In the 100 years Marlborough has become a city, education has grown and prospered just as the
City has; from 2431 students in public schools to 3676, plus 350 in the regional vocational school, and from 55 teachers to over 300. Also from beginning with a $35,090 budget in 1890, to $16,711,000 plus the voca-tional school expenditures. One hundred years ago we tried to get children to go to school rather than work in the factories or staying home. Today, we educate our children significantly enough to see them further themselves at a higher educational institution or in one of life's many skills. Then it was teaching the basics, agriculture and shoe manufacturing. Now it's teaching the use of computers, bilingual courses and special needs. The evolution has come full cycle, seeing our total enrollment of students rise from 2,431 in 1890 to 6,607 in 1970 and then back to our present 3,676. We
have been fortunate to provide our youth many educational opportunities whether the public, private or parochial schools. Today, as we start another 100 years as a city, we wonder what we'll be teaching in 2090? Also how many students will be enrolled and will the school budget then be $7,937,725,000, a 475% increase just as our '90's budget was over 1890's???
The following is a chronology of significant events, happenings and information of our public schools and a special section covering the city's paro-chial and private schools and colleges.
When we voted to become a city, there were 2,431 students enrolled in Marl-borough schools with 55 teachers. There were nine school buildings; the high school and eight grammar schools, Bigelow, Hildreth, Pleasant, Washington, Farm, Rice, Robin Hill, and South. A total budget of $35,090.12 or $14.43 per pupil. An evening school opened on December 15 for the benefit of the French speaking population. There were three teachers and about 100 students, ranging in age from 14 to 50 years of age. Kindergarten work was introduced into 1st grade. Grammar school was nine grades with four years of high school, a total of 13 grades.
Teachers’ annual salaries were:
1 yr. experience...$288.00 4 yrs. experience...396.00
2 yrs. experience...324.00 5 yrs. experience...450.00
3 yrs. experience...360.00
A commercial course was established in the high school. Three years later a total of 30% of the students were taking the course, in whole or in part.
The Farm school was wisely aban-doned and according to the school newspaper, the baseball team played BostoneCollege sophomores. They were defeated 11-8, due to "costly errors".
The newspaper was called "The Breeze" and was published from 1894-1896. It included articles by the students, class reports, personals and advertise-ments. Many of the personals were amusing although somewhat confusing.
Superintendent of Schools RW. Tinker urged parents to halt the use of ciga-rettes by children. He claimed youngsters from eight to twelve years of age were the biggest offenders and said, "They bought them in broken packs, two for a penny."
The new high school was built on the common on September 10, and the old school was moved to the west side of the common and used for children in the first six grades. Judge J.W. McDonald gave the dedication speech.
There were 2,797 students enrolled with 70 teachers and $58,081.35 was expended for school
In September, a stamp saving system was instituted to train students to be industrious and discriminating in the use of money.
The Robin Hill district school was closed and in 1903 the only remaining district school, the Rice, was closed.
There were 2.606 students enrolled, 77 teachers and a total of $61.986.64 was expended for school purposes or $23.79 per pupil. The first Home and School Association started.
The following chart that appeared in the 1910 Annual School Report graphically shows how children did not have to go to school and how many of them opted to go to work in the factories instead. The chart shows that of the 391 students entering 1st grade in 1895, only 29 were still in school in 1907.
