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Citj 0f Eo^^buriK 

In Cojijion Council, July 23, 1860. 

Ordered, That the Committee on Public Instruction be instructed to 
communicate to the Board of " Trustees of the Grammar School in the 
Easterly part of Roxbury," that the City is about to establish, an Eng- 
lish High School for Boys, and that the appropriation heretofore granted 
to the Trustees will be discontinued on and after the 1st of August next, 
except the annual amount of $500, that being the amount paid previous 
to 1852 ; and also to request the Trustees to send the boys now under 
their charge in the English department, to the English High School 
established by the City. 

City Document. — No. 11 



Citji i)f JUi'htrg, 

YEAR 1860. 




Cits ^f llff^turg. 

In School Committee, May 9, 1860. 

The Chairman appointed the following members as the Annual Exam- 
ining Committee, viz. : 

High and Grammar Schools. — Messrs. Olmstead, Ckafts, Ray, Seavee, 
Allen, Plympton, and Bliss. 

Primary Schools. — Messrs. Williams, Putnam, Nute, King, and 


December 15, 1860. 
The Chairman of the Board (Mr. Morse) submitted his Annual Report. 
Mr. Olmstead submitted the Annual Report of the High and Grrammar 
Mr. Williams submitted the Annual Report of the Primary Schools. 
All of which were accepted. 

It was then Ordered, That the several Reports be committed to Messrs. 
Morse, Olmstead, and Williams to revise, and cause to be printed 2500 
copies, to be distributed to the citizens of this City, as the Annual Report 
of the School Committee. 

JOSHUA SEAYER, Seo-etary. 


In conformity to the requirements of the Statutes, the 
School Committee of Roxbury respectfully submit their 
report for the year 1860. 

In their endeavors to promote the important interests 
confided to them, the Committee have sought to enlarge 
and perfect the system of instruction already established. 
Under their care the Schools have been pursuing the legiti- 
mate work for which they were instituted, and as a whole, 
the results attained have been highly gratifying. 

No change has been made in the internal arrangements 
of the Schools, except in the High School for Girls, which 
has been reorganized to correspond to the first divisions 
of the two Grammar Schools reorganized last year. 

A detailed statement of the condition of the several 
Schools, will be found embodied in the accompanying 

The whole number of Teachers employed is eighty. 

The whole number of Pupils belonging to all the Schools 
is 4197. 

The cost of maintaining our Public Schools the current 
year is $44,656.13, or $10.64 per scholar. 

4 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 


The number of Scholars belonging is 108, under the 
charge of three Teachers. 

The cost of maintaining the School the present year is 
$4560, or $42.22 per scholar. 

During the early part of the year Mr. Robert Bickford 
resigned the office of Principal of the Girls' High School, 
to take effect at the close of the Summer Term. A posi- 
tion he had acceptably filled from the establishment of the 
school. He enjoyed the confidence of the community and 
Committee, and resigned to accept a more lucrative situa- 
tion in another State. His resignation was soon followed 
by that of the Assistant in the same School. 

Before proceeding to fill the vacancies, the Committee 
decided to attempt the consolidation of the Girls' High 
School and the English High School for Boys, under one 
Principal, as repeatedly recommended by this Board, and 
urged by His Honor the Mayor in his last inaugural ad- 
dress, on the grounds, of affording a more perfect classifi- 
cation, of advancing the standard of scholarship, and con- 
siderably lessening the expense of instruction, A vote 
was accordingly passed to provide High School instruction 
for Boys, as well as for Girls, in the same school and un- 
der the same teachers. A notice to that effect was sent 
to the City Government, requesting a discontinuance of the 
greater part of the appropriation, formerly paid to the 
Trustees, for carrying on the English High School for 

Previous to the close of the Summer Term, Mr. Samuel 
M. Weston was unanimously elected Principal of the 
High School. A teacher well known to the commu- 
nity as late Principal of the English High School for 
Boys. Mr. George H. Gorely and Miss Sarah A. M. Gush- 
ing were appointed his Assistants. 

At the examination of candidates for admission, a larger 


number of both sexes than was expected presented them- 
selves, most of wliom were admitted. At the beginning 
of the Fall Term the school was organized in the Dear- 
born School House, where it has been in successful opera- 
tion until the present time. The Committee requested 
the City Government to make some repairs upon the High 
School building in Kenilworth street, to put it in better 
condition to be occupied by the High School. This re- 
quest, as well as the former one in relation to this subject, 
was finally granted, and a liberal sum voted for that pur- 
pose, and under their direction the building has been re- 
modeled and enlarged, and such conveniences provided as 
will aflford all the room and accommodations necessary for 
successfully carrying on the School. The house, which is 
now about ready for occupancy, is a substantial structure, 
centrally located, and in its arrangements so well adapted 
to the purposes for which it is intended, that very little if 
any improvement could be suggested. It is sufficiently 
capacious, not only for the present, but for the future wants 
of the school. 

The establishment of this School places an important 
part of our system of public instruction under the control 
of this Board, and gives completeness to the whole, with 
the power to insist that each grade of schools shall accom- 
plish its appropriate work, and that one shall not be 
depleted of its best materials before it is qualified, to aug- 
ment the number of a higher grade. 

The success of High Schools, similarly constituted, in 
other places, and the success of this School, thus far under 
the guidance of experienced and competent teachers, render 
it highly probable that the standard of attainments will be 
elevated, that the requisite qualifications for admission 
will be more thoroughly complied with, and that all our 
schools of inferior grade will be incited to greater efforts 
to reach a standard of greater excellence. The cause of 

6 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 

Public Education will thereby be promoted, and the rising 
generation rendered more intelligent and useful. 


There are five Grammar Schools in the city — the same 
in number as last year. The whole number of Pupils be- 
longing to the Grammar Schools is 1620, making an aver- 
age to each Division of 50 pupils. The cost of maintaining 
these schools the current year is $21,460, or $13.24 per 

Most of the teachers remain the same as last year; 
two have been added to the number, — one for a new divi- 
sion in the Washington and the other for a new division 
in the Dearborn School. Five resigned, — three in the 
Dearborn and two in the Comins School, and their places 
were filled by other appointments. 

The yard of the Comins School-house has been enlarg- 
ed, by the purchase of more land, to afford a better play- 
ground for the boys of that school ; an improvement very 
much needed. That school, with one vacant room, has 
all the accommodations needed to supply its present and 
prospective wants. 

The Dearborn School-house, when the two rooms in the 
third story shall have been finished as asked for by the 
Committee, and now temporarily occupied by two divisions, 
will furnish all the room needed for that school. 

The Washington School has sufficient accommodations 
for another year in the present building. 

The Dudley School-house does not afford room sufficient 
to receive all who will probably apply for admission at the 
next promotion, and it will be necessary to provide addi- 
tional accommodations elsewhere. It may at some future, 
time be thought expedient to unite the Dudley and Wash- 
ington Schools under one Principal, corresponding to the 
other two Grammar Schools, when a suitable building will 
have to be provided for that purpose. 


The two schools reorganized last year have been suc- 
cessfully carried on under the arrangement then instituted. 
Nothing unfavorable has occurred to mar the harmony of 
the schools on account of the two sexes attending in the 
same building or in the same room, but on the contrary, 
the influence they have exerted upon each other has tend- 
ed to promote good order, closer application to study, and 
more regard to personal appearance and behaviour. The 
emulation excited in the two sexes, in the school-room, has 
generally lead to a better performance of the tasks assign- 
ed them. 

Only a small portion of those who enter the Grammar 
Schools, avail themselves of the advantages of High School 
instruction. Some only complete the Grammar School 
studies, but the majority do not even attain to that, termi- 
nating their school training at different stages of the 
course, they pass at once to the business of life. On this 
account, the simple and rudimental studies especially 
should be thoroughly taught, which are not only the found- 
ation to advanced studies, but are of much practical im- 
portance to those compelled thus to relinquish their 
studies. Penmanship especially should be commenced as 
early as possible, even in our Primary Schools. As soon 
as the child is able to form the letters of the alphabet, he 
should be taught to construct simple sentences and express 
his own thoughts in writing. 


The number of Primary Schools is forty. The number 
of pupils belonging to these schools is 2510, making an 
average to each school of 63 pupils. 

The cost of keeping the Primary Schools the present 
year is $18,800, or $7.46 per scholar. 

Few changes have been made in our Primary Schools. 
Three teachers resigned and others were appointed to fill 
their places. Three were transferred from one school to 


another, and three have been added to the number, one 
for the Truant School at the Alms House, and two for the 
new schools, near East Street. Two new school-houses 
have been erected : the one in Francis Street is a commo- 
dious two-story brick structure, built to replace the one 
destroyed by fire in the early part of the year ; the other 
near East Street, which is also built of brick, three stories 
high, is designed for six schools, and provided with ample 
play ground. The school-rooms are large, with dressing- 
rooms connected with each; these, with spacious entries 
and stairways, make it the most convenient Primary School- 
house in the city. It was erected to meet the present and 
future wants of a district that is rapidly increasing in 
inhabitants, and ere long every room will be occupied. 

