Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

ever.

not expecting it would learn much, but, forsooth, to rid the mother of care at home. It seems to the committee that it is hardly equitable to the larger scholars ; that it is not an economical mode of expending money for so small a consideration, to support a teacher at fifteen or twenty dollars per month, and engross his time, in this way, to the manifest detriment of the older members of the school ; when a female teacher, for one third the money, might teach the smaller scholars more successfully than a male teacher. Your committee see no way, in which the evils of the present system can be remedied wholly. We cannot bring all our youth, over ten years of age, into one school, and all under, into another. Could this be done, we should realize much more benefit from the same expenditure of money. But, because existing evils cannot be wholly removed, it is no reason why we should not, if practicable, make a partial improvement, and your committee are sanguine in the belief, that this can be effected. They, therefore, ask the privilege of proposing a plan contemplating a material alteration in our school system, which, they are confident, will secure to our youth much greater advantages, from the same expenditure of money. We wish, however, here to premise, that the plan we now propose, is by no means presented as perfect in all its parts; and it is not pretended, that there are no objections to it. There are valid objections against our present system ; so, doubtless, more or less objections would lie against any plan what

Our object is, not to find a plan against which no objection can be raised, but to light on one, which, on the whole, will secure the greatest amount of good. As the plan to be proposed looks not at the convenience or inconvenience of individuals, but contemplates the general good of the whole town, your committee would, respectfully, request all to suspend their decision in regard to it, until they have duly considered the plan in all its bearings. If adopted, it is exceedingly desirable it should be adopted unanimously.

Without further remark, we proceed, first, to give you the outlines of the plan in question,-after which, we shall offer some reasons for its adoption.

First. The plan. Let there be established a Central School, for the exclusive benefit of our youth over ten years old. Let a house be built by the town. For the purpose of accomplishing two objects at once, and to save expense, it is proposed to erect a building of sufficient size, two stories high. Let the room in one of the stories be used as a town-house, and the other appropriated to the use of the Central School.

It is proposed, that the schools be sustained in the following manner, viz. Let the Northwest District, (in consideration of their distance from the centre, and the size of their school,) receive their proportion of the school money as they now do, and expend it in sustaining a school in summer and winter. The remaining four districts shall receive, each, a certain portion of the public money,-a sufficient sum, at least, to sustain a female school, in the warm season, four months; and let the remainder of the money of the four districts be appropriated to support the central school; to which all the youth, above ten years old, shall have equally free access. It is proposed to have this central school commence on the first Wednesday in September, and it is believed that, ordinarily, it can be sustained at least six months in the year. The design is, to procure, for the central school, a teacher of such qualifications that the advantages will be equal to any select school. As this school is contemplated with reference to the good of the whole town, (as far as it may be,) it is proposed, that the scholars of the Northwest District, (though they do nothing towards supporting the school, yet in consideration of their assistance in building a school room,) be adnitted to the school with an abatement of one third of the tuition, $2 instead of $3, which is the usual price per term.

To your committee, it seems very desirable that the above plan, or something like it, should be adopted; and for the following, among other reasons. First, it is much more economical than the present system. By its adoption, we shall secure longer schools in summer, and our winter term will be twice as long as our winter schools now are. It will afford very much greater advantages, and yet there will be only the same expenditure of money. The two select schools, taught in this place within the last two years, have cost the town about $100 each. By the adoption of the above plan, we shall secure all the advantages of a select school in the autumn, in addition to all, and more than all, the advantages now derived from our winter schools.

[ocr errors][merged small]

2d. A second reason for adopting it, is, that it is a plan eminently republican. The practice of having a select school, unless a better course can be adopted, we earnestly hope will be kept up from year to year; but still there are some objections to it. At least, the plan proposed seems, to your committee, very much preferable to it. Select schools have a favorable influence upon the cause of education in a town, but there are always more or less shut out froin the privileges they afford. Whenever one of these schools is opened, there are many who would attend, were it a Free School, and who, perhaps, would make better proficiency than many who do attend, and yet cannot for want of means. The plan proposed will open to such, free access to all the privileges of a select school, not for three months in a year only, but for six months. It brings the means of a good education within reach of all our youth, the poor as well as the rich. It will occasion no superiority or inferiority, except what talent, cultivated or abused talent, shall create.

