In early 1884, the Acton School Committee's annual report stated that “not one per cent of the people of Acton ever have or ever will go through college.” The point of that prediction was that for most people, high school was probably their last chance for formal education. It was by no means the standard in town at the time.
Our last blog post mentioned the class of 1887, the second to graduate from Acton High School. Annual reports produced by the School Committee in the 1880s show some of the challenges that those students faced on their way to graduation.
Around 1883, a high school was launched in Acton. Today, the term “high school” brings to mind a building. Many would be surprised to know that in its first years, Acton’s high school students and their teacher moved to different locations each term, temporarily housed in a school room in Acton Center, South Acton, and West Acton. This was easier for townspeople to support than constructing a “needless building.” (1883-4) Transportation was not provided, and fairly soon, School Committee reports were asking that the town pay for students to be transported to the high school. “This will equalize the advantages of the High school to all. At the present quite a number who are unable to bear the expense of transportation are cut off from the education offered in the High school. This ought not to be.” (1885-6)