The Vernon Street School-house has been enlarged and 
remodeled, to make it more comfortable and suitable for' 
the four schools that occupy it. 

Additional accommodations are very much needed in the 
vicinity of Smith Street, and can be furnished by enlarging 
the school-house in that street. 

A new house upon another site is called for, for the 
Centre Street School, which is much incommoded by hav- 
ing the best part of its yard taken for an engine-house, 
besides being compelled to occupy an old and unsuitable 

It is for the interest of the city, as well as for the good 
of the schools, to provide ample accommodations for our 
Primary Schools, for in them the children can be educated 
as well as in the lowest divisions of the Grammar Schools, 
besides being generally more conveniently located for the 
attendance of younger children. Pupils are often promot- 
ed prematurely from the Primary to the Grammar School 
to make room for new applicants. 

The proficiency made the first six months or year in the 
Grammar School, could as well be accomplished in the 
Primary, which would tend to elevate the standing of our 


Grammar Schools, and add to the appearance and impor- 
tance of our Primary Schools. 


Public attention has of late years been repeatedly call- 
ed to the subject of physical culture, and its importance 
urged upon the consideration of parents and those having 
the supervision of schools. Complaints are made that the 
children of our schools are required to devote too much 
time to study, and not enough to exercise. Of the various 
plans proposed to remedy the alleged defect, that is the 
best which will accomplish the desired intellectual train- 
ing, and at the same time invigorate and develop the phys- 
ical organization. 

Children, and particularly younger ones, require much 
physical exercise, and are incapable of long continued men- 
tal effort upon one subject ; hence they should be allowed 
frequent intervals of recreation and change of thought. 
They should early be taught to apply themselves in ear- 
nestness to whatever they undertake, be it study, work, or 
play. Having the capacity, it is better they should learn 
a lesson in fifteen minutes than to consume a half hour 
about it. So in play, they should be taught to freely exer- 
cise their limbs and vocal organs, without being violent or 
boisterous. A scholar should not be deprived of a part or 
the whole of the recess as a punishment, for it deprives 
him of the recreation which is absolutely necessary for his 
health, and is the most effectual means of making him 
averse to his studies. 

Teachers should guard well the condition of the school- 
room, as to ventilation and temperature. When the air 
becomes vitiated, or the temperature too warm, they should 
avoid opening such windows as will expose the children to 
a draught of cold air, and at recess or close of school nev. 
er allow them to pass from a heated school-room to an at- 
mosphere perhaps below zero, without being protected by 

10 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 

their outer garments. Efforts should be made to correct 
any cramped or unnatural positions which scholars may 
habitually assume, either in sitting or standing. 

To break the monotony of the daily routine, it might 
be deemed advisable, in the Grammar and Primary Schools, 
to devote ten minutes each half day, besides the usual re- 
cess, to some approved physical exercises, which, under the 
direction of the teacher, could be engaged in, five minutes 
at a time, at intervals between recess and the opening and 
closing. It is not necessary to indicate what these exer- 
cises shall be, although some very appropriate ones are in 
use in some of the schools, particularly in the Sudbury 
Street Primary Schools. These exercises should be adap- 
ted to call into action the various muscles of the limbs 
and body, especially those of the chest, accompanied some- 
times by the action of the vocal organs. Such exercises-, 
besides being a pleasing recreation, would afibrd great re- 
lief to any weariness of body or mind, and serve to keep 
alive the tone and activity of the school. 

It is important to attend to the physical education of the 
members of our High School, especially the female portion 
of it. Much constant mental effort is requisite to accom- 
plish what is there required, and unless a corresponding 
amount of proper bodily exercise is insisted upon, the 
physical energies will become enfeebled, and the health 
be permanently injured. A room for this purpose has 
been finished in the basement of the High School building, 
where, under the direction of the female teacher, stated 
physical exercises will be required. 


In many cities and large towns of the State the office of 
General Superintendent of the Public Schools has been 
created, and it has, so far as known, resulted in the ad- 
vancement of the cause of popular education in those 


The services of a person possessing the requisite quali- 
fications, who should devote his time in visiting, examining, 
and in exercising a general supervision of the Schools, 
would be of much advantage in indicating defects and sug- 
gesting improvements in our system of instruction. From 
his intimate acquaintance with the condition of all the 
Schools, he could ascertain the comparative attainments of 
each, and by judicious instruction aid those teachers whose 
schools were in any respects inferior to others of the same 

It is undoubtedly true that the services of a faithful and 
competent Superintendent would increase the efficiency 
and elevate the standard of our Schools, yet some doubt 
the expediency of creating such an office, on account of 
the additional expense to the City, the probability of its 
becoming an office to be sought after politically, the diffi- 
culty of securing a person to fill the place whose views in 
relation to educational matters would correspond with a 
majority of the Board, and the Committee becoming an 
advisory rather than an active working body. 

If to a future Board the arguments in favor outweigh 
the objections to appointing a Superintendent, then it will 
devolve upon them to call the attention of the City Gov- 
ernment to the subject : for tlie Statute authorizing the 
appointment of a Superintendent, provides that the office 
shall be created, and the salary determined, by an ordi- 
nance of the City Council, and the School Committee shall 
appoint the person to fill it. 

HORATIO G. MORSE, Chairman. 


The High and Grammar Schools of Eoxbury have been 
duly examined each term of the year, and specially so 
during the Spring and Fall months. In the First and 
Second Divisions of each of the Grammar Schools, the ex- 
amination was conducted by one member of the Examining 
Committee in Geography and Arithmetic, and by another 
member in Grammar and its related studies. The general 
state of the Schools, in their several Divisions, is hereby 
indicated as fully and distinctly as seems practicable in a 
condensed view. 


The High School has been going through a course of 
transition within the year, owing in no small degree to the 
resignation by Mr. Robert Bickford of his headship of 
the High School for Girls, a relation which he had held 
from the formation of the School in 1854 to the close of 
the last Summer term. That School, as its later examina- 
tions and last public exhibition gave proof, was, from its 
beginning, an ornament to the public instruction of our 
city. Scores of young ladies — among these some of our 
best teachers — owe a life benefit to the formative influ- 
ence gathered from this nursery of education. Mr. Bick- 
ford resigned to undertake a similar service of teaching in 
Kentucky, and the Board, on motion of the Chairman of 
the Local Committee of the School, passed the following 


resolve, expressive of the sense entertained of the value 
of the retiring- Principal's services : 

Resolved, That this Board hereby express their satisfaction with the 
manner in which Mr. Eickford has performed the duties of his position 
since the establishment of the School, and with the success which has 
attended his labors. 

The Board made choice, after this resignation, of Mr. 
S. M. Weston, late Principal of the English High School 
for Boys, with Mr. Gorely as his assistant, and subsequent- 
ly of Miss Gushing, in place of Miss Peck, resigned, as the 
corps of teachers for the Roxbury High School as newly 
organized. Of the present state of the School^ the follow- 
ing, taken from the report of the last quarter's examina- 
tion, is in proof: 

The First or Senior Class of the High School was examined by the 
writer (Mr. Crafts) in the several studies pursued, except Algebra, in 
which they were examined by Mr. Bliss, and both were present during 
the reading of Composition and Declamation. The Third or Junior 
Class (under the charge of Miss Cushing) was examined in Written and 
Intellectual Arithmetic, and in Physical and Political Geography, by 
Mr. Bliss, and in Grammar, and Rhetoric, and Composition, by myself. 
It is to be regretted that the Middle Class (under the charge of Mr. 
Gorely) was not examined also ; for it would seem proper that this 
school, of all in the city, should receive especial care, and its condition 
should be fully understood by the Board. 

Most of the sessions of two days were spent by the Examining Commit- 
tee with the class under the immediate charge of Mr. Weston, and the 
examination, which was pretty thorough, was highly satisfactory. In 
only two studies, French and Algebra, do the Girls and Boys recite to- 
gether, and only a part of the girls attend to the latter study. The 
girls had completed the study of Rhetoric before the schools were unit- 
ed, and in Geometry they have gone through only the first four books, 
while the boys have nearly finished the volume. In those parts of Ge- 
ometry which they had severally studied during the last term, each 
division of the class passed an excellent examination. The average rank 
of the girls, as marked by the examiner, was upwards of 96 per cent, of 
perfection, and that of the boys was 94 per cent. The French exercises 
were very good, and the method of teaching appears to be well adapted 
for learning the language, with the exception of the perfect pronuncia- 
tion, which can be acquired only by intercourse with those who speak 

f4 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 

the language perfectly. The examination in Rhetoric was generally 
highly satisfactory, and, though to boys of the age of these the study is 
a dry and uninteresting one, most of them showed that they understood 
the subjects which they bad studied. The average rank, as shown by 
the marks of the examiner, was 91 per cent, of pei'fection. 

