Page images
PDF
EPUB

importance bave been inade. The course of study of the high school was carefully · revised at the beginning of the year, and particular attention given to the improve. ment of the course in English. An evening school is in operation, and, though more successful than in the past, is in a very unsatisfactory condition. Penmanship and drawing are taught by a special teacher, who also conducts a very successful evening drawing school.

Bristol needs more uniforinity and organization in its schools. Under the district system now in use neither the town nor the districts have complete control of the schools, and it is exceedingly difficult to secure the best results. The teachers meet regularly, and a novel plan has been introduced into these meetings that has proven interesting and beneficial, i, e., that of bringing in the classes and explaining prac. tically the methods used. Evening schools were established this year and succeeded as well as could be reasonably expected in the short time.

Greenwich reports 20 schools, with a total enrolment of 1,429 pupils, 59 less than last year. The school population has decreased by 12, and the number who attended no school is 324, an increase of 69 over 1884-'85. One hundred and ninety-four children attended private schools. An excellent and commodious school buildiug has been completed during the year. The expense per child, based upon the average attendauce, has been $17.21, against $15.63 last year.

Hartford schools are sometimes hindered in their progress by differences between the board of school visitors and the district committees, especially upon matters pertaining to the employment of teachers. There are 17 school-houses in the city, varying in their capacity and condition, but as a rule they are comfortable and well adapted to school uses. The high school is well equipped with scientific apparatus, and the instruction is as practical as possible. Two evening schools are maintained with fair success.

Manchester was visited by an epidemic of small-pox in December, 1885, and the shortening of the winter term of one of the schools was considered advisable. The attendance, as shown by the statistics, therefore, was not so satisfactory during 1885–86 as the previous year. Changes in teachers are avoided as much as possible, and an efficient corps is the resuit. A few changes havo been made in the text-books used.

Meriden owns 15 excellently furnished school buildings, one of which has been reopened during the year after several years' vacancy. Though the number enrolled this year is 80 less than last, the average daily attendance is 15.5 more, and the efficiency of the schools seems to be greater than ever before. Unusual attention was paid last year to supplementary reading, with satisfactory results. Music and drawing are taught in the lower grades. The schools are graded throughout, and comprise the primary, intermediate, and grammar-school departments, and a high school.

Naugatuck has provided a new room for an additional primary school, and needed repairs have been made upon other buildings during the year. There are 6 schools, graded as primary, intermediate, and grammar. Vocal music is taught by a special teacher.

New Britain reports 6 graded, 3 ungraded, 2 evening, and 3 model schools, and a high school. Evening schools were opened in October and have been attended by an average of 103 scholars; experienced teachers are employed, and the instruction is of the most practical character. Book-keeping is taught in the high school, and a special teacher is employed for penmanship and drawing,

Neu Haven bas completed within the year a magnificent school building, costing $28,000, in which are employed the best and most satisfactory arrangements for heating and ventilation. The sum of $2,000 has been expended in repairs and improvements upon another building, and other needed alterations and repairs have been made. À new evening school, for girls, has been opened, making a total of 7. Great progress is being made in the direction of manual training. The instruction has been made more thorough and comprehensive, and the classes have increased in size until it is now considered necessary to secure an additional building in which wood working in all its branches may be taught. More attention is being paid to drawing, and the employment of another teacher for this special branch has been rendered necessary. Instruction in sewing, modelling in clay, and plaster casting has also been begun during the year. An industrial exhibit at High School Hall afforded an opportunity for the display of a great deal of creditable art and school work. A business course of 2 years has been added to the regular high-school course. The training schools and kindergarten have greatly increased in efficiency.

New London made such extensive repairs in the school buildings during 1885–86 that the appropriation has been exceeded. The text-books used were substantially the same as the year before, slight changes being made in mathematics. The proportion of the number registered to the number enumerated was remarkably large this year, the difference being only 117.

Norwalk reports the sanitary condition of some of the school-houses bad, although many improvements have been made. One building has been entirely remodelled, and

an addition costing $2,317.75 has been made to another, rendering it a model of con. venience and comfort.

Norwich children have improved in the matter of attendance upon the schools, and truancy rarely occurs. The high standard of discipline is maintained with but fow cases of corporal punishment. Marked improvement in penmanship is noticeable, 1885–86 being ahead of any previous years in that respect. A new system of instruction in drawing has been introduced, and the teachers were assisted at the first of the year by a specialist furnished by the publishers of the system. Music is under the charge of a very competent special teacher. Many needed repairs have been made in the buildings.

Stamford expended about $30,000 this year upon schools. They are generally in a flourishing condition and are a source of gratification to the people. Three additional rooms have been opened during the year, and overcrowding was thus relieved. A music teacher is employed for the 4 graded schools.

