Updates of the Lowell Public Schoos in the 1800’s

The Lowell School Department has been on the cusp of modernization since its inception in 1824.  The Dedham Historical Register for April of 1894 cited the activities of Warren Colburn in organizing a teacher’s organization.  Colburn, who had a hall named after him in the 1893 high school building, felt that teachers needed to pass on the best practices.  That is something that many people still try to do today.  It is amazing that Mr. Colburn tried to do it in the 1800’s.

     One of Colburn’s most ambitious projects was to dismantle the large one room schools and make them part of a larger school.  To do this he established primary and grammar schools for the lower grades.  He also formed what became Lowell High School in 1831.  For his efforts I believe he became the first Lowell School Superintendent.  As such, he wrote an arithmetic which was used for over fifty years.
     He appointed the first Headmaster of the high school.  He also appointed the Principals of the primary and grammar schools.  It was a common practice for people to pay Lowell public schools money to come to learn at the high school.  Part of that was due to a dearth of high schools in the region.  Importantly enough, the first student admitted to a profitable Lowell High School was female.  She graduated four years later, and although she was not in the first graduating class, she was in the first class to attend LHS for four years.
     According to the Lowell “Daily Courier” there were thousands of students in Lowell’s school system and a healthy funding base.  For instance, there were 12,552 students ages five to fifteen years old, Those were the Primary and Grammar School, as well as the Junior High School students.  They were in a kind of feeder system, completing 7th. and 8th. grade, and, if they desired, they were accepted into the high school after taking a series of tests to see if they had what it takes to be good high school students.
     According to the “Daily Courier,” there were funds for payment of teachers in the high school, the grammar, and the primary schools.  The personnel costs for the high school teachers was fifteen thousand eight hundred twenty six dollars.  (15,826.00); the grammar schools were higher, sixty one thousand thirty seven dollars and twenty four cents (61037.24);  the primary schools paid their teachers sixty thousand one hundred ninety nine dollars and ninety nine cents (60,190.99); and the cost of building the 1893 building was eighty seven thousand four hundred sixty two dollars and fifty two cents (87,462.52).  This was during the time that the four new large grammar and junior high school buildings were built for $201,451.57.  These schools included the Pawtucket Memorial School, the Butler School, the Bartlett School, and the Green School.
     Teacher certifications took a leap forward.  In the 1870’s, the certification grade, was after the seventh grade.  By 1893, you had to complete up to your Junior year in high school in order to be a certified teacher.  Abraham Lincoln had established public universities and colleges in 1863.  Among the colleges was Lowell Normal School, which became Lowell State College.  Mill owners necessitated the formation of a technical school at a college level.  That became Lowell Technical School, a university level school dedicated to the art of cloth.
     Lowell Normal School could graduate teachers, who now needed four years of college for certification.  Lowell Tech graduates went into mill work.
     I have had a few changes in my writing requirements lately.  In the first place, the ISBN # for this blog is ISBN978-1-5323-2801-5.  Secondly, I have received over 100,000 responses to my many blogs.  Therefore I am working with Google to admit advertising.  If you are interested in advertising to what  is estimated to be over 250,000 sightings per article, send an email to me with your specific needs.  Finally, I intend to write a blog about two of my five sisters projects.  One owns a bed and breakfast in Machias, Maine.  It is in a gorgeous mansion that was totally rebuilt.  In that blog I will submit photographs of the building.  It is incredible.  My other sister lives in Florida and teaches exercise activity to people visiting and living in the state.  So look forward to those blogs.  I am very proud of my little sisters.
     So that is it for this week.  I can be heard on Thursdays at 6PM on a show called Peters’ Principles on WCAP.com.  I can be seen on a number of television shows at LTC.org.  I also have a number of blogs written in the past floating somewhere in the cloud.

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