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City Document. — iVo. 10.
Cit| d '§^a%hux'^,
L. B. & 0. E. WESTON, PRINTERS, GUILD ROW.
Citii trf llo^^hurj.
In School Committee, May 8, 1861.
The Chairman appointed the following members as the Annual Exam-
ining Committee, viz. :
High and Grammar Schools . — Messrs. Bliss, Olmstead, Cummings,
NuTE, A. P. Putnam, King, and McGill.
Primary Schools. — Messrs. Allen, G. Putnam, Seaver, Plympton,
December 10, 1861.
The Chairman of the Board (Mr. Mouse) submitted his Annual Report.
Mr. Bliss submitted the Annual Report of the High and Grammar
Mr. Allen submitted the Annual Report of the Primary Schools.
All of which were accepted. It W'as then
Ordered, That the several Reports be committed to Messrs. Morse,
Bliss, and Allen to revise, and cause to be printed the usual number of
copies, to be distributed to the citizens of this City, as the Annual Report
of the School Committee.
JOSHUA SEAVER, Secretary.
The system of Public Education established in this City
in former years, has proved so satisfactory, and accom-
plished such desirable results, that the present Committee
have not sought to make therein any essential changes,
but have, by constant oversight, frequent examinations and
advice, endeavored to maintain the standard of usefulness
and excellence to which the schools had already attained.
During the greater part of the year, great excitement
and deep anxiety have prevailed in the community, in
consequence of the existence and progress of the wicked
rebellion against the laws and government of our country.
Although business generally has been prostrated, and all
were apparently absorbed in the progress of events con-
nected with the war, our schools have continued their
regular sessions, and the scholars have pursued their
studies, and have made commendable progress therein.
The whole number of Teachers is 84.
The whole number of Pupils belonging to all the Schools
The cost of maintaining our Public Schools, the current
year is $50,409.02, or $12.11 per scholar.
4 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
The number of Scholars belonging to the High School is
106, under the charge of three teachers.
The cost of maintaining the High School the present
year is $5640, or $53.20 per scholar.
There are five Grammar Schools in the city, the same
as last year. The whole number of Pupils belonging to
the Grammar Schools is 1669, making an average to
each Division of 46 pupils.
The cost of maintaining these schools the current year
is 125,201.76, or $15.10 per scholar.
The number of Primary Schools is forty-three. The
number of Pupils belonging to these schools is 2387,
making an average to each school of 56 pupils.
The cost of maintaining the Primary Schools the present
year is $19,567.26, or $8.20 per scholar.
The whole number of persons in the City last May, be-
tween 5 and 15 years of age, was 5349.
During the present year, four of our teachers have re-
signed. One of these was the efiicient Principal of the
Dudley School, whose faithful and devoted services have
for so many years advanced and sustained the high stand-
ard of excellence to which the scholars of that school
have attained. She was so well adapted to the place she
occupied, and her services proved so acceptable, that her
resignation was received with regret. The others were
the first Assistant of the Dearborn School, and teachers
of the Primary Schools on Yeoman and Orange Streets.
All of these were excellent teachers, and were a loss to
Four teachers have died. One of these, Sarah T. Jen-
nison, teacher in Yeoman Street School, was for many
years one of our best teachers. She was strictly conscien-
tious in the discharge of every duty, and faithful to the
charge committed to her care. Availing herself of every
SCHOOL REPORT. 5
opportunity for improvement, slic souo-lit to make licrself
and licr school acceptable to tlie Committee and parents.
Two others, Mary H. Hicks and Caroline Y. Rice, were
teachers in the Heath Place School, both of whom were
eminently successful in the school-room, and beloved by
their pupils and all who enjoyed their acquaintance. The
fourth was Elizabeth Waldock, teacher of the Francis
Street Primary School. She was faithful and devoted to
While the schools have lost by resignation and death
the services of so many valuable teachers, the Committee
have with much care sought to fill the places thus made
vacant, by the appointment, from a large number of appli-
cants, of those who were apparently the best qualified,
and gave the best assurance of success. Two teachers
were promoted from the Primary Schools to two new
divisions in the Grammar Schools. A considerable number
of teachers have been transferred from one division to
another in the same school. Fiv^ were transferred from
one school to another of the same grade, including those
of the two schools discontinued. Five other Primary
School teachers have been appointed, — three for new
schools, and two to fill vacancies occurring from the pro-
motion of teachers.
The Committee have examined the qualifications of a
large number of applicants for situations as teachers in
the Public Schools ; many of whom were rejected for not
passing a satisfactory examination in the elementary
studies. Of those approved, many have necessarily been
disappointed in not receiving an appointment,- for the
number of those approved greatly exceeded the number of
vacancies that have occurred. Hence, selections had to be
made in favor of those who were apparently best adapted
for particular schools.
It is not always the case that those who pass the best
examination, make the most successful teachers. Although
6 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
a thorough education is the chief element of success, it
avails little without a love for the work, an al)ility to
impart instruction, a power to interest, to oovci-n, and to
make the school exercises pleasant and attractive.
Our teachers, as a whole, are efficient and devoted to
their work, and are accomplisliing satisfactory results.
But there is a small number who, from physical inability,
or unfitness for the positions which they occupy, fail to
meet the expectations of the Committee. It might be ex-
pedient to fill the places now occupied by such teachers,
by the appointment of some of the approved candidates
Avho give convincing proof of their ability to become ex-
During the year there has been no new building erected,
or old one enlarged, and but a small amount expended
upon any of the school-houses, — although the condition and
situation of the building occupied by the Centre Street
Schools seemed to demand that another house, with suit-
able conveniences, should have been provided elsewhere.
The school-house on Edinboro' Street was partially con-
sumed by fire in the early part of the year, but has been
repaired and put in good condition. The hall in the
Dearborn School-House has been divided by a partition,
making two good school-rooms. The Orange Street
School-House has been repaired, and put in a more suitable
The number of scholars belonging to the schools has
increased in certain localities, and diminished in others.
One new division has been added to the Dudley, and one
to the Dearborn School, while it has been found practica-
ble to discontinue one division in the Comins. Five new
Primary Schools have been opened during the year, —
three in the school-house on George Street, one in the
Comins School-Building, and the other in a hired room on
SCHOOL REPORT. 7
Trumoiit Street; while one of the Yeomiui Street and the
Almshouse Schools liave been discontinued.
All the schools, with three exceptions, are furnished
with suitable rooms for their present wants. One division
of the Dudley School occupies a room in Octagon Hall,
and one of the Primary Schools is kept in a basement-
room in a dwellino'-house on Tremont Street. Both rooms
are hired, and both schools are incommoded by their situa-
tion and want of necessary conveniences.
A new house will soon be demanded for the school on
Tremont Street, and to still further relieve the Sudbury
Street Schools. A new house should be erected for the
Centre Street Schools, upon another site, as soon as pos-
In school, the teacher is in authority. He must enforce
the approved rules of the school, and cause compliance
with all just requirements. If he fails to accomplish this,
his influence and usefulness are gone, and nought can result
but discord and fruitless effort.
The school regulations require the teachers to govern
by the use of persuasive and gentle measures, as far as
practicable ; but firm, prudent and vigilant discipline must
be maintained. In order to elfect this, other means of in-
fluencing the pupil having failed, corporal punishment may
be resorted to. In most of our schools, there is seldom
occasion for the application of the rattan or ferule, for the
scholars are commonly influenced by other means ; but at
times cases will occur which demand some corrective be-
side moral lectures. At such times gentle measures are
of no avail, and it becomes necessary to resort to corporal
punishment to subdue the transgressor, and restrain him
in future. It is for the best interest of all, that each one
should be required to observe the approved rules of the
school, and render a ready obedience to the requirements
of the teacher; and when one becomes disobedient and
8 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
refractory, it is better for himself that he should be made
obedient and submissive.
Teachers, in enforcing an observance of the rules of the
school, and in inflicting the penalty of transgression, need
decision and firmness, tempered with moderation and for-
bearance. They should be able to ascertain the disposi-
tion and temperament of the pupil, so as to discriminate
between those who commit offences intentionally or obsti-
nately, and those guilty of some wrong through playfulness
or mirthfulness, which from their temperament they may
be unable to restrain.
