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City Document. — No. 7.
Citg flf lU^htrg,
L. B. & 0. E. WESTON, PRINTERS, GUILD ROW.
18 6 3.
CHb of Qn£bnt$.
In School Committee, May, 1863.
The Chairman appointed the following members as the Annual Exam-
ining Committee, viz. :
High and Grammar Schools. — Messrs. Sleeper, Ray, Putnam, Allen,
Hobbs, Nute and Adams.
Primary Schools Messrs. Plympton, Williams, Seaver, Metcalf
The Chairman of the Board (Mr. Olmstead) submitted his Annual
Mr. Slebper submitted the Annual Report of the High and Grammar
Mr. Plympton 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. Olmstead,
Plympton and — in the absence of Mr. Sleeper from the city — to the
Secretary, 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
FRANKLIN WILLIAMS, Secretary.
The Board of School Committee of Roxbury for 1863, in
bringing the labors of the year to a close, find its most
noteworthy event, as respects themselves, to include a record
of the breach which death has made in their number. At
the organization of the Board in January last, and up to
March, our membership was intact from the inroads of mor-
tality, and of sickness even, hardly less. But with the
ides of that month, came the sudden and wholly unlooked
for demise of Sylvestee Bliss, Esq., a man yet in middle
life, and in the full seeming strength of his days. By the
removal of Mr. Bliss, the community was bereaved of a use-
ful citizen, and this Board lost one of its most zealous and
devoted members. Having the time and taste alike for the
duties which this relationship devolved upon him, he gave
himself to their performance with no stinted measure of earn-
est activity. Fond of children, his past experience as an
instructor combined to make his presence welcome in the
school-room, both to pupils and to teachers. The former he
knewwell how to interest, the latter how to guide and coun-
sel. Being thus, our schools, and the friends of general edu-
cation as well, deplore the departure of our lamented asso-
ciate, as specially in this relation, which he so worthily sus-
tained, no common public loss.
Soon thereafter, two of our members were successively
prostrated by long and severe illness, causing them for a num-
ber of months to be laid aside from all the labors of this
4 CITY DOCUMENT— No. 7.
Board, as well as of their callings in life. Their convales-
cence and presence again with us as active colaborers give
occasion for devout thanksgiving, especially in view of the
other history of the year. For we touch in this the yet greater
chasm which the hand of Death has made among us.
Early in the year, our late Secretary, Joshua Seaver, Esq.,
gave signs of physical exhaustion and decay. At first it
seemed, from his former robust health, that the case would
yield to the remedial appliances of journeying, of absence,
and medical aid. All were tried without avail, and though
his unwearied devotion to official duties would not allow him
to cast off the harness of work — until in these very halls,
where so much of his life was spent, compelled to do so
finally — still it was manifest, months ago, that the Grim
Archer had marked him for his prey. On the Sabbath which
divided the closing month of Autumn, and at the hour which
divided the day, he peacefully slept. Almost a quarter of
a century a member of the School Committee of the Town
and City of Roxbury, most of that long term the Committee's
Secretary, his removal from its membership, its responsibili-
ties and counsels, to say nothing of other varied official
trusts which he held, is an event in our local history. Al-
ready suitable notice has been taken in this Board, as else-
where, of Mr. Seaver's public character and services ; but it
seems fitting that we should hereby place on more perma-
nent record this our estimate of the personal and official
worth of one so lately, and so long, our associate. His
calm, balanced judgment, so well supplemented by his indus-
try, his uprightness, and the qualities, of his heart, make the
remembrance of him pleasant, while we mourn his loss.
The year, except in what is above noted, has been, in the
history of our schools, an uneventful one. It has not been
like that of 1860, for example, one of large external enter-
prise and improvement. Nothing has marked it specially,
as it respects change, or the internal working of our schools.
