The President of the Board of Trustees, and the Secretary and Executive Officer, presented in the First Annual Report a statement of the investigation of the field, the establishing of the school, and the work done under its direction. The year just closed has presented no changes in the scheme of administration or the purposes of the school. In October Mr. Paul D. Stafford resigned as machinist-instructor. Mr. Robert H. Lawson resigned in December. Both of the machinist instructors now in charge are new to this kind of work. The Secretary and Executive Officer is also new to this field of education. The work of the first year was pioneer work, and in the work of the year just closed is found a justification for the school. But the crucial test of this particular plan of industrial education is at hand. Firm as its foundation is laid, its development depends upon the immediate policy of the Board of Trustees. The school must have an instructor who will be present at the school in the capacity of a head master. I present below the reasons, which furnish a basis for argument in favor of this departure. These reasons have been discussed.
First: The School needs a head. It is impossible for the Superintendent of Schools to do anything more than act as the executive officer of the scheme. A large portion of his time is demanded, and rightly so, by the work of the regular schools. He cannot be present at all times in immediate charge of the work. He should be the inspector and leader. There should be a principal under him acting as his agent in immediate charge of the instruction.
Second: A principal or director of the school is needed in order to correlate the work of the factory and the school and in order to make certain that the other instructors are not only proceeding along the right lines in their work, but that they are proceeding along common lines so that there shall be unity in the course of study, similarity in method and unity in aim and purpose.
Third: It is apparent that with the growing success of the school there will be a demand for the increase of your enrollment so as to accommodate new applicants. It will be impossible for your present corps of teachers to take care of an increased registration.
Fourth: The mere accession from year to year of an incoming class of the present size bids fair at an early date to fill your school up with pupils pursuing different years of work. They must necessarily pursue different studies or different parts of the same study in order that they may make progress. This cannot be provided for without an additional teacher.
Fifth: The varying degree of ability and preparation on the part of your pupils makes it necessary that they should be separated into small groups if they are to be taught effectively. Your pupils come to you at the age of fourteen from different grades of the public schools, fifth grade, sixth grade, seventh grade, etc. It is impossible to put pupils of such widely different preparation in the same class. You cannot separate them into groups for purposes of instruction without having an additional teacher.
Sixth: It is apparent to one who has studied the conditions under which the schoolwork is being conducted at the present time that a drawing room is not a satisfactory place in which to give all kinds of instruction. It is impossible for pupils to pass readily through the room. The drawing boards interfere with other kinds of study. Another room is needed, and with another room, of course, another instructor.
Seventh: There is a very serious doubt as to whether it is best for the physical welfare of pupils and whether on the whole it is conductive to the best discipline for pupils to be confined for too many hours in one room under the same instructor. We who are grown people shrink from the idea of being seated in one position for a period of four or five hours dealing with one man in a business transaction. The same thing is probably true of these boys.
The Beverly Industrial School still continues to be one of the most important factors in the educational prosperity of our city. The work accomplished by it is highly practical, and designed not only to help pupils in the affairs of every life but also so to help in training them to become efficient workmen and useful citizens. The widespread interest in the school, the material success already achieved, and the possibilities of this particular plan of industrial education warrant your support, and an increased appropriation.
Certain statistical information concerning the school is appended for reference.
R. O. SMALL, Secretary.
(From September 1910 to December 31, 1910.)
There are three teachers of the two divisions into which the school is divided, two of whom are skilled machinist- instructors, and the third is a skilled instructor from the High School. The average age of pupils of the Industrial School is fifteen Years. The oldest is nineteen, and the youngest, fourteen years of age.
The grade standing in the public schools from which the pupils entered was as follows: one from grade four; four from grade six; eleven from grade seven; twenty seven from grade eight; thirteen from grade nine, and four from grade ten.
Thirteen pupils have not been absent, and seven nave been absent but once.
The whole number of pupils in the school is sixty. The average membership is fifty-seven. The average attendance is fifty-five.