Gr 1 Gr 2 Gr 3 Gr 4 Gr 5 Gr 6 Ge 7 Gr 8 Gr 9 Gr 10 Gr 11 Gr 12 Gr 13
1895 391 319 283 297 289 245 188 130 100 74 53 33 29
1896 405 304 292 292 261 234 196 143 108 85 68 48 45
1897 409 347 330 304 340 264 198 135 114 96 71 58 49
1898 419 317 279 268 293 275 212 170 124 95 73 52 52
1899 361 246 266 260 264 235 192 152 145 116 69 56
1900 335 274 261 291 320 280 215 162 152 102 69
1901 320 274 290 282 270 274 192 170 130 121
1902 358 298 295 271 292 287 244 182 147
1903 339 310 334 306 293 270 226 176
1904 325 269 286 276 282 268 233
1905 310 253 280 288 270 262
1906 337 278 299 283 264
1907 318 288 276 268
1908 271 252 234
1909 292 252
Average 341 285 286 284 286 263 210 158 128 98 67 49 44
Per Cent 100 84 84 84 84 77 62 46 37 29 20 14 13
The high school joined the recently organized Midland Interscholastic League made up of six neighboring high schools. Manual training was instituted into the course of study in the high school.
The Marlborough Teachers Association was organized. An A and B Division Plan was introduced into the grammar schools with the A Division taking a faster pace and entering high school after eight years and the B Division taking a slower pace, entered high school after nine years of grammar school.
In November, The Marlborough Agricultural School was opened as part of the school system and operated until 1919.
During the session of the General Court, a new Child Labor Law was passed which had a tendency to keep pupils between 14 and 16 in school. Children in these age groups could leave school only to work or if needed at home. A permit had to be secured.
In The Annual School Report, Supt. Ernest Carr wrote, "The dissipating influences of moving pictures, bowling alleys and other outside attractions were taking the attention of many high school pupils from their schoolwork".
The junior high school was organized for 8th graders only.
During World War I the entire school population was enrolled in the Junior Red Cross, purchased more than $7,500 worth of Thrift and War Savings Stamps, Liberty Bonds, planted gardens and joined pig, poultry and home economics clubs.
Supt. Ernest Carr wrote in the Annual School Report:
" Throughout the year close atten-tion was given to the matter of keeping pupils in school. It was a contest with the ready job and fabulous wages. Faculty advisors were ever ready on the alert, careful to point out the ultimate advantage of getting a good education, and ready to suggest some way out of a difficulty that seemed discouraging. Aided by the good sense of parents, the High and Junior High schools showed a slight increase over the enrollment of the year previous. The great demand in life today is for skill and there is a strong indication that this demand will continue for many years. The only effective way to acquire the skill demanded is to lay an adequate foundation. If it is possible to stay in school, a pupil ought not to think of leaving with less than a High School
Di-ploma or its equivalent. It is a mistake that often causes life long regret to leave school too soon. "
The General Court passed three acts impacting on the school systems: Chapter 281 raises the educational requirements of applicants for employment certificates from the fourth grade to the sixth, making it necessary for the minor to complete the sixth grade if he wishes to work in a factory, store, or other mercantile establishment before he is sixteen.
Chapter 311, which was approved by the citizens of Marlborough by a vote of more than six to one. It states that a continuation school must be estab-lished to give four hours of instruction a week to each employed minor child under sixteen.
Chapter 363 established the Public School Fund, appropriated from the income tax and the Massachusetts School Fund, to be distributed among the various cities and towns according to salaries sand qualifications of the teachers. According to the terms of the Act, Marlborough would receive about $14,000 a year.
After World War I was over a national survey recommended that local schools conduct Americaniza-tion classes to educate the thousands of immigrants that have come to placecountry-regionAmerica over the previous 20-30 years. It seems that 70,000 of the fighting troops in the war could not even understand commands! Classes were started in Marlborough.
Prospect Park was purchased to be used as an athletic field for the high school and to aid this purchase and the handling of the property, the Marlborough Public School Athletic Association was formed and incorporated. There were 1958 pupils enrolled with 68 teachers and $113,533 expended for school purposes.
Pleasant Street school opens on September 8 with 14 classrooms. An Open House was held the following day. Later it would be named "Mitchell School' after "Honest Joe" Mitchell as he was known. John served on the state legislature as a representative and a senator, and later in the United States Congress.
The addition to the high school on the common was completed to be used as the Junior High school and the old Centre School building was tom down.
