Holyoke’s Evening Schools

by Laurel | September 22nd, 2009

September 22, 1907
The Advantages They Offer

The start of the Holyoke evening high school this term has been auspicious. Over 200 pupils have registered in the various classes and the outlook is for one of the most useful terms in the history of the school. Whatever may be thought of the school board in other matters coming under their jurisdiction it cannot be said that they have failed to recognize the importance of this branch of their work for the help of the Holyoke youth who have not had time to further their education in the day schools of the city. The value of the evening school to those who are unable to give their time and attendance to the day schools cannot be overestimated, an especially is this true of the evening high school, where there is no reason for the attendance of the pupils but for a further continuance of their studies which their work has precluded during the day. The results obtained have been almost uniformly good, and when is taken into consideration the earnestness of the students, this fact is not to be wondered at. A large share of the pupils have to work during the day and their attendance at the school after a hard day of toil shows at least their earnestness in the pursuit of a further education. They are not at the school because compelled to be there by parents and are not attending for the purpose of qualifying themselves for some branch of the athletics of the school, but are there solely for the purpose of advancing in their studies, and the rapid progress made by them is after all nothing to be wondered at, for their heart is in their work. The money expended for the evening schools is not to be reckoned lost, and is one of the easiest investments in the educational line of which the city is capable. It is probable that the school which started last week will have a much larger registration within a few days, and the 300 mark may eventually be reached.

The commercial classes have as usual the largest registration, although many here have taken up the other branches, the language and literature classes having a good registration. The granting of a certificate for a year’s work has had a good influence, and has promoted interest in the courses as the student has a record of what he has accomplished, even though he has not regularly graduated. It is well known in the offices of the city that too many graduates of the grammar schools rush through a business course without having had a thorough fitting of ground work of education for business success. The young girls cannot see the use of a high school course when her thoughts are set on holding a typewriter’s and stenographer’s situation in a mill office, and in many cases this has proved her undoing so far as her office usefulness was concerned. One well-known merchant in a neighboring city has refused to take on trial in his offices any girl as stenographer who has not first had a high school education, having given a thorough test by employing girls with and without the further education received at a high school and it is believed that in Holyoke at least three-fourths of the offices, and perhaps a larger percentage, would, if two candidates for an office position present themselves, chose the high school graduate in preference to the other. This is not saying that the grammar school graduate might not make good, but it is nevertheless true that all other things being equal, the high school graduate would be far better fitted for the position. The evening high school gives an opportunity to the girls who are already working in offices to further themselves along the lines of more usefulness in their work, and in the end will repay whatever effort they may pit out. While it cannot be authoritatively stated, yet it is believed that in the majority of cases the business colleges would far rather receive a high school graduate at their schools and recognize the fact that a far better chance is afforded of placing their graduates at graduation when such is the case. It certainly must be pleasing to those who have established the evening schools to see them so well patronized and so well appreciated by the students, and it is hoped that eventually the courses can be added to and enlarged so as to follow was near as practicable the courses of the day schools.

From The Springfield Republican.

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