Ever wonder what high school was like over a century ago? Were there still social hierarchies which pitted jocks against nerds? Did freshmen fear the seniors whenever they walked through the halls? We can’t answer those questions, but we can share some fun statistics and class schedules thanks to our historical collection of School Committee Reports dating back to the 1870s.
Here are some statistics from West Boylston High School in September 1897. The school only had 53 students and 3 teachers. Take a look at the numbers of students per class year–the number dwindles the higher the grade. While the Freshman class boasted 23 students, the Seniors only had 7. Many students dropped out to work or start families. Likely, the seven remaining Seniors were those who wanted to attend universities.
It’s also important to note that there were many students who did not attend high school at all. Many children were already working in factories or in other trades.
There are statistics on average age and residency of pupils. These stats give us a fascinating look into high school in the 1890s in West Boylston.