But it has been, nevertheless, a time not of retrogression,
but of progress rather. The great body of our more than
SCHOOL REPORT. 5
eight}" teachers retained at their posts of lab6r — all of
whom are yet young or in their meridian — there have been
realized the fruits of a larger and riper experience. It
gives us great pleasure to note the fact, besides, that our
teachers seem so generally devoted to their work, and to af-
ford so gratifying proof that Excelsior is not in their call-
ing an unmeaning watchword. In our Grammar Schools,
and in our High School especially, it is worthy of remark,
that while the percentage of qualification for admission to
the latter has been placed higher than in any previous year ,
the carefully ascertained aggregate of scholarship in each
of these schools has reached a higher point than ever be-
fore. Still the large class of fifty-four was admitted to the
High School at the commencement of the Fall term. This
fact it is most pleasing to state, especially in view of the
demands which the war is making upon the families of the
land, and its young men in particular. It shows conclu-
sively, that the reacting influence of the High upon the sev-
eral Grammar Schools of the city is, in no small degree,
stimulating and healthful, and is, each year, preserving and
raising their standards of scholarship.
We are permitted to speak of one landmark of the year,
which will give it pre-eminence over at least two of its im-
mediate predecessors. This consists of a new Primary
School-House of four rooms, now approaching completion,
on the westerly side of Tremont Street, below Ruggles
Street, in Ward Two. It is a building of brick, on an eli-
gible site, and will be of a capacity sufficient to accommo-
date fully two hundred pupils. The necessity for such a
school building in that fast growing section of the city
was felt to be too imperative, even in these times, to admit
of longer delay. The City Council, early in the year, mov-
ed in the matter of making this needed public provision,
with prompt and energetic efficiency. We hope soon to
see this School-House — made, as we trust hereafter all our
Primary and other school buildings will be, of permanent
6 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 7.
material — furnished according to the most approved meth-
ods, and opened for the City's use.
On the want of another not less needful school-building
in Ward Four, taking the place of what is now known as
the " Engine School," long since and repeatedly commend-
ed alike to this Board and the City Council, as an enter-
prise demanded on the ground of mere physical safety,
alone, we forbear to dwell.
The growing importance of our Primary Schools, now
approximating fifty in number, truly regarding them as the
starting nurseries in our grand system of general educa-
tion, is coming to be more deeply realized. These schools
in Roxbury are believed to be up to the full average at
least of similar schools in other cities. It is evident, how-
ever, that they are not all level with that standard of ideal
excellence which this Board hold to be attainable, — one
that every teacher in these schools should seek in her own
case to have reached. Teachers in Primary Schools, more
than other teachers, are liable, for obvious reasons, to re-
main at a stationary point. In truth, there is danger lest
the routine and almost unvarying monotony of their round
of service, with the small stimulus ministered by it to the
intellect, should cause decay, rather than increase of qualifi-
cation. Such teachers have hence great need for the appli-
cation of constant enterprise, of carefully observing im-
provements, and new methods of teaching in other like
schools. And this Board, as it shall exist in coming years,
have devolved on them greater care, it may be, in their fu-
ture choice of Primary teachers — to be better assured of
more specialty of tact and adaptation to the claims of their
high calling. It is clear, too, that in any proposed increase
of salary to our teachers, this should begin, first of all, with
those in our Primary Schools. The true laborer in this
nursery garden of our instructive system, is surely worthy
of a fair reward.
Our five Grammar Schools are believed to maintain fully
their former accredited character. As has been indicat-
SCHOOL REPORT. 7
ed, they do, in fact, show signs of advance. He who, visit-
ing these, shall institute a discriminating comparison be-
tween them as they now appear and as they appeared ten
years ago, will hardly fail to be struck with proofs of mani-
fest change, and that one of improvement. It not only
may, but should, be so. It is but reasonable that, to added
experience in most cases, there should be added ability to
teach, and that these schools should be in harmony with the
great law of progress, pervasive all around them, of every
walk of life, and in every department of human society.
Within a single decade, the Press, in both book-making
and journalism, takes — judging from the past — a mighty
stride. The Arts and Sciences are every where so advan-
ced, that it takes volumes to make note of their annual dis-
coveries and achievements. By processes of enlightenment,
new moulding and new forming public sentiment and feel-
ing, even Governments are being rocked and changed, or, as
in our own land, being revolutionized by the fiercest and
grandest social upheaval. As the mission of Him who came
to make " all things new, : ' was never more manifestly ush-
ering in the dawn of the day, when " a nation shall be born
at once," so this, surely, is no time for our schools, as the
great formative power of rising generations of men and
women, to be otherwise than truly and largely progressive.