3d. Another reason for its adoption, is, the social advantages to be derived from it. It will bring the youth, from the different parts of our town, together; they will be associated under circumstances, in which they will exert a refining and quickening influence upon one another. Under the care of a judicious and faithful teacher, their intercourse together will be healthful. The dull and stupid will be quickened, by being brought in contact with the more sprightly. The coarse and uncouth will learn gentleness, by witnessing the deportnient of the modest and mild. The gay and airy will be rebuked by the more sober and discreet.

4th. Such a plan, or something like it, should be adopted, to supersede the necessity of sending our youth abroad to be educated. But a small portion of parents can, without serious embarrassment, be at the expense of thus educating their children; and, aside from the expense, it is much better for the youth, themselves, to receive their education, at least, what may be termed a common education, at home, under the care and immediate supervision of their parents.

Your committee are convinced there is an error in the community on this point. Many seem to suppose, that, if their children can go abroad, to some popular school or academy, of course they will make rapid proficiency ;-whereas, the truth probably is, that, in nine cases out of ten, the same youth would make greater proficiency in the substantials of an education, under the guidance of a good teacher, in their own town. This is easily accounted for. When at home, there is less of novelty to divert the mind. They have, too, the influence of parents coöperating with that of the teacher, to encourage habits of close application. Besides, youth, before their habits of virtue are confirmed, when sent abroad, are in danger of being allured from the path of rectitude by the influence of vicious associates, with whom they must, more or less, be brought in contact. We would not be understood to say, that youth should never be sent abroad to school,—but we would say, that, in such a town as this, it is exceedingly desirable, that we should secure, among ourselves, the means of giving our youth a good business education. The school now in contemplation, will, it is believed, afford such means to our youth.

5th. Finally, your committee would recommend this plan as one of general utility to the town. Its direct influence will be, to raise the standard of education amongst us. It will excite, in our youth, an increased desire for intellectual improvement, thus giving them a disrelish for low and hurtful amusements, and allure them from immoral and vicious practices. It will operate to bring out and cultivate the best talent. The young aspirant after knowledge will here find a path open before him, leading to intelligence, respectability and an enlarged sphere of usefulness. The elevation which might be given, by such a school, might serve as a stepping stone to the highest attainments, in literature, honor and usefulness, that are within the reach of man, and these attainments, too, might be made by a youth from the most obscure family among us. But for want of some such encouragement, the same youth, oppressed by poverty and disheartened by obstacles, might have yielded to the pressure ; the kindling fires of his mind might have been quenched, and he would have taken a low and obscure stand through life. “Knowledge is power;"-joined with right moral influence, it is respectability. Whatever, therefore, will bring into healthful action the talent, whatever will increase the intelligence of our youth, will

increase the wealth, respectability and power of our town. Viewed in this light, therefore, your committee would urge the adoption of the plan before you, as one of general utility to the whole town.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE.—John C. THOMPSON, Levi L. PIERCE, T. W. Lyman.

[ocr errors]

GRANBY,

(1) Population, 922. Valuation, $191,309 00.

Number of Public Schools, 7. (2) No. of Scholars of all ages in all the Schools—In Summer, 223—In Winter, 296. (3) Average attendance in the Schools-In Summer, 177-In Winter, 253. (4) No. of persons between 4 and 16 years of age in the town, 289.-No. of persons under 4

years of age who attend School, 17.—No. over 16 years of age who attend School, 32. (5) Aggregate length of the Schools, 50 mths.-In Summer, 27 7—Iu Winter, 22 21. (6) No. of Teachers in Summer-M. F. 7.—No. of Teachers in Winter—M. 2-F. 5. (7) Average wages paid per month including board—To Males, $22 50— To Females, $14 23. (8) Average value of board per month—Of Males, $7 00—Of Females, $6 00. (9) Average wages per month exclusive of board-Of Males, $15 50—Of Females, $8 19. (10) Amount of money raised by taxes for the support of Schools, including only the wages of

Teachers, board and fuel, $650. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $132 18. (12) No. of incorporated Academies, -Aggregate of months kept, :-Average No. of

Scholars, .-Aggregate paid for tuition, $ (13) No. of unincorporated Academies, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong Common

Schools, 6.-Aggregate of months kept, 11.-Average No. of Scholars, 145.-Aggre

gate paid for tuition, $120. (14) Amount of Local Funds, $ -Income from same, $

Books USED-Spelling-Webster's Elementary. Reading–Child's Guide, Intelligent, Porter's Rhetorical and National Readers, New Testament, Grammar-Smith's Productive. GeographyPeter Parley's, Smith's and Malte-Brun's. Arithmetic-Emerson's and Smith's. All others-Easy Primer, Blake's Philosophy, Peter Parley's and Goodrich's History, Watts on the Mind.

