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City Document. — No. 9.
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L. B. & 0. E. WESTON, PRINTERS, GUILD ROW.
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In School Committee, April 9, 1862.
The Chairman appointed the following members as the Annual Exam-
ining Committee, viz. : —
Hiffh and Grammar Schools. — Messrs. Cummings, Sleeper, Seaver,
Allen, Plympton, Williams, and McGill.
Prima7-y Schools. — Messrs. G. Putnam, Olmstead, Bliss, A. P. Putnam,
December 10, 1862.
The Chairman of the Board (Mr. Morse) submitted his Annual Report.
Mr. Williams submitted the Annual Report of the High and Grammar
Mr. G. Putnam 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,
Williams, and G. Putnam 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 Board of School Committee, having for another year
discharged the responsible trust of superintending the edu-
cation of the children belonging to the Public Schools,
"would respectfully submit their annual report.
During a part of the year, additional labors and duties
have devolved upon some of the members of the Board, in
consequence of two vacancies existing for a length of time,
caused by the resignations of Rev. A. P. Putnam and Mr.
John D. McGill, and the absence of Dr. A. I. Cummiugs on
professional service in the Army. The two vacancies were
finally filled by the choice of Mr. Edwin Ray and Wm. A.
Crafts, Esq., gentlemen well known as ef&cient members of
the Board in former years.
The supervision of the schools has not, perhaps, been so
thorough and systematic as it would have been had it been
performed by a single person, one well qualified and adap-
ted to this particular work; yet the schools have received
all the care and attention requisite to maintain and improve
the working of the excellent system under which they are
organized. ' It is a matter of congratulation, that while the
thoughts and the feelings of the people have been absorb-
ed in the progress and results of the War, our schools
4 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 9.
have continued their accustomed work, and have not, as yet,
been deranged or weakened by the great' trials and afflic-
tions resting upon the community, but are in as healthy and
prosperous condition as at any former period.
The Latin School, including the preparatory department,
numbers eighty scholars and three teachers. It is a school
designed to prepare boys for College. Eight were fitted
last year, six of whom entered Harvard University. It is
supported in part by the City, but principally by the school
fund, and is under the control of a Board of Trustees. It
is not included in the following statistics.
The whole number of Teachers is 44.
The whole number of Pupils belonging to all the Schools
The cost of maintaining our Public Schools the current
year is $47,667.86, or $11.35 per scholar.
The number of Scholars belonging to the High School is
149, under the charge of three teachers.
The cost of maintaining the High School the present
year is $5,041.74, or $33.83 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 1663, making an average to each Divi-
sion of 48 pupils.
The cost of maintaining these schools the current year is
$24,301.16, or $14.61 per scholar.
The number of Primary Schools is forty-two. The num-
ber of Pupils belonging to these schools is 2386, making an
average to each school of 56 pupils.
The cost of maintaining the Primary Schools the present
year is $18,324.96, or $7.68 per scholar.
The whole number of persons in the City last May, be-
tween 5 and 15 years of age, was 5559.
SCHOOL REPORT. 5
The number of permanent teachers is the same as last
year, although a few changes have been made. The able
Assistant Teacher in the High School resigned his place at
the close of the Summer term. The estimation in which
he was held is fully expressed in the following resolve
passed by the Committee :
" Resolved, That this Board, haviag received the resignation of Mr.
Geo. H. Gorely, as Assistant Teacher in the High School, take this
method, in accepting the same, to express their sense of his faithful,
brilliant, and efficient qualities as an instructor, and commend him as a
gentleman of large promise in the important and useful profession
whicli he has chosen, in which we trust he may be constrained to con-
The place thus made vacant was filled by the choice of
Miss Eunice T. Plummer, a lady whose education and ex-
perience give promise of the highest success. An Assis-
tant has also been provided, to take charge, for a limited
time, of those scholars who wish to continue their studies
beyond the regular three years' course.
Oue teacher in the Dearborn School has also resigned,
and her place has been filled by the appointment of a former
teacher of that school.
In March, two teachers were appointed for two divisions
formed in the Comins School, one of which it has recently
been found practicable to discontinue ; making an addition
of one teacher to the number of last year.
The Primary School formerly kept in the Comins School-
House has been discontinued, and the scholars merged in
the schools in that neighborhood, causing a diminution of
one teacher from the number of Primary School teachers
of last year.
The teacher of the Edinboro' Street School, No. 33, was
obliged to relinquish her charge, on account of long-contin-
ued ill-health. Two teachers in Sudbury Street Schools,
6 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 9.
Nos. 13 & 14; one in George Street, No. 43; one in Heath
Place, No. 26; one in Vernon Street, No. 11, have resigned
during the year. These six places, thus made vacant, were
filled by others selected from the list of approved appli-
cants, all of whom give promise of making as efficient and
successful teachers as those whose places they occupy.
Our teachers, the most of whom have for many years
been connected with the schools, are deser^ang of much
praise for their patient, conscientious, and untiring labors
for the instruction and discipline of the children committed
to their care. Some are more successful than others, be-
cause they possess the gift and inclination to instruct, and
a better preparation for the discharge of their duties.