The High School has, within the year, revived those phy-
sical exercises of the girls, which experience is every day
proving to be efficient means of preserving and promoting
bodily and mental health and strength. The military drill
of the boys for half an hour on Wednesdays and Satur-
days, has been successful to the same end, as also to quick-
en and early develop a measure of martial emulation. We
note a more important accession to the High School, in one
added to its corps of teachers. This, after the experience
of the school, and after a patient and careful consideration
of the case in its comprehensive bearings, was judged a
measure of most desirable expediency. It was confidently
hoped it would enable the Principal to pervade by his pre-
8 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 7.
sence, and positive personal influence, every department of
the school. He could thus — as heretofore had not been
found practicable, with his time and energies confined al-
most exclusively and necessarily to one room — be able to
unify the school, hold and develop its membership to the
point of full graduation. Accordingly, with the commence-
ment of the Fall Term, Miss Fannie Gragg, who for the
last six years had commended herself as an assistant teach-
er in the Dedliam High School, was selected for the place.
Miss Gragg is one of the earlier graduates from our High
School, and there is reason already to feel assured that she
will prove herself well suited to the important relation
which she now holds.
The aim of the High School — now more than ever be-
fore promising successful realization — is to provide, in all
the branches therein taught, an education inferior to that
of no other similar institution or school of any kind in the
Commonwealth. Under the very thorough regime of the
school, with its able instruction, it is fast reaching the ful-
filment of what its best friends could hope. It will hence
be found a practical mistake, to seek anywhere else better
discipline and instruction than are here amply afforded.
Toward the close of the year, the matter of an alarming
increase of truancy was brought before this Board. Their
action, recommending to the Mayor and City Council —
should such a measure likewise commend itself to their
judgment — the appointment of a Truant Officer, was
promptly and considerately responded to," and Mr. James
Ball, late Turnkey in the Dedham Jail, and formerly a
Policeman of character in this city, was appointed such of-
ficer. Mr. Ball has but reeently entered on the duties of
this important service. In the discharge of these, the City
Council have exhibited their readiness to earnestly coope-
rate, and this Board have already taken action to second
his efforts and make them efficient. The experiment is be-
lieved to be worth a fair and thorough trial. If it be
found that the officer needs stronger powers, or that other
SCHOOL REPORT. 9
vigorous measures are demanded; they should not be with-
held. We have accounts, thus early, of the beneficent
working of the measure inaugurated. Mr. Ball is com-
mended, by those who best know him, as the right man to
ensure success. Let him have, meanwhile, our hearty co-
operation, and let us trust that morally suasive appliances
may mingle hopefully with those more legal and stringent.
There was an examination of those who previous to
March last had applied for approval as teachers, early in
that month. Twenty young ladies were then added to the
large number before examined and approved, whose names
stand on our printed list. Death and sickness having so
greatly weakened the Committee, there has not been had,
as was contemplated, a second examination.
Were not this part of your report already enough ex-
tended, there are several matters worthy of fuller comment
than there remains room for. Punctuality in the attend-
ance of teachers at the opening of the schools, particularly
in the Winter season, allowing no child to stand, even for
a few minutes, shivering amid biting frosts without, when it
should be within doors, is too plainly important to require
more than a word. This will be an evil, we trust, less com-
plained of in the future, than in the past. Cases of unduly
severe and ill-judged corporal punishment have been more
numerous, or at least have come more to the knowledge of
the Committee, the last than in some former years. We
believe that all proper modes of discipline and correction
should precede this, which, as a last resort, should have, if
not in all cases parental sanction, that of the Local Com-
mittee of the School, and then should be inflicted wisely,
kindly, and without passion. Vaunted independence of the
Board, too, on the part of any teacher, along with freely
indulged expressions of dislike or disrespect toward its in-
dividual members, is so obvious in its recoil on the one who
thus offends, as to make it plain, that, as compared with
such indiscretion in an instructor of the young, to use no
stronger term, there is " a more excellent way." Parents
10 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 7.
and guardians have never yet come to a just estimation of
the power of their most needed cooperative influence in giv-
ing support to our various schools, by upholding and in-
creasing their efficiency for good. Teachers and scholars
alike need this form of countenance and help.
