixed, when the latter get into complete operation. The
demand for graduates from the Grammar Schools to supply and
maintain the High Schools recently established, has led to the
discharge of pupils from the former at a considerably earlier age
and less advanced stage than formerly.
This feature, the only one observed by your Committee that
seemed open to criticism, is not a permanent one ; and it has
sprung from circumstances beyond the control of the teachers of
these schools. With a view to the furtherance of their wishes and
efforts for its removal, we would suggest the importance of adher^
30 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
ing strictly to the established standard of qualification for admis-
sion from the Primary to the Grammar Schools.
The whole of the graduating class, with one or two exceptions,
will offer themselves for admission to the High School next Sep-
tember. Last year the whole class was admitted. These facts
are a sufficient assurance that this community appreciates the
importance of giving an ample and thorough education to our
youth before they are dismissed to the business of life.
JAMBS WALDOCK, Examining Committee.
The crowded state of the Dudley School the past two or three
years, with its continually increasing numbers, for whom no suita-
ble provision could be made in the vicinity, rendered imperative
the erection of a new edifice for the purposes of a Girls' Grammar
School. The building was completed, and transferred to the
charge of the School Committee in the early part of March. The
dedicatory ceremonies took place about the middle of the same
month, and immediately thereafter the classes were assembled,
under the supervision of Miss Gushing, as Principal, with three
Assistants. The pupils were transferred for the most part indeed
from the Dudley School, not by Divisions, as might at first thought
be inferred, but were selected merely by reason of fortuitous resi-
dence within prescribed geographical limits. This circumstance
occasioned considerable difficulty in classification, since it became
necessary to place together scholars of unequal ages and attain-
ments ; to urge forward those who were deficient, and restrain
such as were more advanced. A few, dissatisfied, have left, and
many have murmured at what seemed to them on the one side
apparent want of progress, and on the other, ill-judged efforts to
force them beyond their ability. These troubles having happily
ceased, the school is now going on pleasantly and prosperously.
So short has been the time since its organization, that but little
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 31
need be said respecting its past condition ; and our remarks will
chiefly be confined to its present state and future prospects. No
great advance has been made in the different text-books in use,
for the reason, that the teacher wisely determined the interests of
her pupils would be promoted by reviewing their studies, in order
that she might more perfectly understand their varied capacities,
and they become thereby better grounded in elementary princi-
ples, without which, it is useless to expect satisfactory progress.
Much of the time, therefore, has been devoted to this object. The
number of pupils belonging is nearly one hundred and fifty.
Some, it is true, have left ; but their places are now occupied by
others, so that there has been but slight variation. Their appear-
ance was in every way commendable ; their acquirements as great
as could reasonably be expected, considering the discouraging
circumstances attending the opening of a new school ; and the
examination of all their studies indicative of care and diligence.
In no respect did we observe any thing like deficiency ; in no re-
spect could we suggest any alteration in the plan of teaching, that
could be deemed an improvement ; and upon some things which
attracted our attention, and afforded especial gratification, we will
bestow a passing word of comment.
We were pleased to observe the precision and accuracy in the
method of instruction pursued, which seemed to pervade each de^
partment, where often, on similar occasions, we have found merely
a superficial acquaintance with a subject, or a memoriter repeti-
tion of the phraseology of a text-book. The strengthening of the
memory is unquestionably very desirable, but not when acquired
at the expense of other mental faculties ; and all good teaching
should seek to attain, as its prime object, that discipline of mind,
that development and harmonious blending of all its powers, which
constitutes the proper balance, and which is essential to success in
the practical duties of life. A few years hence it will compara-
tively matter but little to the learner what may have been the
text-book in use, nor what peculiar opinions on any particular
subject the author may have entertained, but then rather will the
importance have become knoAvn, of having been early trained to
think, and speak, and act for himself.