SELECTIONS FROM REPORT. One improvement, we think, is justly attributable to the depository of school books, the influence of which has been to prevent the introduction of many different works, on the same subject. Without a depository, owing to the great number of different books, the time of the teacher was often occupied unprofitably, by hearing recitations on the same subject, from a number of different books. This defect is already, in a measure, remedied.

As the success of inexperienced teachers, is always more or less doubtful, the committee would suggest the importance of securing the services of as many well known, experienced, and faithful teachers, as possible. The want of such teachers, is sometimes the sole cause of the backwardness of some schools; the scholars of which learn little besides play, and give, at the close, far better evidence of having wasted their time, in idleness and insubordination, than of having spent it in close application to study. If a school is tanght only a few successive seasons, by teachers not possessing the requisite qualifications, it is sure to receive an injury, which may require even years of exertion to repair. To avoid consequences so detrimental, the employment of the best teachers to be found, should ever be an object of the first importance.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE.-ELI MOODY, E. B. CHAPIN.

{(1)

[ocr errors]

GREENWICH,

(1) Population, 842. Valuation, $119,700 00.

Number of Public Schools, 7. (2) No. of Scholars of all ages in all the Schools--In Summer, 200—In Winter, 290.

.

(3) Average attendance in the Schools-In Summer, 165-In Winter, 250. (4) No. of persons between 4 and 16 years of age in the town, 259.–No. of persons under 4

years of age who attend School, .-No. over 16 years of age who attend School, (5) Aggregate length of the Schools, 41 mths.-In Summer, 22-In Winter, 19. (6) No. of Teachers in Summer-M. -F.7.-No. of Teachers in Winter-M. 3—F. 4. (7) Average wages paid per month including board To Males, $16 00--To Females, $14 00. (8) Average value of board per month Of Males, $700—Of Females, $6 00. (9) Average wages per month exclusive of board-Of Males, $900_Of Females, $8 00. (10) Amount of money raised by taxes for the support of Schools, including only the wages of

Teachers, board and fuel, $500. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $ (12) No. of incorporated Academies, -Aggregate of months kept, s-Average No. 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, 13.-Average No. of Scholars, 30.-Aggre

gate paid for tuition, $148 50. (14) Amount of Local Funds, $ .-Income from same, $

.

BOOKS USED.-Spelling-Webster's. Reading, American First Class Book, National, American and Improved Readers, Child's Guide, Intelligent Reader, Introduction to the National Reader. Grammar-Smith's. Geography_Child's Book of Geography, Smith's, Huntington's, Olney's, Hall's and Peter Parley's. All others Rhetoric, Geography of the Heavens, Latin and Greek.

REMARK.—The return of Private Schools is imperfect, the number of months kept being omitted in one and the average number of scholars in the other. In one of these schools, “a number of teachers were qualified for the purpose of teaching Primary Schools.”

*

SELECTION FROM REPORT. Your committee are of opinion, that the operations of our schools are materially interrupted, in consequence of too great a variety of books, in the same school. Parents are too incredulous, to entrust the selection of books to the committee, fearing they will assume too much power in this matter. We would, therefore, suggest that the Board earnestly recommend, for the use of our schools, a uniform selection of books.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE.-Joseph H. PATRICK, LEVI CHAMBERLAIN, Thomas R. GREEN.

HADLEY,

(1) Population, 1,805. Valuation, $345,217 33.

