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Boston Latin School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Boston Latin School
Boston Latin School Logo 2019.jpg
Logo as of 2019
Boston Latin School is located in Boston
Boston Latin School
Boston Latin School
Boston Latin School is located in Greater Boston area
Boston Latin School
Boston Latin School
Boston Latin School is located in Massachusetts
Boston Latin School
Boston Latin School
Boston Latin School is located in the United States
Boston Latin School
Boston Latin School
78 Avenue Louis Pasteur

United States
TypePublic exam school
MottoSumus Primi (Latin)
("We are first")
EstablishedApril 23, 1635; 384 years ago (1635-04-23)
School districtBoston Public Schools
HeadmasterRachel Skerritt
Teaching staff117.17 (FTE)[1]
Number of students2,453 (2017–18)[1]
Student to teacher ratio20.94[1]
Color(s)Purple and White,          
Athletics conferenceMassachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) District A – Dual County League
Nickname"The Wolfpack", "BLS"
RivalEnglish High School of Boston (Boston English)
AccreditationNew England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
NewspaperThe Argo
YearbookLiber Actorum

The Boston Latin School is a public exam school in Boston, Massachusetts. It was established on April 23, 1635, making it both the oldest public school in America and the first public school in the United States. [3][4][5][6] The Boston Latin School was a bastion for educating the sons of the Boston "Brahmin" elite, resulting in the school claiming many prominent New Englanders as alumni. Its curriculum follows that of the 18th century Latin school movement, which holds the classics to be the basis of an educated mind. Four years of Latin are mandatory for all pupils who enter the school in the 7th grade, three years for those who enter in the 9th grade.

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  • ✪ High School Quiz Show | Boston Latin VS Lexington (1001)
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  • ✪ Valedictorians of 2018 - Boston Public Schools
  • ✪ Boston Latin School Class of 2016 | Last Day of School