These are not confined merely to the contents of the
text-book, but, with a large amount of collateral knowl-
edge, are able to illustrate and fix the thoughts upon the
principles and facts taught. They have a love for their
work, and take pleasure in imparting ideas, and in developing
and strengthening the mental powers of their scholars.
Some few teachers manifest slight interest in or devotion
to their work. They are content to move on mechanically
in the routine marked out for them, and exhibit but little
concern or thought for their charge, beyond what is required
of them in regular school hours, and never put forth
any special efibrt to improve themselves or their pupils.
The services of such could well be dispensed with, and
their places filled by others who would prove more accep-
During the year, thirty-one applicants for situations as
teachers in our schools have been examined, seven of whom
were rejected for not possessing the requisite qualifications.
The names of about forty approved candidates are upon our
list, most of whom seem well qualified to make successful
teachers ; but it is impossible to give encouragement to such
a large number of worthy young ladies, because of the
small number of appointments usually made during the year.
SCHOOL REPORT. 7
The qualifications being equal, the preference is generally
given to those educated in our own schools.
At the present juncture of our national affairs, when the
City, already over-burdened with debt, has large and in-
creasing demands upon its treasury in consequence of the
War, and when tribute is demanded of every man for the
national exchequer, it becomes a duty and necessity to econ-
omize and retrench in the expenditure of public money.
The Committee have during the year sought to diminish
the expenses of the schools in various ways ; but the sala-
ries of teachers, which are more particularly under their
control, have not as yet been materially changed. It is
hoped that ere retrenchment be demanded in this direc-
tion, it will have been preceded by economy in other
directions. Common School education, so essential to the
existence and happiness of an intelligent and free people,
should not be impaired or diminished in its efficiency, with-
out the gravest reason. Hence it becomes a matter of
serious moment, whether the Committee would be justified
in reducing the salaries of the teachers, particularly at the
present time of depreciated currency, thus depriving them
of a fair equivalent for their time and services.
Our school expenses may seem larger than those in some
other places ; yet, by reference to the last annual report of
the Board of Education, it will be seen that the amount of
money appropriated for the education of each child in Rox-
bury was $10.19, while in Brookline it was $22.18 j in
West Roxbury, $13.24; in Dedham, $10.30; in Dorchester,
$13.89; in Boston, $9.56; — showing that all the towns in
our immediate vicinity paid more per scholar for the educa-
tion of their children than did Roxbury, while Brookline
paid more than double ; and although Boston paid a little less
per scholar, yet the salaries of the teachers there are from
a quarter to one-third more than ours of the same grade.
8 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 9.
The small amount paid per scholar in Boston, is owing to
the great number of pupils belonging to the several Gram-
mar Schools. Within a certain limit, the greater the number
of scholars under one Principal, the less the cost. This is
evident in our city. Taking the salaries of teachers alone,
a scholar in the Washington School costs $2.40 more per
annum than one in the Dearborn.
Our Grammar Schools cannot conveniently be united so
as to diminish the cost; and to reduce the salaries of our
teachers, would make a greater inequality than now exists
between them and those of the same grade in the neighbor-
ing metropolis, while being in so close proximity to that
city, our community, as it is constituted, would not be sat-
isfied, did the standard of our schools fall much below that
of the Boston institutions.
The amount appropriated to the Public Schools in this
City is not large, when the valuation of property here is
compared with that in other places. The percentage of
valuation appropriated last year to the schools in Roxbury,
was two mills and three hundredths of a mill ; while there
were one hundred and thirty-two cities and towns in the
State which appropriated a greater percentage of their
valuation for the same purpo'se.
In the early part of the year, this Board called upon the
City Council to provide such additional accommodations as
the condition of the schools seemed at that time to de-
mand ; but owing to the financial embarrassment existing,
it was decided not to build or enlarge any School-House,
and in fact nothing of any amount has been done in this di-
rection during the year.
Owing to the removal of a number of families from the
place, the mimber of pupils in our schools has not increased
so largely as usual ; yet many of the schools are in such a
crowded state as to demand some relief. Some additional
SCHOOL REPORT. 9
accommodations will soon have to be provided for the Dud-
ley School, all the divisions of which are now full.
All the Primary Schools in the western part of the City
are crowded to overflowing, including the one kept in a
basement-room on Tremont Street, the location of which
was noticed last year as being particularly unsuitable. To
accommodate this school, and to relieve all the schools in
that vicinity, it is necessary that a new building should be
erected. A new house should soon be provided for the
Centre Street Schools, as repeatedly asked for by this
In the present condition of the finances, the Committee
are not disposed to urge upon the City Council any outlays
that are not imperatively demanded for the benefit of the
schools. Every child of suitable age is entitled to admis-
sion to the Public Schools, and the schools must bo provid-
ed with suitable buildings at the City's expense. If the
City Council, for any reason, fail to supply the needed ac-
commodations, as asked for by this Board, the scholars suf-
fer, by being confiued in over-crowded rooms, or placed in
hired rooms in some private house, the best that can be
procured by the School Committee, which rooms are gener-
ally unsuitable for school uses, and are sometimes badly
located, besides being dark, damp, and without proper means
The positive wants of the schools, and the impossibility
of hiring suitable rooms, would seem to be sufficient reasons
for building, when additional accommodations are needed,
and which must be furnished at some future time, if not at
present. The delay is no pecuniary saving to the City, for
the rent of the rooms will generally pay the interest on the
cost of the building, besides greatly increasing the outlay
which the future increase of the schools will necessitate.