32 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
We were pleased to notice the apparent harmony and cordial
feeling existing between teacher and taught, without which is
wanting an important element of success. There was nothing
approaching to dictation or harsh command on the one hand, nor
servile fear and unwilling obedience on the other ; but each seemed
to pay careful regard to the feelings of the other, and tacitly ac-
knowledge that their duties and obligations were reciprocal.
Severity in the disciplinary management of our schools we be-
lieve to be very rarely needed ; too often it fails of accomplishing
the desired object, and serves but to arouse in the mind of the sub-
ject a spirit of revenge. Firmness combined with amiability — for
the two are not antagonistic — will generally prove in the end more
successful as a means of government than violence ; and children,
who can in this way be easily influenced and controlled, are not
now-a-days such rare specimens of humanity as was formerly sup-
We are pleased to record our testimony with that of others who
were present, to the courteous demeanor, quiet order, and wo-
manly dignity exhibited by the pupils in each of the Divisions.
The young are influenced as much by example as by precept ; and
if these various traits of character are present and ever active in
the habits of the teacher, we may confidently expect to find some
reflex in the conduct of those entrusted to her charge. Educa-
tion consists not alone in training the mind, but likewise the heart ;
not simply in developing intellectual acuteness, but also in culti-
vating good morals. And as many of the young, upon leaving
our Grammar Schools, at once engage in the active duties of life,
and in these schools receive their only education, it is of great
consequence that here should be inculcated, and here be daily
presented to them, living examples of those lessons of mildness
and forbearance one toward another, which constitute the ameni-
ties of life, and are elements of the Christian character.
At the dedication of the building, we remember to have heard
allusion made by some of the speakers, to the fact of the appoint-
ment of a female Principal as an experiment, the result of which
time must verify.
There are not many schools in this State, so far as our knowl-
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 33
edge extends, similarly organized. In fact, we can at this moment
recall to mind but two other schools, where an equal or greater
number of pupils are intrusted to the care of a female Principal.
So far as this one is concerned, we think we may even now safely
pronounce the experiment, if so it is styled, successful and worthy
of imitation. Fortunate in the selection of one, to be placed in
charge, in whom are combined all the characteristics of the good
teacher, we confidently look forward to the future for larger proof
of the wisdom of our arrangement.
The building is neat, and sufficiently commodious for the antici-
pated wants of the community for a long time to come. In its
construction every convenience and improvement which modern
ingenuity could devise, has been adopted. Careful attention has
been paid to warming and ventilation, and all that now seems
wanting is the proper grading and tasteful arrangement of the
grounds. In conclusion, it affords us pleasure to certify, that we
believe this school equal, at least, to any of its grade, and emi-
nently entitled to the confidence of the public.
JOHN SYDENHAM FLINT,
34 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
THE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL.
We are able to speak in unqualified terms of the present posi-
tion of this school. From a state of almost disorganization, it has
come to be as quiet and well-disciplined a school as can be found
in the city. This admirable condition has been secured, not by
physical force, but by the power of kindness and the wise adapta-
tion of measures to awaken the affections and moral sense of the
pupils. With a teacher in delicate health, accustomed to speak
in a quiet tone of voice, very rarely administering corporal pun-
ishment, the school is as completely under the control of the Prin-
cipal, and as accustomed to obedience, as if the liveliest fear of
bodily pain kept it in subjection.
The scholarship in this school, of necessity, is low, most of the
children having, previously to their connection with this school,
enjoyed but little instruction. Nearly all of the pupils are of
foreign extraction. It is found much more difficult to secure reg-
ularity in attendance, and a reliable truthfulness in the scholars,
than in other schools, although very marked improvement in these
respects has already been secured. The visitor is at once struck,
upon entering the yard of the school-house, with the pervading
spirit of neatness ; and the impression is renewed upon entering
the rooms. The two ladies who preside over this school merit the
respect of the community for the interest they have taken in this
class of pupils, for the earnestness with which they have discharg-
ed their duties, and for the good manners, habits, and dispositions
which they have cultivated in their classes.