>> Hello, I'm Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, and I want to congratulate<i> High School Quiz Show</i> on its tenth anniversary season. Now enjoy the show. >> COSTA: Kicking off season ten of<i> High School Quiz Show,</i> we have Lexington High School... (fanfare) (cheers and applause) ...taking on Boston Latin School. (fanfare) (cheers and applause) That's next on<i> High School Quiz Show.</i> (cheers and applause) ♪ ♪ >> Cyber attacks aren't always obvious. Home cyber protection from Safety Insurance can help you protect yourself from cyber attacks. You can ask an independent agent about Safety Insurance. We'll help you manage life's storms. ♪ ♪ >> Museum of Science. (cheers and applause) >> COSTA: Hi, everybody, and welcome to the tenth anniversary season of<i> High School Quiz Show.</i> I'm Billy Costa, your host, and back in November, over a hundred high school teams throughout Massachusetts competed at our annual Super Sunday qualifying event to earn one of 16 spots in this year's competition. So the goal now is to become the next<i> High School Quiz Show</i> state champion and, of course, take home this beautiful trophy. Now, today's match-up has Boston Latin School taking on Lexington High School. On the Boston Latin team we have: Aidan, Nick, Christy, and Sebastian. With alternates Joseph and Clear, and coaches Andy Zou and Clara Webb. (cheers and applause) And for Lexington we've got: David, and Charles, Arushi, and Nick. With alternates Albert and Parth, and coaches Josh Olivier-Mason and Dan Melia. (cheers and applause) Okay, the competition has four rounds: a toss-up, a head-to-head, a category round, and a lightning round. We'll start with the toss-up round. All answers are worth ten points. And this is the only round with no point deductions for any wrong answers. So if the teams are ready, good luck Boston Latin, good luck Lexington High School. Here we go. What is the largest planet in the solar system? Yes, Arushi. >> Jupiter. >> COSTA: Yes. Each year thousands of small earthquakes occur along what 800-mile fault line in California? Yes, Arushi. >> San Andreas Fault. >> COSTA: Yes. The idea of self-government is evident in what opening three words of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution? Yes, Charles. >> "We the people." >> COSTA: Yes. What Supreme Court octogenarian has a surprisingly intense fitness regime, as detailed in the best-selling book<i> The RBG Workout?</i> Yes, Charles. >> Ruth Bader Ginsburg. >> COSTA: That's correct. Okay, take a look at your screens. Pictured here is a ranger walk at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the U.S. by far. It's located in North Carolina and what other state? Yes, Nick. >> Tennessee. >> COSTA: Correct. Facing long odds against much larger Union armies, what Confederate president reluctantly approved the use of black troops in 1865? Yes, Charles. >> Jefferson Davis? >> COSTA: Yes. In 2018, what box office smash starring Constance Wu became the first major Hollywood film with a predominately Asian cast in a modern setting since 1993's<i> The Joy Luck Club?</i> Yes, Christy. >><i> Crazy Rich Asians.</i> >> COSTA: Yes. In fluid dynamics, what two-word phrase refers to the highest attainable speed an object can reach as it falls? Yes, Christy. >> Terminal velocity. >> COSTA: Yes. Shakespeare commonly used what meter consisting of ten syllables per line, with a short stress followed by a long one, for example, "But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?" Yes, Charles. >> Iambic pentameter. >> COSTA: Yes. In celebration, by the way, of our tenth anniversary season, we have gone back into the archive to pull out some of our favorite video questions, and here's one from season four. >> Hi, I'm Will Ferrell and here's my question: One of my all-time heroes is the British comedian Peter Sellers, who played the role of what French detective in the original<i> Pink Panther</i> movie series? (buzzer) >> COSTA: Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau is the answer. It's amazing, all you had to do was see Will Ferrell's face and everybody in the audience starts laughing. (audience laughing) In 2018, what male figure skater and social media sensation became the first openly gay athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics for Team USA? Yes, Arushi. >> Adam Rippon. >> COSTA: Yes. Before France took control in the late 1800s, Vietnam spent more than a thousand years under the imperial rule of what country? Yes, Christy. >> China. >> COSTA: Yes. In 2008, long before the success of<i> Hamilton,</i> Lin-Manuel Miranda won a Tony Award for Best Musical for what show set in a Latin-American neighborhood in New York City? Yes, Nick. >><i> In the Heights.</i> >> COSTA: That's correct. Which of the following words is closest in meaning to parsimonious? Is it A) saintly, B) industrious, or C) stingy? Yes, Christy. >> C. >> COSTA: C, stingy, yes. And a math question: when dividing A by B, A is the dividend, and B is the what? Yes, Nick. >> Divisor. >> COSTA: Yes. Best known for her<i> Earthsea</i> series of books, what fantasy and science fiction author passed away in 2018 at the age of 88? Yes, Charles. >> Ursula K. Le Guin? >> COSTA: Yes. Sumo wrestling includes certain rituals, such as the tossing of salt in the ring before a bout, that are handed down from what ancient faith of Japan? Yes, Sebastian. >> Shinto? >> COSTA: Yes. Nearly 3,000 people in Puerto Rico were killed in the aftermath of what powerful hurricane that made landfall on September 20, 2017? Yes, Nick. >> Maria. >> COSTA: Yes. The battle for and against standardized testing has raged since 2002, when what sweeping education-reform bill was signed into law? Yes, Aidan. >> No Child Left Behind. >> COSTA: Yes. What 2017 film that won three Oscars is the true story of nearly 400,000 Allied soldiers trapped on the beaches of France and hoping for deliverance? Yes, Charles. >><i> Dunkirk.