10 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 9.
The large number of boys seen in our streets, who do
not attend school, and are ever ready to commit mischief,
calls for the adoption of some vigorous measures to reform
The City Government has, during the year, passed an
Ordinance in relation to habitual truants, which is now
ready to be e: forced ; but commitments are deferred for the
present, on account of the expense, and the diminished num-
ber of truants during the winter months. It is promised
that early in the Spring the law will be strictly enforced,
and all truants will be compelled to attend school, or be
committed to the Aims-House, when our teachers and citi-
zens will be relieved of a great annoyance.
The citizens of Roxbury have reason to congratulate
themselves, that such facilities are provided for the educa-
tion of their children. While the Primary and Grammar
Schools occupy an advanced position for usefulness and ef-
ficiency, the High and Latin Schools maintain an elevated
rank for attainments and scholarship, affording educational
advantages equalled by but few places in the State, giving
character and position to the City, and offering to gentlemen
with families inducements to settle within our borders.
Parents are assured, that in the future, as in the past, the
usefulness and success of the schools depend upon their
continued confidence, and liberal support.
The results of the several examinations of the High and
Grammar Schools are embodied in the following report.
The Primary Schools are represented by the Examining
Committee as being in a satisfactory condition ; but as there
is nothing worthy of special remark, or in addition to what
has already been said in relation to them, a separate re-
port is omitted;
HORATIO G. MORSE,
Chairman of the Board.
E E I* O H T
GHAMMAR AND HIGH SCHOOLS
Gentlemen op the School Committee:
The annual committee appointed to submit to the public
a report of the condition of our Grammar and High Schools
consisted of Dr. Cummings, Chairman, and Messrs. Seaver,
Sleeper, McGill, Plympton, Allen, and Williams. Mr. Mc-
Gill resigned his position upon the School Committee, and
Mr. Crafts was elected to the Board and substituted on the
committee in his place. Dr. Cummings having patriotically
concluded he could better serve his country upon the battle
field, received and accepted the appointment as Surgeon of
the 42 d Regiment Mass. Volunteers. Being thus unable to
act as chairman of this committee, at the request of his
colleagues, the undersigned consented to act in that capa-
city, and to prepare their report for publication.
The members designated to perform the examinations of
the different schools have promptly attended to their duties,
and I have freely availed myself of their reflections in com-
piling this report. The number of Grammar Schools is five,
containing, during the last quarter, 1685 scholars; 794
girls, 891 boys.
12 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 9.
This is a Girls' School, comprising five divisions, num-
bering 249 pupils. The scliool is under the same Principal
as last year — Miss Sarah J. Baker ; the teachers in the
other divisions remaining without change through the year.
This is the oldest Grammar School in the City. It was the
first departure from the old method of promiscuous schools,
where scholars of all ages, and all degrees of advancement,
were placed under the same teacher. It was commenced
in the hope that the gathering of children, in suitable num-
bers, as far as practicable, grading them in age and capa-
city, to pursue together their various studies, would most
rapidly advance them, and improve to the highest advan-
tao-e the fleeting days of youth. This step, though adopted
with doubt and hesitation, was prophetic of the future, and
the thriving condition of this, and the other Grammar
Schools in the City, fully vindicates the wisdom of our early
This school has been regularly examined at the close of
every terra throughout the year. The member who made
the annual examination in May, at which time it is usual to
be most thorough and critical, says : " Although this school,
as a whole, is in a flourishing condition, it cannot be ex-
pected that the divisions will appear equally well; as all
teachers are not equally skilful or successful in their meth-
ods of teaching, or governing their pupils." In some stud-
ies in some divisions he observed marked deficiencies : one
division he speaks of as not making so favorable an impres-
sion upon him as most of the others. In another, he was
especially pleased, during the examination, '' with the quiet,
orderly, and lady-like demeanor that pervaded the school,
and the close application which marked the scholars in their
study and recitations."
" The two classes in the First Division, under the care of
the Principal and her Assistant, Miss Allen, by the degree
of promptness and accuracy with which the questions on
SCHOOL REPORT. 13
portions of the text-books studied and those of a general
character were answered, and the correct deportment of
the young ladies in this division, gave satisfactory evi-
dence that they were under the care of faithful and indus-
The same gentleman, examining in November, says :
" The causes which led to some criticism in the Spring
seem to be nearly removed ; and I take pleasure in an-
nouncing the improved appearance of the divisions spoken
of." He also speaks of the pleasure it gave him, to notice
that all the teachers in the upper divisions found time for
regular exercises in Composition, and that they preserve
them in their original form, with corrections, &c., agreeably
to Chap. 1, Sec. 9, of the School Regulations. The Prin-
cipal of the school, in her annual report to the Board,
speaks of the teachers as having been constant in their
attendance, and faithful in the discharge of their duties.