1929 saw the formation of the "Shoe School" under the cooperation of the local shoe manufacturers.
There were 2,388 students enrolled, 85 teachers and an annual school budget of $181.959 of which $148,181 was for salaries.
1931 saw the construction of the new Bigelow school at the end of Orchard street, replacing the original, erected in 1882 on the comer of Mt. Pleasant and West Main streets. The construction of the new-Hildreth school at the end of address Sawin street replaced the original, erected in 1882 at the comer of Hildreth and Church streets.
Because of growing opposition by shoe workers, the "Shoe School" was closed in June.
The Federal government passed regulations prohibiting child labor under sixteen. In January a nursery school was orga-nized as an E.RA. project and funded under the W.P.A. It operated for four years.
There were 2,069 pupils enrolled and 84 teachers and a total of $192.607 expended for school purposes.
Marlborough High School was granted a charter in the National Honor society and the Vocational school was opened on September 3 with 31 students in a rented building off Main street behind Golden's.
Religious instruction was added to the high school curriculum as an elective subject.
Kindergarten was officially established within the school system with an enrollment of 160.
Massachusetts Legislature passed '645 to provide financial assistance to cities and towns in the construction of school buildings, paying over 60% of the costs.
Safety patrols began in the elementary schools with the cooperation of Chief Hutch and the Police department.
There were 1,299 students enrolled in the elementary schools. 496 in the high school and 34 in the vocational school for a total of 1,829 with 75 teachers and an annual expenditure of $331.131. Also of signifi-cance was the approval by the School Committee of a Driver Training Course in a dual control car. The car was donated by Ellis Motors and Mr. Arthur Duplessis was the instructor.
The morale of the entire school system was lifted when the School Committee announced a new salary policy effective January I, as follows:
Without With With
Degree Batchelor's Master's
Minimum 1,800 2,000 2,100
Maximum 2,800 3,200 3,600
A study done by Cambridge Consultants, Inc. recommended constructing a new (General and Vocational) high school for 800 plus two new 9 room kindergarten -grade 4 units. The study also estimated that enrollment would be up to 3,460 by 1968!
The football team went undefeated and tied Hingham High school for the "Class C Eastern Massa-chusetts title. The community rallied together and raised funds to send the team to place Miami, Florida,
The School Committee recommended construction of a 1,100 capacity com-prehensive high school be built on a 40 acre site on Bolton street.
The football team won its 5th consecutive Midland League title and the "Class C” Eastern Mass. title.
Sixty of our high school students appeared on "Boston Ballroom" TV program in January.
There were 2.822 pupils enrolled with 95 teachers with a $7565.461 budget.
A newspaper was started in the high school called the” Highlander", Ground was broken for a new high school between Stevens, Union and Bolton streets. Teachers’ salaries were:
No Degree Bachelors Masters Doctors
Minimum $3,900 $3,900 $4,100 $4,300
Maximum $5,300 $5,400 $5,800 $6,000
1960-1961 Saw double sessions in some grades in the elementary schools.
The High School Quiz team wins contest on Boston TV station.
1961-1962 had an increase of enrollment of 514 pupils alone!
On Sept. 17, the new high school doors opened on Bolton street. The old high school becomes the Junior High, The school day was lengthened for the high school from 8am-l pm to 8am-2:20 pm and the Junior high to 08am- 2:15 pm.
On April 6th, the Hosmer Street Elementary school opened with 20 classrooms, cafeteria, auditorium, library, gym, play areas and two baseball diamonds.
The School Report showed the following chart depicting the drastic increase in enrollments:
Total increase of 2885 in 25 years.
The West Elementary School on Foley Road opened with 704 pupils, 23 classrooms and cafeteria. The school would later be named the Richer School after Raymond C. Richer who faithfully served as School Superintendent for 21 years (1953-74).
