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,
ROXBTJR Y :
L. B. & O. E. WESTON, PRINTERS, GUILD ROW.
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
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
SCHOOL REPORT. 5
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
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.
SCHOOL REPORT. 7
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-
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
8 CITY DOCUMENT. No. 11.
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
SCHOOL REPORT. 9
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-
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
SCHOOL REPORT. 11
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.
REPORT ON THE HIGH AND GRAMMAR SCHOOLS.
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
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
SCHOOL REPORT. 13
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
SCHOOL REPORT. 15
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
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-
SCHOOL REPORT. 17
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." '
FRANCIS STREET GRAMMAR SCHOOL.
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
SCHOOL REPORT. 19
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.
J. W. OLMSTEAD.
RoxBURY, December, 1860.
REPORT ON PRIMARY SCHOOLS.
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
SCHOOL REPORT. 23
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-
SCHOOL EEPORT. 25
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
SCHOOL REPORT. 27
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.
FRANKLIN WILLIAMS, Chairman.
Being fart of the Provisions of the Constitution and General Statutes
relating to Schools.
• [The General Statutes went into operation June 1, I860.]
ARTICLE OF AMEXDMEXT OF THE COXSTITUTIOX.
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.
CHAPTER XXXVI. SCHOOL FUXD.
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.
CHAPTER XXXVIII. PUBLIC 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-
Sect. 5. The committee thus formed shall determine the location of
SCHOOL REPORT. 31
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
SCHOOL REPORT. 33
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
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
SCHOOL REPORT. 35
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.
chapter XL. — SCHOOL REGISTERS AND RETURNS.
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
SCHOOL REPORT. 37
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.
CHAPTER XLI. — ATTENDANCE OE CHILDREN IN THE SCHOOLS.
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-
SCHOOL REPORT. 39
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
CHAPTER XLII. EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN ; TRUANCY.
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
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
SCHOOL REPORT. 41
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-
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.
CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 11.
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ELECTED AT LARGE.
WILLIAM S. KING,
ARIAL I. CUMMINGS.
ELECTED BY WARDS.
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.