</i> >> COSTA: Correct. Sometimes called the "trash can of the cell," which of the following contains powerful enzymes to digest and recycle cell materials? Is it A) Golgi bodies, B) lysosomes, or C) mitochondria? Yes, Nick. >> Lysosomes? >> COSTA: That's correct. What U.S. state is home to the Punchbowl, a large crater that contains the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific? Yes, Christy. >> California? >> COSTA: No, Lexington, you want to try it? Nick? >> Hawaii? >> COSTA: Hawaii is correct. Under a treaty originally signed by 12 nations in 1959, what continent is reserved for free and peaceful scientific investigation? Yes, Nick. >> Antarctica. >> COSTA: Yes. Reported to have turned down a $1 billion offer to reunite in 2000, what Swedish supergroup recently reformed to record two new songs? Yes, Aidan. >> ABBA? >> COSTA: Correct. Math question: how many minutes are in one day? Yes, Sebastian. >> Oh... (laughs) (buzzer) >> COSTA: Lexington? Yes, David. >> 1,440? >> COSTA: Yes. NASA's<i> New Horizons</i> spacecraft has captured images of Pluto and its largest moon, named what? Charles. >> Charon? >> COSTA: Yes. The Berlin blockade and airlift was an international crisis that arose three years after the end of what war? Yes, Sebastian. >> World War II. >> COSTA: Yes. Revered in Judaism and Christianity for his wisdom and in Islam as a prophet, what biblical king of Israel built the First Temple of Jerusalem? Yes, Charles. >> Solomon? >> COSTA: Yes. At the 2018 Golden Globes, what "Queen of All Media" made history as the first black woman to win the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement? Yes, Arushi. >> Oprah Winfrey? >> COSTA: Yes. Found only in the Sonoran Desert, what cactus species that can grow as tall as 50 feet is a signature plant of Arizona? Yes, Nick. >> Saguaro. >> COSTA: Yes. In August 2018... (bell ringing) Oh, there's the bell that ends the round. The score right now: Boston Latin 90 points; Lexington High School 200 points. How about it for both teams, everybody? (cheers and applause) Okay, the head-to-head round is next. First, we'd like to take a few minutes, get to know the players, the contestants a little bit better. And we do that by way of a question, which I have in my hand, and I will ask all of you right now. And we'll start with you, Aidan, here at Boston Latin. In 2010, the Angry Birds game was the most popular app. If the developers asked you to choose a new emotion for the birds for the next ten years, what would it be and why? Aidan. >> I think it'd be Woke Birds 'cause it's 2019. >> COSTA: Okay, all right, Nick? >> I think it would be Woke Birds because it's gonna be 2020. >> COSTA: Ah, okay, I smell a theme coming here. Christy, go ahead. >> And I also agree, I think it's gonna be Woke Birds, because it was just 2018. >> COSTA: Oh, good point. And Sebastian. >> I agree with my teammates, it's gonna be Woke Birds, because why not? >> COSTA: Yeah. Why not? All right, Lexington, David, we'll start with you. >> All right, Billy, so I think the Angry Birds have been bottling up their anger and rage for about ten years now. I think it's time to kick it up a notch. So I think they should upgrade to Outraged Birds. >> COSTA: Outraged, and Charles? >> Unlike David, I think that the Angry Birds needs to turn their mood around, so I think we should be Jubilant Birds. >> COSTA: Jubilant, and Arushi. >> I think that after ten years, the birds are ready to increase their enmity with the pigs, and so they would be called Mocking Birds. (laughing) >> COSTA: And Nick, how about you? >> Angry Birds reminds me of many wasted hours of my childhood, so I would say Nostalgic Birds. (laughing) >> COSTA: Okay, so we're ready for the head-to-head round, and the way that works, all of you will come forward and, well, go head-to-head. So teams, Boston Latin, Lexington, let's go head-to-head. (cheers and applause) Okay, we're about to go head-to-head. I have Lexington High School to my left, Boston Latin to my right. Gentlemen, you want to shake hands and get started here? As a reminder, in this round, you do get ten points for correct answers. Incorrect answers will cost you ten points. Very important, you can buzz in at any time. So the clock is set at 90 seconds, good luck, and here we go. What peasant girl is considered a French heroine for her role-- >> Joan of Arc. >> COSTA: Yes. The Mississippi River empties into what gulf? >> Gulf of Mexico? >> COSTA: Yes. How many lines of poetry are in a haiku? >> Three. >> COSTA: Yes. What New Zealand city is the world's southernmost national-- >> Auckland? >> COSTA: No, Wellington. A conventional magnet has how many poles? >> Sorry. (buzzer) >> COSTA: Okay, two would have been the answer. From 1939 until his death in 1975, what military dictator ruled over Spain? >> Ferd-- Francisco Franco. >> COSTA: Yes. Approximately 90% of the people in Bangladesh are-- yes? >> Muslim? >> COSTA: Yes. Name the author of the dystopian fantasy novel<i> Brave New World.</i> >> Huxley. >> COSTA: Yes. In 2018, Jordan Peele won an Oscar for Best Original-- >><i> Get Out.</i> >> COSTA: Yes. What class of rocks are formed from the solidification-- >> Igneous. >> COSTA: Yes. Most of the city of Rome is located on the eastern bank-- >> Uh... uh... Po River. >> COSTA: No, the Tiber River. What Broadway musical features the songs "Defying Gravity" and "Popular?" Yes? >><i> Legally Blonde.</i> >> COSTA: No,<i> Wicked.</i> What country hosts the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East? >> Saudi Arabia? >> COSTA: No, Qatar. Name the only Grand Slam tennis tournament that's played on clay courts. >> French Open. >> COSTA: Yes. What is the first name of the female protagonist in the 1991 Disney film<i> Beauty and the Beast?