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(9) Average wages per month, exclusive of board-Of Males, $20 20of Females, $6 37. (10) Amount of money raised by taxes for the support of Schools, including only the wages of
Teachers, board and fuel, $1,000. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $88 60. (12) No. of incorporated Academies, .-Aggregate of months kept, :-Average number of
Scholars, .-Aggregate paid for tuition, $ (13) No. of unincorporated Academies, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong Common
Schools, 2.-Aggregale of months kept, 4.-Average No. of Scholars, 80.-Aggre
gale paid for tuition, $150. (14) Amount of Local Funds, $664 20.-Income from same, $39 85.
BOOKS USED.- - Spelling Lee's Primary. Reading-Pierpont's First Class Book, Improved, Young and Introduction to English Readers, Child's Guide. Grammar-Smith's and Pond's Murray's Geography-Olney's, Smith's and Parley's. Arithmetic-Smith's, Adams', Colburn's and Emerson's. All others Blake's Philosophy, Goodrich's History and one or iwo in Chemistry and Botany.
REMARKS.--The Abstract is probably not strictly correct. No numbers are given, nor any estimates made, respecting three districts. In three others, also, they are incomplete.
SELECTION FROM REPORT. * This report is imperfect, owing to the fact, that some of the teachers, through negligence or carelessness, made no returns. It is very important, that the committee should have returns from every district in town. We wish, therefore, the agents of the several districts to bear this in mind the coming year. The committee feel, that there has not been a sufficient degree of attention paid to the interests of our schools, by the parents of the scholars. The latter need encouragement. And they will receive this, if their parents devote proper attention to the interests of their schools. This should be intimated by seasonable and frequent visitations, and by other means.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE.-Geo. R. Noves, C. Shumway, John H. Willis.
S(1) Population, 887. Valuation, $260,372 50.
Number of Public Schools, 7. (2) No. of Scholars of all ages in all the Schools-In Summer, 141-In Winter, 275. (3) Average attendance in the Schools-In Summer, 103 In Winter, 218. (4) No. of persons between 4 and 16 years of age in the town, 228No. of persons under 4
years of age who attend School, 11.–No. over 16 years of age who attend School, 51. (5) Aggregate length of the Schools, 30 mths. 7 days.-In Summer, 137–In Winter, 17. (6) No. of Teachers in Summer—M. -F.5.—No. of Teachers in Winter—M. 6-F. 1. (7) Average wages paid per month, including board—To Males, $23 11—To Females, $ 10 50. (8) Average value of board per month-Of Males, $577–Of Females, $4 89. (9) Average wages per month, exclusive of board-Of Males, $1734_Of Females, $5 61. (10) Amount of money raised by taxes for the support of Schools, including only the wages of
Teachers, board and fuel, $515 38. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $32 75. (12) No. of incorporated Academies, .-Aggregate of months kept, -Average number of
Scholars, :-Aggregate paid for tuition, $ (13) No. of unincorporated Academies, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong Common
Schools, .-Aggregate of months kept, Average No. of Scholars, Aggre
gate paid for tuition, $ (14) Amount of Local Funds, $ .-Income from same, $
Books USED.-Spelling-Lee's. Reading—Bible, Porter's Rhetorical Reader, Intelligent Reader, Easy Lessons. Grammar-Pond's Murray's. Geography-Olney's, Peler Parley's. Arithmetic-Adams', Colburn's. All others--Goodrich's History of the U.S.
SELECTIONS FROM REPORT. During the past year, new and commodious schoolhouses have been erected in districts No. 1 and 2, which, with the three erected the preceding year, make five of our seven districts, that are furnished with new schoolhouses.