Vernon schools have adopted new text-books suited to the requirements of the inore modern methods of teaching. The principal schools are graded and their efficiency is commended. The school year is composed of three terms of 12 weeks each. The buildings are commodions and in good repair.

IFinchester reports a good degree of progress in the schools. There are 9 buildivgs, and the total average daily attendance is 585.5.

DELAWARE. Wilmington has added to her list of school buildings an elegant structure to be used by the high school, costing with its site and furniture $73,660. The corner-stone was laid December 11, 1834, and the building was occupied by the school in January, 1856. The heating apparatus in many of the buildings has been improved, involving a cost of $563 for this alone; in addition, all necessary repairs have been made. *The most important addition to the school system of the city during the year is the night school of mechanical drawing, which had 133 scholars enrolled for its first term. A large proportion of these were matured men who were employed in the various machine shops of the city, and who put the knowledge here obtained into immediate practical use. Two other evening schools are also in operation. The high school makes an unusually satisfactory showing this year, with an increased enrolment and a larger percentage of attendance than ever before.

GEORGIA.

Americus schools show a gradual and steady improvement. The 3 buildings are comfortably filled, with an average daily attendance of 543.

Atlanta has been active in the work of building school-houses this year. In September, 1885, a large building that had been destroyed by fire in the preceding February was replaced by a larger and more commodious one with every modern convenience; a bandsome structure of brick and stone has been erected for a new primary school, and a home prepared for an additional grammar school. All old buildings have been repainted and renovated, and 700 new single desks of the best pattern have been purchased. The accommodations are still insufficient and large numbers have been compelled to attend private schools or no school at all, because of the lack of foom in the public schools. This has been remedied to some extent by dividing the classes into morning and afternoon sections with separate teachers. All schools are graded and are designated primary, grammar, and high. Ten months form a school year.

Columbus reports improvements in desks and school furniture generally, and a satisfactory decrease in the cost per scholar to the city. Music is taught by a special instructor.

Macon bas purchased a lot upon which to erect a new school for colored children. The expenditures have been $2,000 more than last year.

Sarannah schools are not sufficiently provided with buildings, and many of the classes have necessarily been divided. A new additional teacher has been employed for the girls' high school.

ILLINOIS. Belleville schools show a marked improvement in discipline. The upper grades of St. Peter's school (parochial) have been admitted during the year into the publicschool system, necessitating the use of an additional building and the employment of 2 more teachers.

Moline has suffered the loss by fire of one of the largest school buildings in the place. With commendable energy contracts for rebuilding were immediately made, and a new structure has risen in the place of the burned building, far superior to it in every respect. By extension of the district lines, 2 new buildings and 6 new schools have been brought within the jurisdiction of the town authorities. One of these buildings has been improved by the expenditure of $1,100 in repairs. Music

Free gym

and industrial drawing have been introduced as parts of the school course, and the latter is intendeıl as the first step toward a system of manual training: nastics have been taught by a special instructor. The annual industrial exhibit continues to command attention and its results are exceedingly satisfactory.

Ottawa's bigu school is considered one of the tinest and best equipped in the State. It is controlled by the township board of trustces and is not counected with the city. school systein. It has recently been enriched by the gift of property worth over $200,000, with which a splendid library will be established for the benefit of the school and city.

Quincy expended during the year over $4,000 in improvements upon its school property. An unusually satisfactory showing is made in regard to promptness in attendanco, a large number of pupils having no “tardy marks" charged against them.

Rockford 8 new high-school building, completed and dedicated March, 1850, is a model of architectural beauty and convenience. It is admirably suited to the needs of the school and is provided with all necessary apparatus and reference books. The cost of the building alono was $30,000. During the year the varions schools bave given entertainments, from the proceeds of which thoy havo purchased books for supplementary reading, to which much attention is paid.

Springfield has begun the erectiou of 2 new school-houses, and the site for a third has been purchased. The three sites cost $7,100, and $11,076 have been already paid upon the buildings, now approaching completion. The teachers' training school for graduates of the high school has been very successful in its operation.

Sterling suffered in the latter part of the school year from aii opidlemic of measles, and the decreased attendance of the scholars is due to that fact. The exhibit of freehand and map drawing at the annual school fair was unusually fine this year.

INDIANA. Crawfordsville rejoices in the accossion of an excellent telescope as an addition to its school apparatus. Promotions aro now made semi-annually instead of once a year, as has been customary until this year. Music is tangbt by a special instructor.

Croron Point has spent a considerable sum this year upon improvements and repairs. A new room has been added to one school-house and an additional teacher provided, and the seating capacity of the other building has been increased by 80 new desks. The laboratory of the high school has been refitted, and the library enlarged, and a special German teacher is employed.