</i> >> Aurora? >> COSTA: No, Belle. In 1937, what country invaded and occupied large areas of eastern China? >> Japan. >> COSTA: Yes. What element has the chemical symbol Cu? >> Copper? (bell ringing) >> COSTA: Did he get it? Yes, he got it, copper is the answer, and he got in just in time. That is the end of round two, the head-to-head round. The score right now: Boston Latin 120 points; Lexington High School 220 points. Here we go, folks. (cheers and applause) Okay, next up is the category round with the following categories: The Oval Office, When Harry Met Meghan, That's a Moray!, Justice for Barb, Show Me the Money, and It'll End in Tears. Now, each category has five questions with increasing point values. And players, you can confer with your teammates, but once you buzz in, you are no longer allowed to confer, we will need your answer. Now Boston Latin, you've got a little ground to make up, you do get to select the first category. What's it gonna be? >> That's a Moray! >> COSTA: That's a Moray!-- these are questions about sea life. And for ten points: sea turtles are ectothermic. This means which of the following? A) they have hard shells, B) they are cold-blooded, C) they lay their eggs on land. Yes, Charles. >> B. >> COSTA: B, they are cold-blooded. You've got the board, Lexington, category? >> That's a Moray! for 15. >> COSTA: Okay, for 15 points: the blue whale and its relatives have no teeth. They filter their food with a series of fringed plates, called what? Yes, Nick. >> Baleen. >> COSTA: "Bay-leen" or "bah-leen" is correct. And now Boston Latin, you've got the board, category? >> Stick with it. >> COSTA: That's a Moray! for 20 points. Oysters and scallops are examples of what class of mollusks that have two hinged shells? Yes, David. >> Bivalve? >> COSTA: Bivalves is right, now Lexington, you've got the board, category? >> That's a Moray! for 25. >> COSTA: For 25 points: massive reef structures are made of stony corals, and these corals are made of thousands of tiny animals called what? Yes, Sebastian. >> Polyps? >> COSTA: Polyps is right, and now Boston Latin, you've got the board, category? >> We'll stick with That's a Moray! >> COSTA: For 30 points: also known as micro-algae, what type of plankton consists of microscopic plants and is the base of the marine food web? Yes, Aidan. >> Midoplankton? >> COSTA: Correct. And now you've still got the board, Boston Latin, you'll need a category, though. >> Show Me the Money. >> COSTA: Show Me the Money. These are questions about financial literacy. For ten points: if interest rates rise, then bond rates will typically rise, fall, or stay the same? Yes, Christy. >> Fall. >> COSTA: Fall is correct. And you've still got the board, category? >> Show Me the Money. >> COSTA: Show Me the Money, for 15 points: According to most financial experts, including<i> Forbes</i> magazine, you should build up an emergency fund to cover expenses for which of the following? A) one to two months, B) three to six months, or C) 12 to 18 months? Yes, Christy. >> B? >> COSTA: B, three to six is correct, you've still got the board, Boston Latin, category? >> Stick with it. >> COSTA: Show Me the Money for 20 points. The price-earnings ratio is one of the most widely used tools for stock selection. It's calculated by dividing the stock's current market price by its E.P.S., which stands for what? Yes, Christy. >> Uh... expected price... (sighs, buzzer) >> COSTA: Lexington, you want to try it? (buzzer) Okay, earnings per share is the answer, but Boston Latin, you've still got the board, category? >> Stick with it. >> COSTA: Show Me the Money for 25 points. A math question: if you took out a $40,000 loan at 0.75% simple interest, how much interest would you pay in a five-year period? Yes, Nick. >> Uh... $15,000. >> COSTA: No, you want to try it, Boston Latin? Christy. >> $1,500. >> COSTA: $1,500 is correct. You've still got the board, Boston Latin, category. >> Stick with it. >> COSTA: Show Me the Money. 30 points: what is the earliest age at which you can start collecting a Social Security retirement benefit, though at a reduced rate? Yes, Nick. >> Sixty? >> COSTA: No, Lexington, you want to try it? David. >> Sixty-five? >> COSTA: No. Sixty-two is the answer. Boston Latin, you've still got the board, you'll need a category. >> Oval Office. >> COSTA: Questions about American presidents for ten points. Who declared a global "war on terror" in response to the attacks against America on September 11, 2001? Yes, Nick. >> George W. Bush. >> COSTA: Yes. And now Lexington, you've got the board, category? >> Oval Office. >> COSTA: For 15 points. Before he became president, who served as America's ambassador to France for four years, beginning in 1785? Yes, David. >> Thomas Jefferson. >> COSTA: Correct. You've still got the board, Lexington, category? >> Oval Office. >> COSTA: For 20 points, the Oval Office: in his 1823 address to Congress, who asserted that the Americas should not be colonized by any European powers, a doctrine that became a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy? Yes, Charles? >> Monroe? >> COSTA: Yes, you've still got the board, Lexington, category? >> Oval Office. >> COSTA: For 25 points: what U.S. president signed the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which extended the rights of emancipated slaves? Yes, Sebastian. >> Grant? >> COSTA: Ulysses Grant is correct. You've got the board back, Boston Latin, category? >> It'll End in Tears. >> COSTA: It'll End in Tears, questions about Greek tragedies. And for ten points, in what Athenian tragedy does the main character stab out his own eyes with brooches from his mother's robe? Yes, Charles. >> Oedipus Rex. >> COSTA: Oedipus Rex is correct. You've got the board, Lexington. >> Oval Office. >> COSTA: Going back to the Oval Office, this time for 30 points. Who was president when Alaska and Hawaii both became states? Yes, Nick. >> Harry Truman? >> COSTA: No, Boston Latin, you want to take a shot? Yes, Aidan. >> Eisenhower? >> COSTA: Yes, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Boston Latin, you've got the board, you'll need a category. >> It'll End in Tears. >> COSTA: Okay. It'll End in Tears, this time for 15 points. What Sophocles drama is about a young woman who mourns for her fallen brother and sets out to bury him, facing the death penalty if she's caught? Yes, Christy. >><i> Antigone?