Newport School Report: 1884-1885  
Newport, Rhode Island

City of Newport,
Newport County,
Rhode Island

20th Annual Report of the School Committee of the City of Newport, R. I., 1884-1885

Title Page
Rogers High School
Page 26 Roll of Honor Page 27 Roll of Honor Page 28 Course of Study
Page 29 Course of Study Page 30 Teachers & Students 1884-85 Page 31 Students
Page 32 Students   Page 44 Graduating Class of 1885

Report of Head Master of Rogers High School

I find it difficult to realize that twelve years have passed since the morning when we organized the Rogers High School.... There has grown up in the school and there has been awakened in the community an interest in higher education which is greatly in advance of that which existed a dozen years ago. More pupils than ever before have gone out this year for examination at the colleges and scientific schools, or have been admitted upon certificates at such colleges as prefer this method.

FREDERIC W. TILTON Head Master. Newport, July 13th, 1885.

Report of Superintendent.

The twentieth Annual Report of the Superintendent of Newport Public Schools, and the third of your obedient servant ...

Population of Newport according to the census of 1880 15,693
Estimated present population 20,000
Number of persons in the city of school age, between 5 and 15 years inclusive according to the school census taken in January, 1885 3,644
Number of pupils in the public schools, in January, 1885 1,706
Number of pupils in the catholic schools 716
Number of pupils in the select schools 181
Number of pupils attending no school 1,041
Total 3,644

During the past year an ordinance upon the subject of Truancy has been adopted by the City Council, and a chapter defining the duties of the Truant Officer has been added to the Rules of the School Board. The machinery for compelling attendance at school is thus set up in this city to the extent contemplated by the laws of the State. Mr. Carr, the Truant Officer, stands faithfully by it, and in certain directions accomplishes excellent work. He is at the telephone during the first half-hour of each session, and may be called by any teacher.... One truant, whose parents made no objection, has been sentenced to the Sockanossett School, but there are several other pupils equally deserving of such a sentence whose parents will oppose it to the utmost. One man, for example, sends his boys to school occasionally, whenever they see fit to come, but their misconduct is presently so outrageous that the teacher is obliged to suspend them. The father threatens the stoutest resistance to the truant law, and it remains an interesting question what the officer will be able to do in the premises. If such open defiance continues another year, the tendency of it will be to nullify the officer's efforts among all those children for whom chiefly he was appointed, namely, those of ignorant, irresponsible and vicious parents. It is evident that the Truant Law as it now stands is extremely weak....

The father mentioned above would say, no doubt, if brought into court, that he sends his boys to school but that we expel them. A favorite artifice among lawless parents who wish the services of their children at home, in cities where there is compulsory law, is to send the children to school untidy or in ragged garments, knowing that the teachers cannot permit them to remain with the clean children. Another subterfuge for the same purpose, is to uphold the boys in becoming unruly in order that they may be suspended. Both these evasions, apparently, are resorted to in the case mentioned, though the latter would easily answer the father's purpose. The boys are each of them stronger than the teacher physically, and upon the slightest correction they become violent in speech and conduct. On one such occasion recently they took full possession of the schoolroom for a few minutes, until such time as they saw fit to treat with the teacher upon the subject of their withdrawal from the building....

The evening schools were opened as usual last year, the school at Thames Street, under the instruction of Miss Ellery and her sister, continuing thirty weeks and that at Clarke Street, under the principalship of C. M. Lee, Esq., continuing ten weeks.... The Truant Officer was in constant attendance at the Clarke Street School-house to assist in preserving order. An admission fee of twenty-five cents was charged each scholar, in reality as a pledge of studious intentions, though nominally for the use of books and other materials which were furnished by the school department. No pupil under fifteen years of age, with rare exception, should be admitted to the evening school in the future. Children younger than that should be in the day schools, and, whether they are or not, they are too tired after a day of manual labor for an evening of study. The older scholars, too, for whom chiefly the evening schools exist dislike to attend a school of children, and often prefer to drop out altogether....

The plan of organization at the Coddinton School described in the last report has continued with good advantage throughout the year. The Kindergarten until January 1 was under the skillful charge, temporarily, of Miss Elizabeth M. Fitts, and since that time has steadily prospered under the care of Miss Florence V. Newton, a resident of Newport, who graduated last Winter from Mrs. Alden's Kindergarten Training School in Providence. During the last term of the year there were between fifty and sixty pupils belong to the Kindergarten, counting those of both sessions, and Miss Amelia M. Greene was employed as an assistant half the time.

The Superintendent has continued during the year to teach arithmetic and reading in the first grammar classes seven or eight hours a week.... It was only a temporary measure of economy...

When in September, 1883, the Coddington School was organized into the one complete central grammar school of the city, where all the pupils must pass the eighth and ninth years of their school life, in point of size and needs it was made like the great grammar schools of other cities....

The subject of industrial education upon which the superintendent was instructed by the School Board to make a brief report at this time, has been carefully considered. The elementary manual training schools in New Haven and Boston have been visited, and many essays and reports upon the subject have been listened to or read. The evidence seems conclusive that instruction in sewing and in the use of mechanics' tools for girls and boys respectively, is a most useful line of work for public schools to undertake. ... The spirit of our institutions forbids us to forecast the life work of any lad, but whatever it may be, a knowledge of materials with dexterity in the use of tools can never come amiss, and it may serve to counteract the present morbid tendency to regard manual labor as in some way discreditable.

It is therefore recommended that the City Council be requested to make provision in the next annual budget for instruction in sewing for the girls of the grammar schools and in carpentry for the boys above the third grammar grade. Sewing could be taught in the schoolrooms one hour a week outside the present school hours at an annual expenditure, for the salary of a competent special teacher, of about $300. The engine house proposed to be vacated just west of the Coddington School-house would make an admirable carpenter's shop, and if it could be secured the remaining expenses for the first year would be about as follows: tools, fifteen sets at $25, $175; benches $150; incidental fittings $100; stock for lessons $200; salary of instructor $800; total $1,625. If the superintending carpenter of the school department, however, could give the instruction, the cost would be materially lessened....

GEO. A. LITTLEFIELD, Superintendent of Public Schools. Newport, August 1, 1885. 

Roll of Honor for Year 1884-85
Page 86 First Grammar to Second Intermediate Page 87 First Primary; More than one successive year
Manual of the Public Schools of the City of Newport, R. I., 1885
Page 88 School Committee - with business & residence.
John H. Cozzens; Warren Randolph; Philip Rider; A. S. Sherman; Wm. A. Stedman; John Gilpin; John P. Sanborn; Henry E. Turner; John G. Weaver, Jr.; M. Van Horne; Frank F. Nolan; Wm. P. Sheffield, Jr.
Page 89 Teachers - by school with residence. Printing view.
Page 90 Teachers - by school with residence. Printing view. Page 91 Committees; School Calendar

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