The Farm Road School opened in September with 806 pupils, 31 class-rooms, library, gym, cafeteria and kitchen. The high school band went to Washington, D.C. for the "Cherry Blossom Parade". A study was made of the "in town schools" (Bigelow, Hildreth, Freeman, Mitchell) with recommendations to renovate them and add gyms and classrooms.
There were 6.607 pupils enrolled with 287 teachers and a $3.814.674 budget. Teachers’ salaries were:
Bachelors Masters Doctors.
Minimum $7,117 $7,787 $8,259
Maximum $10,999 $11,689 $12,162
St. Mary's elementary school was closed and the city leased it until 1972 as an annex for the junior high school. The school committee voted to build a new high school for 1800 pupils, expandable to 2700. This was initiated because of the incredible increase in enrollment in the previous 10 years, from 2,822 to 6,607 pupils in 1970. The high school more than doubled from 704 to 1,504! On December 9, the Hosmer Street School was dedicated as the "Jaworek School" for Sgt. Charles Jaworek who was lost in a crash of a B24 bomber in March, 1944.
The renovations and additions to the four in town schools were com-pleted, including the addition of eight additional classrooms at Freeman School, gyms, cafeterias and supplementary areas.
The Immaculate Conception School at the comer of Washington and Prospect streets was leased as an annex to the junior high School for one year.
Double sessions were implemented at the Junior High with 1,062 pupils, and the Immaculate Conception and St. Mary's schools no longer were leased as annexes. The IC school on Prospect street used for elementary grades was named Prospect Elementary School. It operated for four years as a satellite to the Jaworek School.
Assabet Valley Vocational High School opened in September with 400 freshmen and approximately 200 pupils from Marlborough High School Vocational School and pupils from the other six towns in the district also were assigned from Worcester Trade. The school superintendent was Albert Mlawsky, who had been working since 1968 on specifications for the building. The School Committee was formed in 1968 with the city's representative Reinelde Poole ap-pointed, then elected in 1969. The other towns in the district were Hudson, Westborough, Maynard, Southborough, Northborough and Berlin. The building and equipment cost $12,500,000. Reinelde Poole served until 1985 when John Cupak was elected. He served until 1989 when Joseph Valarioti was elected. David Tobin is the present Superintendent, assuming the position in 19Z4. Today there
are over 1,000 students with 350 from Marlborough. Assabet offers 19 technical shops, and is committed to equal educational opportu-nity.
In November, as a special referendum vote, the citizens requested the mayor and city council to approve $12.5 million for construction of a high school for 2,400 students, expandable to 2,800.
In December, the school committee voted to name the Farm Road School the "Francis J. Kane School" after Francis Kane who faithfully served our community and especially our children's educational needs with genuine concern, dedication and honor.
In September a new law took effect, having great impact on school committees’ duties, both financially and educationally. Chapter 766 was initiated "to arrange for provision of a special education program for children between 3 and 21 years old with special needs residing in the city. Children no longer will be classified for educational purposes as 'mentally retarded'."
In February the Assabet Valley Special Needs Collaborative was formed among Marlborough, Hudson, Northborough, Southborough, Algonquin Regional, Assabet Valley Regional, Shrewsbury, Maynard, Berlin Boylston, Tahanto Regional and Westborough.
On February 14, the new high school opened with a new school day of seven periods instead of ten as before. A house system with four houses was organized.
A computer system purchased for the school system made possible by a 50% corporate gift from Digital Equipment Corporation.
The new high school was formally dedicated on April 29, with seven individuals honored with driveways named after graduates who died in the service (Paul Poirer and Donald LaFreniere).
In September a State mandate requiring a Basic Skills Program K-12 resulting in a state approved plan, takes effect.
Elections in November brings passage to Proposition 2 1/2 that affects municipalities' school budgets.
Enrollment is 5.149 with 273 teachers and 23 aides and a total expenditure of $9.362.335. Teachers’ salaries are as follows:
Bachelor’s Master’s Master’s+
Min. $11,734 $12,840 $13,961
Max. $18,480 $19,640 $20,779
In July the Mitchell School was sold to the Boys Club and the Freeman School was leased to Marlborough Hospital. The school closings was a result of Prop. 2 1/2. In September the Junior High became the Middle School.