Michigan City reports the erection of a new school building in a part of the city hitherto without school facilities, and completion of a new room to the high-school building. Both these have been furnished with new desks and apparatus. Special teachers bave charge of the penmanship, vocal music, and German classes.

South Bend schools are well provided with school apparatus, and are reported to be in a high state of efficiency. Two new rooms have been added in the last year to the South school-house, and other improvements made.

IOWA.

Muscatine opened a night school in January, 1886, and 104 names have been onrolled. The experiment is regarded as a success, although many difficulties were met. A new building is in the course of erection that will fill the roquirements of its section of the city for many years.

KANSAS.

Emporia schools have grown wonderfully in the last few years, and at the beginning of the fiscal year it became evident that additional accommodations were needed. Rooms were rented temporarily and thus the overcrowded condition of the bnildings already in use was remedied for a time. In January, 1886, $14,000 were raised by a new issue of school bonds, and contracts for two more school-honses were at once let. The sites for these are eligibly located and are already valued at several hundred dollars more than their cost. The buildings will contain four rooms oach and will be ready for occupation before September 1, 1886.

Lawrence school children have been notably prompt in attendence during the year; three-fourths of them were not tardy during entire time. The high school has suffered by frequent cbanges of teachers, but continues to be well patronized.

Paola schools have contended with inany difficulties, almost from the inception of the system. Bonds bearing 10 per cent. interest were issued in 1870 to secure the money necessary to erect a high-school buildivg and required an annual paynient, for interest, of $5,000. During the last year these bonds were refunded, and others bearing only 6 per cent. interest and redeemable in 20 years took their place. The saving in interest thus effected greatly relieved the embarrassment of the school board. After a trial of 7 years it became evident that the normal school conld not be made profitable and it was discontinued in 1885. In Febrnary, 1886, the town was aflicted with an epidemic of small-pox and the schools suffered greatly thereby. The attendance foul

off 30 per cent., and it was considered advisable to suspend the schools until the subsidence of the epidemic; for 3 weeks in March, therefore, no schools were held. Until this time tho number of pupils in attendance had been unusually large, 2 new schools having been opened in the previous September to accommodato the increased number of applicants.

LOUISIANA.

New Orleans school districts have been changed in order to relieve the overcrowded condition of some of the schools, and various changes and consolidations have been made in the schools themselves with the same object in view. In January, 1886, ono of the girls' schools was made a special primary, and kindergarten features were introduced." Complaint is made that many of the buildings were erected without sufficient regard for the laws of hygiene, and an appropriation is asked for to be expended in remedying this eyil.

MAINE. Augusta reports a satisfactory condition of the graded village schools, but those of the outlying districts are not so efficient as is desired. Changes in teachers occur with greater frequency than is compatible with the best interests of the schools, and the abolition is recommended of the system of district agents, which is responsible for this evil. Pook-keeping was introduced this year as a high-school study, and kindergarten methods were first employed in the subprimary grade.

Bangor has largely iucreased the salaries of the high-school teachers and contemplates increasing the pay of all. There has been a considerable change in the textbooks used, and universal satisfaction is expressed. Extensive repairs have been made in a number of the buildings, $2,500 Laving been spent for this pnrpose during the year. The work of grading has begun in the larger suburban schools, and a special teacher is employed for the classes in German.

Gardiner's public-school system is composed of 5 primary, 3 intermediate, 3 grammar schools, and a high school. A special course in music is arranged in all the schools, in charge of a separate teacher.

Porlland reports show a lamentable lack of proper ventilating and heating apparatus in the school buildings of the town. No new houses have been built, and no extensive repairs made upon oll ones. A radical change has been made in the course of study in the primary grades by the introduction of mental arithmetic. The question of industrial training is being agitated, and it is hoped that a school for this purpose will soon be added to the system.

Saco appropriated this year $2,150 less than last for schools, and though few reductions were made in teachers' salaries, several changes in the schools themselves were made necessary. One was wholly abolished and its scholars sent to another. Others were consolidated in such a way that their efficiency was uniinpaired and at the same time a saving was effected. Free-hand drawing has been introduced and is taught by a specialist.

MARYLAND. Baltimore reports a large increase in enrolment this year, so large that most of the buildings are uncomfortably filled. Four new houses have been completed and occupied during the year, 3 by priinary schools and 1 by a female grammar school. The office of superintendent of supplies was created during the year to relievo the commissioners of the care of many small details, and, under the supervision of that officer, the dew buildings bave been furnished, the heating apparatus in all the buildings overhauled and repaired, and improved black-boards provided. An additional year has been added to the grammar-school course, and the high schools and the City College therefore received no pupils from them. The cost of education per capita in the last-named institutions was much greater on this account, reaching in the college $107.45 for the year. The manual-training school continues to be conducted with great success, the number in attendance being 150; 5 teachers are employed, the principal being an officer of the United States Navy.' Twelve evening schools are in operation, and the majority of the pupils are over 21 years of age. Special supervi. sors of drawing and music are employed. Thirty-nine additional teachers were elected during the year, and an increase of 3 is reported in the number of schools.