Teachers are not justified in punishing with undue sever-
ity, or inflicting blows or any injuries upon a child's head.
About two years since, the Almshouse was assigned as
" a suitable situation or the institution of instruction " re-
quired by the Statutes for the commitment of truants.
Suitable rooms were furnished, play -grounds enclosed with
a substantial fence, and every convenience was there pro-
vided. The boys were kept separate and distinct from
the other inmates of the house, a competent teacher was
appointed to have the care and instruction of the boys,
and she faithfully devoted her time and energy in advanc-
ing them in their studies, improving their manners, and
training them to usefulness. The school was accom-
plishing satisfactory results, in reforming and elevating
boys who otherwise would be growing up in ignorance,
forming vicious and degrading habits, and developing tem-
pers and qualities that would ultimately lead them to
wretchedness and crime. It, also, had a salutary effect, in
removing the evil influence that such boys were exerting
upon others, and in restraining some from becoming
truants. Last year it became necessary, by the revision
of the Statutes, that the City Government should pass
another ordinance in relation to truants, which from some
SCHOOL REPORT. 9
cause failed to pass tlic Common Council, so that no com-
mitments of truants could be made, and tlie school had to
Without any effectual restraint, the number of habitual
truants has greatly increased ; who, with a large number
of boys thrown out of employ by the prostration of busi-
ness, are to be found roaming about the streets, ready to
commit any mischief. They greatly annoy and disturb the
quiet and security of any neighborhood where they may
by chance congregate. While they are allowed to continue
in their pernicious course with impunity, the bad influence
they exert upon each other tends to aggravate and in-
crease the evil, and make them nuisances in the com-
The interest of our children, the usefulness of our
schools, the comfort of our families, and the security of
property, demand that some measure should be adopted to
restrain and reform these neglected boys. Besides, it is
no less a duty which we owe to them.
It is hoped that the City Council will soon pass an Or-
dinance, so that the Almshouse School can be reopened,
and all truants and vagrant boys compelled to benefit
themselves, and to respect the rights of others.
Only a small portion of the important topics connected
with our educational system has been considered at the
present time. A detailed report of the condition of our
schools, will be found embodied in the accompanying
reports of the Chairmen of the two Examining Committees.
In conclusion, our Schools are earnestly commended to
the sympathy and cooperation of parents, and to the con-
fidence and watchful care of our successors in office.
HORATIO G. MORSE, Chairman
of School Committee.
K E P O H T
HIGH AND GIUMMAR SCHOOLS
Gentlemen op the School Committee :
In compliance with a vote of this Board, of the 20th
lilt., the uudersigned has the honor to submit the following
Report of the condition of our High and Grammar Schools,
for the year now closing.
The several divisions of these schools have had their
usual examination, near the close of each school term: —
in February, by their respective Local Committees ; in
July, by such members of our Board as the Chairman
designated ; and in May and November, by a special Ex-
amining Committee, — as shown in the annexed tabulated
arrangement. (See the following page.)
The examinations in May and November are usually ex-
pected to be more minute and thorough than those at other
seasons. The undersigned, however, avails himself of all
the reports of Examiners, in forming his estimate of the
present condition of our PJigh and Grammar Schools. He
has, also, more than once during the year, personally visit-
ed each division ; and, therefore, can speak somewhat from
observation, as well as from the testimony of others.
CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
High School, 1st Div.
Dudley,... .1st "
Dearborn,. ..1st "
COMINS, 1st "
SCHOOL REPORT. 13
The Scliools of Roxbiiry may, very properly, be con-
sidered a unit — as one scliool, comprising a re<iiilar
gradation of divisions, from the First Division in the
" Higli," through those of the Grammar and Primary, to
tlie Sub-Primary Schools. And the i)lacc in our schools,
for any pupil desiring instruction, is to be determined by
his or her qualification to pursue to advantage the course
of study respectively prescribed.
"THE HIGH SCHOOL."
This school, standing at the head of our Public Schools,
was reorganized a few months prior to the commencement
of the present year, — provision being made for the in-
struction of boys, in what was formerly known as the
"High School for Girls." A favorable opportunity was
presented, for this arrangement, by the removal, to another
field of labor, of the highly-esteemed Principal of that
school; and Mr. Samuel M. Weston, the able Principal of
our late " English High School for Boys,'' was made the
head of the school, as reorganized. His scholarly assis-
tant in the Boys' School, Mr. George H. Gorely, was
elected Sub-Principal ; and Miss Sarah A. M. Gushing, the
accomplished and efficient former Principal of the Comins
School, was appointed Assistant.
Thus reorganized as a school for both sexes, under an
experienced and able corps of teachers, the increased
number of scholars and a new school division required
enlarged accommodations; which the City Government
generously provided, by the reconstruction of its High
School Building, — the internal arrangement of which is
all that can now, or for some years in the future, be de-
sired ; though more out-door room in connection would be
very acceptable. As reconstructed, the building comprises
a finished basement story, to which the girls alone have
access, — it being their play-room and place for physical
exercise ; the first floor, occupied by the Third Division,
14 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
in care of Miss Cushing; the second floor, occupied by
the Second Division, under Mr. Gorely ; the third floor,
occupied by the First Division, under the special instruc-
tion of the Principal ; and a well-finished hall in the attic,
for singioir or any public or general exercise. There are,
also, separate dressing-rooms to each stoi'v.Avith entrances
and stairways, on opposite sides of the building, — those
on the west side being exclusively appropriated to the
girls; and those on the east side to the boys. Its occu-
pancy by the school began with the present year, and time
has sufficiently shown its admirable adaptation to the use
for which it was designed.
The condition of the school, under its new arrangement,
shows its reorganization to have been dictated by an en-
lightened wisdom. In the union of two schools, so differ-
ently constituted, it was not unnatural there should be
anticipated some difficulty in its working; but in the
amount of this, there has been a happy disappointment and
successful issue. The two sexes are as separate, each
from the other, and are apparently as unconscious of the
other's presence, as- they would be in a Sabbath School,
church, or well-regulated family. They are separate dur-
ing recess, communication during school hours is not per-
mitted, recitations are conducted without a change of seats,
and while either sex will naturally be more ambitious to
excel in study and be correct in deportment, when in the
presence of the other, there is no more opportunity for
undesirable acquaintance than is afforded by separate
schools, or by long walks to and from the neighboring me-
tropolis. He who " setteth the solitary in families," and
^' maketh him families like a flock," doubtless knew, when
he established the family relation, under what circumstan-
ces youth of either, sex would be most judiciously trained.
When we look for those having the highest appreciation
of the proprieties of social intercourse, do we not find
them in well-ordered families, where brother and sister
SCriOOL REPORT. 15
have liTown up tog'othcr, each cxertiiiii; a hcuciicial iiillu-
ciicc over the other? And the nearer our schools arc
bi'ought to such an arrano-ement, do they not so much
nearer come to the standard given by the Creator ?
A year's trial was needed to show the harmonious
working of the new organization. That period having
elapsed, it can now be spoken of with nndoubting confi-
dence. The Committees, who have had occasion to report
respecting this school, have spoken of all its departments
in terms of high commendation. Its government is de-
signed to be decided, but parental ; its instruction is
thorough, and adapted to the intellectual capacity and
literary qualifications of its pupils ; and, in all respects, it
is believed to be a model school.
The Examiner of the First Division, at the close of the
Winter term, remarked of the entire school, that being
" thus successful in its commencement, the Committee can-
not but indulge the heart-pleasing assurance of the bless-
ing which our rising generation will realize in the higher
walks of learning, from this institution. It merits," he
says, " in an eminent measure, the confidence and aid, alike
of the Committee at large and of the public." The Ex-
aminer of all the Divisions in July, " derived the impres-
sion that the school is in a very satisfactory state." He
"I was much gratified by what I saw and heard. The building
seems to afford every convenience. The basement, used for physical
exercise, is not the least useful part of the establishment ; and I was
assured that the benefits were already apparent, in the improved health
and vigor of the pupils."
