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City Document. — No. 7. 
ANNUAL REPORT 



SCHOOL COMMITTEE 



Citg flf lU^htrg, 



YEAR 1863. 




ROXBURY: 

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 

and Hutchinson. 

December 9th. 

The Chairman of the Board (Mr. Olmstead) submitted his Annual 
Report. 

Mr. Slebper submitted the Annual Report of the High and Grammar 
Schools. 

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 
School Committee. 

FRANKLIN WILLIAMS, Secretary. 






REPORT. 



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. 



REPORT 



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- 
tory. 

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- 
lican Government. 

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 
schools. 

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 

A, 






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- 
tractable. 

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. 






REPORT 

ON 

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 
3 



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. 

J. PLYMPTON, 
Chairman of Examining Committee. 



STATISTICS 



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 
four Teachers. 

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. 



24 



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SCHOOL COMMITTEE, 1863. 

ELECTED AT LARGE. 

GEORGE PUTNAM, JOHN S. SLEEPER, 

FRANKLIN WILLIAMS. 

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. 



SCHOOL COMMITTEE, 

FOR 1864. 



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. 



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