It is a noble work to develope any mind ; but it is a nobler
task to train the feeble, neglected and perverse. The former is
an easier duty, the scholar himself aiding in the work ; the latter
is one of great pains-taking, and is embarrassed with peculiar,
difficulties. Success here shows the power of the true teacher,
and brings an ample and worthy reward. The teachers of the
Intermediate School have the satisfaction of knowing that their
efforts are appreciated, and that they enjoy the confidence of the
Board of Instruction. . B. K. PEIRCE.
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS.
The Committee, to whom was assigned the duty of making the
annual examination of the Primary Schools in the city, performed
the labor allotted them, and the results of their several examina-
tions are herewith presented, as the Report :
Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4. Yeoman Street.
These schools were examined on the 24th day of May.
Nos. 3 and 4, are Sub-Primary Schools, numbering upwards of
sixty scholars each, having an average, together, of six years.
Both schools passed a very satisfactory examination in Reading
and Spelling. The order in both was also commendable.
In No. 4, — under the care, since January last, of Miss Eliza
C. Parmelee, — an oral exercise, from a book called the "Infant
School Manual," appeared to us worthy of special notice. The
kind of instruction given in this exercise, the facility with which it
is imparted, and the interest manifested in it by the whole school,
made it evident that it is a very pleasing and profitable one.
In No. 3, — for the last three months in charge of Miss Sarah
0. Babcock, — we were much interested in the Singing. Consid-
erable attention seems to be given to this branch in all the schools
that we visited. "We should suppose that this exercise would be
very useful as an aid to the maintenance of the discipline of our
We observed also, in this school, that the pupils engaged, with
lively interest, in a conversational exercise upon the lessons read,
the design of which, we presume, is to accustom them to notice
what they read, and think upon it.
Miss Babcock is acting as substitute during the illness of Miss
Sarah Spofford, who has been employed as a teacher in this city
for about four years, and has gained the esteem of all who have
known her, by her uniform fidelity and conscientiousness in dis-
charging the duties of her calling.
Nos. 1 and 2, are Primary Schools — differing somewhat in
grade — numbering forty-five scholars each ; having an average
36 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
age, in No. 2, of seven and a half years — in No. 1, of eight years
and eight months. These schools were examined in Reading,
Spelling, Arithmetic, and Geography. They gave evidence of
thorough instruction in all these branches.
In No. 2, — in charge of Miss Caroline J. Nash, — the Read-
ing was quite animated and natural in style. The exercise in
Geography included an accurate statement of the Geography of
Roxbury and its vicinity. The order of the school was unexcep-
In No. 1, — in charge of Mrs. Sarah T. Jennison, — the exer-
cises in Reading, Arithmetic, and Geography were also very
satisfactory ; that in Geography was especially so. The pupils
named the most important divisions of the Earth's surface, as they
were pointed out by the teacher upon the globe ; pointed out the
several States upon the outline map of the United States, gave
their capitals, and traced the most important rivers, ranges of
mountains, et cetera, with accuracy.
One feature of this series of schools is new. The pupils from
the two Sub-Primary departments below, instead of passing direct
to a Primary department of the grade of No. 1, pass through
No. 2, a school designed to be of intermediate grade between the
Primary and Sub-Primary Schools. This system of grade was
introduced by the Local Committee of the school, whose long ex-
perience and efficient service on this Board entitle it to much
consideration. The result of the examination of the four schools
which the plan embraces, led your Committee to conclude that it
may prove useful in furtherance of one very important end — the
thorough qualification of Primary scholars for admission to the
Grammar School. There will be a tendency, we think, in its
operation, to loss of time on the part of the pupils, in passing
through the several grades. This evil ought to be watchfully
guarded against ; for it is essential to the welfare of the Grammar
Schools, that Primary scholars be not detained beyond the average
age at which they ought to be transferred to them.
