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HISTORIC ARTICLE
HISTORIC ARTICLE

Apr 23, 1635 CE: First Public School in America

Apr 23, 1635 CE: First Public School in America

On April 23, 1635, the first public school in what would become the United States was established in Boston, Massachusetts.

Grades

6 - 12

Subjects

Social Studies, U.S. History

On April 23, 1635, the first public school in what would become the United States was established in Boston, Massachusetts. Known as the Boston Latin School, this boys-only public secondary school was led by schoolmaster Philemon Pormont, a Puritan settler. The Boston Latin School was strictly for college preparation. It was modeled after the Free Grammar School of Boston, England. The English school taught Latin and Greek and was centered on the humanities. Some of the Boston Latin School’s most well-known alumni include John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Benjamin Franklin was a dropout! The Boston Latin School is still a fully functioning public school, with students enrolled in grades 7-12. However, it has changed with time, becoming coeducational in 1972 and moving locations several times. It is now in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. Admission to Boston Latin is very competitive, and is limited to residents of the city.

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Editor
National Geographic Society
Producer
Mary Crooks, National Geographic Society
other
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

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