We would here notice the general fault of raising the seats, designed for little children, too hig In building some of our new houses, this error has been fallen into. Let any one, who doubts the inconvenience of high seats for children, sit an hour or two on a high and narrow seat, with a perpendicular back, having nothing for his feet to rest upon. He might then form an idea of the suffering of little children at school, placed in a similar position. Without an experiment, one would scarcely be aware of the suffering it would occasion. Seats ought to be so low, that the feet may rest with ease on the floor. Some physicians have given it as their opinion, that a disregard of this principle, by placing children at school on seats too high, has, in many instances, been the occasion of a curvature of the spine, or distortion of the limbs. Where any of our children are exposed to an evil of this kind, it would be well to have the seats reduced to the height that will be best adapted to the safety, as well as comfort, of the children who occupy them. *
It is very difficult, if not altogether impracticable, to obtain a sufficient number of well qualified teachers for all our district schools. In some cases, it is difficult for the committee to form an accurate opinion respecting the qualifi. cations of a teacher, by an examination of one or two hours. There are some important qualities, which do not come under cognizance in an examination, and are to be developed only by practical experiment. Some will sustain a respectable examination, in all the branches taught in Common Schools, who appear to be altogether out of place at the head of a school. They have knowledge, but they have not the faculty of communicating it for the benefit of others. They have no tact or skill to govern a school, or to control and direct the mass of youthful mind put under their care for discipline and instruction. There are probably more failures among teachers in this respect than in any other. There are others, again, who, from natural diffidence, or other causes, are embarrassed while under examination, and appear to disadvantage; but, when at the head of a school, they throw off restraints, and give proof that they kuow what a teacher ought to do, and, what is still more, they know how to do it.
Should our Normal Schools effect what they aim to do, in raising the standard of qualifications, and furnishing a supply oiable and well qualified teachers for our Common Schools, it will bring us to a new and happy era in the history of popular education. The benefit to our country would be immense. It is devoutly to be hoped, that the experiment, now making with these schools, will be successful, and fully answer the high expectations raised concerning them.
The law very properly makes it the duty of school committees, to obtain satisfactory evidence of the good moral character, as well as the literary qualifications, of the teachers they approbate. This is a point of great importance to the interests of a good education. Our legislators have been aware of the fact, and have made provision to meet it, so far as the enactment of suitable laws can do it.' We cannot insist too much on the correct moral habits and principles of those, whose business, while in our employ, is to mould the mind, and form the character, of our children and youth. If not correct themselves, in these respects, they may, in a few short weeks, exert a deleterious influence on the youthful mind, counteract parental instruction, and, perhaps, more than undo what parents have been laboring, for years, to do for their children. A popular teacher will have great influence with his pupils, and must necessarily do much to leave his own image impressed on their minds. It is of the utmost consequence, therefore, that his influence should be good and only good. These remarks are not made in consequence of any evil of this kind, that has been experienced in this town, nor because the law requiring it is ever intentionally disregarded. We believe it is approved by all parents. But we would propose, to the prudential committees of the several districts, when they engage teachers from other towns, with whom the superintending committee are not personally acquainted, to request them to procure and bring with then, suitable testimonials of their good moral character.
Our schools, in general, are too short. In some instances, the scholars have only time to begin to be interested in their studies, and engage in them to advantage, before the school is closed, and a period of several months must elapse before they are again placed in school. And, unless parents become teachers, so as to keep up a wakeful attention to their studies, (as ought to be the case,) they will lose, in their long vacations, a considerable portion of what they had already acquired. The remedy for the evil of short schools would be the raising of a larger amount of money.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE.-ALEXANDER LOVELL, JESSE LOVERING, JR., COURTLON SANDERSON.
(1) Population, 1,267. Valuation, $348,293 00.
Number of Public Schools, 10. (2) No. of Scholars of all ages in all the Schools-In Summer, 303-In Winter, 437. (3) Average attendance in the Schools—In Summer, 270—In Winter, 386. (4) No. of persons between 4 and 16 years of age in the town, 417.—No. of persons under 4
years of age who attend School, 108.—No. over 16 years of age who attend School, 83. (5) Aggregate length of the Schools, 47 mths.-In Summer, 22 14~In Winter, 24 14. (6) No. of Teachers in Summer-M. -F. 10.-No. of Teachers in Winter-M. 10_F. (7) Average wages paid per month including board_To Males, $27 60—To Females, $10 00. (8) Average value of board per month Of Males, $800_Of Females, $6 00. (9) Average wages per month exclusive of board-Of Males, $1960—Of Females, $4 00. (10) Amount of money raised by taxes for the support of Schools, including only the wages of
Teachers, board and fuel, $900 00. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $ (12) No. of incorporated Academios, .-Aggregate of months kept, -Average number of
Scholars, -Aggregate paid for tuition, $ (13) No. of unincorporated Academies, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong Common
Schools, 2.-Aggregate of months kept, 4.-Average No. of Scholars, 65.-Aggre.