In Algebra, the examination could not be so extended and thorough 
as it might have been, had there been sufficient black-board for the use 
of the class. It was, however, satisfactory to the examiner, his marks 
indicating about 98 per cent, of perfect recitations. 

Some of the Compositions evinced considerable taste and skill in wri- 
ting, and most of them were respectable. Some of the Declamation was 
also very good, showing a natural talent in that direction. 

The Class under the charge of Miss Cushing have given considerable 
attention, during the term, to Mental Arithmetic, the examination for 
admission to the school showing some deficiency in this branch. Con- 
siderable improvement has been made in this study, a thorough drill in 
which is so advantageous in the study of the higher mathematics. In 
the other studies in which they were examined, this class generally ap- 
peared well, and it will furnish a very creditable class for the succeeding 
years of their course ; but there are undoubtedly some who will not be 
able to go up to the higher studies with the class, if it is intended to 
maintain a high standard for the school. 

The High School, as now organized, has, thus far, labored under many 
disadvantages. While the pupils were brought together from dijQferent 
schools, where they had made diflferent degrees of progress under differ- 
ent metiiods of instruction and discipline, with two classes and teachers 
in one hall, and no recitation room, except for a small part of the time, 
and with a mere scrap of black-board for all their various exercises, it 
was a difiBcult matter to organize the classes, and to impart instruction, 
so as to accomplish much. But the eflBcient teachers have overcome 
many obstacles, and have shown that the experiment, if such it may be 
termed, will be a successful one. It is expected that the High School 
Building will be completed so that it may be occupied by the first of 
January. With the excellent accommodations there provided by the 
unexpected liberality of the city government, and with due care and at- 
tention on the part of the School Committee, the school may equal the 
best of its class, and become a source of pride to the city. 


The past year has been an important one in the history 
of the Comins School, both on account of its enlargement 
near the close of 1859 by the number of four Divisions 
(two of each sex), and by the experiment of placing boys 


and girls under one instruction, and in the same room, in the 
First Division. la the last named Division, Miss Gushing, 
the former Principal of the School, and assistant teacher 
of Mr. Jones for the most of the present, as well as a part 
of last year, having been elected to fill a vacancy in the 
Roxbury High School, Miss Carrie K. Nickerson, who had 
long served as head assistant in a corresponding Division 
of the Everett School, Dorchester, has been elected to sup- 
ply the vacancy thus made. 

There has also been a change in the Fifth Division of 
Boys, Miss Angier having been elected to succeed Miss 
Dickerman, who had resigned. From the reports of the 
Examining Committee, both for the Spring and Fall terms, 
the general progress of the school is indicated. The 
teachers are unexceptiouably devoted to their work. As a 
body they have had greater difficulties to cope with than 
is true of any other of our Grammar Schools. The mate- 
rial placed under their hand to mould, is less plastic and 
promising, as a whole, than in the other corresponding 
School of the eastern section of the city — less so cer- 
tainly than in either the Washington or Dudley schools. 
Its development has been necessarily more formative. Of 
cruder elements, it has seemed to require, and this is still 
the case, more of organization and of assimilation than 
is true of our other schools. In respect of studies gener- 
ally, — the same as those pursued in the other Grammar 
Schools, — it will suffer no more from a comparison with 
these, than perhaps might be looked for in the difference of 
circumstances that have been considered. The Fall ex- 
amination, conducted by the same examiners, reports pro- 
gress, and more favorable results and impressions, than in 
an examination at the close of the Spring term. So fully 
is this advance set forth, that your committee cannot but 
hope that the coming year will prove to be one of greater 
growth and proficiency in the Comins School, than have yet 
been witnessed. 

16 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 


Next in alphabetical order — but more as of correspon- 
ding size and grade with the Comins — comes the Dear- 
born School. The enlargement of the two buildings Avent 
on contemporaneously, and was projected after a similar 
plan, with exceptions in the detail — particularly the ar- 
rangement of the upper and lower halls, and the stair- 
ways — quite in favor of the Dearborn. It is much to be 
regretted, that the same excellent ideal of internal finish 
had not been carried out in both cases. Besides the addi- 
tion of four rooms, two for boys and two for girls, two rooms 
in the third story have been brought into use during the 
Fall term just closed. The schools taught here have been 
successfully instructed, though the examiner speaks of the 
rooms as poorly ventilated. 

The Dearborn School, long under one headship, is real- 
izing in many respects to the city the advantages of a 
model Grammar School. With not a noteworthy exception, 
the examiners award high praise for the order observed in 
all the Divisions, and for the excellent deportment of the 
pupils. One of the committee, himself a former principal 
of one of our city schools, says of the First Division (and 
the commendation applies to the school generally), " The 
deportment of the pupils was admirable — not the slight, 
est impropriety or misdemeanor of any kind was observed 
during the examination. The general working of the 
school, under the new arrangement, appears to be perfect 
— the beautiful order and respectful attention throughout 
the school; the pleasant relation existing between pupils 
and teachers, and the general neatness of the whole 
premises, reflect great credit upon the principal and his as- 
sistants." The only exceptions noted by the same exam- 
iner, are, ^'that reading, as a drill exercise, might very 
properly receive more attention in the First Division, and 
that the boys in the Second Division are capable of accom- 


plisliiag twice as much work as they now do." The method 
of realizing this advance, contains a hint to instructors in 
all our schools as well : " If the teachers can by some 
means awaken in the pupils more interest in their studies, 
and infuse into them more life and animation, their pro- 
gress will be two-fold what it now is." 


This is one of the oldest of our schools, and, like the 
Dearborn, has long been under one presiding direction. 
Its locality is favorable for the " Girls' Grammar School," 
which, without change, this continues to be. The jeu 
d'esprit of this school, throughout its Divisions, has been 
always well maintained. It is no place for dulness or in- 
difference where the ruling atmosphere is so opposite. The 
Principal, recovered from the calamity by which she was 
laid aside from active service several months last year, has 
given us another year of unbroken service, and the other 
teachers of the school have not been seriously drawn aside 
or diverted from their work. One of the examiners in 
May, of the First and Second Divisions, who gave particu- 
lar attention to Arithmetic and Geography, says, " a large 
per centage " of the scholars passed an excellent exami- 
nation. Subsequently, he examined the school in •their re- 
maining studies, and was " much pleased with their general 
appearance, and with the promptness and accuracy of 
their recitations." Another member of the committee 
says of the other Divisions, at the close of the Fall term, 
'' The good impression received of these in May last have 
been confirmed. Since then their time appears to have 
been well improved." Says its former Principal, " The First 
and Second Divisions of the Dudley School were examined 
by me on the 21st of November, in the following branches, 
viz., Reading, Spelling, Defining, Grammar, History, Com- 
position and Penmanship — the result of the examination 
in all these branches was quite satisfactory. The answers 

18 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 

to questions were given with promptness and general cor- 
rectness. The order of the school is excellent. I think 
the girls, in these Divisions, are accomplishing all that we 
can reasonably and safely expect of them. Were I to sug- 
gest any alteration in the programme, it would be the in- 
troduction of Tower's Grammar of Composition, which 
is used with good success in our other Grammar Schools. 
Although this school suffers a little in its classification 
since its new organization, yet I think it well sustains its 
deservedly high and well-earned reputation." ' 


This school is described as sustaining an examination 
quite as satisfactory, both in the Spring and Fall, as could 
have been expected in the circumstances of interruption 
from loss of school-house by fire, and necessarily poor ac- 
commodations during the interval of the new erection. In 
its present building the school is proceeding prosperously, 
as in former years, under the same instruction. 