The Examiner of the First Division in May and Novem-
ber, speaks of it in highly complimentary terms, after each
examination. In his later report, he says that '' Nothing
there is half-learned and passed over." The answers to
questions, " pointed and unsparing," were " prompt and
accurate ;" and the opinion is expressed, that the course
16 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
of study is adapted to entiourage habits of thought and
critical investigation. Whilst all the studies are highly
complimented, he says of the instruction in French, —
" It is taught as a living language, as it should be. And in this
branch, especially, does the accomplished Principal excel (if in any
one thing more than in another) in awakening in his pupils that schol-
arly emulation which can but promise most noble and satisfactory
results. The pronunciation of this language is not the least difficult
task to the pupils : and ] was astonished and gratified to find so accu-
rate and smooth the pronunciation, with scarcely an exception."
Of their text-book, so far as read, he says :
" They know every word — its pronunciation, root, signification, and
variations. Even the irregular verbs, so trying and perplexing to a
beginner, they handle admirably."
The Examiner of the Second Division, at the close
of the Winter term, spoke of it as " well taught, and well
disciplined ; and of the scholars, as intelligent and happy."
The Examiner in the Spring and Fall, gave particular at-
tention to the exercises in "Reading, Declamation, Geome-
try, History, Physical Geography, English Literature, etc."
And, while this division was specially assigned him, the
school generally was not overlooked. " He believes it to
be, without exception, in a most satisfactory condition.
The instruction is unexceptionably thorough and excellent.
The discipline is admirable ; and one has only to pass
through the High School, with due scrutiny, to feel assur-
ed that, in its reconstructed and comprehensive form, it is
an ornament and a blessing to the city."
The Third Division is equally promising with the others,
and its teacher, also, is untiring and successful in her ef-
. forts, doing our city a most valuable service. The Exam-
iner in the Winter term, spoke of the " great efficiency and
faithfulness on the part of teacher, and interest and pro-
gress on the part of scholars." In the Spring, the exer-
cises were referred to as " of a high order, indicating great
thoroughness of instruction, and a corresponding attention
SCHOOL REPORT. 17
to their studies by the school." In Iiis Fall Report, the
same Examiner said : " Tlie school, in all its branches of
study, and varied interest, attests the faithfulness and thor-
oughness of the teacher, and the progress of her pupils.
It is enough to say that there is no room for criticism or
The writer, also, as Local Committee, has devoted con-
siderable attention to this school, and has ever been much
pleased with the progress made, and tho interest manifested
by the pupils in their studies. If he might particularize,
he would say, that in Composition they excel. It has
been his pleasure here to listen to many finely-written
essays, some of which would do much credit to older years.
On suggesting that the pupils in the Third Division write
on " The Trials, Pleasures and Duties of our School-Day
Life," they all cheerfully complied, and read to him, in the
presence of each other, their several compositions ; which,
on such a subject, could not be other than original. The
greater number of these were very creditable to the wri-
ters, and some displayed a marked superiority in this
department of literature. That class is now in a higher
division, but the present one is making commendable pro-
gress in this direction.
In the study of History, both Ancient and Modern, it is
not forgotten that Geography, no less than Chronology,
is one of the " eyes " through which is perceived the rel-
ative importance of recorded events; and, therefore,
Map-Drawing in this division receives particular attention.
There should, however, be kept in mind the important dis-
tinction between this exercise and Map-Coj9?/w^, — to
which no reference is here made. Handsomely exetjuted
maps, the work of an hour of leisure and kept for show,
may be very creditable to one's artistic skill and taste,
but are no evidence of Geographical knowledge. It is,
therefore, with much pleasure, we have seen the pupils
draw maps on the black-board, entirely from memory, —
18 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
giving the meridian and parallel lines ; locating, according
to their latitude and longitude, the important points, viz :
mouths of rivers, head-lands, heads of bays, chief towns,
&c. ; then drawing the river and coast lines, as they con-
form to these leading points, and filling up, with more or
less minuteness, according to their knowledge of the rela-
tive locality of places. This is a profitable exercise, and
will, more than any other, test the proficiency of a class in
Geography. An additional step, in this direction, is to
state the latitude and longitude of the leading points, as
they are severally located, and to accompany the drawing
of the coast lines, &c., with a description of the localities
respectively designated, — thus reciting as the map is being-
made. Maps, thus drawn, are equally serviceable in the
recitation of History, as in that of Geography ; and, as in
the recitation of the last named study, so here, the draw-
ing of the map may be accompanied with a narration of
historical events associated with the localities illustrated.
The High, in common with our Grammar Schools, is fa-
vored one hour each week with instruction, by Mr. Charles
Butler, in Vocal Music. On such occasions, the three divi-
sions assemble in the upper hall. The benefit to this, and
to the other schools, of these exercises, will not be over-
estimated. Good music is an important auxiliary to our
social enjoyment, and it is no less desirable in the school-
room than elsewhere. The cultivation of the human
voice, it is admitted by all, is of great importance. The
singing in our schools has been greatly improved under
Mr. Butler's judicious instruction ,• and, doubtless, many a
school-boy's and school-girl's home has been much enliv-
ened by the music and sweet lyrics learned in school.
Instruction in drawing has been given, — one hour in
each division twice a week — during the past year, by Mr.
B. F. Nutting. The present Third Division began the
Fall term with the first principles in this art, whilst the
higher divisions have enjoyed longer instruction. They are
SCHOOL REPORT. 19
progressing finely. Many of the pupils arc able to copy
pictures and sketch objects in quite an artistic manner;
and, before their course of study terminates, tliey are ex-
pected to be able to sketch from nature.
Physical exercise, so far as the girls are concerned, is
not here overlooked. They are supplied with clubs,
wands, bags of beans and dumb-bells, with which are per-
formed in their private play-room various gymnastic evo-
lutions, adapted to their physical development. Such
training has been too much neglected in the past: but,
it is hoped, this will not be a fault of the future. Some
similar provision for the boys is much needed.
In addition to the regular three years' course, a fourth
year is permitted to such scholars as wish to pursue their
studies. The present number of these is eight, and more,
doubtless, will avail themselves of the additional year,
as its value becomes appreciated.
There has been no change of teachers in the school dur-
ing the year, except during the temporary illness of the
Sub-Principal, in the Winter term, when Miss Jane S.
Owen, of Cambridge, taught a few weeks with great accep-
tance, — sustaining herself with marked ability.
The system of checks and credits here observed, and
by which each parent or guardian is furnished with a
monthly report of any pupil under his or her care, is
worthy of notice. Each recitation, with the daily deport-
ment of every member of the school, is carefully noted ;
and, at the close of each month, the scholars severally
take to their parents a statement of their relative rank
as to deportment and scholarship in the school, — showing
the number of lessons recited, and specifying whether of
the first, second, or third order of excellence, or bad;
giving the number of credits in the various exercises,
and stating the number of irregularities — each report
being accompanied with any remarks the given case
may require. The parent or guardian may thus have an
20 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
eye continually over his child or ward, in school as well
as out ; which is a consideration of no small importance.
Finally, in respect to our High School, its whole tone is
excellent. There is a good understanding and cheerful
cooperation among all the teachers; and they are ever
ready to execute the wishes of this Board, and of their
Local Committee. It is a school of which our citizens
may well be proud. Their sons and daughters are here
supplied with the means of instruction, adapted to make
them useful members of society. The pride and flower of
many families are here assembled ; and here centre ex-
pectations for the future, which should be fostered by this
Board, and to which no inhabitant of Boxbury should be
The Catalogue for the year 1861, appended to this
Report, will show the whole attendance, with the schools
from which the pupils have come, the promotions in, and
the graduations from our High School.
This is a Girls' School, comprising five divisions. It
was the earliest formed of* our Grammar Schools. A few
years since, it was the only school of its grade in Rox-
bury, accommodating in a single hall all the children of
both sexes, for whom such instruction was needed. Under
the judicious management of its then Principal, now a
member of this Board, it attained a high position ; and
for a time, after becoming a girls' school, it was their
only High School that our city afforded. The formation
of the late "English High School for Boys," and "High
School for Girls," lowered somewhat the grade of our
Grammar Schools, — transferring to the former the higher
course of study. In connection with that change the
former Principal of this school resigned, and his place
was most acceptably filled, until the 16th of March last,
by Miss Adaline Seaver, now Mrs. Houghton, — a gifted,
SCHOOL REPORT. 21
thorough, and energetic teacher, and an admirable disci-
plinarian, who won the love of her pupils and the conli-
dence of their parents. When, early in the year, Miss
Seaver announced her intended resignation, this Board
elected to her place, from a list of more than seventy ap-
plicants, Miss Sarah J. Baker, late a teacher in the High
School in Nantucket; who has admirably performed her
duties, keeping the school up to its former high standing,
and giving undoubted promise of continued success.