MASSACHUSETTS. Adams school children are now amply provided with rooms. Four new schools have been opened during the year, and no more are needed at present. An increased interest in the schools is apparent on the part of the townspeople, and the scholars themselves seem to take more pride in their work than ever before. A number of improvements have been made in several of the bnildings, especially in regard to heating apparatus. Music engages the attention of a special teacher.

Arlington has still on hand an unexpended balance of $1,200 after having made Farious repairs upon 3 buildings. All school property is in excellent condition,

ED 86-15

and bat little more expenditure will be required upon the present buildings for several years. These are badly crowded, however, and the need of additional accommodation is felt. Another year's study has been added to the high-school course, making it cover a period of 5 years.

Brimfield's chief educational institution is the Hitchcock High School. Its course of study requires 4-years attendance and prepares its pupils for any college in the State, Constant additions are being made to its library and philosophical apparatus from the income of a fund devoted to that purpose.

Barnstable has spent a considerable amount in increasing the school accommodations and in general repairs during the year 1885–86. The course of study has been altered and the grades defined with greater care. In accordance with the State law, the study of physiology and hygiene has been introducod since the beginning of the year.

Brockton owns 27 school-houses, the majority of which are well suited to school purposes. The high school has reached a high degree of usefulness, and its graduating class this year numbered 41. An evening school, employing 3 teachers, is maintained, with good attendance. An evening drawing school is conducted in wellequipped and well-lighted rooms.

Brookline has been obliged to provide additional accommodations for its increasing school population, and one of its principal buildings has been nearly doubled in size during the year. Still more room is noeded and will soon be furnished. The prox imity of the town to Boston operates against the high school, since many who would otherwise attend the Brookline schools are lured away by superior inducements offered in the private schools of the larger city. A night school is in operation, but not as a part of the common-school system. During the vacation of the regular schools an industrial school is opened and papils are taught the use of tools. Sewing, drawing and music are regularly taught and a special teacher employed for each.

Canton public schools were serionsly injured by the opening, in September last, of a parochial school in the town. In one school alone the number of pupils was thus reduced from 446 to 125, and the discharge of several teachers followed. ` A saving of $2,690 resulted, but, under the circumstances, the school authorities were by no means exultant on that account. The free text-book systom has been in operation for its first entire year, and the oxpense involved proved to be comparatively small. The long intermission at noon for dinner was abolished during the year, and the school session is now contiduous from 9 to 2. A special teacher for inusic is employed.

Chelsea has generously provided for her schools by the erection of a fine 14-room building for the primary schools, and the remodelling of a grammar-school building. The entire number of schools remains the same as last year, but all overcrowding is relieved. A new laboratory, admirably arranged for practical work, has been provided for the high school. The evening and drawing schools continue to be successfully operated.

Clinton has just completed a handsome building to be used for school purposes, for which $60,000 were paid. It is said to be a model of convenience, and admirably answers its purpose. The introduction of free text. books has involved a considerable expense, but has resulted in an increased attendance, and therefore the plan is considered a good one. In November last an evening school was oponed and has already become an important feature in the school system ; book-keeping is embraced in the list of studies.

Danvers schools have done good work this year. The new State school laws in regard to physiology and free books operate satisfactorily and increase the efficiency of the schools. Interest in the study of book-keeping is increasing

Everett has erected recently a handsome building with all modern conveniences to be devoted to school uses. This building has relieved the serious overcrowding in its district, but in the other districts the pupils are crowded to an uncomfortable extent, and numerous additions are asked for.

Fall River's 42 school-houses are considered sufficient to supply the demands of the placo for the next year at least. No new buildings have been erected and no more than the ordinary repairs have been made. The evening schools, including a drawing school, are important adjuncts to the system, and $3,500 were appropriated for their maintenance this year.

Fitchburg reports that 3 schools have been closed in the year—? of them on account of the opening of parochial schools in their vicinity-while in other parts of the city the present bnildings are so full that half-day schools have been made neces. sary. A new 4-room building has been finished and furnished with 200 desks; and two smaller houses, each containing two rooms, are in the course of erection. The two evening common schools, which, until this year, were but poorly provided for, are now comfortably quartered and prosperous. An evening drawing school is in successful operation.

Gloucester decided to enlarge the Point school-house just at the beginuing of the last fall term, and it was with much difficulty that the school board secured quarters

« PreviousContinue »