The oldest of our Boys' Grammar Schools maintains the 
favorable standing of former years. It is realizing the 
benefit of permanence in the Principal, and his co-ordinate 
teachers, who are all devoted to their work. The com- 
ment of the examiners is generally favorable, in some cases 
highly so. It is hinted by one of the Committee that the 
pupils in all our Grammar Schools should be carried to a 
higher point of attainment and completeness in Grammar 
School studies. The moral regimen of the Divisions of the 
school, generally, is excellent. Of one of the Divisions of 
this school, the examiner suggests what is worthy of note. 
It is " that written exercises be introduced into all the Di- 
visions of our Grammar Schools, in which they are not now 
practised, when the pupils can write a legible hand. These 


exercises are required in Sect. 9, Chap. 1, of School Regu- 
lations, and should be corrected by the teachers, and pre- 
served with their dates, as there recommended, in writing 
books, to be inspected by the committee, as evidence of 
the proficiency of the pupils in penmanship, punctuation, 
use of capitals, spelling and the grammatical construction 
of sentences." No exercises in our schools, in the opinion 
of your committee, are more valuable than these ; and none, 
we regret to say, have been more generally neglected in 
some of our schools. The Sixth Division is commended by 
two examiners, and as it is one of confessedly difficult man- 
agement, we submit the suggestive commendation given of 
it. " The Sixth Division of the Wasliington School is com- 
posed partly of scholars belonging to this and the Dearborn 
District, who attend to receive special instruction. They 
are very irregular in their attendance, and consequently 
cannot expect to advance in their studies as they other- 
wise might. The teacher, Mrs. Drown, has a hard task to 
make scholars of such material as compose this part of her 
Division. She has succeeded well, however, and fully 
demonstrated the wisdom of the plan by which this class 
of boys are instructed by themselves." 


The review of the foregoing general view, suggests one 
or two points of reflection worthy of consideration. 

1. Our schools hereby brought under notice are not 
yet what they should be. Excellencies have been duly 
referred to, and this is proper. Simply or solely to point 
out defects, were an invidious, possibly in the reach of its 
influence, a discouraging task. This is not sought to be 
done ; yet it must be clear that higher ideals of excellence 
will never be reached after, so long as commendation 
forms the staple of what is said of our schools. They are 
yet at a notable remove from perfection. 

20 CITY DOCUMENT. —No. 11. 

2. The guardians and teachers of our schools should, 
hence, place it before them as a point to be aimed at — 
that they be not stationary in their elements of goodness? 
but progressive. To remain at a stand still is to fall into 
a state of necessary stagnation. There is no such thing as 
being thus, speaking truly. The stationary is inevitable 
recession. The school goes forward, or it goes back. It 
is not supposable that any one of our Grammar Schools, 
especially, can be at the close of 1860 just vs^here it was at 
the end of 1859. The intervening period has been cer- 
tainly marked by advance or by retrograde. Due consid- 
eration of a point believed to be alike true and important 
will be a spur to the enterprising teacher, as to all of us, 
to aim at higher attainments and better qualifications for 
the great work of popular education. It will help to con- 
centrate on our schools the largest enthusiasm, the best 
energies, moral and intellectual, that the right training and 
right culture of the rising generation can be made to com- 

All of which is submitted on behalf of Examining 
Committee of High and Grammar Schools. 

RoxBURY, December, 1860. 


There have been added, during the year, two to the num- 
ber of Primary and Sub-Primary Schools, making the pre- 
sent number forty. 

One of these is the school at the Alms House, compris- 
ed of some 24 scholars, under the care of a judicious teach- 
er. It is a sad thing to see little children deprived of the 
care of parents, and the delights of a good home, and 
thrown thus early upon the public care ; but their cheerful 
demeanor, and pleasant appearance, relieves us of much of 
our gloom. Securely they repose upon the public arm, and 
many a one outside their walls might envy their lot. "We 
have no desire to see their number increased, but hope that 
children, driven by necessity upon the public charge, may 
ever receive the blessed boon of education. 

A new school-house for primary scholars in Ward 1, 
will relieve the present crowded condition of the schools 
in that vicinity, and meet the growing wants of that neigh- 
borhood for a long time to come. Yet in other parts of 
the city the cry arises for more accommodations ; in the 
vicinity of Smith Street the demand is pressing, and needs 
early attention by the City Government. 

Our citizens, in condemning the extravagance in city ex- 
penditures, do not sufficiently consider to what uses much 
of the large sums expended are applied ; but let them ex- 
amine the reports of the School Committee, or give a lit- 
tle closer attention to the subject than they are wont, and 

22 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 11. 

much of their surprise will disappear. The School Com- 
mittee share with the rest of their fellow citizens the de- 
sire for an economical administration of public affairs. Yet 
they would deem themselves false to their special charge, 
did they not see to it that all pupils presenting themselves 
for public instruction were provided with suitable means 
to accomplish that end. If the School Committee err on 
either side, it is in rather postponing the time for action, 
which they foresee is inevitable, than to do to-day what will 
not be wanted till to-morrow. We are satisfied no teach- 
er can do justice to more than fifty scholars, and as each 
quarter in its turn brings knocking to our primary school 
doors, some thoughtful father or mother, with little chil- 
dren in charge, and with tearful eye and trusting heart de- 
liver the bashful strangers to our care, our resources in 
many cases are tried to their full capacity. "While this 
gives ample evidence of the thrift and of the prosperity of 
our people, it is at the same time the great reason of the 
constantly increasing expenses of our public schools. 

From the reports of the different members who have ex- 
amined through the year the Primary Schools, we are sat- 
isfied that they are, taken as a whole, in a good condition; 
yet, in many respects, not what they should be. It is very 
easy to sit down and say that our schools are not surpas- 
sed by any in the State, or that our corps of teachers are 
unequalled by a similar number in any other place. For 
ourselves, we prefer no such self-gratulation, and take 
greater pleasure in stating, as near as possible, our exact 
condition, that errors may be corrected, and excellencies 

At the same time, we doubt the expediency of singling 
out any one school for praise or blame. In the less pub- 
lic manner of the usual meetings of the Committee should 
flagrant abuses be dealt with, and responsibility be taken, 
and such measures pursued as special cases require. 

In general terms, however, we are free to say that some 


of our Primary Schools are not what we would desire, 
and the blame is mostly chargeable to the teachers con- 
cerned, or their manner of teaching. We know the differ- 
ence in children. Stupidity, dulness, viciousness, and mis- 
chief exist in fearful proportions in some scholars. Still 
let fifty pupils be taken indiscriminately from any section of 
our city, and the disparity in their average condition would 
be small. If that proposition be true, any striking defect, 
if long continued, gives evidence that something in the 
teacher, or manner of teaching, is surely amiss. 

It may be, in some cases, that the person employed as 
teacher is not suitable to her position; or in other words, 
is out of her element. Let this be distinctly ascertained, 
and no time should be lost in relieving her of her duties, 
and one more naturally suited to the position substituted 
in her stead. It is not always every one wishing to be- 
come a teacher that is well suited to the post. DifiScult is 
it often to make a selection; but once made, and the ex- 
periment not proving satisfactory, we should, for the good 
of the schools, be as prompt to remedy our mistakes as 
we are to incur them. 

Again, it often happens that many teachers, after years 
of valuable and successful service, show that their days of 
usefulness are passing away ; that the sympathy and inter- 
est they once felt in their little pupils have sensibly dimin- 
ished, and they go upon their daily duties feeling it to be 
an irksome and burdensome task. With sadness we, too, 
witness their declining influence ; but in kindness, and with 
a desire to promote the condition of the schools, we could 
but wish their services might not be continued a great while 
after such a tendency is noticed. 

It was the opinion of one of the greatest of French 
writers, that children could best educate themselves — that 
each age should have for their teachers those of a year or 
two older ; thus by groups educating each other. This is 

24 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 

beautifull}^ exemplified in families where there are a num- 
ber of children; each teaches the other. Father and 
mother scarcely do so much for the youngest, as those just 
older ; and the quiet evening study of a group of children 
around the family fireside, reciting and rehearsing their 
various studies of the day together, does vastly more to 
educate them than the stern mandates of their parents, en- 
forced though they may be by the end of the teacher's rod. 
In such a family progress will be far greater than in one 
where only a single child is found. Every energy may be 
bestowed upon his education, yet he lacks the requisite 
of sympathy and social equality. Our excuse for this ex- 
pression of our opinion, is the belief we entertain, that, in 
our Primary Schools, young teachers, if not persons of 
trivial character, command best the sympathies of their 
pupils. And when teachers, from unmistakable signs, give 
evidence of a loss of youthful sympathy and interest, their 
longer stay detracts from the advancement of their schools, 
and in the kindest spirit should be allowed to depart. Ad- 
mitting, as we willingly do, that many things materially 
afifect, either for good or evil, a teacher's success ; yet in 
Primary Schools we think it is the universal tendency to 
judge the character of the teacher by the appearance of the 

One of the committee noticed a disposition, in some 
of the teachers, to speak in a manner harsh and sharp to 
the children under their charge, amounting almost to scold- 
ing; showing that if they had a warm-hearted interest in 
their scholars, their manner of showing it was peculiar. 
Is there not in children around ua a disposition to speak 
churlishly and snappishly to each other, and sometimes ob- 
servable in parents, and can it not to some extent be traced 
to teachers ? A firm and decided demeanor is to be 
commended, but petulance and fault-finding are very apt to 
reappear in those upon whom they are most lavishly ex- 


Upon the subject of difference in the capabilities of chil- 
dren in different schools, and in various sections of the 
city, some little attention may not be out of place. On 
carefully examining the reports, it will be found that the 
Primary Schools in the most crowded parts of the city, at- 
tended by most of the children of foreign parentage, evince 
a greater degree of progress than those where the popula- 
tion is more sparse, and where we might suppose the 
children were blessed with greater advantages of home and 
means. To some extent this may be owing to grading the 
schools, which is not convenient on the outskirts; yet this 
does not wholly explain the matter. 