The Reports on the High, the Grammar, and Primary
Schools, herewith submitted by the Chairmen of their An-
nual Examining Committees, will give a more minute and
detailed view of those schools. A statistical statement of
the teachers and scholars in all the schools of the city, with
figures of expenditure, follows, on another page.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
JOHN W. OLMSTEAD,
, Chairman of the Board.
Roxbunj, Dec. 9, 1863.
HIGH AND GRAMMAR SCHOOLS
The examinations of the different divisions of the Kox-
bury High School, and also the various Grammar Schools,
by different members of the School Committee, took place
the present year at the usual times, and were conducted as
on former occasions of a similar character. It appears,
from the various reports which have been made by the mem-
bers of the Committee, and which are deposited among the
archives of the Board, that the teachers are faithful to their
duties, and the condition of our schools is highly satisfac-
The organization of the schools is almost precisely the
same as it was in the year 1862. The changes in the regu-
lations, or in the teachers, have been few and unimportant.
These institutions will compare favorably with the schools
in other parts of the Commonwealth ; and our citizens, who
work to promote the usefulness of the rising generation, and
can appreciate the advantages of education, have abundant
reason to feel proud of the success which attends the lib-
eral provision which the City of Roxbury has made for the
instruction of the young.
The advantages of a general system of education, where
the children of every family may be educated at the public
expense, and where nearly every family in a city or town is
disposed to avail itself of these advantages, — as is the case
12 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 7.
in Roxbury, — are manifold, and must be obvious to every
one. For if the cultivation of the mind and the acquisi-
tion of knowledge tend to elevate a people in the scale of
humanity, and make them better and wiser, surely the un-
wearied efforts, regardless of expense, which are made to
approach perfection in our system of early instruction, must
in the course of a few years produce a marked and happy
effect on the general character of the inhabitants.
Children who leave our Grammar Schools at the age of
fourteen or fifteen years, having completed the regular
course of studies under teachers who have been thoroughly
tried and not found wanting, will have acquired a large fund
of practical knowledge. They will have laid in a stock of
resources for usefulness and happiness of inestimable value,
and prepared themselves to act well their parts in a com-
munity where every individual, ignorant or learned, man or
woman, helps to form the age in which we live. They will
have established a foundation — a solid and enduring one —
for the acquisition of knowledge ; and by cherishing habits
of observation and study afterwards, may qualify them-
selves for any situation in life, or any office under a Repub-
The High School of Roxbury is a noble institution. The
Principal of this School is not merely competent as a teacher,
but possesses in an eminent degree the art of inspiring emu-
lation and a desire to gain knowledge among his pupils, and
also the faculty of imparting liberal portions of the various
branches of knowledge with which his mind is well stored.
And his assistants are well qualified to aid him in his ardu-
ous and important labors.
This school has been well called "the poor man's college."
Here pupils of both sexes are prepared, so far as education
is concerned, to enter immediately on any occupation or
profession. The Boys are well fitted to go out into the busy
world, and to fight manfully the great battle of life; and the
Girls to perform well their varied and important duties, and
SCHOOL REPORT. 13
exert a happy influence on the social or domestic circle in
which the)' are destined to move.
It is no longer necessary to send abroad in search of Fe-
male Teachers for our Primary or Grammar Schools, when
many of those who have been educated at our High School,
and whose characters and capacities are well known, are
not only willing but desirous to exercise the noble and re-
sponsible employment of educating the young.
The citizens of Roxbury are also well provided with the
means of fitting their sons for a classical education. The
Latin School is one of a high grade, partly supported by the
City, and to which any boys, properly qualified, may obtain
access. Those who have left this school in years past for
our universities, have been found well prepared in all the
required studies, and have been admitted without hesita-
tion, and without conditions, — and the Latin School of Rox-
bury has thus acquired a reputation hardly second to any
classical school or academy in the State.