</i> >> COSTA: That is correct. And you've still got the board, Boston Latin. >> Stick with it. >> COSTA: Stick with It'll End in Tears, this time 20 points at stake. Euripides' Medea is one of the more shocking female characters in literature. She murders her own two sons to exact revenge on her husband, a former adventurer named what? Yes, Nick. >> Jason? >> COSTA: Jason is right, now Lexington, you've got the board, category? >> When Harry Met Meghan. >> COSTA: Okay, When Harry Met Meghan, questions about the Royal Wedding. For ten points: in 2018 England's Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, a divorced American actress best known for her starring role on what legal drama? Yes, Aidan. >><i> Suits.</i> >> COSTA:<i> Suits</i> is right, you've got the board, Boston Latin, category? >> Tears. >> COSTA: It'll End in Tears for 25 points. The word "tragedy" literally translates as "goat song." Goats were given as prizes at Athenian drama festivals honoring what Greek god of wine and revelry? Yes, Aidan. >> Dionysus? >> COSTA: Correct, and you've still got the board, Boston Latin. >> Stick with it. >> COSTA: It'll End in Tears for 30 points. Derived from the Greek meaning "purify," what term did Aristotle use to describe the purging of emotions of pity and fear that are aroused in the viewer of a tragedy? Yes, Nick. >> Catharsis? >> COSTA: I'm sorry? >> Catharsis? >> COSTA: Yes, that's correct, you've still got the board, Boston Latin, you'll need a new category. >> Justice for Barb. >> COSTA: Justice for Barb, these are gonna be questions about women named Barbara. For ten points: the first woman since Abigail Adams to be the wife of one president and mother of another, what former first lady passed away in 2018 at the age of 92? Yes, Nick. >> Barbara Bush. >> COSTA: That's correct, you've got the board, Lexington, category? >> Justice for Barb. >> COSTA: This time for 15 points. What superstar who has recorded more than 50 albums was the first woman to write, produce, direct, and star in a major studio film, 1983's<i> Yentl?</i> Yes, Sebastian. >> Barbra Streisand? >> COSTA: Correct. And Boston Latin, you've got the board, category? >> We'll stick with it. >> COSTA: Justice for Barb for 20 points. What legendary TV journalist and creator of the talk show<i> The View</i> was the first woman to co-anchor a network evening newscast? Yes, Aidan. >> Barbara Walters? >> COSTA: Barbara Walters is correct. You've still got the board, Boston. (bell ringing) Oh! But that is the bell that ends the category round. The score right now: Boston Latin 360 points; Lexington High School 250 points. How about it, folks? (cheers and applause) Okay, we are headed into the final 90 seconds of game play. It is the lightning round. But, before we do, we have a score correction to make. Boston Latin's answer to the plankton question was incorrect. The correct answer was phytoplankton. So the corrected score now is Boston Latin 300 points; Lexington High School 250 points. So in this round you will get 20 points for each correct answer. Incorrect answers will cost you 20 points. The clock is set, good luck teams, here we go. In 2018, researchers in Amsterdam revealed new pages of a diary that belonged to what young-- Yes, Sebastian? >> Anne Frank? >> COSTA: Yes. In 1925 Tennessee passed the Butler Act, which prohibited public schools-- Yes, Sebastian. >> Evolution? >> COSTA: Yes. In December 2017, what Boston tabloid newspaper filed for bankruptcy protection? Yes, Nick. >><i> Herald?</i> <i> Herald?</i> >> COSTA: Yes. <i> Mean Girls the Musical</i> is based on a film of the same name written by what star-- Yes, Christy. >> Tina Fey. >> COSTA: Yes. What five-letter word refers to a ring-shaped coral reef or island? Yes, Nick? >> Atoll. >> COSTA: Yes. What Shakespeare play is set at Elsinore Castle? Yes, Arushi. >><i> King Lear?</i> >> COSTA: No,<i> Hamlet.</i> What country's prime minister is officially known as the Taoiseach, a Gaelic... yes? >> Ireland. >> COSTA: Yes. In 1911, archaeologist Hiram Bingham discovered what ancient... >> Machu Picchu. >> COSTA: Yes. On May 7th, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in what French city? Yes, Nick. >> Paris? >> COSTA: No, Reims. What U.S. state is home to Carlsbad National Park? >> New Mexico. >> COSTA: Yes. On March 20, 1815, who began his "Hundred Days Rule" in Paris after-- yes, Aidan? >> Napoleon? >> COSTA: Yes. In the children's novel <i> Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,</i> what is Charlie's last name? >> Bucket. >> COSTA: Yes. What city is the seat of government in Taiwan? >> COSTA: Yes, Nick. >> Taipei. >> COSTA: Yes. The Bitterroot Mountain Range extends... yes, Sebastian. >> Montana. >> COSTA: Yes. In 2011 Osama bin Laden was killed by elite American-- (bell ringing) Oh... (audience laughing) Ooh... That's the end of the round and the game. And the winner this week,<i> High School Quiz Show,</i> Boston Latin, (cheers and applause) with a score of 420 points. Lexington High School 330 points. Congratulations to both teams for a great round. Boston Latin now will move on to play in the quarterfinals. Be sure, you're here. Tune in, we'll see you back here next week for<i> High School Quiz Show.</i> Wow! >> Trees are down. The power is down, but you're not powerless. The mobile app from Safety Insurance can help you file a claim. You can ask an independent agent about Safety Insurance. We'll help you manage life's storms. >> This is the place where planets collide. Where the world is taking notice. Where 28,000 brilliant young minds from 65 countries call home. UMass Amherst: this is the place. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> A production of WGBH.