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 37
Nos. 5 and 6. Eustis Street.
These schools were examined on the 25th day of May.
No. 6, — in charge of Miss Margaret E. Davis, since January
last, — is a Sub-Primary School, numbering fifty-three pupils,
having an average age of six years.
The classes were examined in Reading and Spelling, and were
quite prompt, energetic and correct in both these exercises, as
well as cheerful and orderly in their general appearance.
No. 5, — in charge of Miss Elizabeth A. Morse, — is a Primary
School. It numbers forty-five scholars, having an average age of
seven and a half years.
The several classes were examined in Reading, Spelling, Arith-
metic, and Geography, and appeared to be in excellent condition.
The Reading was spirited, natural and correct. In Arithmetic
the first class answered promiscuous questions in the Multiplica-
tion and Division Tables promptly and correctly. The class in
Geography pointed out the several States and their capitals upon
the outline map of the United States, the most important rivers,
lakes, ranges of mountains, et cetera, accurately, and with evi-
dent interest. The quiet manner and studious appearance of the
pupils were also highly satisfactory.
Miss Morse takes the place in this school of Miss L. Annie Saw-
yer, who has been absent from her post for several months, on
account of sickness. Miss Sawyer's efficiency, faithfulness, and
success as a teacher have been long known to this Board. It is
earnestly to be hoped that she may speedily regain her health,
and resume her useful labors.
Nos. 7, 9, 10, 18, 19, 26, and 28.
The examination of the first five of these schools exhibited evi-
dence of the teachers' ability to govern, and to impart instruction
in a satisfactory manner ; their influence over the pupils was such
as to command respect and obedience. The pupils were attentive
38 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
and cheerful, generally prompt and correct in their exercises, and
had made creditable advances in the several studies.
The examination of the last two was not so favorable ; this was
owing, in the case of No. 26, to the materials of which the school
is in part composed, and to the condition it was in at the time the
present teacher commenced her labors there ; it has, however,
improved under the present management. In the case of No. 28,
the school has been opened but two or three weeks, after being
closed during the winter. The teacher is capable and faithful,
but the number of pupils is so small, that it seems scarcely advis-
able to continue the school in its present locality.
The teacher of No. 10 should be relieved of a part of her pupils
as soon as practicable. She cannot do justice to herself or pupils,
with the care of seventy children.
Most of the teachers of the above schools have succeeded in
keeping up the attention and interest of their pupils, by introdu-
cing valuable oral instruction, and variety, in the otherwise monot-
onous exercises of the school-room. H. G. Morse.
May 25th, 1855.
Nos. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.
The result of the examination of these schools was all that could
be expected of schools of a similar grade, constituted as they are
of children of such ages as to render many of them exceedingly
irregular in their attendance. In some of them a marked profi-
ciency in Reading, Spelling and Arithmetic was observed.
Much attention has been given by the teachers to oral instruc-
tion, and the readiness with which the pupils answered questions
upon subjects thus taught, is sufficient proof of the decided benefit
of this mode of instruction, and its admirable adaptedness to our
The good appearance of these schools is satisfactory evidence
that the teachers have discharged their duties with a view to the
best interests of their pupils.
Jos. H. Streeter, Examining Committee.
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 39
Nos. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25.
The scholars in each of these schools appear to have made good
progress in Reading, Spelling and Arithmetic. Geography is
taught orally in some of these schools with very good success — a
mode of teaching too much neglected in most of these schools.
In No. 22, there are some scholars taught in Grammar School
branches with good success. The order in these schools is good,
and is secured with but little corporal punishment. The teachers
in all of these schools appear to be interested in their work, and
faithful in the discharge of their duties.
Henry W. Farley, Examining Committee.
Roxbury, May 26th, 1855.
Nos. 29 and 30.
No. 29. This school is one of the most pleasant in situation in
the city. It has good accommodations, and every facility for
being the model school. In many respects it is all that could be
desired. The discipline is good, and is secured by affectionate
earnestness and decision, rather than by severe denunciations.