It is possible that the system of instruction pursued in
our schools, and which varies in no important respect from
the system adopted in other schools in the State, may have
its faults, and is susceptible of improvement. But our schools
are well conducted — children gain solid instruction — parents
are satisfied — and the reputation of our city stands high.
Any considerable change, unless well considered and gener-
ally demanded, would partake of the nature of an experi-
ment ; and experiments are often dangerous. In a case like
this, it may be better to endure a little " old fogyisin," than
introduce a great deal of "Young America," — better to bear
the ills we have, if any actually exist, than flee to others
which we know not of.
If any fault exist in the present system of education, it
will probably be found in the attempts of teachers to give in-
struction on a great variety of subjects, in compliance with the
popular demand — to cram children with knowledge, and lay a
heavy tax on the verbal memory, while the reasoning and
reflective faculties are comparatively uncultivated. This is
14 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 7.
sometimes attended with disadvantages, especially in a city
like Roxbury, where there are several schools of the same
grade, and the Principal of each school knowing that the
test of his merit as a teacher will be found in the quantity
of knowledge he may be able to impart to his pupils in a
given time, is anxious to outstrip his competitors in the race,
and encourages, and sometimes it may be exacts, severe stud-
ies on the part of the pupils, at home as well as in school
hours, not unfrequently to the detriment of the health of
the children, and in violation of an express regulation of the
The true system of education would undoubtedly lead us
to improve and perfect the mental faculties by appropriate
exercises systematically pursued. In a word, it would teach
a child to think — put him in the pathway to knowledge, point
out the road, and cheer him onward.
There are few occupations more important or responsi-
ble than that of a teacher in one of our public schools.
To ensure the wished-for success, qualifications of a high
order are required. These consist not only inaknowledge
of books, and a familiarity with the studies which are taught,
but also a sort of intuitive knowledge of human nature, a
kind disposition, an even temper, combined with industrious
habits and a steadfast will. When teachers are inactive,
slow and dull themselves, the} 7 can hardly expect their pu-
pils to be otherwise. If they wish their classes to be wide
awake, they must be wide awake themselves.
Indeed, the success of a school will depend more on the
skill, tact and industry of the teacher, than on any set of
established rules, any list of highly recommended school-
books, with "new and improved editions," published every
year for the exclusive benefit of the author and publisher,
or any ingenious system of instruction.
A good teacher will establish jndicious rules for the gov-
ernment of the school or division — will place distinctly be-
fore the pupils the course of conduct to be exacted — and
those who lag by -the way will be urged onward and cheered
SCHOOL REPORT. 15
by kind words and lucid explanations, as well as by stern
rebukes and stinging sarcasms. Indeed, there are few
things which have a more depressing effect on a child than
a slur, a sneer, a remark which wounds its self-love, awak-
ens its anger, and exposes it to the ridicule of its compan-
ions. And teachers who indulge a habit of administering
reproofs of this description, not only expose themselves to
the ill-will for life of those who are subjected to such treat-
ment, — for these acts of unkindness and injustice are never
forgotten and seldom forgiven, — but in many cases, so far
from enlivening the stupid and reforming the idle and obsti-
nate, render the stupid more dull and the perverse more in-
Great care — more than is usually bestowed — should
be exercised in selecting instructors for schools of every
grade. None should be employed who do not possess the
qualifications required in a good and faithful teacher.
There should be no doubt on this point. And when such
teachers are procured, their compensation should be liberal,
corresponding to the character of their high calling, and
the magnitude and importance of their labors.
The citizens of Roxbury have ever been willing, and
have even manifested an earnest wish, that no reasonable
expense should be spared, in order to contribute to the ex-
cellence and efficiency of our public schools. In fact, it
may be said that no tax is more willingly and cheerfully
paid, than that which goes towards the support and im-
provement of these institutions. This renders it more re-
markable that they should manifest indifference in relation
to the manner in which the schools are conducted, and the
qualifications of the various teachers, as is shown by the
few visits that are made to our schools by parents of pupils,
and other citizens, who on many other subjects appear to
be animated by a commendable feeling of public spirit.