Are we not, as a community, rather relying on our past 
success ? Our children, surrounded by every comfort and 
convenience, find little to stimulate them in youth. Gen- 
eration after generation have poured into our laps experi- 
ence and attainments, Avhich our children inherit without 
an effort. The opening eyes and growing intelligence of 
our offspring, enjoy all the comforts of mansions furnished 
with every luxury, which have cost their parents great 
efforts to obtain, and to whom they inure without a strug- 
gle. All our advances and results in education, politics, 
and religion, our children inherit. But with our less- 
favored fellow citizens this does not so certainly apply. 
Their children, emerging from long years of ignorance and 
superstition, their minds opened by education, are in a 
most fit condition to receive its benefits. With eagerness 
and delight do they learn, and our most favored children 
can scarcely keep pace with their progress. We can say 
then, with justice, that those schools in which the children 
born of foreign parents predominate, are not a whit behind 
those where such is not the case. At all events, their 
progress is most marked, and considering their antecedents 
deserves great credit. And their parents commit a great 
mistake in not continuing their children longer in school; 
and further, by not paying more particular attention to 

26 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 

their personal appearance, which subject their children to 
censure, and even abuse, that they could easily avoid. 

Another thing we notice, wliich we do not consider to be 
the best for the community or for schools. It is the dispo- 
sition not to send children to Primary Schools, but to pri- 
vate ones, which many of our best families manifest. It 
is a well-attested fact, that when such scholars do arrive 
at last to our Grammar Schools, they are, generally, not 
so well qualilied as those that come from the Primary 
Schools. It is easy to see the reason. Private schools 
do not have so much the ultimate end of the pupil in view? 
as to dispose of the present in a manner the least to tax 
his mental powers. Let no parent, from mistaken regard 
for the welfare of his children, refuse, to place them in the 
public schools, where side by side with their fellow play- 
mates, they can pursue their youthful studies together. 

What can be done to improve our Primary Schools ? 
The tendency of our common school education, and per- 
haps to some extent of all education, is to equalize the ac- 
quirements of all. There is an average to which all can^ 
and should attain, because it is for the common good. Our 
schools can do but little more than this. Any great profi- 
ciency in any one direction, must be largely due to individ- 
ual talents or exertion. No amount of teaching or criti- 
cism could make all of our scholars an Agassiz or an Eve- 
rett; but five thousand children could be taught to know 
the multiplication table with precision, and spell without 
mistake the more difficult words in our language. To that 
medium excellence let it be our ambition to attain. The 
brilliant achievement of a scholar here and there, may 
give a transient glory to our efi'orts, but that enduring, sub- 
stantial result, in which large numbers jointly participate, 
will afford us the most lasting satisfaction. 

In this light there are considerations which might be 
urged in favor of the appointment of some person, whose 
special business it should be to bring to a nearer level our 


Primary Schools ; to frequently visit and compare them ; 
to take the excellencies which distinguish many of them, 
and have them reproduced in others ; to elevate the gen- 
eral standard ; to make such suggestions to teachers as 
may prove to be deficient, and stimulate them anew to 
greater exertion. When it becomes apparent- that there 
are those teaching in our schools unequal or unfitted to 
their calling, let it be made known to the Board, who 
would undoubtedly change for the better. 

We are nearly convinced that some suitable person, 
charged with this duty of bringing up our Primary Schools 
(while there is ample room for the exercise of such a func- 
tion), would show, in a very brief period, that the wisdom 
of such a movement would be vindicated, and the scholars 
better fitted for the Grammar Schools. 

The manner of selecting teachers for our Primary Schools 
might then be more thoroughly tested. While none desire 
any but the best, yet those who would not be likely to suc- 
ceed could be sooner ascertained, and the teacher removed 
ere the school should suffer. 

Upon the discipline of our Primary Schools, we do not 
find that there are many exceptions taken. In some 
schools, at some times, there may appear to be a want of 
order. We can not, and we should not, expect that 
scholars so young can at once be reduced to systematic 
and uniform obedience. A harsh and stern discipline finds 
but little favor in our eyes. We do not desire to see the 
play of nature too early crushed down. Nor were we 
much shocked, when we have witnessed some little urchin, 
on a hot summer's afternoon, asleep at his post, if the 
indulgence of the teacher to his youthful infirmities did not 
mar the general order of the school. 

Upon the subject of singing we shall not enter, as that 
was fully treated upon last year. Physical education and 
exercises are largely considered at the present time by the 
well wishers of our youth. To the riper experience, and 

28 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 

the greater knowledge and observation of the Chairman of 
this Board, Ave can with safety leave the discussion of that 

We would not, in conclusion, underrate our Primary 
Schools and their teachers. That they Avill compare well 
with those in any other place, we do not doubt. On the same 
principles of criticism as applied to our own, others would 
equally suffer. Rest assured, teachers, that we feel your 
labor in taking all this untutored material, trembling and 
abashed, from their homes, and in a few months trans- 
forming them into interesting and inteUigent scholars, is no 
ordinary one. Great must be your care and patience, often 
laying a heavy tax upon your spirits and strength. Your 
recompense may not be immediate. In the breast of each 
little one, for good or evil, your memory wall be cherished, 
and should you deserve it, the last thoughts of their lives 
will be gratefully turned to the teacher of their earlier 

With the conclusion of this report official connection of 
some of our number with the schools will have nearly 
ceased; yet we shall have a deep and abiding solicitude 
for their future progress. Gladly do we entrust to them 
the education of our own children, in common with the rest 
of our citizens. With a prayer deep and sincere, may 
their future welfare be entrusted to more worthy and de- 
voted hands than even have blessed the days of the past. 

For the Committee. 



Being fart of the Provisions of the Constitution and General Statutes 
relating to Schools. 

• [The General Statutes went into operation June 1, I860.] 


Art. XVIII. All moneys raised by taxation in the towns and cities for 
the support of Public Schools, and all moneys which may be appropria- 
ted by the State for the support of Common Schools, shall be aj^plied to, 
and expended in, no other schools than those which ai-e conducted 
according to law, under the order and superintendence of the authorities 
of the town or city in which the money is to be expended ; and such 
moneys shall never be appropriated to any religious sect for the mainte- 
nance, exclusively, of its own school. 



Sect. 3. The income of the school fund appropriated to the support of 
public schools, which may have accrued upon the fii'st day of June of 
each year, shall be apportioned by the secretary and treasurer, and on 
the teeth day of July be paid over by the treasurer, to the treasurers of 
the several towTis and cities, for the use of the public schools, according 
to the number of persons therein between the ages of five and fifteen 
years, ascertained and certified as provided in sections three and four of 
chapter forty. But no such apportionment shall be made to a town or 
city which has not complied with the provisions of sections five and six 
of said chapter, or which has not raised by taxation, for the support of 
schools during the school year embraced in the last annual returns, 
including only wages and board of teachers, fuel for the schools, and 
care of fires and schoolrooms, a sum not less than one dollar and fifty 
cents for each person between the ages of five and fifteen years belonging 
to said town or city on the first day of May of said school year. 

30 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 

Sect. 4. The income of the school fund received by the several cities 
and towns shall be applied by the school committees thereof to the 
support of the public schools therein, but said committees may, if they 
see fit, appropriate therefrom any sum, not exceeding twenty-five per 
cent, of the same, to the jjurchase of books of reference, maps, and 
apparatus for the use of said schools. 


Section 1. In every town there shall be kept, for at least six months 
in each year, at the expense of said town, by a teacher or teachers of 
competent ability and good morals, a sufficient number of schools for the 
instruction of all the children who may legally attend public school 
therein, in orthography, reading, writing, English grammar, geography, 
arithmetic, the history of the United States, and good behavior. Alge- 
bra, vocal music, drawing, physiology, and hygiene shall be taught by 
lectures or otherwise, in all the public schools in which the school com- 
mittee deem it expedient. 