The First Division comprises two sub-divisions, of two
classes each — the one sub-division being under the special
instruction of the Principal, and the other under that of
Miss Emmie C. Allen, her head Assistant, whose scholarly
and other qualifications, with industry and success in teach-
ing, amply lit her for a higher department of instruction.
The Examiner of this division, at the close of the
Winter term before the retirement of Miss Seaver,
found it " in its usual prosperous condition." In July, all
the divisions were visited by one Examiner, who was
"greatly pleased with the condition of this entire school.''
The Examiner in the Spring and Fall, found this division,
" no less prosperous than in former years. The prompt-
ness and general accuracy of the answers given by the
four classes, their propriety of deportment, apparent affec-
tion for their teachers, manifest interest in their studies,
and respectful attention, were all indicative of a well-in-
structed and well-disciplined school." The teachers are
untiring in their labors, and spare no effort to continue
this division the equal of any of its grade in the city. In
Map-Drawing from memory on the black-board, and in
Mental Arithmetic, this school is coming up finely; and the
pupils are realizing the difference between map-drawing
The Examiner of the Second, Miss Sarah J. Leavitt's
Division, at the close of the Winter term, spoke " de-
cidedly in testimony of the efficiency of the teacher, and
22 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
of the interest and progress of the scholars." The one
who examined in May, referred to " this division and its
teacher in terms of decided praise." The report in
July was very complintentary ; and in the Fall, the Exam-
iner said, " This division is certainly doing well." The
writer has not been unobservant of the good order and
prompt answers, and of the cheerful and intelligent faces
that may be found in this, and in all the divisions of the
school. This division is very thoroughly instructed by a
very competent teacher.
The Examiner of the Third, Miss Clara B. Tucker's
Division, at the close of the Winter term, '-was pleased
to find it in all respects in a very satisfactory condition,"
— affording him " much pleasure." In the Spring, its Ex-
aminer was satisfied " that its teacher had labored faith-
fully and successfully in discharging ' the duties of her
position. The writing-books of the pupils had been kept
with unusual care and neatness, and a commendable inter-
est had evidently been taken in the study of Arithmetic."
In July it was in " a good condition ; " and in the Fall, it is
spoken of as having a " most excellent teacher." The Ex-
aminer adds : " The division committed to her charge
bears witness to her ability and success as an instructress
and disciplinarian. The exercises at the examination were
all quite satisfactory. The order of the school was also
unexceptionable." This testimony is well deserved.
The Fourth, Miss Helen J. Otis' Division, at the
close of the Winter term, gave the Examiner " evidence
of being well taught." In May it was said, " The exercises
in most of the branches were very satisfactory; and the
school, on the whole, gives good promise for the future."
In July it was spoken of approvingly ; and in the Fall it
was observed : '' The teacher of this division has plainly
endeavored to discharge faithfully the duties of her posi-
tion, and has by no means labored without su,ccess."
The Fifth Division was not formed till the Spring term.
SCHOOL REPORT. 23
whou Miss Eliza Brown — who had li.-aincd a reputation as
a tcaciicr in Primary School, No, 40, in George Street —
was placed in charge. The Examiner in May, said, " Tlie
condition of Miss Brown's Division affords no chance for
criticism or recommendation. The progress of the exam-
ination was a continued and uninterrupted pleasure. It
was quite thorough; but scarcely a single question failed
to be answered promptly and correctly. The order was
perfect, and the relations between teacher and pupils were
evidently pleasant and profitable to both parties." In
July, this division gave no less pleasure to the one to whom
the examination was assigned; and in the Fall, its Exam-
iner had only to " confirm his previous report." He adds :
" It seemed to him then almost a model school, so far as
the character of it depended on the teacher. The divi-
sion is now more numerous than then ; yet the general
condition of the school has not suffered by increase."
This division occupies the lower room in " Octagon
Hall." The prospect now is that, at the commencement
of the next term, when promotions are again made from
the Primary Schools, this room, with the four in the Dud-
ley Building, will be crowded to their utmost capacity — if
not over crowded. It is thus evident that for any future
increase, additional school-room will be needed. The pres-
ent apartment in Octagon Hall might accommodate a
greater number, if its owner would remove the bank
vault, that occupies considerable space besides disfiguring
the room ; which has now forty, all the pupils it can Well
accommodate. Its ventilation, also, is defective, but may
be easily remedied.
This is a Boys' School, of which Mr. John Kneeland is
Principal. It ranks second, in age, in our list of Grammar
Schools — -comprising five regular divisions, and one for
" Special Instruction." The teachers are the same as last
24 . CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 10.
• At the close of the Winter term, the Examiner of the
First and Second Divisions, spoke of their being " in good
condition, and satisfactory." In the Spring, it was said,
" The First Division, under the care of Mrs. Harriet E.
Burrell, and more especially and directly under the super-
vision of its Principal, Mr. Kneeland, gave evidence of the
most careful and thorough training. In Grammar espec-
ially this division excels." The other studies are also
referred to as being "all that could be asked — the Writ-
ing showing marked proficiency, as well as the Map-Draw-
ing." The same Examiner in November speaks of the First
Division as "in an excellent condition. Promptness, with
thoroughness, are the principal characteristics observed."
He also refers to the labors of the head Assistant, Mrs.
Burrell, as "eminently successful." In July, the examina-
tion devolved on the writer, who is able to endorse the
high estimate above given of teachers and school. Map-
Drawing on the black-board, from memory, is not here
The Second, Miss Ann M. Williams' Division, at the
close of the Winter term, was noticed in connection with
the First. The Third, Miss Delia Mansfield's Division,
and the Fourth, Miss Rebecca A. Jordan's, at the time re-
ferred to, gave their Examiner "much satisfaction and
pleasure." He said:
" The exercises in Reading and Spelling, in both divisions, were excel-
lent. The recitations in Geography and Arithmetic were also very
creditable. The order in these divisions is excellent — the teachers
possessing the rare and happy faculty of awakening an interest in
their pupils, and of securing their attention during the exercises. In
the Third Division, a few selections of Poetry were read with fine
effect. Several beautiful specimens of Map-Drawing were also exhib-
ited, evincing a good degree of skill and taste in that useful branch."
In the Spring, the Examiner of the 1st, 2d and 3d Divi-
sions was " gratified at being able to say that he had never
before examined those divisions when they appeared as a
whole so well as at present." After speaking more par-
SCHOOL REPORT. • 25
ticularly of the First, he adds: "The Second and Third
Divisions, also, were in most respects fully up to my antic-
ipations respecting them." The teachers, recitations, and
deportment of the scholars also were highly compliment-
ed. He remarked of the Second Division in Novem-
ber : " The pupils are orderly and are making commenda-
ble progress." And of the Third Division, he said : " The
teacher is working hard, and her efforts are successful.
The pupils seem cheerful and happy, and the order is ad-
mirable." In July, these divisions ajtpcared to be well
disciplined, and under a judicious course of teaching. The
pupils were cheerful and respectful, and showed much in-
terest, promptness and accuracy in recitation.
At the close of the Winter term, the Examiner of the
Fifth, Miss Harriet M. Daniell's Division, and of the class
for Special Instruction, in care of Mrs. Caroline C. Drown,
spoke of their " excellent order," and of the "good improve-
ment there apparent." The Fourth, Fifth, and " Special,"
were spoken of, both in the Spring and Fall, as " in a
very satisfactory condition" — proficiency in Arithmetic be-
ing especially noticed. The Examiner in July was well
pleased with their general condition, with the evidence of
progress on the part of scholars, and of faithfulness and
success on the part of teachers. This entire school may
safely be spoken of in terms of high commendation. The
Principal is competent and devoted to his work ; and the
teachers know, and perform their respective duties.
