Encyclopedia of New England

Monson, Massachusetts

Monson Academy

Soon after the incorporation of the district, provision was made, though in a humble way, for the establishment and support of schools. At first only three schools were sustained, and these for a part of the year only. In the year 1771 the town was divided into nine school districts. The district system prevailed until its abolition by legislative enactment in 1870. Various sums have been appropriated for the support of the schools at different times. In 1765 but 10 were appropriated for that purpose; in 1768, 20; in 1769, 25; in 1798, $500; in 1801, $600; in 1814, $800; in 1844, $1100; in 1861, $1800; and in 1867, $3000. The amount of the last annual appropriation was $5000. In addition to this sum the school fund is further augmented by the State appropriation, and by a considerable annual sum raised by the taxation of dogs. There are at present 13 public schools in the town, having in attendance 553 scholars, of various ages. The total cost of these for the year ending March 31, 1878, was $4324.22, an average of $7.82 for each pupil. Of the twenty-one towns in Hampden County, Monson ranks twelfth in the amount of money appropriated for each child between five and fifteen years of age.

According to the laws of the State regulating school matters, Monson is compelled to sustain a high school. This provision is complied with by an arrangement between the town and Monson Academy, whereby the latter is made to sustain the relation of such a school to the public schools of the town. Pupils who pass through the latter are admitted, after careful examination, to the advantages of the academy, the town paying the cost of instruction. For the year ending May 31, 1878, the number of pupils in attendance upon the high school was 65; average term attendance, 45; number admitted during the year, 16; total cost of tuition, $1113.50.

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