Plaque on School Street commemorating the site of the first Boston Latin School building
Plaque on School Street commemorating the site of the first Boston Latin School building
Hall of the BLS School House on Bedford Street, 1844–1881
Hall of the BLS School House on Bedford Street, 1844–1881

The Puritans placed a strong emphasis on education for their children in order to read the Bible. Puritan leaders themselves were accustomed to the highest educational standards, with most of their ministers having graduated from Oxford or Cambridge University in England. They established Boston Latin School in Massachusetts Bay Colony and modeled it after the European Latin schools which emphasized religion, Latin, and classical literature.[7][8] They were not initially funded by taxes but by donations and land rentals.[9] A school established in nearby Dedham was the first tax-supported public school.[9]

Latin is the mother of modern Romance languages and was an educational priority in the 17th century.[10] The ability to read at least Cicero and Virgil was a requirement of all colonial colleges, and to write and speak Latin in verse and prose was the first of the Harvard laws of 1642.[11][12] Boston Latin prepared many students for admission to Harvard,[13] with a total of seven years devoted to the classics.[14] However, most graduates of Boston Latin did not go on to college, since business and professions did not require college training.[15]

In 2015, Boston Latin School had 2,400 pupils drawn from Boston. It has produced four Harvard University presidents, four Massachusetts governors, and five signers of the United States Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin[16] and Louis Farrakhan[17] are among its well-known dropouts.