The division for " Special Instruction " is for boys
whose opportunities, or means of improvement, have been
less than those usually enjoyed by pupils of their age.
Those thus circumstanced are liable so to distrust their
own ability, as to make little effort to excel. They there-
fore, more than others, need special encouragement and
kind words from visitors, and to be made to feel self-
reliant. Their teacher is admirably adapted to their man-
26 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
agemeut and instruction; and the most of them are mak-
ing very creditable progress. Let their hopes be encour-
aged, and their resolves strengthened, and not a few of
them will become respectable scholars, and useful citizens.
At each school promotion, more or less of their number find
a place in the regular divisions ; and they should all aim at
such a result. They should not be deterred from vigorous
exertion, by any disparaging reference, here or elsewhere ;
but every encouragement should be afforded them for
This school, Mr. William H. Long, Principal, comprises
twelve divisions, — five of girls, six of boys, and one, the
First, a mixed division.
The First Division is spoken of by the Examiner in Feb-
ruary, as " showing a good degree of proficiency." " In
Grammar the girls excelled ; " also, '•' in Reading, Writing,
and Composition;" whilst "in Arithmetic the boys were
at home, as also in Map-Drawing. In Geography the pro-
ficiency of the two sexes was nearly equal, as it was also
in Spelling, Defining, and the Yocal Drill." He adds :
" In no other school in Roxbury have we ever seen so
many and so accurate Map-Drawings." The Composition
books presented " a commendable neatness and accuracy."
The order of the room is described as " excellent ; and
the discipline as mild and parental." The teachers in this
division are deservedly spoken of, as " untiring in their
efforts to make this a model school:" and the Examiner
bore " a hearty testimony " to their success.
Shortly after the above examination, Miss Ruth P. Stock-
bridge, who, as a teacher, is justly complimented in the
above, resigned her place as head Assistant, and Miss Maria
L. Tincker, the efficient teacher of the Second Division of
Boys, was appointed to the place thus made vacant. Her
lady -like deportment, ability, and tact as a teacher as shown
SCHOOL REPORT. 27
by her success of the previous year, made this a judicious
appointment ; which opinion is confirmed by personal obser-
vation of her labors in her new position. She is one of
our most valuable teachers. The Examiner in July says :
" The result of the examination was satisfactory. Being
the cream of a very large school, much was expected from
the sch'olars, and your Examiner was not disappointed."
Another Examiner says of this division, also of the Second
and Third of Boys : " Your Committee gave such time and
attention as he was able to command to the examination
of these divisions, both in May and November. They all
impressed him as being well instructed, and under whole-
The place vacated by Miss Tincker, in the Second
Division of Boys, was filled by the appointment of Miss
Rebecca R. Pettingill, a graduate of the Normal School at
Bridgewater, who is proving herself a most excellent and
acceptable teacher. The writer has visited this division
sufficiently to form a very high estimate of the discipline
and instruction it enjoys.
The Examiner, at the close of the Winter term, speaks
of the examination of the Second Division of Girls, Miss
Ellen A. Marean's; of the Fourth, Mrs. Clementine B.
Thompson's, and of the 2d, 5th, 6th and 7th of Boys, " as
generally very good, and much of it as excellent. The
answers in Geography were prompt, and almost uniformly
correct. In Spelling, twenty words were selected for trial
between corresponding divisions of girls and boys ; and
in each case the girls had a larger percentage of correct
answers." At this examination, the Third Division of
Boys, Miss Sarah S. Adams', was reported " in a satisfac-
tory condition ; " and the Fourth, Miss Henrietta M.
Young's, is described as having " an excellent teacher,"
one "earnest, mild, firm," well instructed in the subjects
taught, " and infusing life," &c., among her pupils. The
Third Division of Girls, Miss Caroline J. Nash's, and the
28 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
Fifth, Miss Mary C Hewes', are spoken of at the s-ame
examination, as " in a highly satisfactory condition," and
" under judicious and careful training."
The Examiner in July of the Second Division of Girls,
found it fully " up to the mark." He also found the Sec-
ond Division of Boys making commendable progress ; and
judged that if they do not advance as they should, it "will
not be the fault of their teacher," who '-is able and willing
to do her part." The Examiner in July of all the lower
divisions of this school reported them " in all respects
perfectly satisfactory, reflecting great credit on teachers
The Examiner, in the Spring and Fall terms, of the
Fourth Division of Boys, Miss Young's, of the Fifth, Miss
Frances L. Breeden's, of the Sixth, Miss Ann M. Backup's,
and of the Seventh, Miss Margaret E. Davis', speaks of
them, after each examination, as " in a very satisfactory
condition," — showing " great proficiency in Arithmetic."
The Sixth Division of Boys had a change of teachers at
the commencement of the Spring term — its former excellent
teacher. Miss Louisa J. Fisher, being then appointed to the
Sixth, a new and very promising division of girls ; and Miss
Ann M. Backup, who had been one of our most thorough
and successful Primary School teachers, was elected to the
place, and is now doing a good work in her new position.
The attachment shown by the boys to their new teacher,
their intelligent answers, and good order, speak well for
the instruction and discipline of this division.
The Examiner of the 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th and 6th Divisions
of Girls, both in May and November, reported them " in
a very flourishing condition. Their rank appears well
graduated — each higher division showing a commendable
degree of progress in study, in advance of the next lower.
The pupils were at home in their several departments;
and the cheerfulness with which they submitted to a some-
what protracted examination, indicated that their studies
SCHOOL REPORT. 29
"were not distasteful ; and their promptness and general
accuracy of recitation were very creditable to teachers and
scholars. The Examiner had nothing to criticise, but very
much to commend."
Taking this school as a vt^hole, it is in a fine condition,
under an able and careful Principal, and having an excellent
corps of teachers.
This school, — Mr. Daniel W. .Tones, Principal, and Miss
Carrie K. Nickerson, head Assistant, — like the Dearborn,
has a mixed division, comprising pupils of both sexes, with
five divisions of girls, and five of boys. The. teachers, in
all these divisions, up to the close of the Fall term, were
the same as last year.
At the close of the Winter term, the Examiner spoke of
the First Division, also of the Second of Girls, Miss Mary
C. Eaton's, and Second of Boys, Mrs. Alice C. Pierce's, as
" generally satisfactory." The Third and Fifth Divisions
of Boys were not thought by him to be up to the general
standard of the school. The Fourth Division of Boys,
Miss Esther M. Nickerson's, gave the Examiner " special
satisfaction." There was " the happiest understanding be-
tween the scholars and their genial and efficient teacher."
He had " seldom had the pleasure of visiting a better divis-
ion ill any of our Grammar Schools." The boys were
" wide awake, and much interested in their studies ;" in
which they were " earnest and successful."
At the same examination, the Third Division of Girls,
Miss Elizabeth W. Young's, and the Fom'th, Miss Almira
W. Chamberline's, were "in a good condition, both as to
order and attainments." The Fifth Division of Girls, Miss
Ehzabeth A. Morse's, the Sixth, Miss Charlotte P. VVilhams',
and the Sixth of Boys, Miss Nancy L. Tucker's, were
spoken of as "satisfactory" — "the scholars appearing to
advantage, and acquitting themselves well."
The First Division of this school, and the Second of Girls,
30 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
with the Second of Boys, are spoken of at the close of the
Spring and Fall terms, " as orderly, and apparently making-
progress," and as "exhibiting mnch to approve, somewhat
to commend, and little to condemn" — the Francis Street
School being included in the same generalization.
The Examiner of the other Divisions in May " was
greatly gratified with their recitations and behavior." In
November, he speaks more in detail, and says of the Third
Division of Boys, Miss Sarah M. Vose's : " The teacher
appears to be excellently well qualified for her position.
The discipline is good, the answers to questions in Arithme-
tic, Geography and Spelling were prompt, and their read-
ing very good." The Third Division of Girls is spoken of
as "comparing favorably with its corresponding grade in
any of our schools." The teacher of the Fourth Division
of Boys " commands the obedience and atfection of her
pupils," who " are interested in their studies." In the
Fourth of Girls, he '■' was gratified to see happy faces,"
and to listen to "sprightly recitations, — their answers
being full, prompt and very correct, and their reading unu-
sually good — reflecting much to the credit of the teacher."