If parents, who ought to be responsible for the manner
in which their children are educated, the habits they ac-
quire, the characters they form, and the principle,? they im-
16 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 7.
bibe, exhibit indifference in rrgard to the regulations and
mf nagement of our schools from actual observation, can it
be expected that the children will deeply interest them-
selves in their studies, or that the teachers will act with
that care, fidelity, and energy, that might be expected, were
they occasionally cheered and encouraged in their daily du-
ties by the presence of intelligent citizens ?
All of which is respectfully submitted, by
JOHN S. SLEEPER,
Chairman of the Sub-Committee for the Examination of the
High and Grammar Schools.
Roxbury, Nov. 28, 1863.
PRIMA 11 Y SCHOOLS.
The Committee designated by the Chairman of the
Board, to institute the annual examination of the forty-four
Primary Schools of the City, and report their condition for
publication, the current year, consists of Joshua Seaver,
Franklin Williams, William H. Hutchinson, Henry B. Met-
calf, and the undersigned, who severally entered upon the
discharge of this duty, during the month of May, and had
nearly completed it at the commencement of the vacation
■which occurs at the close of the Spring Term.
Of these schools, the examination of numbers 1, 2, 3, 4,
22, 23, 28, 29 and 34, located in Yeoman, Smith, Orange
and Munroe Streets, and instructed by Misses Wood, Balchj
Rowe, H. R. Clark, Eaton, A. E. Clark, Horn, Eliot and
Russell, was referred to Joshua Seavee. His report
indicates that he found each of these schools provided with
a competent and faithful teacher; the pupils composing
them, attentive and happy; neat, orderly, and evidently
making progress in the simple elements of knowledge;
the recitations prompt, and the order satisfactory; that
he saw nothing meriting censure or criticism, but much
deserving praise and commendation ; and in conclusion, has
no hesitancy in pronouncing each of them in a prosperous
condition. He especially mentions the teacher of number
2, as being eminently successful, and commends her for her
18 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 7.
efforts to emulate her worthy predecessor — Mrs. Jennison,
deceased — who for years enjoyed the reputation of being
the best Primary School teacher in the city.
Numbers 17, 18, 19, 21, 30, 31, 32 and 33, found in Avon
Place, at the Mill-Dam, in Heath, Centre and Edinboro'
Streets, and under the tuition of Misses Davis, Lewis, Wil-
son, Lawrence, Wood, Morse, Perry and Drown, were for
examination assigned to Franklin Williams. He reports,
in substance, that, with a single exception, the appearance
of these schools was highly satisfactory ; the teachers were
dignified, and impressed with the responsibility of their po-
sition; the pupils in attendance were orderly and respect-
ful, attentive, and apparently desirous to learn ; and, with
few exceptions, constant in their attendance, and rarely tar-
dy. He makes some strictures on the order of number 21,
comments on the crowded condition of number 31, and
speaks of the cheerless and uninviting condition of the
building in which number 19 is held.
The examination of numbers 5, 6, 7, 8, 24, 25, 26, 27
and 44, located in Eustis Street, Heath Place and Tremont
Streets, and taught by Misses Neal, Wales, Walker, Back-
up, Munroe, Holbrook, Gore, Nichols and Johnson, was re-
ferred to William H. Hutchinson. From the complimen-
tary character of his report, it is evident that, with two ex-
ceptions, he found these schools in a gratifying condition ;
the teachers possess ability and love for their calling, are
kind in their bearing, but firm in their discipline ; ambitious
to excel, and ingenious in inventing means of varying their
instruction so as to attract and hold the attention of their
pupils. These schools were orderly, the children industri-
ous, and seemingly contented and happy ; eager to acquire
knowledge, and respectful in their demeanor. The examiner
makes slight criticisms on numbers 6 and 25, and condemns
the room in which number 44 is held, and concludes with
recommending that the new building being erected for the
accommodation of that school be provided with the best
SCHOOL REPORT. 19
means of warming and ventilation, and furnished with the
most comfortable and approved furniture.