Sect. 2. Every town may, and every town containing five hundred 
families or householders shall, besides the schools prescribed in the pre- 
ceding section, maintain a school, to be kept by a master of competent 
abilitj^ and good morals, who, in addition to the branches of learning be- 
fore mentioned, shall give instruction in general history, bookkeeping, 
surveying, geometry, natural philosophy, chemistry, botany, the civil 
polity of this commonwealth, and of the United States, and the Latin 
language. Such last-mentioned school shall be kept for the benefit of 
all the inhabitants of the town, ten months at least, exclusive of vaca- 
tions, in each year, and at such convenient place, or alternately at such 
places, in the town, as the legal voters at their annual meeting deter- 
mine. And in every town containing four thousand inhabitants, the 
teacher or teachers of the schools required by this section shall, in addi- 
tion to the branches of instruction before required, be competent to give 
instruction in the Greek and French languages, astronomy, geology, 
rhetoric, logic, intellectual and moral science, and political economy. 

Sect. 3. Two adjacent towns, having each less than five hundred 
families or householders, may form one high school district for establish- 
ing such a school as is contemplated in the preceding section, when a 
majority of the legal voters of each town, in meetings called for that 
purpose, so determine. 

Sect. 4. The school committees of the two towns so united shall 
elect one person from each of their respective boards, and the two so 
elected shall form the committee for the management and control of such 
school, with all the powers conferred upon school committee and pruden- 
tial committees. 

Sect. 5. The committee thus formed shall determine the location of 


the schoolhouse authorized to be built by the towns forming the district, 
or if the towns do not determine to erect a house, shall authorize the lo- 
cation of such school alternately in the two towns. 

Sect. G. In the erection of a schoolhouse for the permanent location 
of such school, in the support and maintenance of the school, and in all 
incidental expenses attending the same, the proportions to be paid by 
each town, unless otherwise agreed ujoon, shall be according to its pro- 
portion of the county tax. 

Sect. 7. x\ny town may establish and maintain, in addition to the 
schools required by laAV to be maintained therein, schools for the educa- 
tion of persons over liftcen years of age ; may determine the term or 
terms of tiuie in each year, and the hours of the day or evening during 
which said school shall be kept ; and appropriate such sums of money as 
may be necessary for the support thereof. 

Sect. 8. "When a school is so established, the school committee shall 
have the same superintendence over it as they have over other schools ; 
and shall determine what branches of learning may be taught therein. 

Sect. 9. In every public school having an average of fifty scholars, 
the school district or town to which such school belongs shall employ 
one or more female assistants, unless such district or town, at a meeting 
called for the purpose, votes to dispense with such assistant. 

Sect. 10. It shall be the duty of the president, professors and tutors 
of the university at Cambridge and of the several colleges, of all precep- 
tors and teachers of academics, and of all other instructors of youth, to 
exert their best endeavors to impress on the minds of children and youth 
committed to their care and instruction, the principles of piety and jus- 
tice, and a sacred regard to truth ; love of their country, humanity, and 
universal benevolence ; sobriety, industry, and frugality ; chastity, 
moderation, and temperance ; and those other virtues which are the or- 
nament of human society and the basis upon which a republican consti- 
tution is founded ; and it shall be the duty of such instructors to en- 
deavor to lead their pupils, as their ages and capacities will admit, into 
a clear understanding of the tendency of the above-mentioned virtues, 
to preserve and perfect a republican constitution, and secure the bless- 
ings of liberty, as well as to promote their future happiness, and also 
to point out to them the evil tendency of the opposite vices. 

Sect. 11. It shall be the duty of the resident ministers of the gos- 
pel, the selectmen, and the school committees, to exert their influence 
and use their best endeavors that the youth of their towns shall regu- 
larly attend the schools established for their instruction. 

Sect. 12. The several towns shall, at their annual meetings, or at a 
regular meeting called for the purpose, raise such sums of money for the 
support of schools as they judge necessary ; which sums shall be assess- 
ed and collected in like manner as other town taxes. 

32 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 

Sect. 13. Nothing contained in this chapter shall aflfect the right of 
any corporation established in a town, to manage any estate or funds 
given or obtained for the purpose of supporting schools therein, or in 
any wise affect such estate or funds. 

Sect. 14. A town which refuses or neglects to raise money for the 
support of schools as required by this chapter, shall forfeit a sum equal 
to twice the highest sum ever before voted for the support of schools 
therein. A town which refuses or neglects to choose a school committee 
to superintend said schools, or to choose prudential committees in the 
several districts, when it is the duty of the town to choose such pruden- 
tial committee, shall forfeit a sum not less than five hundred nor more 
than one thousand dollars, to be paid into the treasury of the county. 

Sect. 15. Three-fourths of any forfeiture paid into the treasury of 
the county under the preceding section, shall be paid by the treasurer to 
the school committee, if any, otherwise to the selectmen of the town 
from which it is recovered, who shall apportion and appropriate the 
same to the support of the schools of such town, in the same manner as 
if it had been regularly raised by the town for that purpose. 

Sect. 16. Every town shall, at the annual meeting, choose, by writ- 
ten ballots, a board of school committee, which shall have the general 
charge and superintendence of all the public schools in town. Said 
board shall consist of any number of persons divisible by three, which 
said town has decided to elect, one-third thereof to be elected annually, 
and continue in olEce three years. If a town fails or neglects to choose 
such a committee, an election at a subsequent meeting shall be valid. 

Sect. 17. If any person elected a member of the school committee, 
after being duly notified of his election in the manner in which town 
officers are required to be notified, refuses or neglects to accept said 
office, or if any member of the board declines further service, or, from 
change of residence or otherwise, becomes unable to attend to the duties 
of the board, the remaining members shall, in writing, give notice of 
the fact to the selectmen of the town, or to the mayor and aldermen of 
the city, and the two boards shall thereupon, after giving public notice 
of at least one Aveek, proceed to fill such vacancy ; and a majority of the 
ballots of pei'sons entitled to vote shall be necessary to an election. 

Sect. 18. If all the persons elected as members of the school commit- 
tee, after such notice of their election, refuse or neglect to accept the 
office, or, having accepted, afterwards decline further service, or become 
unable to attend to the duties of the board, the selectmen or the mayor 
and aldermen shall, after giving like public notice, proceed by ballot to 
elect a new board, and the votes of a majority of the ebtire board of 
selectmen, or of the mayor and aldermen, shall be necessary to an elec- 
Sect. 19. The term of service of every member elected in pursuance 


of the provisions of the two preceding sections, shall end with the 
municipal or official year in which he is chosen, and if the vacancy which 
he was elected to fill was of a longer period, it shall, at the first annual 
election after the occurrence of the vacancy, be filled in the manner 
prescribed for original elections of the school committee. 

Sect. 20. All the members of the school committee shall continue in 
office for the purpose of superintending the winter terms of the several 
schools, and of making and transmitting the certificate, returns, and 
report of the committee, notwithstanding the election of any successor 
at the annual meeting ; but for all other duties, the term of ofiice shall 
commence immediately after election. 

Sect. 21. Any town may, at the annual meeting, vote to increase or 
diminish the number of its school committee. Such increase shall be 
made by adding one or more to each class, to hold office according to 
the tenure of the class to which they are severally chosen. Such dim- 
inution shall be made by choosing, annually, such number as will in 
three years efiect it, and a vote to diminish shall remain in force until 
the diminution under it is accomplished. 

Sect. 22. The school committee shall appoint a secretary, and keep 
a permanent record book, in Avhich all its votes, orders, and proceedings 
shall be by him recorded. 

Sect. 23. The school committee, unless the town at its annual meet- 
ing determines that the duty may be performed by the prudential 
committee, shall select and contract with the teachers of the public 
schools ; shall require full and satisfactory evidence of the good moral 
character of all instructors who may be employed ; and shall ascertain, 
by personal examination, their qualifications for teaching, and capacity 
for the government of schools. 

Sect. 24. Every instructor of a town or district school shall, before 
he opens such school, obtain from the school committee a certificate in 
duplicate of his qualifications, one of which shall be deposited with the 
selectmen before any payment is made to such instructor on account of 
his services ; and upon so filing such certificate, the teacher of any 
public school shall be entitled to receive, on demand, his wages due at 
the expiration of any quarter, or term longer or shorter than a quarter, 
or upon the close of any single term of service, subject to the condition 
specified in section thirteen of chapter forty. 

Sect. 25. The school committee may dismiss from employment any 
teacher, whenever they think proper, and such teacher shall receive no 
compensation for services rendered after such dismissal. 

Sect. 26. The school committee, or some one or more of them, for 

the purpose of making a careful examination of the schools, and of 

ascertaining that the scholars are properly supplied with books, shall 

visit all the public schools in the town, on some day^during the first or 


34 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 

second week after the opening of such schools respectively, and also on 
some day during the two weeks preceding the close of the same ; and 
shall also, for the same purposes visit,' without giving previous notice 
thereof to the instructors, all the public schools in the town, once a 
month ; and they shall, at such examinations, inquire into the regula- 
tion and discipline of the schools, and the habits and proficiency of the 
scholars therein. 