Their singing, also, is much complimented. The Fifth of
Girls "recited with readiness;" and the Sixth is spoken of
as "one of the best in the school." The Fifth of Boys,
Miss Mary F. Angler's, is reported more qualifiedly, but as
showing improvement in recitations since May; and the
Sixth, also, with some qualification, was " doing well."
Finally, he says, " there is a marked improvement in this
whole school since May, and no small share of the credit
attaches to the Principal, who seems to have interested him-
self in every department."
The Examiner, in July, of this entire school, found in
the girls' department " little to criticise, and much to com-
mend. The deportment throughout was excellent. The
recitations generally were very satisfactory. The Spelling,
in all these divisions, was remarkably good. Also the Writ-
ing evinced great care and neatness. In the Second and
Fourth Divisions, the Reading was particularly worthy of
SCHOOL REPORT. 31
praise. The several divisions of boys, with one or two excep-
tions, were found in a good condition." In the 2d, 3d and 4th
of these divisions, " the deportment was good, and the recita-
tions in all respects were quite satisfactory." In the First Di-
vision, the exercises in both classes "were generally very cred-
itable" — particularly in the First. The Writing was "excel-
lent," and the " written exercises and compositions were
very good. Some attention had been profitably devoted
to Map and other Drawing — evincing taste and skill in
that department." He adds, "The teachers of this large
and somewhat difficult school appear to be faithful and de-
voted to their work, and deserve the sympathy and cooper-
ation of parents and others." Map-Drawing from memory
is receiving attention.
Since the Fall examination, the Second Division of Boys
and Second of Girls have been consolidated, — makiiig only
one Second, and that a mixed division in care of Mrs.
Pierce, and Miss Eaton has been appointed head Assistant,
This has dispensed with one division in the school, and
Miss Angier has retired — her place in the Fifth of Boys
being taken by Miss Tucker ; and Miss Carrie B. Nicker-
son takes charge of the Sixth of Boys. The Local Com-
mittee have also made a new classification of this school,
making two divisions of boys and two of girls, — the Fourth
and Fifth of each, — of equal, and of the fourth grade,
so as to be longer under one teacher ; and so making the
Sixth of each, of the former grade, count as the Fifth.
FRANCIS STREET SCHOOL.
This is a mixed school, under one teacher, Mrs. So-
phronia F. Wright, of which the several Examiners have
been extremely concise in their reports. At the close of the
Winter term, it is spoken of as " an interesting school,
which the members of the Committee would be gratified to
visit." The Examiner at the close of the Spring and Fall
terms couples this school with the three higher divisions in
the Comins, and speaks of them all as there quoted. And
the Examiner in July speaks of the exercises in its first
32 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
class as "very creditable;" but as requiring too much of
the teachers' time, to the neglect of the lower classes. The
writer made two visits to this school during the Summer
term, and was much pleased with the intelligence and reci-
tations of its first class. It labors under the disadvantage
of having too many classes for one teacher, who has to at-
tend to all the studies, between the Primary department and
the High School, for which the other Grammar Schools have
several divisions, under separate teachers.
The foregoing presents a general view of our High and
Grammar Schools, as they have been respectively reported
at the. close of each school term during the year, by their
several Examiners. Equal justice may not, however, have
been done to all the divisions — different Examiners not
being always equally minute and discriminating in their
reports, and not always looking at their respective divisions
from the same stand-point. They may, also, have had in
view different standards of excellence ; and all teachers
know how much the appearance of a school, at any given
hour, as to cheerfulness, apparent order, and brilliancy of
recitation, is dependent on the mood of the Examiner, who,
more than he is aware, may diffuse gloom or sunshine by
It is very evident that our schools have not only held
their own, during the past year, but have made commenda-
ble progress. There was conclusive evidence of this, in
the higher average percentage of correct answers, over those
of the year previous, given by the candidates for admission
to the High School, at their examination last August. The
proportionate number of pupils, with their relative qualifi-
cation for admission, furnished to the High, from the sev-
eral Grammar Schools, is a good criterion of their respective
condition. But this alone will not determine the relative
faithfulness and success of teachers — there being circum-
stances peculiar to each school, on which its condition
greatly depends : which should also be considered, though
SCHOOL RErORT. 33
ol'teii overlooked in tlie public estimate. Tlie liome train-
ing of some pupils, the greater beneficial influence there ex-
erted over them, the aid there received in their studies,
with their greater leisure and better previous instruc-
tion, to say nothing of difference in natural ability, give
them a great advantage over others ; so that teachers are
sometimes furnished with much better material to work
with^ than they are at other times; also, some schools, than
others. And it would be manifestly unjust to expect the
poorer material to be fashioned and moulded to a given stand-
ard of excellence, in the same period that is sufficient for the
better. Also, some schools may receive greater and more
judicious attention from their Local Committee than others,
and the pupils may have been encouraged by kind
words and faithful admonitions, to a greater effort. For
the duty of a Committee, it is believed, is not merely to
see how a school is, but to suggest how it should be ; and
the failure or success of many a teacher has been measure-
ably owing to their having been neglected, or thus aided.
The excellence of our Grammar Schools, was also seen in
the better qualification of the pupils coming to the High
from them, in comparison with those coming from private, or
more select schools, or even from schools of a much higher
grade. It has been the experience of this Board, that the
pupilS; best fitted for admission to our High School, are those
previously instructed in our Grammar Schools ; and several
applicants, last August, coming from other institutions, were
found so lacking in the necessary qualification for admission,
as to be necessitated to enter our Grammar department in
order to acquire the preparation needed for the High. The
same is true of younger scholars, applying for admission to
our Grammar Schools. The best prepared pupils are found
to be those coming from our Primary Schools ; and it is not
unfrequent that those coming from private schools, can be
fitted for our Grammar, only by sending them into our
Primary department. It is thus evident that the best in-
struction, within the reach of the children of our citizens, is
that found within our Public Schools; which, therefore,
34: CITY DOCUiMENT. — No. 10.
should be encouraged and patronized as deserving of public
It is not, however, here claimed that our schools have
reached the highest possible standard of excellence. On
the contrary, our school system has obvious defects. One
of these, is the lack of uniformity in the gradation of our
several Grammar Schools. In the Dudley and Washington,
the pupils pass through five divisions, after leaving the
Primary, before becoming candidates for the High School;
whilst in the Dearborn and Comins,* they pass through six,
and in the boys' department of the Dearborn, seven. How,
then, can there be any correspondence of grade between the
Fifth Divisions of the schools first named, just out of the
Primary, and the Fifth of Boys in the Dearborn, which is
the third division in advance from the Primary? The
greater number of gradations in the one school than in the
other, through which the pupils must pass as they "climb
the hill of science," will also make the road seem much
longer, and the goal aimed at much farther removed.
Equal justice, therefore, would seem to demand a uniform
gradation in all our schools, or one as nearly uniform as
The rooms occupied, respectively, by the First Divisions
of our four larger Grammar Schools, will each accommo-
date and are expected to seat about an equal number of pu-
pils, whilst the whole attendance in each of two of the schools
is only about one-half of that in each of the other two.
It is manifest that in schools of the same excellence, there
can be no comparison in their relative standing between the
best fifty pupils in a school of two hundred and fifty, and
the same number selected from one of five hundred. Other
conditions, however, may be very unequal. The pupils
from the smaller school may be, in a greater proportion, from
families able to continue their children through the entire
* Since the last examination, a new classification has been attempted
in this school, as noticed in that connection. How so many Fourth
Divisions will work in harmony with the upper and lower grades, re-
mains to be seen.
SCHOOL REPORT. 35
course of study ; whilst in the larger one, a greater propor-
tionate number may be earher withdrawn so as to contrib-
ute their labor to the family support, or may be deprived
of other advantages accessible to those more highly favor-
ed. And, therefore, the number of scholars qualified for
the First Division of a school, will not always be in propor-
tion to its whole number. But, as a general rule, the Sec-
ond Divisions in the smaller schools may be expected to
compare in grade with the Third Divisions in the larger ;
and, consequently, the second classes in^the First Divisions
of the former, should be ranked with the Second Divisions
in the latter. Were this classification recognized, and one
of the divisions of boys in the Dearborn, made a class for
"Special Instruction," like that in the Washington School,
it would have the same graduation, — viz. : six divisions —
though live might be still better.