Numbers 13, 14, 15, 16, 35, 36, 37 and 38, situated in
Sudbury, Winthrop and Elm Streets, and under the instruc-
tion of Misses Fillebrown, Emery, Bills, Williams, Brooks,
Young, Boynton and Bradlee, were for examination assign-
ed to Henry B. Metcalf. He reports substantially, that,
with the exception of number 36, he found these schools
in charge of the regularly appointed teachers; that each
seemed qualified for her responsible position ; that many
of them have had much experience in teaching; that the
schools appeared well; the order of each was good, the
pupils cheerful, industrious, neat and happy; — and not-
withstanding he is unacquainted with their former standard
of excellence, he has no hesitation in stating that they
are in a good condition. He mentions that the rooms
occupied by numbers 37 and 38 need some repairs; that
the eminent and faithful teacher of number 36 was absent
from her post in consequence of ill-health ; that her sub-
stitute — Miss Stone — appeared competent for the position,
and was evidently succeeding well.
The examination of numbers 9, 10, 11, 12, 20, 40, 41,
42 and 43, situated in Vernon, Francis and George Streets,
and taught by Misses Adams, Durant, Goss, May all, Hall,
Mrs. Hosmer, and Misses Jennison, Bartlett and Blaisdell,
the undersigned reserved to himself. He takes pleasure in
stating, that, with two exceptions, he was pleased with the
appearance of these schools ; thinks the teachers competent
for their respective positions, enterprising in their research-
es for improved methods of teaching, ingenious in giving
novelty and attractiveness to their instruction, and duly
alive to the best interests of their several schools; — thinks
the order maintained was unexceptionable; — the interest
manifested by the pupils in some divisions bordered on en-
thusiasm; that all the exercises were characterized by
promptness, and, in a word, he would say, that with the
20 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 7.
condition of these schools he was highly gratified, and even
delighted. He feels constrained to make some slight strict-
ures on numbers 9 and 43, but hopes that at the next ex-
amination they will not be merited. As anticipated, he
found at the Fall examination that the causes which called
for the above criticisms had ceased to exist.
From the various reports of his associates, the writer ob-
serves a great want of uniformity in the several schools,
touching the introduction of Vocal Drill, Physical Exer-
cises, Yocal Music and Object Teaching. It appears that in
some schools one only of these exercises is introduced, in
others two, and in some none, according as the teacher
finds time or estimates their utility.
The Board can ill afford to allow an exercise so benefi-
cial to the organs of speech as Vocal Drill is universally
conceded to be, and one which has, under the administration
of former Boards, cost the city so much for instruction in
its application, to pass, at the expiration of two or three
years, entirely or mainly into disuse.
It occurs to the writer, that neither the Board nor any
Local Committee would consent, at a time when the utility
is so obvious of frequently exercising the muscles of
children and youth, pent up in the school-room, and com-
pelled to sit in constrained positions over their books,
breathing the impure air of the room, and suffering from
feelings of dulness, stupidity, want of perception and com-
prehension, from the presence of half-stagnant, unarterial-
ized blood in the brain, to allow any teacher long to retain
her situation, who either from want of appreciation, indif-
ference, or neglect, fails to open her windows, and doors,
and introduce into her school, daily and hourly, if need be,
some systematic Physical Exercises, for the relief of her
restless and suffering pupils.
And furthermore, the undersigned does not believe the
Board will acquiesce, without remonstrance, in the appar-
ent decline in the use of Vocal Music in some of the Pri-
SCHOOL REPORT. 21
mary Schools of the City, for it is scarcely probable that its
members possess less appreciation of the art, or confidence
in its power to electrify the heart, allay angry passions, and
harmonize discordant feelings, than those of former Boards,
who established and maintained its use.
It appears that the teachers in some of these schools
have, at their own option, perhaps by the advise and con-
sent of their Local Committee, adopted into their respective
schools a system of instruction known as " Object Teach-
ing;" which consists in teaching their pupils the names,
qualities and uses of objects around them ; — such, for in-
stance, as the furniture of the room, the materials of their
wearing apparel, their books, grass, flowers, trees, rain,
snow, ice, &c, which, to the writer, appears to be an in-
structive and interesting exercise for children and youth of
Primary Schools, and one that might, in the hands of an in-
genious, skilful teacher, with a disciplined and well-stored
mind, be made intensely so, and, in his estimation, ought to
receive the sanction of and be encouraged by the Board.