Number of Public Schools, 10. (2) No. of Scholars of all ages in all the Schools-In Summer, 331-In Winter, 447. (3) Average attendance in the Schools—In Summer, 272—In Winter, 376. (4) No. of persons between 4 and 16 years of age in the town, 547.--No. of persons under 4

years of age who attend School, 54.—No. over 16 years of age who attend School, 11. (5) Aggregate length of the Schools, 82 muhs. 21 days.-In Summer, 38 14-In Winter, 44 7. (6) No. of Teachers in Summer-M. -F. 10.—No. of Teachers in Winter-M. 5–F. 8. (7) Average wages paid per month, including board—To Males, $ -To Females, $ (8) Average value of board per month-of Males, $ --Of Females, $ (9) Average wages per month, exclusive of board_Of Males, $ -Of Females, $ (10) Amount of money raised by taxes for the support of Schools, including only the wages of

Teachers, board and fuel, $1,200. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $237 75. (12) No. of incorporated Academies, 1.-Aggregate of months kept, 10.-Average No. of

Scholars, 75.-Aggregate paid for tuition, $1,000.

(13) No. of unincorporated Academies, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong Common

Schools, 1.-Aggregate of months kept, 3.--Average No. of Scholars, 25.Aggre

gate paid for tuition, $75. (14) Amount of Local Funds, $ Income from same, $

Books USED.-Spelling--Webster's. Reading-Porter's Rhetorical Reader, Worcester's Third Class Book, Children's Guide, Testament, &c. Grammar-Smith's, Pond's Murray's. GeographyOlney's, Malte-Brun's, Peter Parley's. Arithmetic -Smith's, Adams', &c.

非 *

米 *

*

REMARKS.-No return is made of the wages and board of teachers.

A “great variety" of books are used in the schools; only the “ most important” are given above.

SELECTIONS FROM REPORT. * Your committee, therefore, are of opinion, that when an individual shall appear, after due trial, not to be possessed of the requisite qualifications, for managing judiciously, and governing successfully, the children of a district, their good requires that such individual be discharged, however qualified be or she may be in other respects.

There are few children, who have not discernment sufficient to discover when a teacher holds with a firm, or relaxed grasp, the reins of government; or when, as the case may be, he neglects to hold them at all; and strange would it be, if they did not shape their course accordingly. The ill effects of insubordination, allowed during one three months' school, would, very probably, be felt through successive years; occasioning much trouble to after teachers, and to the families of the district, to say nothing of the loss which the children would sustain, in consequence, in point of intellectual improvement.

Your committee are firm in the belief, therefore, that however strenuously the “no government” principle may, by some, be advocated in reference to other departments, it will not do to sanction its introduction into our Common Schools. There, government must be maintained, and due order preserved, or improvement cannot be expected.

These schools never exhibited, at their close, more gratifying evidence of having been thoroughly and successfully taught, than at their recent examination. Eight of them, the committee take pleasure in repeating, were taught by females ; and generally with so much success, as to leave little doubt on their minds, that the remaining five might have been taught, by well qualified and energetic individuals of that sex, without loss, in point of improvement, and certainly with manifest gain, in point of economy:

In most of the districts, where a male teacher is employed to take charge of the winter school, six months instruction is all that the children enjoy the whole year. During the remaining six months, their attention is diverted to other objects, and their interest in their books, in a great measure, lost. This is an evil of sufficient magnitude, certainly, to require attention. To remedy it, the committee are unable to recommend any more feasible measure, than that of enploying, through the year, and by the year if you please, well qualified and efficient female teachers. By such an arrangement, eight or nine months schooling, instead of six, may be enjoyed, and the happy effects of it, in the more rapid advance of the scholars, in intellectual attainment, must, to every one, be apparent.

Were this arrangement to be generally adopted, the prudential committee of each district would, of course, engage no one, (especially as teacher of the winter school.) who had not been proved, by previous trial, to be possessed of those qualifications, (intellectual, moral and physical,) which afford promise of success, both in teaching and governing. And then, it might be needful for him, as well as for the visiting committee, to let the school know, at its commencement, that anything like disorder or insubordination, could not, and would not, be endured,-no, not for an hour.

In carrying such an arrangement into effect, the parent too, is in a situation to exert an influence, greater even than that of the committee's and teachers' combined. However little restraint he may see fit to exercise over his children at home, he might instil into their minds, the idea, that while in school, they must be in quiet and orderly subjection to the powers that be.

« ForrigeFortsett »