Another desideratum, is a graduated programme of study ;
so that the divisions of corresponding grade, in all our
schools, may, as nearly as practicable,'be studying alike. At
the present time, with the series of divisions in our Gram-
mar Schools varying from five to seven, there are prescribed
text-books for a five years' course of study ; but nothing is
specified in respect to the ground to be gone over, or the
proficiency required. Each school, therefore, judges for it-
self how much progress shall be made in any one division
before there is advancement to another; each has its own
system of promotion ; and the consequence is that divisions
in different schools, nominally of the same grade, vary
widely in their course of study. Thus, Written Arithmetic
and Geography are commenced in the lowest but one, and
continued through all the higher divisions in the same text-
books ; but there is no specification how far a class shall
progress in each of these studies in one division, before
there is promotion to the next higher, in which the 'same
studies are continued. It would seem, therefore, to be
the dictate of sound wisdom, that not only the text-books,
but the portions of them that are to be studied during each
successive stage of promotion, from the Primary to the Fligh
36 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
School, should be prescribed. Promotion, from one division
to another, would then depend on the actual qualification
of the pupil, as shown by examination in the prescribed
studies. And as the firs't year in the High is but one step
in advance of the highest division in the Grammar School,
the examination for the former should be limited to the ac-
tual studies, or parts of study, prescribed for the course pre-
paratory to admission there.
To illustrate this by a case in point, it is only necessary to
refer to our text-book in History. It comprises 400 pages,
whilst that used in the Boston schools has only 200. No
Grammar School .can master all the facts, in those 400
pages, during the time allotted to their study, and do justice
at the same time to the other studies required. Some of
the schools, therefore, pass over a greater number of pages,
but study more superficially than others ; and some make
selections of one portion, and some of other portions for their
more particular study. The consequence is, that those pu-
pils will have a greater percentage on their examination
for admission to the High School, who ha'pi^en to have de-
voted their more particular attention to the portions covered
by the examiner's questions. But were the same portions
of the book alike prescribed to all, and the questions on ex-
amination limited to the parts prescribed, the pupils would
have equal opportunity to show their proficiency, by their
answers to the questions asked. And as with this, so is it
with the other studies.
By a judicious programme, also, the Grammar school
studies would be completed in the Grammar Schools ; the
foundation would thus be laid upon which to build with
more solidity in the High School ; all our schools would be
proportionally benefited ; and they would thus attain, not
only a greater harmony and unity of working, but a higher
standiferd of excellence.
One thing in our schools, as in schools elsewhere, that has
occasionally struck the writer unpleasantly, is the correction
of scholars, by pointed censure, or other modes, in the pres-
ence of visitors. A school should be under such discipline
SCHOOL llEPORT. 37
as to have no occasion for this, when a visitor is present ;
and when, at such times, any scholar needs a special repri-
mand, it Avill generally be better for the teacher to admin-
ister reproof quietly and privately, than to attract the atten-
tion of the visitor to the delinquent, who may thus be
subjected to a most keen mortification. By such public
censure, the visitor, also, is often made to feel as uncom-
fortable as the scholar.
In the amount of time devoted to study out of school,
there is in our Grammar Schools a want of uniformity.
The Regulations of this Board direct that " no lesson shall
be assigned expressly for study out of the regular school
hours," except in the High School, and that the " daily
study shall be arranged, and the time apportioned, as far as
possible, so that the lessons assigned may be prepared in
school, and not remain for study out of school." This rule
is found to work unequally. Scholars fond of study and
ambitious to excel, lolll study out of school, whether so re-
quired or not ; whilst those who the most need such extra
effort, will not devote to study any time that is not requir-
ed. It is easy for teachers to depart from the spirit of this
rule by making the standing of scholars depend on a degree
of proficiency, which is attainable only by study out of
school ; and the schools whose teachers adhere the nearest
to its spirit, must, in comparison with other schools, and in
the judgment of those who prescribe this rule, suffer because
of such adherence.
Before the organization of our present mixed schools, the
boys were required to study out of school; and the girls, not.
A majority of the girls would, and did thus study, though
When the First Divisions of two of our schools became
mixed, it was thought to be unjust, to require that of the
boys which was not required of the girls in the same
school; and so the rule was changed. But it is believed
the prohibition to such requirement should be rescinded, or
else that schools should not be censurable for falling behind
a standard attainable only by extra hours of study.
38 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
Map-Drawing from memory, on the black-board, is an
exercise to which our schools are expected to devote more
attention, than heretofore. It is a most profitable exer-
cise, and educates the -pupils in more than one direc-
tion. It not only facilitates their acquisition of geo-
graphical knowledge, and impresses it more permanently on
the memory, but the eye is educated, and the hand, as the
pupil thus learns to delineate mental objects.
Physical exercise has, in past years, been almost entirely
neglected. Educators are now learning that the bodies, as
well as the minds of children, need development. And
there is now no good school, whether public or private, in
which more or less attention is not paid to this department
of education. This subject was alluded to in connection
with the High School. It is receiving some attention
in our Grammar and Primary departments. Some more
systematic instruction in respect to it, would, however,
greatly facilitate the introduction of general exercises into
all the departments of our schools, much to their benefit.
The persona] neatness of pupils should not be overlooked.
Every teacher should realize that much in the appearance
of the school depends on the influence exerted in this par-
ticular. If the teacher is indifferent to the tidiness of the
scholars, they also will be ; but if the teacher is constantly
observant of their condition, they will begin to show,
first, in the cleanliness of their faces and smoothness of
their hair, that they also regard decency of appearance ; and
soon their clothes will be more whole and cleanly. Let
any visitor call the attention of a Primary School of fifty
scholars to their personal condition, and the next time he
enters, he will see some fifty pairs of hands simultaneous-
ly raised to smooth their hair ; which shows the efiect of a
word in this direction. Many of the divisions in our
Grammar Schools — all the girls' divisions, and a majority
of the boys — are very tidy in their appearance ; and this
is much to be desired in all.
The education in the same schools, of children variously
circumstanced, has a wonderfully elevating effect on those
SCHOOL REPORT. 39
from the more humble walks of life. It is remarkable
how quickly the uncouth and ill mannered will perceive,
when brought into connection with those more refined, the
desirableness of a polite demeanor and tidy appearance; and
to imitate, is their early resolve and effort. The example,
therefore, of children from well-instructed families, is of great
value in our schools ; where not such, but children less
highly favored, learn to lay aside their early habits. It is
a serious question, therefore, whether it is not desirable that
our citizens, so far as practicable, send their children to
the same schools — all withdrav/al from which of the better
material, causing a reduction of their standard, and corres-
pondingly affecting the future of those there educated.
The best interests of society demand that all classes shall
enjoy, so far as they can be brought in contact with it, the
elevating and refining home influence exerted in cultivated
circles ; and how may the children of the uncultivated
better learn the proprieties of speech and manner, than by
mingling, in our schools, with those more highly favored 1
There is often manifested, on this subject, a needless and
unfounded prejudice, to remove which only a little obser-
vation and experience is required.
" Is not this a select school ?" was lately asked by a vis-
itor. " No," was the reply, " it is a fair specimen of our
Girls' Schools." "But these are all American children ? "
he added. " Not before coming here, where they soon learn
to become such." " Are not many of the children in your
schools of foreign^parentage ?" asked a mother, a few weeks
since, when in search of a school for the education of her
daughter. "Yes," was the answer ; "would you like to
look into one? " She would like to do so ; but when there,
and asked, "Can you point out those who are not Ameri-
can?" she candidly confessed she could not, but should
suppose they were all such. These occurrences, coming
under the eye of the writer, fairly illustrate the question of
Parents cannot too much realize the importance of their
children being constant and punctual in attendance at
40 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
school. This not only tends to the formation of good
habits, but affects the progress in study. Some scholars
are often late, or often absent, without apparent good
reason, whilst others are always present and punctual.