Sect. 27. The school committee shall require the daily reading of 
some portion of the Bible in the common English version ; but shall 
never direct any school-books calculated to favor the tenets of any par- 
ticular sect of Christians, to be purchased or used in any of the town 

Sect. 28. The school committee shall direct what books shall be used 
in the public schools, and no change shall be made in said books, except 
by the unanimous consent of the whole board, unless the committee 
consists of more than nine, and questions relating to school-books are 
intrusted to a sub-committee. In that case, the consent of two-tliirds 
of the whole number of said sub-committee, with the concurrent vote 
of three-fourths of the whole board, shall be requisite for such change. 
If any change is made, each pupil then belonging to the public schools, 
and requiring the substituted book, shall be furnished with the same by 
the school committee, at the expense of said town. 

Sect. 29. The school committee shall procure, at the expense of the 
city or town, a sufficient supply of text-books for the public schools, and 
give notice of the place where they may be obtained. Said books shall 
be furnished to the pupils at such prices as merely to reimburse the ex- 
pense of the same. The school committee may also procure, at the ex- 
pense of the city or town, such apparatus, books of reference, and other 
means of illustration, as they deem necessary for the schools under their 
supervision, in accordance with appropriations therefor previously made. 

Sect. 30. If any scholar is not furnished by his parent, master, or 
guardian, with the requisite books, he shall be supplied therewith by the 
school committee at the expense of the town. 

Sect. 31. The school committee shall give notice, in writing, to the 
assessors of the town, of the names of the scholars supplied with books 
under the provisions of the preceding section, of the books so furnished, 
the prices thereof, and the names of the parents, masters, or guardians, 
who ought to have supplied the same. The assessors shall add the price 
of the books to the next annual tax of such parents, masters, or guar- 
dians ; and the amount so added shall be levied, collected, and paid in- 
to the town treasury, in the same manner as the town taxes. 

Sect. 32. If the assessors are of opinion that any parent, master, or 
guardian is unable to pay the whole expense of the books so supplied on 
his account, they shall omit to add the price of such books, or shall add 


onlj a part thereof, to his annual tax, according to their opinion of his 
ability to pay. 

Sect. 33. In any town containing five hundred families, in which 
a school is kept for the benefit of all the inhabitants, as before provided, 
the school committee shall perform the like duties in relation to such 
school, the house where it is kept, and the supply of all things necessary 
therefor, as the prudential committee may perform in a school district. 

Sect. 34. The members of the school committee shall be paid, in 
cities one dollar, and in towns one dollar and a half each, a day, for the 
time they are actually employed in discharging the duties of their ofiice, 
together with such additional compensation as the town or city may al- 

Sect. 35. Any town, annually, by legal vote, and any city by an or- 
dinance of the city council, may require the school committee annually 
to appoint a superintendent of public schools, who, under the direction 
and control of said committee, shall have the care and supervision of the 
schools, with such salary as the city government or town may determine ; 
and in every city in which such ordinance is in force, and in every town 
in which such superintendent is appointed, the school committee shall re- 
ceive no compensation, unless otherwise provided by such city govern- 
ment or town. 


Sect. 36. Every town not divided into school districts shall provide 
and maintain a sufficient number of schoolhouses properly furnished and 
conveniently located for the accommodation of all the children therein 
entitled to attend the public schools ; and the school committee, unless 
the town otherwise direct, shall keep them in good order, procuring a 
suitable place for the schools, where there is no schoolhouse, and provid- 
ing fuel and all other things necessary for the comfort of the scholars 
therein, at the expense of the town. 

Sect. 37. Any town, at a meeting legally called for the purpose, 
may determine the location of its schoolhouses, and adopt all necessary 
measures to purchase or procure the land for the accommodation thereof. 

Sect. 38. "When land has been designated by a towai, school district, 
or those acting under its authority, or determined upon by the selectmen 
as a suitable place for the erection of a schoolhouse and necessary build- 
ings, or for enlarging a schoolhouse lot, if the owner refuses to sell the 
same, or demands therefor a price deemed by the selectmen unreasona- 
ble, they may, with the approbation of the town, proceed to select, at 
their discretion, and lay out a schoolhouse lot, or an enlargement there- 
of, and to appraise the damages to the owner of such land in the man- 
ner provided for laying out highways, and appraising damages sustained 
thereby ; and upon payment, or tender of payment of the amount of 

36 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 

such damages to the owner, by the town, the land shall be taken, held 
and used for the purpose aforesaid. But no lot so taken or enlarged 
shall exceed, in the whole, eighty square rods, exclusive of the land oc- 
cupied by the school buildings. 

Sect. 39. When the owner feels aggrieved by the laying out or en- 
largement of such lot, or by the award of damages, he may, upon appli- 
cation therefor in writing to the county commissioners within one year 
thereafter, have the matter of his complaint tried by a jury, and the jury 
may change the location of such lot or enlargement, and assess damages 
therefor. The proceedings shall in all respects be conducted in the 
manner provided in cases of damages by laying out highways. If dam- 
ages are increased, or the location changed by the jury, the damages and 
all charges shall be paid by the town ; otherwise, the charges arising on 
such application shall be paid by such applicant. The land so taken 
shall be held and used for no other purpose than that contemplated by 
this chapter, and shall revert to the owner, his heirs or assigns, upon 
the discontinuance there, for one year, of such school as is required by 
law to be kept by the town. 

Sect. 40. The school committee of a town in which the school dis- 
trict system has been abolished, or does not exist, shall have the general 
charge and superintendence of the schoolhouses in said town, so far as 
relates to the use to which the same may be appropriated. 

Sect. 41. Except as may be otherwise provided in their respective 
charters, or acts in amendment thereof, the provisions of this chapter, 
so far as applicable, shall apply to cities. And the mayor and aldermen 
in the several- cities are authorized to execute the powers given in section 
thirty-eight of this chapter to the selectmen and town. 


Section 1. The clerks of the several cities and towns, upon receiving 
from the secretary of the board of education the school registers and 
blank forms of inquiry for school returns, shall deliver them to the 
school committee of such cities and towns. 

Sect. 2. If a school committee fails to receive such blank forms of 
return, on or before the last day of March, they shall forthwith notify 
the secretary of the board of education, who shall transmit such fo^s 
as soon as may be. 

Sect. 3. The assessors shall, annually in the month of May, ascer- 
tain the number of persons in their respective towns and cities, on the 
first day of May, between the ages of five and fifteen years, and, on or 
before the first day of July following, report the same to the school com- 

Sect. 4. The school committee shall, annually, on or before the last 
day of the following April, certify, under oath, the numbers so returned 


to them by the assessors, and also the sum raised by such city or town 
for the support of schools during the preceding school year, including 
only wages and board of teachers, fuel for the schools, and care of the 
fires and schoolrooms, and shall transmit such certificate to the secretary 
of the board of education. 

Sect. 5. The school committee shall cause the school registers to be 
faithfully kept in all the public schools, and shall annually, on or be- 
fore the last day of April, return the blank forms of inquiry, duly filled 
up, to the secretary of the board of education ; and shall also specify in 
said returns the purposes to which the money received by their town or 
city from the income of the school fund has been appropriated. 

Sect. 6. The school committee shall annually make a detailed report 
of the condition of the several public schools, "which report shall contain 
such statements and suggestions, in relation to the schools, as the com- 
mittee deem necessary or proper to promote the interests thereof. The 
committee shall cause said report to be printed for the use of the inhab- 
itants, in octavo, pamphlet form, of the size of the annual reports of the 
board of education, and transmit two copies thereof to the secretary of 
said board, on or before the last day of April, and deposit one copy in 
the office of the clerk of the city or town. 

Sect. 7. When a school committee fails, within the prescribed time, 
to make either the returns or report required of them by law, the secre- 
tary of the board of education shall forthwith notify such committee, or 
the clerk of the city or town, of such failure ; and the committee or 
clerk shall immediately cause the same to be transmitted to the sec- 

Sect. 8. If a report or return is found to be infoimial or incorrect, 
the secretary shall forthwith return the same, with a statement of all 
deficiencies therein, to the committee for its further action. 

Sect. 9. The returns or reports of a city or town so returned by the 
secretary for correction, or which have not reached his office within the 
time prescribed by law, shall be received by him if returned during the 
month of May ; but, in all such cases, ten per cent, shall be deducted 
from the income of the school fund which such city or town would have 
been otherwise entitled to. If such returns or reports fail to reach his 
office before the first day of June, then the whole of such city or town's 
share of the income shall be retained by the treasurer of the common- 
wealth, and the amount so retained, as well as the ten per cent, when 
deducted, shall be added to the principal of the school fund. And such 
city or town shall, in addition thereto, forfeit not less than one hundred 
nor more than two hundred dollars ; provided, however, if said returns 
and reports were duly mailed in season to reach said office within the 
time required by law, then the city or town from which said returns or 
reports are due, shall be exempt from the forfeiture otherwise incurred. 