They have also endeavored, with great earnestness, but,
as the statistics show, with little success, to decrease the
amount of tardiness and absence. In this we should have
the cooperation of parents, and the influence of public
opinion. Of those having their daughters in this school,
and of the community generally, we bespeak the contin-
ued confidence, as it fully maintains its standard of long-
This is the oldest of our Boys' Grammar Schools. We
well remember when a moderate-sized room at the old
Town Hall was ample to hold all the subjects for Gram-
mar School instruction. To the care of a Frost or a Par-
ker, the boys and girls of a whole community were then
confided. As we review those early days, we can hardly
help thinking that the scrutiny and oversight of our schools
was not what it should have been. Gladly do we turn from
the evils too manifest then ; from the turmoils, in which,
14 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 9.
perhaps, ourselves too freely participated ; and from the
incapacity of teachers, from which we have sorely suffered,
to the flourishing condition of this school, under the
continued instruction of its popular Principal, John
This gentleman, so well known at home, is not without
reputation abroad. Devoted to his profession with energy
and zeal, he gives much of his time to further the general
cause of education. By voice and pen he exercises a wide
influence in favor of a sound system of public instruction.
The present number of divisions in his school is six, com-
prising 284 pupils.
The school has been examined in the usual manner. The
examiner in May speaks of one division as having a " kind,
yet firm teacher, who succeeds in imparting instruction in
such a manner, that even the occasional failures only give
evidence that they are exceptions to the general excellence
of their recitations." And of another teacher, of long
experience, " as one who, with no other weapons than kind-
ness and persuasion, often holds in check the rudest na-
tures, and firmly impresses on their minds the importance
of knowledge, if, as men, they ever hope to attain any
position in society."
In several divisions, at this examination, the entire num-
ber of pupils belonging were present, which was gratifying,
as it gives evidence that the scholars like the teachers and
school, and do not from trivial causes absent themselves,
but improve the precious hours of youth to gain that
knowledge for which in coming years they will be so de-
The member who, in July, examined the whole school,
says : " It is a number of years since he had seen the
school, in its mode of teaching and discipline ; he accord-
ingly took much pains to ascertain its present, compared
with its former condition." The result was so highly sat-
SCHOOL REPORT. 15
isfactory, that he really found "nothing to except to, but
very much to commend. There has been manifest advance
in this school, in all its divisions, both in energy of instruc-
tion and excellence of order and discipline." From a care-
ful examination of the reports made during the year, and
from the annual report of the Principal of this school, we
feel assured in stating, that every division has a competent
and successful teacher. Its condition is every way sat-
isfactory, and its course is onward.
The internal order and discipline is unexceptionable.
If less attention is given than might be desirable to the con-
duct of scholars out of school, it should be borne in mind that
it is entirely a boys' school, and an undue restraint upon them
is not considered so necessary as if both sexes were under
the same roof Any suggestion, hoAvever, in this direction,
we are sure would be kindly received and heeded.
This school consists of twelve divisions — six of boys,
five of girls, and one (the First) mixed. The Principal
is William H. Long ; and his Assistant, Maria L. Tincker.
The number of scholars is 583 — 296 boys, and 287 girls.
The corps of teachers has remained without change, ex-
cept the Fourth Division of Girls, in which Mrs. Thompson
resigned, and Miss Louisa E. Harris, for some years a
teacher in this school, was appointed in her place.
The alteration of the hall somewhat interrupted the
school, but gives two excellent rooms — though the Local
Committee express regret at the loss of their useful
The Committee who examined in February remark:
" The scholars were examined in all the branches taught
in the school, and we are convinced that they are assum-
ing a higher standard than ever before." At the May ex-
amination, the First Division, composed of both sexes, gave
evidence of being well and faithfully taught.
The Second Division of Boys was favorably reported
16 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 9.
upon as an excellent school, well instructed and under good
discipline. The Second Division of Girls, under the care
of Miss Marean, who has long been one of the most faith-
ful teachers, was well reported upon. As one saj' s, " Her
school maintains the character for excellence so long justly
merited." The report of all the examinations, and the an-
nual report of the Principal, speak in terms of general
commendation of the fidelity of the teachers, the progress
of the pupils, and their usual correct deportment. There
are here, as well as elsewhere, various degrees of excel-
lence and capacity shown by the teachers in the manner
of teaching and conducting a school. In some cases, per-
haps, a change might be beneficial ; yet, on the whole, we
doubt if any general change would be for the better.
Considering the large number of children convened under
its jurisdiction, we feel quite clear in asserting that the
machinery of this school has been carried on with less fric-
tion than any other in the city. The Principal may not
produce, if indeed he seeks, brilliant results; but with his
mind firmly fixed on the legitimate objects of liis profession,
he infuses among teachers and scholars, throughout his
ample charge, the all-important idea that they come to
school to teach and learn, and all their efforts should tend
to produce, in the highest degree, that desirable result.