There is a perfect and beautiful confidence between the teacher
and pupils, and the whole aspect of the room is cheerful. The
teacher impresses the visitor with the manifestations of a reserved
power and capacity which have not been fully developed in the
school. He cannot help feeling that there is an ideal of excellence
which she has not realized, and perhaps for which she has not put
forth any very considerable efforts. The attainments of the
pupils are about upon an average with other schools. In Arith-
metic and Geography, evidences of this power of the teacher, to
which we have alluded, were seen ; the scholars under her train-
ing exhibiting a facility not to be found in others of their age.
What is needed in this, and in all our schools, is enthusiasm in
the work. The minds of the children must be aroused by appro-
priate solicitations, and their curiosity and love for learning be
quickened into vigor by the zeal and earnestness of the teacher.
40 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
There is every opportunity in this school to solve the problem —
how much young pupils may be taught before they are eight years
of age. There is nothing lacking in teachers or pupils but deter-
mination. B. K. Peirce.
No. 30. This is the nursery, out of which No. 29 is supplied ;
and if there is a teacher in the city that seeks more faithfully to
discharge her duties than the teacher of this school, we have not
met with her. There has been a continued improvement in the
manner and means of instruction. It is becoming largely and
richly oral. Much interesting and valuable information in a de-
lightful form is thus given to the pupils. This art of teaching
very young children is beginning gradually to be apprehended,
arid success follows in an equal proportion. The teacher of this
school keeps her eyes and ears open, and seizes every practical
suggestion for the benefit of her scholars. The same course in
the future will continue to bring its grateful reward in the im-
provement of the school, and in that inward satisfaction arising
from the consciousness of having faithfully discharged our duties.
B. K. Peirce.
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS.
Of the several Schools for the Quarter ending May 2Qth, 1855.
English High School for Boys .
High School for Girls
Dudley School for Girls ....
Washington School for Boys . .
Dearborn School for Boys . . .
Comins School for Girls ....
CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
AB STRACT— Continued.
Intermediate School for Boys .
EXAMINATION OF SCHOOLS. 43
SCHOOL COMMITTEE, 1855.
ELECTED AT LARGE.
Bradford K. Peirce, Joseph H. Streeter, John S. Flint.
ELECTED BY WARDS.
Horatio G. Morse, Henry W. Farley.
Joshua Seaver, Charles Marsh.
Benjamin Mann, William H. Ryder.
John Wayland, James Waldock.
Daniel Leach, Edwin Ray.
Bradford K. Peirce, Chairman. Joshua Seaver, Secretary.
Residences of the Committee.
Bradford K. Peirce, Rockland Street, COffice 9 Cornhill, Boston.)
Joseph H. Streeter, No. 175 Washington Street.
John S. Flint, Bartlett Street, first house northeast of People's Bank.
Horatio G. Morse, No. 65 Zeigler Street.
Henry W. Farley, Eustis Street, opposite Plymouth Street.
Joshua Seaver, Ruggles Street, comer of Sumner Place, COffice 63 Washington
Charles Marsh, Nos. 55 and 57 Washington Street.
Benjamin Mann, No. 163 Dudley Street.
William H. Ryder, Vemon Street.
John Wayland, Cedar Street, at Mrs. Atkins's.
James Waldock, Alleghany Street.
Daniel Leach, Dedham Turnpike, near Marcella Street.
Edwin Ray, Walnut Street, near Dale Street, (Office 28 State Street, Boston.)
Boohs. — Messrs. Peirce, Wayland, Leach, Ryder, Morse.
Finance. — Messrs. Seaver, Flint, Ray.
Regulations. — Messrs Ryder, Streeter, Waldock.
Filling Vacancies in Primary and Intermediate Schools. — Messrs.
Peirce, Wayland, Morse, Leach, Ryder.
CITY DOCUMENT— No. 16.
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