In the month of November, the examination of the Pri-
mary Schools, which precedes the vacation occurring at the
close of the Fall Term, was assigned to the same Commit-
tee, minus their late associate, Joshua Seaver, whose de-
cease has been fittingly noticed in the report of the Chairman
of the Board. But since the reports of the late examina-
tion reveal little additional matter of interest, touching the
condition of these schools, or materially modify the con-
clusions arrived at by the former, the undersigned has
thought it advisable to submit his report, for the consider-
ation of the Board, substantially as prepared from materials
obtained from that examination.
Yet the writer feels unwilling to dismiss this highly im-
portant class of schools, without casually adverting to the
fact, that these schools bear the same relation to advanced
grades that the fountain bears to the stream ; that they con-
stitute one of the foundation stones on which the institu-
tions of civilization and Christianity rest ; the axis on which
22 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 7.
the complex machinery of society turns; the finer settings
of the jewelled system of free school education of New
England, the Middle States, and the West.
And after having carefully examined in the early Sum-
mer, and re-examined in the late Autumn, the vast throng
of children and youth of the city, that daily attend these
schools, to receive their first instruction in the simple rudi-
ments of knowledge, the undersigned is persuaded that he
but speaks the sentiments of his worthy coadjutors, when
he congratulates the Board, and the parents and guardians
of the children and youth of the city, on the present excel-
lent condition of this class of schools, and invokes a bles-
sing on his predecessors who inaugurated and matured it,
and importunes " Him who rules in the hearts of men," to
grant that it may be cherished by his successors, as one
of the noblest institutions of Roxbury, and be developed
and perfected by the wisdom and experience of future
generations, and transmitted to posterity as a choice legacy
to "children, down to the end of time.
Chairman of Examining Committee.
SCHOOLS FOR 1863,
ENDING DECEMBER 31.
The whole number of Teachers is 87.
The whole number of Pupils in all the Schools, 4387.
The cost of maintaining our Public Schools the current
year, excepting the salary of an additional teacher at the
High School, and the extra cost of fuel over last year of
one thousand dollars, is about the same as for 1862,
amounting to $47,034.92, or $10.72 per scholar.
The number of Scholars at the High School is 144, with
There are five Grammar Schools, same as last year. The
number of Pupils belonging to the Grammar Schools, is
1772. Number of Divisions 36, average number of pupils
to each Division, 49.
Number of Grammar School Teachers, 40.
The number of Primary Schools is forty-three. The
number of Pupils belonging to these schools is 2471, mak-
ing an average to each School of 58 pupils.
CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 7.
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SCHOOL COMMITTEE, 1863.
ELECTED AT LARGE.
GEORGE PUTNAM, JOHN S. SLEEPER,
ELECTED BY WARDS.
Ward 1. — Wm. H. Hutchinson, Geoege W. Adams.
" 2. — Joshua Seaver,* Ira Allen.
•' 3. — Timothy R. Nute, George M. Hobbs.
" 4. — John W. Olmstead, Jeremiah Plympton.
" 5. — Sylvester Bliss,t Edwin Ray.
JOHN W. OLMSTEAD, Chairman.
FRANKLIN WILLIAMS, t Secretary.
* Deceased Sunday, Nov. 15th.
t Deceased 6th March, and Henry B. Metcalf chosen to fill vacancy.
t Elected Secretary in place of Joshua Seaver, deceased.
ELECTED AT LARGE.
GEORGE PUTNAM, FRANKLIN WILLIAMS,
WILLIAM A. CRAFTS.
ELECTED BY WARDS.
Ward 1. — Horatio G. Morse, George J. Arnold.
" 2. — Ira Allen, J. Warren Tuck.
« 3. — Timothy R. Nute, George M. Hobbs.
" 4. — John W. Olmstead, Jeremiah Plympton.
« 5. — Edwin Ray, Alfred P. Putnam.