Truancy is mentioned as a source of great evil and trou-
ble in this school, and needs public correction. The public
can hardly conceive of the responsibility resting upon the
Principal of such a school as the Dearborn, composed of
boys and girls. Aside from seeing that their studies prop-
erly progress, the question of discipline out of school, as
well as in, is one of grave importance. On this point, the
examiner in February says : " We can not refrain from ex-
pressing our satisfaction with the general management of
this school by the Principal. The care of twelve divisions
is very great. To harmonize so many, without serious trou-
ble or detriment in the mutual arrangement of scholars and
teachers within, is an arduous task.^ To keep in proper
SCHOOL REPORT. 17
subjection and proper limits out of school the conflicting
interests and welfare of boys and girls, so as to guard
against evil and prevent harm, requires great patience, per-
severence, firmness and tact, and must draw largely upon
one's physical strength and time." To these responsibili-
ties Mr. Long has proved equal, and for his careful guar-
dianship of the houses, yards and outbuildings under his
charge deserves public commendation.
This school is composed of boys and girls. The pres-
ent number of divisions is twelve— five of boys, five of
girls, and First and Second mixed. The number of pupils
is 533, of whom 293 are boys and 240 girls. One divi-
sion was added in the Spring, with Miss Taft for teacher ;
but at the close of the November term the number of
scholars had fallen off, and this teacher at her own option
resigned, and the division was consolidated with others and
The examiner in May says : " It is quite apparent that
the Principal of this school, whatever may have been
thought of his qualifications in the experience and prepara-
tion, so necessary for success, when he entered upon his
labors, has fully met the public demands and expecta-
tions. We take pleaure in bearing testimony, that his
efforts to improve by constant application and study, have
based his reputation upon a solid foundation, which we trust
will yet secure him an enviable distinction." The same
examiner criticises one or two divisions in spelling and
arithmetic, and considers the general appearance of another
division as far below what it should be.
Another member, who reports upon five divisions, says
of one of them : " The boys in this division seemed full of
energy, many of them having but little home education or
restraint upon their actions ; and a firm and steady hand
is required to manage them successfully, so as to inculcate
18 - CITY DOCUMENT— No. 9.
and secure obedience and order. The teacher, however,
seemed fully equal to the task, and the school was respectful
in deportment and desirous to learn." One member, in
reporting upon the Second Division of Boys and Girls, was
interested to mark the relative progress of the sexes ; and
found that in reading, and perhaps spelling, the girls sur-
passed the boys, though in both there was room for im-
provement. In .all the other studies, the male portion of
the division was far ahead, especially in arithmetic.
The member in July, after examining all the divisions,
sums up as follows: "The exercises of the school as a
whole impressed him very favorably, showing a marked
improvement during the last two years. All the divisions
of girls, and several of the divisions of boys, were worthy
of special commendation. The judgment formed was that
teachers and scholars are endeavoring to improve their op-
portunities, and are worthy our continued confidence."
At the November examination, the First Division gave
greater pleasure to the examiner than ever before. The
scholars appeared cheerful, and answered with ease and
readiness the questions propounded. Another division, re-
ported unfavorably upon in the Spring, had vastly improv-
ed," and the whole school appeared in a flourishing and
One drawback upon this school is the irregular attend-
ance in some of the divisions ; an evil for which it is diffi-
cult to find a remedy.
Another hindrance to its complete success is the circum-
stances and poverty of many of the parents, who are oblig-
ed to take their children from school before they have
reached the First Division, and put them to employment to
earn their daily bread. The loud call for men for our
country's cause has incited many a father to take up arms
for her defence, inducing straitened circumstances in the
family, which have made it necessary to take children from
SCHOOL REPORT. 19
the public schools to assist in its maintenance and support,
to the sorrow and regret of all concerned.
The care of this school is similar, in most respects, to
the Dearborn. Here, as there, an untiring vigilance is neces-
sary to keep within due and proper bounds the children in
and out of school ; to protect the weak from the encroach-
ments of the strong; to guard the well disposed and good
from the vices and pernicious example of the evil. For
these labors, we have confidence in the strong and vigorous
qualifications of the Principal, feeling sure they will carry
him through trials before which a weaker nature would
FKANCIS STREET SCHOOL.
This school is composed of about thirty-six scholars,
both boys and girls, of greatly difi"ering ages.
The teacher is the same as last year. The various re-
ports have been of a favorable character.
It is not quite fair to expect as striking results here as
in the other Grammar Schools; but the scholars going
from there to the High School, appear as well qualified and
are as quickly accepted, as from any school in the city. The
parents of the children take a deep interest, and by their
frequent visits, and uniform courtesy to the teacher, as well
as by the punctual attendance of their children, help to
cheer and enliven her labors in her comparatively solitary
We have thus given a general summary of the condition
of each of our Grammar Schools. Placed in the responsi-
ble position of guardians of our system of public instruc-
tion, if we understand what the public wish, it is to be
made aware of their true and actual condition, and to feel
that the results are commensurate with their great expense
It may occur to some that the reports of committees are
usually of a flattering and gratifying character; rare, in-
20 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 9.
deed, is it, they say, to see one of a contrary character.
But the reason for this is obvious. If teachers are incom-
petent for their position, it is better to apply the needed
removal in the quiet and legitimate exercise of authority,
than to blazon forth to the public their short comings.
Are scholars rude and disobedient, seriously affecting the
discipline of their schools, it is far better to remove the of-
fending member in a quiet manner than to call public cen-
sure upon the delinquents.
The public may rest assured, while we state upon the
authority of our knowledge and experience that the Gram-
mar Schools are prosperous as a whole ; that their stand-
ard has been well sustained; that the teachers as a body
are competent, devoted and successful; and that the general
conduct of the children has been obedient and respectful,
maintaining general good order and discipline. The com-
mittee are still not blind to their faults, and will kindly listen
to suggestions from any quarter.