gate paid for tuition, $142. (14) Amount of Local Funds, $ .-Income from same, $
BOOKS USED. Spelling Cummings' and National. Reading-Testament, First Class Book, National Reader, Rhetorical Reader, Angell's Child's Guide, Grammar-Murray's and Smith's., Geography-Olney's, Smith's and Peter Parley's. Arithmetic— Adams', Smith's and Colburn's First Lessons. All others-Walker's Dictionary, Webster's do., Natural Philosophy, Watts on the Mind, Goodrich's History of the U. S., Whelpley's Compend, Blake's Firsi Lessons in Astronomy.
REMARKS.—The return states, that ten Male and ten Female teachers were employed, in both the summer and winter schools. The presumptions to the contrary are so strong from other parts of the return, and from the custom of the country, that ten Females are set down for the summer and ten Males for the winter.
SELECTIONS FROM REPORT. The committee take pleasure in further remarking, that in some of these schools they have witnessed good order, and
degree of improvement. And in others, the management and improvement have been such, that the committee have given them their cordial approbation; while, in some few, they are sorry to say there has been a great defi. ciency in the order, and but very little improvement.
Before closing this part of our report, we feel in duty bound to say, that there was no good reason for these scholars absenting themselves from these schools,-for, where there is a sufficient reason for any portion of the scholars to absent themselves, that reason is sufficient to justify the committee in closing the school.
On the subject of schoolhouses, the committee would remark, that seven out of the ten are new and convenient.
The importance of employing teachers thoroughly educated, and every way qualified to teach our Common Schools, cannot be too frequently or too forcibly urged upon the consideration of the town; for, we have too much reason to believe, that, in many instances, incompetent teachers have been employed, and thereby most or all of the money has been lost. In the last annual report of our immediate predecessors, they recommended a somewhat larger appropriation of money, for the benefit of our Common Schools; but, as the town have seen fit, instead of complying with their suggestions, to reduce the sum already appropriated, the present committee, (fearing that like action would follow,) out of respect for themselves, and duty to the rising generation, forbear making any suggestions on the subject. *
SCHOOL COMMITTEE.-Jxo. WHITNEY, J. D. HOWE, HARLOW SKINNER, MASON BALL.
(1) Population, 1,629. Valuation, $340,598 00.
Number of Public Schools, 12. (2) No. of Scholars of all ages in all the Schools-In Summer, 421—In Winter, 582. (3) Average attendance in the Schools-In Summer, 297—In Winter, 430. (4) No. of persons between 4 and 16 years of age in the town, 488.–No. of persons under 4
years of age who attend School, 34.-No. over 16 years of age who attend School, 127. (5) Aggregate length of the Schools, 56 mths. 27 days.-In Summer, 31 15—In Winter, 25 12. (6) No. of Teachers in Summer-M. -F.11.-No. of Teachers in Winter-M. 12-F. (7) Average wages paid per month, including board—To Males, $22 93—To Females, $9 41. (8) Average value of board per month-or Males, $5 52—Of Females, $4 40. (9) Average wages per month, exclusive of board—Of Males, $17 41-Of Females, $5 01. (10) Amount of money raised by taxes for the support of Schools, including only the wages of
Teachers, board and fuel, $792 77. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $ (12) No. of incorporated Academies, .-Aggregate of months kept, .-Average number of
Scholars, .-Aggregate paid for tuition, $ (13) No. of unincorporated Academies, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong Common
Schools, 3.-Aggregate of months kept, 64.-Average No. of Scholars, 65.-Aggre.
gate paid for tuition, $144 19. (14) Amount of Local Funds, $915 00.-Income from same, $90 00.
