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Catalog Number 2014.67.6
Object Name Records, School
Scope & Content Series 5 - Peabody School Records - 1836 to present.

The School Records include School Committee Reports from 1836 to 1936, School Committee Accounts with the town, Peabody High School Alumni Records from 1855 to 1931, programs for High School graduations from 1884 to 1923, High School Athletic papers from 1910-1945, directories for the schools from 1946-1974 as well as enrollment records for the elementary schools from 1844 to 1940 and the High School from 1850-1892.

The bound School Committee reports begin in 1839 and record the yearly visits made to each of the summer and winter schools of Danvers. They include the name of the teachers, progress made, numbers of students and overall condition of the buildings. Also recorded are the introduction of new methods of teaching, the need for new textbooks for schools, the infrequency of attendance by children and the prevalence of parents sending children as young as two to school. The difficulty of teaching children that young is mentioned again and again. By 1848, the reports discuss the curriculum followed and an example of an arithmetic examination is included at the end. In 1849, the disrepair of some of the schools is mentioned, as well as the general overcrowding. Schools meant to hold 40 sometimes had as many as120 children. 1849 is also the first year the committee mentions the need for a high school. This report also records a confrontation with one of the teachers, resulting in his dismissal.

The 1850 report concentrates on the creation of the first high school in Danvers. Because of the size of the town, it was decided that two high schools would be needed. The reports from 1853 to 1855 were combined with the Danvers superintendent of schools report, then Charles A. Northend, the well-known educator and author of many schoolbooks. Once the towns separated, the South Danvers reports were once again made by the school committee.

Handwritten records include the minutes of individual school committees and record any controversies encountered when building new schools, expanding old ones and the problems faced when South Danvers separated from Danvers. Also discussed were the problems faced when the town needed to select candidates for the Committee of Trustees for the Peabody Donation.

Also included with these papers is information regarding the operation of the schools, salaries of teachers, the length of school days and school year, as well as the criteria for those students applying to the high school. Until 1863, the high school, like the grammar schools, met in two sessions for 44 to 45 weeks a year (about 220 days). In 1863, they changed this for the high school to create a five hour day for the students.

The course of study for the three year high school was outlined, as well as the approved books to be used in both the grammar and high school. Rules and regulations for all the schools were included in the minutes, as well as the texts approved for the teachers to use. Any students who passed the oral examination for entrance into the high school were named in the minutes.

In 1858, it was decided that the names of the schools would be changed from district numbers to distinctive names. School District One became the Wallis School; School District Two became the Center School; School District Three became the Bowditch School; School District Four became the Rockville School; School District Five became the Locust-Dale School; School District Six became the Felton School; School District Seven became the West School; School District Eight became the Lake School. In 1859, the Lake School's name was change to the Suntaug School.

Statistics of the numbers of children in each school district, as well as the criteria for children to be enrolled are also here. Vaccination was required and by 1860 children younger than five were barred from attending. Expulsions from both grammar school and the high school were recorded.

Occasionally students who could not finish the course of studies, due to illness, were allowed to receive the Peabody Medal. This decision was made based on the student's conduct and effort. In 1862, John L. Waterman left school early to join the army and received the Peabody Medal. The same was done for Charles L. Manning and Alphonsus P. Rhodes.

Graduating exercises and the program for the dedication of the new high school in 1923, reports on school athletics, as well as benefits for the Athletic Association can be found with these papers. City Council negotiations with the School Committee include correspondence, petitions and legal papers from 1927 to 1943. Recommendations for the school department and for renovations for the buildings are filed here, as well as directories and manuals for the public schools.

Yearbooks for the Seeglitz Junior High School, Higgins Junior High School and for the High School are also here. School photos from the Farnsworth School from 1976 to 1982 are filed in Photograph Box 4. In addition, brochures advertising the quality of Peabody schools, as well as early education programs, a Chapter 766 audit and reports for planning are all included with the school records.
Access Conditions Restricted to use in Sutton Room or Research area.
Creator Daners, South Danvers and Peabody School Records
Title Series 5 - Peabody School Records
Copyrights All copyrights belong to the Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, MA
Collection Local History Resource Center
Subjects Danvers (Mass.)
Danvers (Mass.)--School Records
Danvers (Mass.)--Schools
Danvers (Mass.)--Schools
Peabody (Mass.)--Schools
Peabody (Mass.)--Schools--Adminstration
Peabody (Mass.)--Schools--Alumni Association
Peabody (Mass.)--Schools--History
Peabody (Mass.)--Schools--Information
Peabody (Mass.)--Schools--Information--History
Peabody (Mass.)--Schools--Newspaper
Peabody (Mass.)--Schools--Peabody High School Athletic Department
Peabody (Mass.)--Schools--Reports
Peabody (Mass.)--Schools--Sports
Peabody (Mass.)--Schools--Sports--Football
Peabody (Mass.)--Schools--Yearbook
Peabody (Mass.)--Social life and customs.
South Danvers (Mass.)
South Danvers (Mass.)--History--Schools
South Danvers (Mass.)--Schools
South Davners (Mass.)--School District Reports
Parent ObjectID 2014.67.1
Child Records 2004.268.19.8
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