The fact that cases are so rare where it is necessary for
the Local Committees to be called upon to interfere be-
tween parents and teachers, either on account of alleged
harshness or cruelty of punishment on the part of the
teacher, or stubbornness or disobedience by the scholar, is
very gratifying, and is indicative of self-control by the
teachers and forbearance on the part of pupil and parent.
Individual cases of dissent there are and have been, but
the acquiescence of parents in the general management and
tutoring of their children in the public schools is worthy
of praise, and an unerring indication that they are kindly
and successfully administered. Were it otherwise, swarms
of injured mothers and angry fathers would assail their
foundations, and speedily bring them to helpless ruin.
A tendency we observed through all the Grammar Schools,
is the eager effort to advance the pupils in their studies ; not
so much, we fear, for the sake of the learning they acquire,
SCHOOL REPORT. 21
as the natural desire to have them ready for the next divi-
sion at the time of promotion. It also extends to the First
Divisions of the schools. The scholar is constantly impelled
to exertion by the fear that he will not be able to enter
the High School. This evil, if thus it may be called, can
be traced to our minute system of grading schools. A
scholar, if at all capable, scarcely remains in one division a
year. His room is wanted by those below, and his years,
if not his capacity, force him on.
We are satisfied that our system of grading is substan-
tially correct ; yet, in view of the fact tliat so many leave
before they enter the High, or even the First Division of
the Grammar Schools, teachers should see to it that schol-
ars are thoroughly grounded in the studies pursued, even if
they fall behind in the race for promotion and place.
Our anxiety for them will measurably cease, if, upon leav-
ing the Grammar Schools, they can satisfactorily answer
these questions :
1. Are they good readers ? Do they readily comprehend
the subject discussed, articulate in a distinct manner the
letters, syllables and words, and properly emphasize the
meaning of the author ?
2. Can they spell correctly ? To spell well is an accom-
plishment of great utility. Many persons, of great natural
gifts and many acquirements, are often sadly deficient here.
They may be unconscious of deficiency in this regard,- but
the recipients of their epistles, or those transacting busi-
ness with them, will be reminded of it, much to their cha-
grin and discomfort. Let our children be spared this mor-
3. Can they cipher well ? It is not necessary that one
should solve every imaginable problem or question ; but a
thorough knowledge in the four general rules is essential
for success in the business of life. To multiply, divide, sub-
stract and add well, is the least we can expect of a Gram-
22 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 9.
4. Do they understand Grammar ? By this we mean, Can
they put language together in an easy and sensible manner ?
The committee fear that in all our Grammar Schools
there is a too close adherence to the rules and examples as
laid down in the books, especially in Arithmetic and Gram-
mar. Our pleasure would be greater to find them able to
perform simple examples occurring in every day mercan-
tile life, than to see them so deeply immersed in abstruse
and fanciful topics, that if asked to quickly and correctly
add a column of figures, it would result in ludicrous failure.
In Grammar, our later authors have so refined our parts
of speech, that those who look to good old Lindley Murray's
grammatical knowledge, are sadly puzzled to know what it
all means ; but perhaps from these new and brilliant lights
we have a clear right to expect improved results.
Lastly, can they write well ? Who does not like to see
a clean neat, and handsome hand-writing ? To a young man
it is of great advantage in early securing a good business
position. To a young lady it is a great recommendation
to write a fair and pretty hand. To each the possession
of good hand-writing will render more available all other
accomplishments, and be a certain foundation for success
in after life.
We leave these questions, with the simple remark, that
we believe our Grammar Schools will stand the test of
these requirements in a substantial and creditable manner,
and will accompany those who intend to apply for admis-
sion to the High School.
The result of the examination by the Principal of the
High School proved the gratifying fact, that in qualifica-
tions the pupils from each of the four principal Grammar
Schools were nearly alike, varying but one or two per cent.,
and showing as nearly as possible that children from all
parts of the city possess equal advantages.
SCHOOL REPORT. 23
The present number belonging to this school is 158, of
■whom 57 are boys and 101 are girls. They are under Mr.
S. M. Weston, the Principal, with three Assistants, and are
separated into three divisions.
The Third Division is under the care of Miss Sarah A.
M. Gushing, and contains 49 scholars, all of whom came
from the Grammar Schools in September.
The examiner in May reports the result of his examina-
tion as in the highest degree satisfactory : " The classes
have thoroughly reviewed the Grammar School studies, ex-
tending History so as to include England, and using Quack-
enbos to some extent in the study of the Constitutional
period. In map-drawing the scholars have become quite
proficient, being able to sketch with rapidity and accuracy
not only the forms of a country and its prominent physical
features, but also to designate with general correctness by
lines of latitude and longitude the location of some of the
most important cities, towns, &c. All the recitations were
given in such a manner as to show a pretty thorouo-h
knowledge of the branches pursued."
At the November examination it was observed that the
main portion of the work done in this division has been
the review of the lessons taught in the Grammar Schools.
We think this course a judicious one ; pupils can never
too well understand the fundamental principles which lie
at the foundation of all studies.