In his first annual report, Superinten-dent Flynn commented how the '82-'83 school year was marked by contract disagreements and resolution, the beginning of a curriculum overhaul, coping with budget restrictions and continued attempts by the School Committee and staff to provide quality educa-tion in a time when the concept is under attack by the media and state and local governments.
In September the Assabet Valley Collaborative High School relocates to the Walker Building from Shrewsbury. The Collabora-tive High School offers an alternative program for average to above average students who are "pre-delinquent" and -function better outside the regular school setting.
3,676 pupils are enrolled with 297 teachers and 35 aides and a budget of $16,711,000 There are five elementary schools (Kane, Hildreth, Jaworek, Bigelow and Richer). There is one middle school, one high school and regional vocational school. Teachers’ salaries are as follows:
Bachelor's Master's Master's +
Min. 20,650 22,502 24,488
Max. 34,185 36,902 39,359
In the 100 years as a city there have been twelve Superintendents of Schools. The longest serving was Ernest P. Carr, (1912-1942) active for thirty years. Raymond Richer served twenty one years (1953-1974).
The rest are as follows:
Henry R. Roth, 1890-1892 John 0, Coughlan, 1948-1981
J.E. Burke, 1893 Dr. James K. Kent, 1975-1977
B.W. Tinker, 1894-1896 Francis J. Kane, 1978-1981
J.A. Pitman, 1897-1905 David Flynn, 1982-present
O.A. Morton, 1906-1911
T. Joseph McCook, 1942-1948
Parochial and Private Schools
Saint Anne's Academy
It is September 5,1887. The old Lincoln Street station is alive with excitement. Father Dumontier, accompanied by his eager parishioners, awaits the Sisters of Saint Anne. Suddenly, the hushed silence of the autumn twilight is broken by the roar of the oncoming train.
A procession, organized under the auspices of the Ladies of Saint Anne, escorts Sister Marie Victorine and her four companions through the streets, dotted with curious onlookers. The pealing of the bells of Saint Mary's acclaims the long awaited arrival.
The very next day, classes opened in the church basement Mary Lecuyer (Mother Marie Leopoldine, Superior General for 25 years) and Clara Sasseville (Sister Marie Alphonse) were among the first students.
The sisters were housed temporarily in the old Dumontier residence until they could become perma-nently settled in their convent. In May, 1988, the construction of the convent was completed and in September the sisters were ready to open their board-ing school. The popularity of Saint Anne's urged expansion, and in 1894 the present site and adjourning grounds were purchased and the building enlarged.
On June 13, 1896, Saint Anne's presented its first diplomas to Misses Albina Poulin, Rosa Lajolie, Florida DesRochers and Blanche Mullaney.
In 1925 an overflow of students and limited space of living quarters were responsible for the addition of two new wings, on including the chapel, the auditorium and the sister's cloister; the other wing included high school classrooms and recreation halls.
Saint Anne's affiliation with Catholic Univer-sity of America, Washington, D.C., in 1953 was an affirmation of the high standards of education given by the academy. The departmental system was estab-lished in 1941.
Expansion in building and modernization of education methods have been accompanied by a change in the uniform. In 1894 the uniform was a black skirt and white blouse; the following year it was replaced by a black pleated skirt dress with white celluloid collar and cuffs. 1953 brought a change; a blue garbardine dress with white collar. In September 1959 the pupils donned navy blue jumpers and cool white dacron blouses.
The academy student enrollment in 1925 was 165 resident students and 63 day students. Total number in 1925 was 228 The enrollment capacity was 170 resi-dent students and 213 day students. Total number in 1960 was 383.
Girls from all over the United States, Europe and other parts of the world have been educated at St. Anne's Academy.