Books USED.- --Spelling--North American. Reading Pronouncing Bible, Porter's Rhetorical Reader, National Reader, Improved Reader. Grammar-Smith's English. Geography Smith's, Parley's. Arithmetic-Adams', Parley's. All others_Waits on the Mind, Day's Algebra, Goodrich's History, Comstock's Chemistry and Philosophy.
REMARK.—The return states, that “ about one half of the board of teachers is furnished gratis, and in some cases the fuel.” Value not given.
SELECTIONS FROM REPORT.
Your coinmittee also recommended a list of books to be used in the several schools. The law of the State says, “ The school committee shall direct what books shall be used in the several schools, kept by the town." And it makes it the duty of the committee, to see that the schools are furnished with such books. But, knowing the reluctance many feel to purchase new books, when their children have old ones which are not entirely worn out, your committee did not deem it advisable to direct, but only to recommend. The practical result, however, of such recommendation, is found to be pernicious, rather than beneficial. The effect is this; those scholars, who must have new books at the opening of the school, have generally been furnished with the books your committee recommended, while others carried their old books, and thus, those who should compose one class, have had different
books; the classes have been divided, and the variety of books has been multiplied. This is a serious injury to the schools. Every one acquainted with teaching, knows that it has a very beneficial influence upon schools, occasionally to introduce new books; and, especially, that there should be a uniformity of books in the same school.
When any one considers the amount of money annually expended for the support of Public Schools-and especially when he reflects upon their vast importance to the rising generation, as furnishing the only means, a very large proportion of them will ever enjoy, to obtain an education sufficient to fit them for the duties of good citizens, it would seem that he could not hesitate to add to that expense, what would be necessary to furnish his own scholars with those books, from which they could make the greatest proficiency in the acquisition of knowledge. A parent had better send his son into the field, or the shop, to work, without giving him the proper tools, than to send him to school without the necessary books. For, if destitute, he learns nothing himself, and by his idleness and consequent roguery, he prevents others from learning.
Bio Your committee are happy in saying, that the schools in town have generally been prosperous, the last year; have been instructed by competent teachers, and the
scholars have made commendable improvement. This is generally true. There are, of course, exceptions. Were your committee to go into detail, and notice particularly every district, every teacher, and also speak of particular classes in the schools, they could point out some districts which were favored with first-rate teachers, and some classes and scholars, who made great improvement; they would also be compelled to speak of others, in which teachers were placed, who had not been examined by the committee, and who ! gave clear evidence, when their schools were visited, that they were not qualified for the places they filled, -of deficiency in school books, -of scholars who made little or no progress in learning,—and also of schools which were disturbed, or rendered useless by disorderly scholars, or by the prejudice, or im. proper interference of
ats, against, or with, the regulations of the teachYour committee would suggest the importance of a better understanding between the prudential committees of the several districts, and the general committee of the town, that the former should not let any teacher commence a school, till examined by the latter ; and also give them suitable notice when their respective schools will commence and close, that they may be regularly visited. They would also say to parents and guardians, that if they desire the best results from our Common School system, they should send their children more regularly to school. The returns from the several districts, show that there is an aggregate loss of years of time, by detaining children from school.
TH is one other subject, upon which your committee would offer a few suggestions, as they can do it without any delicacy, as several of them are relieved from the duties and responsibilities of their office; it is the reasonableness and justice of compensating the committee for their services. Without some calculation, a person wilĩ not readily form a correct estimate of the amount of labor performed by this committee Suppose it were all performed by one man. * Allowing him one dollar per day, these items will amount to $64. Ought he to do this without any compensation ? Will any other officer spend the same length of time, and be at as much expense for the town, for nothing ? If you divide this among a committee of three, still it will amount to more than $21 apiece. If any gentlemen are disposed to perform this service for nothing, your committee certainly will not object.
But the principle, that the town should ask, or wish them to do it for nothing, they feel constrained to pronounce unreasonable and unjust ;-especially since their duties and their compensation are defined and fixed by the statute of the Commonwealth. *
While your committee are happy in the belief, that the great body of the people appreciate our most excellent Common School system, which was early founded by our puritan ancestors, and which has always been one of the distinguishing glories of New England, they would take this opportunity to urge