Colb.urn's Intellectual Arithmetic has been searchingly
reviewed, with special reference to the higher mathemati-
cal branches. Less reliance has been placed upon the exact
examples and statements of the book, but the endeavor
has been to fix in the mind those elementary principles
which form the basis of arithmetical progress.
Tomlin's Physical Geography has also been studied with
marked success. The topics treated seemed well learned
24 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 9.
and understood by the pupils, and will be of inestimable
value in the future studies of Astronomy, Geology, Chem-
istry, Geography, Botany, &c. The reading was excellent,
and the spelling and defining above reproach. Some fine
original specimens of Composition were read by the schol-
ars. Excellence was manifested in the Penmanship, and
the books looked neat and tidy.
Great interest was shown by this division in its reci-
tations and studies, and under the untiring energy of their
devoted teacher, who seems to desire thoroughness rather
than rapidity, it is laying a sure and certain foundation for
the higher branches to be pursued in the upper divisions
of the school.
HIGH SCHOOL SECOND DIVISION.
This division is at present under the care of Miss E. T.
Pluramer, and numbers 30 pupils.
At the examination in May this division was under Mr.
Gorely. It was thoroughly examined in all branches
taught. The reading, with some exceptions, was good.
There was noticed a defect too common in all schools, viz.,
an indistinct utterance and a failure to articulate the syl-
lables, caused in part by keeping the lips and teeth too
firmly closed. This should be avoided without running
into the opposite extreme of appearing too stiff and pre-
cise. To read well is an accomplishment of great value,
and of which few can boast, notwithstanding the continued
practice and drilling year after year.
In History good progress was making. Considerable
attention was given to Drawing, with good results, but as
great skill in this pursuit depends largely upon natural
talents, we do not deem it so very important to lay great
stress upon this exercise, though its possessor has in it an
unfailing source of enjoyment.
The division appears well taught, and the deportment
of the scholars commendable. In September Mr. Gorely
SCHOOL REPORT. 25
resigned his position as teacher of the division, and the
present incumbent was appointed in his stead.
The examiner in November says : '■ Miss Plummer he
found absent from school on account of protracted illness,
but her sister had been provided as a temporary substi-
tute, and seemed well qualified to carry on the work. The
scholars were all examined in reading. The first class
was examined in Arithmetic, History, Analysis in Gram-
mar and Parsing. The second class was examined in Gram-
mar, Arithmetic, and Physical Geography, with satisfactory
results. Compositions of all the scholars were examined,
and they were creditable. The orthography, punctuation
and grammar were generally correct. The penmanship was
not uniformly good ; in some instances it was bad, which is
deemed a misfortune. The exercises in Latin and French
were satisfactory as far as they had progressed. On the
whole, the pupils seemed quite contented in their studies,
and were evidently marching onward at a rapid pace."
The First Division is under the sole care of the Princi-
pal, Mr. Weston, and numbers 51 scholars, — 11 boys and
40 girls. The Chairman of the Examining Committee
(Dr. Cummings) had made special preparations for the
annual examination of this school, but at the latest mo-
ment he was called away, and the examination was mainly
conducted by the teacher, in the presence of the Chairman
of the Board, and several other members of the Committee,
and other visitors. Exercises in Trigonometry, Astronomy,
Geometry and Natural Philosophy, were correctly worked
out and explained. Exercises in Arithmetic and Algebra,
of an abstruse and complicated character, were demon-
strated in a manner which gave evidence that the pupils
understood what they were doing.
The reading was excellent. Various pieces of composi-
tion of merit and grammatical accuracy were read in a
beautiful manner. Several fine examples of declamation
were given by the boys. In short, every exercise and
study seemed thoroughly taught and learned. It was a
26 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 9.
treat and pleasure to listen to the reading of some fine
piece of poetrj- or prose, by pliable lips tuned to sensitive
ears ; to hear reproduced by youthful speakers the great
efforts of ancient and modern orators; or to witness the
abstruse problems of Algebra and Geometry worked out
by intelligent minds, and skilful hands, to certain and uner-
ring results. We noticed, however, that the scholars seemed
somewhat abashed by the presence of so many strangers,
which detracted in some degree from their usual confidence.
The examination in November was conducted by Messrs.
Crafts, Sleeper, and Williams. All the studies were re-
viewed, and the standard of the school appeared fully
maintained. The Compositions, which must be regarded as
something of a test of the literary qualifications of pupils in
our advanced schools, were commendable. The Penman-
ship, though exhibiting many different styles, was generally
creditable, in some cases excellent. The punctuation and
capital letters, with rare exceptions, were in their right
places ; the Grammar and Orthography, generally correct.
This is an exercise of much value, and should receive
the careful attention of the teachers in all our schools.
Writing Composition not only tends to improve the pupils
in penmanship, punctuation, use of capitals, spelling, and
the grammatical construction of sentences ; but also teaches
tlicm to think, and, what is perhaps of almost equal value,
to express their thoughts in clear and intelligible language.
We like the attention and thoroughness given to Latin
and French in this division ; for it is clear to our minds,
that those who understand those languages the best, best
understand our own. The roots and derivations of many
of our words date far back to antiquity, and our language
is tinctured, improved, and enlarged by the absorption of
many words now current among foreign nations. The
class completing their third year's term was 21 ; 8 boys,
13 girls. — (Vide Principal's report.)