Teachers should spare no effort to correct all irregularities
of this nature.
Truancy affects our schools to some extent, and needs
correction. The beneficial influence of the late truant ordi-
nance, during its continuance, was very manifest, not only
in its restraint over pupils disposed needlessly to absent
themselves from school, but in the marked improvement
of those instructed in the department instituted for that pur-
pose. And, such being the experience of the past, it is very
evident that another act. similar in its provisions to the one
formerly in force, which was made inoperative by the re-
vision of the Statutes, would do much towards remedying
Finally, the efficiency of our school system and the unity
of its working would be very materially. aided by a more
special oversight of our schools than they- now enjoy. No
one member of this Board, — with the limited time he
can devote to this service, however familiar he maybe with
the condition of individual schools, — can have more than
a general knowledge of the eighty school divisions commit-
ted to our care ; many of which, particularly the Primary
Schools, often have only a superficial examination, or are
reported to this Board in such general terms as to give little
definite idea of their condition. Some of them are seldom
visited ; inexperienced teachers are often left to conduct their
schools, in almost entire ignorance of the systems of instruc-
tion pursued in the others — systems, perhaps, as various
as the schools are numerous ; and thus the pupils coming
to our Grammar Schools are variously qualified. There
is needed, therefore, some one so familiar with all our
schools, as to know their individual condition ; who shall
be able to contrast and compare school with school ; who
shall know, from month to month, the studies pursued
and the work done in each ; who shall be able to point out
SCHOOL REPORT. 41
defects where they exist, and to show their remedy, and be
equally observant of the excellences any where manifest, in
our own schools or elsewhere, and secure their imitation ;
who shall be able to encourage the inexperienced teacher,
/and to give counsel as to the best mode of securing order,
punctuality, cleanliness, and love of study; who shall be
deeply interested in the schools he visits, and be able to in-
terest and benefit them by suggestive remarks and questions
respecting their studies; who shall be able to secure uniform-
ity — to see that the Primary are aiming at some common
standard of preparation for the Grammar Schools and that
some common standard of promotion is there observed —
and who can keep this Board constantly posted in respect
to the condition of each school. Also, in looking after our
school buildings and grounds, in providing by timely repairs
against needless decay, in guarding against wasteful extrav-
agance, and in the economical supply of the various wants
of our schools, the time of a suitable person could be ver,y
advantageously employed, — there having been found else-
where a great economy of expense in such supervision.
All of which is respectfully submitted, in behalf of the
Examining Committee of the High and Grammar Schools.
SYLVESTER BLISS, Chairman.
Roxbury, Dec. 10, 1861.
CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
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R E I* O H T
The Committee to whom was assigned the duty of
making the examination of the Primary Schools at the
close of the Spring and Fall terms, divided the labor
among themselves and submitted the results of their ex-
aminations at length ; from which a few brief extracts are
The whole number of Primary Schools in the city is
forty-three, five of which have been formed since the last
annual report. During the same time, two schools have
been discontinued, as already noticed by the Chairman.
Schools Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, Yeoman Street, and 5, 6, 7, 8, Eustis
and Sumner Streets, were examined by Mr. Joshua Seaver.
He alludes to the school in Yeoman Street, taught at that
time by Mrs. Jennison, in terms of commendation, and as
" indicating a high degree of excellence." Schools Nos. 2
and 3, Yeoman Street, and No. 5, Eustis Street, were not
in so favorable condition at the Spring examination as in
the Fall, " when a decided improvement was apparent."
School No. 6 was so highly satisfactory that the Examiner
ranked it " as one of the best schools of its grade in the
city." In Nos. 7 and 8, the scholars " showed a reasonable
progress in their studies."
Nos. 9, 10, 11, 12, Vernon Street, and 13, 14, 15, 16,
Sudbury Street, were examined by Rev. George Putnam.
50 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 10.
In May, these schools were severally reported to be in " a
satisfactory condition." In November, the result of the
examination of Nos. 14 and 15 was " highly creditable,
showing a degree of enterprise and progress not exceeded
by any schools of the same grade in the city. The other
schools generally acquitted themselves acceptably." Nos.
17 and 18, Avon Place, 19, Mill-Dam, 22 and 23, Smith
Street, 35 and 36, Winthrop Street, 37 and 38, Elm Street,
43, George Street, and 44, Comins school-house, were exam-
ined by Mr. George W. Adams. The result of the several
examinations was " generally creditable to the teachers
and pupils." Nos. 24, 25, 26, 27, Heath Place, 28 and 29,
Orange Street, 30 and 31, Centre Street, and 34, Munroe
Street, were examined by Mr. Jeremiah Plympton. " The
examinations were very thorough, and in general the
schools were found in a satisfactory condition. Some of
them have reached a very high standard, while others do
not rank quite so high ; but in all the teachers appear to
be devoted to their work, and some of them are particu-
larly worthy of commendation."
Nos. 20, Francis Street, 21, Heath Street, 32 and 33,
Edinboro' Street, 39, Almshouse, 40, 41, 42, George Street,
and 45, Tremont Street, were examined by the writer.
The result generally met the expectations of the examiner.
Physical exercises and singing are practised in all of
these schools. In some, oral instruction has been given
by the teachers, while in others it has been entirely neg-
lected. In some schools the control of the teachers over
their pupils is truly wonderful, but is due to no severity
of treatment whatever.
One great defect in our school system is a want of
thoroughness of instruction in the Primary Schools. Teach-
ers are not alone responsible for this state of things. From
the time the scholars enter the Primary School, until they
leave, there is a constant hurry. Children must be pro-
moted as rapidly as possible, to give place for others.
SCHOOL REPORT. 51
Teachers cannot resist the pressure, and before their
pupils have acquired proper habits of study they are pro-
moted to the Grammar School, and before they have
learned the reason of things they are admitted to the High
School, and before they have learned to digest their ac-
quirements and apply principles they enter into business
or perhaps apply for situations as teachers. It is better
that children should go out of school with a few principles
completely understood, knowing how to apply them, than
for them to have a smattering of many things, having
learned nothing thoroughly. But more important than
anything else is the conviction, which ought to be decisive
in all future action, that to Primary Schools should be
appointed only those whose experience in life has qualified
them for the exercise of patience and judgment indispen-
sable to the management of these schools. As an addition-
al reason for diligent care in filling vacancies, it may be
remarked that poor training in the Primary Schools is
sure to begin a course of inadequate and unsuccessful
training, to be carrie^ through all the grades of school in-
struction. Some of our Primary School teachers have
not many superiors, if they have any equals. In the schools
of such teachers the elementary acquirements evince all
that we have any reason to expect from them intellectual-
ly, and their moral influence is beyond estimate.
We have the melancholy duty of recording the death of
four Primary School teachers. during the year, as already
noticed by the Chairman of the Board. They were among
our most experienced and successful teachers, and shared
largely the confidence of the Committee. Their success had
given general satisfaction to all interested in the schools
of which they had charge. Their loss is sensibly felt in the
places from which they have been so suddenly removed.
Respectfully submitted in behalf of the Committee.
IRA ALLEN, Chairman.
CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 10.
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56 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 10.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE, 1861.
ELECTED AT LARGE.
GEORGE PUTNAM, WILLIAM S. KING,
ARIAL I. CUMMINGS.
ELECTED BY WARDS.
Ward 1. — Horatio G. Morse, George W. Adams.
" 2. — Joshua Seaver, Ira Allen.
" 3. — Timothy R. Nute, John D. McGill.
" 4. — John W. Olmstead, Jeremiah Plympton.
" 5. — Sylvester Bliss, Alfred P. Putnam.
HORATIO G. MORSE, Chairman.
JOSHUA SEAVER, Secretary.
ELECTED AT LARGE.
GEORGE PUTNAM, JOHN S. SLEEPER,
ELECTED BY WARDS.
Ward 1. — Horatio G. Morse, George W. Adams.
« 2. — Joshua Seaver, Ira Allen.
« 3. — Arial I. Cummings, John D. McGill.
II 4. — John W. Olmstead, Jeremiah Plympton.
" 5. — Sylvester Bliss, Alfred P. Putnam.