The academy closed its doors in 1972 and was sold. It is now used as housing for the elderly and low income persons.
The academy and the familiar "Convent Girls" and members of the faculty of St,. Anne's shall always be a part of Marlborough. .
This school was located at 143 Pleasant Street, (now apartments). It opened on September 1948 with 28 boys. The all boys school was operated by priests dedicated to teaching a Catholic education and was associated with the Catholic University of America. Tuition was $140 for ten months. All college level courses were taught and 41 boys had graduated by the time it closed on June 15, 1955 due to lack of funds.
Saint Anthony's/ Saint Mary's
The first school at St. Mary's parish was called St. Anthony's School. It was a large, two story wooden building that followed the temporary classes held in the basement of the church. The school was completed and dedicated in 1884. This served until 1954 when a new brick building with auditorium and cafeteria opened. It was decided to take the name, St. Mary's Parochial School. The Sisters of St. Anne also taught here as well as at the academy. It closed its doors as an elementary parochial school in 1970.
Immaculate Conception Schools
The, first of the two buildings was built in 1910 by Reverend Thomas Lowney as an eight grade parochial school. The second was built at Washington and Prospect Streets in 1953 by Reverend Henry Evers. The Sisters of St. Joseph taught in the school until 1987. The newer school closed in 1973 due to a decrease in enrollment. It was leased to the city and used as a satellite to the Jaworek School for four years. It re-opened in September 1986. Today there are no longer any sisters teaching at the school, but there has been a resurgence in enrollment, plus the addition of the kindergarten classes. Both buildings are again a bustling, viable parochial grammar school.
This protective institution for over 200 girls referred by state agencies, opened in 1964 on Cushing Hill Drive off Hemenway Street. It was operated by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. It was three facilities in one, offering services and education to troubled teens. It closed June, 1985.
The school was founded in 1901 by Miss Charlotte Drinkwater and her sister, Mary Drinkwater Warren, in Greenwich, Massachusetts. According to the school's charter under the governing laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Hillside was incorporated..."For the purpose of the following; providing a home and a common school education for homeless and other worthy children whose parents or friends are unable to provide for their comforts and surroundings of a good home, and give them the opportunity of acquiring a common school education."
In 1927, due to the development of the Wachusett Reservoir, the school was forced to move. In searching for a suitable campus, many factors were involved, the chief one being funds available.
The Bowler Camp in Marlborough offered about 350 acres with several houses, cottages and other buildings. A big house, standing on an elevation near the middle of the estate, overlooked a varied scene of hill and valley, lake and stream and green fields alternating with thick forest. A deep artesian well guaranteed an abundance of pure water and the farm supplied a large part of their food. The camp was investigated by the committee and found to be both in fine order and reasonably priced. The four acre pond and the mix of woods, meadow, marsh and pastureland provided an almost perfect setting for a boys' school. The new campus was found!
The Marlborough campus was perfectly suited for the work done a at placeHillside. By 1929, the enrollment had increased from 30 to 77 boys.
Over the years extensive additions and renova-tions have been accomplished by the fund-raising of an energetic and dedicated board of trustees.
Hillside's educational Philosophy has always been a balance of classroom study and physical work. The boys have always contributed to the school's well being, as well as their own by performing farm chores, kitchen and dining room tasks and maintenance work.
John Whittemore was appointed Headmaster in 1945 and served until 1969. His son Richard then served as Headmaster until 1984. Current Headmaster is J. Brendan McGowan.
Anna Maria College
Now located in Paxton, Anna Maria had its birth at St. Anne's Academy on Broad Street in April, 1946. The college operated here for six years until moving to Paxton in 1952.
Marlborough Business College
The college operated for many years from 1904 to sometime in the 1940's. It was located in the Frye Block at-the comer of Mechanic and Lincoln Streets and later at 248 Main Street and finally at 349A Lincoln Street.
Other colleges have, over the past 100 years, operated satellite branches here, using our schools' during the evening.