38 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 

Sect. 10. The clerk of each city and town shall deliver one copy of 
the reports of the board of education and its secretary to the secretary of 
the school committee of the city or town, to be by him preserved for the 
use of the committee, and transmitted to his successor in office ; and two 
additional copies of said reports for the use of said committee ; and shall 
also deliver one copy of said reports to the clerk of each school district, 
to be by him deposited in the school district library, or, if there is no 
such library, carefully kept for the use of the prudential committee, - 
teachers, and inhabitants of the district, during his continuance in of- 
fice, and then transmitted to his successor ; and, in case the city or town 
shall not be disti'icted, said reports shall be delivered to the school com- 
mittee, and so deposited by them as to be accessible to the several teach- 
ers, and to the citizens ; and such reports shall be deemed to be the 
property of the town or city, and not of any officer, teacher, or citizen 

Sect. 11. When the school committee of a city or town is not less 
than thirteen m number, the chairman and secretary thereof may, in 
behalf of the committee, sign the annual school returns and the certifi- 
cate required by sections four and five. 

Sect. 12. A city or town which has forfeited any part of its portion 
of the income of the school fund, through the failure of the school com- 
mittee to perform their duties in regard to the school report and school 
returns, may withhold the compensation of the committee. 

Sect. 13. The several school teachers shall faithfully keep the regis- 
ters furnished to them, and make due return thereof to the school com- 
mittee, or such person as they may designate, and no teacher shall be 
entitled to receive payment for services until the register, properly filled 
up and completed, shall be so returned. 


Section 1. Every person having under his control a child between 
the ages of eight and fourteen years, shall annually, during the contin- 
uance of his control, send such child to some public school in the city or 
town in which he resides, at least twelve weeks, if the public schools of 
such city or town so long continue, six weeks of which time shall be 
consecutive; and, for every neglect of such duty, the party offending 
shall forfeit to the use of such city or town a sum not exceeding twenty 
dollars ; but, if it appears upon the inquiry of the truant officers or 
school committee of any city or town, or upon the trial of any prosecu- 
tion, that the party so neglecting was not able, by reason of poverty, to 
send such child to school, or to furnish him with the means of educa- 
tion, or that such child has been otherwise furnished with the means of 
education for a like period of time, or has already acquired the branches of 
learning taught in the public schools, or that his bodily or mental con- 


dition has been such as to prevent his attendance at school or applica- 
tion to study for the period required, the penalty before mentioned shall 
not be incurred. 

Sect. 2. The truant officers and the school committees of the several 
cities and towns shall inquire into all cases of neglect of the duty pre- 
scribed in the preceding section ; and ascertain from the persons neglect- 
ing the reasons, if any, therefor ; and shall forthwith give notice of all 
violations, with the reasons, to the treasurer of the city or town : and, 
if such treasurer wilfully neglects or refuses to prosecute any person lia- 
ble to the penalty provided for in the preceding section, he shall forfeit 
the sum of twenty dollars. 

Sect. 3. All children within the commonwealth may attend the pub- 
lic schools in the place in which they have their legal residence, subject 
to the regulations prescribed by law. 

Sect. 4. The school committee shall determine the number and qual- 
ifications of the scholars to be admitted into the school kept for the use 
of the whole town. 

Sect. 5. Children living remote from any public school in the town 
in which they reside, may be allowed to attend the public schools in an 
adjoining town, nnder such regulations, and on such terms, as the 
school committees of the said towns agree ^upon and prescribe ; and the 
school committee of the town in which such children reside, shall pay, 
out of the appropriations of money raised in said town for the support 
of schools, the sum agreed upon. 

Sect. 6. Minors under guardianship, their father having deceased, 
may attend the public schools of the city or town of which their guardi- 
an is an inhabitant. 

Sect. 7. With the consent of school committees first obtained, chil- 
dren between the ages of five and fifteen years may attend school in cities 
and towns other than those in which their parents or guardians reside ; 
but whenever a child resides in a city or town different from that of the 
residence of the parent or guardian, for the sole purj^'ose of attending 
school there, the parent or guardian of such child shall be liable to pay 
to such city or town, for tuition, a sum equal to the average expense per 
scholar for such school for the period the child shall have so attended. 

Sect. 8. The school committee shall not allow any child to be ad- 
mitted to or connected with the public schools, who has not been duly 

Sect. 9. No person shall be excluded from a public school on account 
of the race, color, or religious opinions of the applicant or scholar. 

Sect. 10. Every member of the school committee under whose direc- 
tions a child is excluded from a public school, and every teacher of such 
school from which a child is excluded, shall, on application by the pa- 

40 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11. 

rent or guardian of such child, state, in writing, the grounds and rea- 
son of the exclusion. 

Sect. 11. A child unlawfully excluded from any public school shall 
recover damages therefor in an action of tort, to be brought in the 
name of such child by his guardian or next friend against the city or 
town by which such school is supported. 

Sect. 12. The plaintiff in such action may, by filing interrogatories 
for discovery, examine any member of the school committee, or any oth- 
er officer of the defendant city or town, as if he were a party to the 


Section 1. Children of the age of twelve years and under the age 
of fifteen years, who have resided in this State for the term of six 
months, shall not be employed in a manufacturing establishment unless 
within twelve months next preceding the term of such employment they 
have attended some public or private day school, under teachers approv- 
ed by the school committee of the place in which said school was kept, 
at least one term of eleven weeks, and unless they shall attend such a 
school for a like period during each twelve months of such employment. 
Children under twelve years of age, having resided in this State for a 
like period, shall not be so employed unless they have attended a like 
school for the term of eighteen weeks within twelve months next pre- 
ceding their employment, and a like term during each twelve months of 
such employment. 

Sect. 2. The owner, agent, or superintendent of a manufacturing 
establishment, who employs a child in violation of the provisions of the 
preceding section, shall forfeit a sum not exceeding fifty dollars for each 
offence, to be recovered by indictment, to the use of the public schols in 
the city or town where such establishment is situated ; and the school 
committees in the several cities and towns shall prosecute for all such 

Sect. 3. No child under the age of twelve years shall be employed 
in any manufacturing establishment more than ten hours in one day ; 
and the owner, agent, or superintendent who knowingly employs such 
child for a greater number of hours, shall forfeit the sum of fifty dollars 
for each offence, to the use of the person prosecuting therefor. 

Sect. 4. Each city and town may make all needful provisions and 
arrangements concerning habitual truants, and children not attending 
school, or without any regular and lawful occupation, or growing up in 
ignorance, between the ages of five and sixteen years ; and also all such 
by-laws respecting such children as shall be deemed most conducive to 
their welfare and the good order of such city or town ; and there shall 


be annexed to such by-laws suitable penalties, not exceeding twenty dol- 
lars for any one breach : provided, that said by-laws shall be approved 
by the superior court of the county. 

Sect. 5. The several cities and towns availing themselves of the pro- 
visions of the preceding section, shall appoint at the annual meetings of 
such towns, or annually by the mayor and aldermen of such cities, three 
or more persons, who alone shall be authorized, in case of violation of 
such by-laws, to make the complaint, and carry into execution the judg- 
ments thereon. 

Sect. 6. A minor convicted under such by-law of being an habitual 
truant, or if not attending school, or of being without regular and law- 
ful occupation, or growing up in ignorance, may, at the discretion of the 
justice or court having jurisdiction of the case, instead of the fine men- 
tioned in section four, be committed to any such institution of instruc- 
tion, house of reformation, or suitable situation provided for the purpose 
under authority of section four, for such time, not exceeding two years, 
as such justice or court may determine. 

Sect. 7. A minor convicted of either of said offences, and sentenced 
to pay a fine, may, in default of payment thereof, be committed to such 
institution of instruction, house of reformation, or suitable situation 
provided as aforesaid. And upon proof that the minor is unable to pay 
the fine, and has no parent, guardian, or person chargeable with his 
support, able to pay the same, he may be discharged by such justice or 
court whenever it is deemed expedient, or he may be discharged in the 
manner poor convicts may be discharged from imprisonment for non-pay- 
ment of fine and costs. 

Sect. 8. AVarrants issued under this chapter shall be returnable 
before any trial justice or judge of a police court, at the place named 
in the warrant ; and the justice or judge shall receive such compensation 
as the city or town determines. 













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FOR 1861. 




Ward 1. — Horatio G. Morse, George W. Adams. 

u 2. — Joshua Seaver, Ira Allen. 

u 3. — Timothy R. Nute, John D. McGill. 

ic 4. — John "W. Olmstead, Jeremiah Plympton. 

u 5. — Sylvester Bliss, Alfred P. Putnam.