The advantages derived from a four years' course have
been so obvious, that a large portion of the graduating
SCHOOL REPORT. 27
class desired to continue longer. Miss J. N. Brooks was ac-
cordingly employed as teacher for the term of three months.
There has long been a lack among us of capable and ac-
complished teachers, to fill vacancies occurring in the high-
est divisions of our schools. At nearly every examination,
those coming from abroad would prove themselves so supe-
rior to those appearing from home, that almost always the
preference would be given them. This tends to discour-
age our own daughters from applying, from lack of that
thorough preparation in which others excel.
To fill this desideratum, a fourth year's class, of a per-
manent character, with a good teacher, partaking some-
what of a Normal character, with special reference to qual-
ifying for teaching, would fully equip and complete our
High School, and render important service to many par-
ents, who, at great sacrifices, keep their daughters at
school, that they may be fully able to compete as teachers
with those who come from abroad.
The Principal, Mr. Weston, is thoroughly devoted to his
profession. Of great tact and scholarship and experience,
lie is entirely at home in every department of instruction,
and fortunate is the scholar who is placed in his care.
The criticism made upon the Grammar Schools, of unduly
urging them forward, may apply with less force here, per-
haps, as every day has its duty and task; but we some-
times feel — arising, it may be, from the fact of both sexes
being together in the same school — that the lessons equally
given to each bear peculiarly hard upon the girls. Ambi-
tious to succeed, fearful of rebuke or failure, the girls press
onward, often to the injury of the nervous system ; while
boys, hardier by nature, and of greater endurance, with less
strain succeed, or receive the consequences of failure with
little apparent sensitiveness or chagrin. A discriminating
teacher, however, will so adjust matters as to silence per-
The musical exercises of the High and Grammar Schools
have been conducted the past year by Charles Butler, Esq.,
28 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 9.
"with continued success, as the popular concerts given by the
scholars at Institute Hall, for the benefit of wounded sol-
diers, abundantly testified.
With this school, expensive and well appointed, the
course of free instruction granted to the children of the
community, both rich and poor, culminates and ends. The
public should feel that its results are fully commensurate
with its cost ; that the Committee have confided its inter-
ests to upright and accomplished teachers. Let the recipi-
ents of the public bounty, who have thus shared the gifts
of a high education, feel that now, as their school days are
ended, and teachers are no longer to be depended on for
instruction, their future progress in learning and wisdom is
in their own hands.
Let them remember the days of their youth, for the in-
struction they have received will gild the summits of their
mental powers with an efiulgence which will shine through
all their coming years; and the discipline thus early ac-
quired, if properly improved, will aid to overcome all men-
tal obstacles to future prosperity and success.
. Again, let them feel, as manhood and womanhood shall
dawn upon them, that they cannot more gratefully or appro-
priately repay those who have bestowed these blessings upon
them, than by ever keeping alive in their breasts an inter-
est in the cause of public education ; and, in view of this,
cheerfully assist in maintaining and carrying forward our
For the Examining Committee,
H E P O H T
PRINCIPAL OF THE HIGH SCHOOL.
To the School Committee :
Gentlemen, — The whole number of pupils connected
■with the High School during the school year ending July,
1862, has been —
Through the entire year, the attendance, eight ex-seniors
not included, has been —
Boys, 98 per cent.
Girls, 96 " "
Average attendance, ... 97 " "
Sickness on the part of a few scholars has occasioned
the principal loss in attendance.
Scholars coming the greatest distances, have been the
most prompt and regular attendants.
Forty-eight scholars have been instructed by Miss Gush-
ing; forty-one, by Mr. Gorely; and fifty-two have been
members of the First Division. The ex-seniors have been
assisted by Miss Gushing in Penmanship, and by Mr. Gorely
30 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 9.
The following scholars have not been absent or tafdy
during the year: James C. Ormand, Thomas H. Lynch,
Lucy A. Packer, Elizabeth F. Waterman, Mary Kilroy, Mary
J. Cashing, Lewis 0. Montgomery, Martha Montgomery,
Augustin H. Folsom, Eldora 0. Waitt, Annie F. Reynolds,
and Sarah L. Keene.
The senior class of 1862, comprising eight young gentle-
men and thirteen young ladies, total twenty-one members,
completed their course of study, and closed their connec-
tion with the school on Tuesday, the 15th inst.
The entering class of 1862 was examined July 16th, 17th,
18th, and 19th. Seventy-two candidates were examined,
twenty-three were admitted, thirty-nine conditioned, and ten
The teachers would express their acknowledgments to
the Committee for their uniform courtesy, kindness, and
S. M. Weston.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE, 1862.
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. McGlLL."^
" 4. — John W. Olmstead, Jeremiah Plympton.
" 5. — Sylvester Bliss, Alfred P. Putnam.*
HORATIO G. MORSE, Chairman.
JOSHUA SEAVER, Secretary.
* Messrs. McGill and Putnam resigned their offices during the year, and William A.
Ckafts was chosen in place of the former, and Edwin Kay in place of the latter.
CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 9.
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