The School began as the South Grammar School[18] and was specifically modeled after the Boston Grammar School in Lincolnshire, England.

The Latin School admitted only male students and hired only male teachers from its founding in 1635 into the 19th century. Helen Magill White was the school's first female graduate and the first American woman to earn a doctorate. Magill White was the only female pupil at the school when she attended. The Girls' Latin School was founded in 1877, and Boston Latin admitted its first co-educational class in 1972.[19]

The school appointed Marie Frisardi Cleary[20] and Juanita Ponte[21] as the first two women in its academic faculty in 1967. Cornelia Kelley was the school's first female headmaster, serving from 1998 until her retirement in 2007,[22] after which Lynne Mooney Teta became headmaster.[23] In 2016, Mooney Teta resigned amid a federal probe into racially charged incidents at the school.[24] In 2017, Rachel Skerritt became the first person of color to serve as headmaster.[25]

A cadet corps was founded during the American Civil War; it was disbanded in the early 1960s.[26]

Location history

Map this section's coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX
Photo Point Coordinates
(links to map & photo sources)
Boston Latin School original.jpg
First Boston Latin School House. Circa 1635. Ezekiel Cheever was an early head master of the Boston Latin School. He taught for seventy years, the last thirty-eight as master of the Boston Latin School. 42°22′04″N 71°03′36″W / 42.367800°N 71.059877°W / 42.367800; -71.059877 (First Boston Latin School House. circa 1635.) [27][28]
Second BLS school house on south side of School Street. 1812–1844. 42°21′28″N 71°03′35″W / 42.357640°N 71.059679°W / 42.357640; -71.059679 (Second School House on South Side of School Street. 1812-1844.) [29][30]
BLS Bedford Street School House.jpg
Third BLS school house on Bedford Street, 1844–1881. 42°21′14″N 71°03′40″W / 42.353840°N 71.061060°W / 42.353840; -71.061060 (Bedford Street School House. 1844–1881.) [31][32][33]
1920 English High School Boston 2589540239.jpg
Fourth location of BLS school house in Warren Avenue, (shared with the English High School of Boston), 1881–1922. 42°20′39″N 71°04′24″W / 42.344178°N 71.073380°W / 42.344178; -71.073380 (School House in Warren Avenue. 1881–1922.) [34][35]
Boston latin school exterior front wide.jpg
Fifth site of BLS school house on Avenue Louis Pasteur. 1922–present. 42°20′17″N 71°06′07″W / 42.338017°N 71.102016°W / 42.338017; -71.102016 (School House on Avenue Louis Pasteur. 1922–present.) [36]


Boston Latin's motto is Sumus Primi, Latin for we are first. This is a double entendre, referring both to the school's date of founding and its academic stature. Boston Latin has a history of pursuing the same standards as elite New England prep schools while adopting the egalitarian attitude of a public school. Academically, the school regularly outperforms public schools in affluent Boston suburbs, particularly as measured by the yearly MCAS assessment required of all Massachusetts public schools. In 2006, Brooklyn Latin School was founded in New York City, explicitly modeled on Boston Latin, borrowing much from its traditions and curriculum.[37]


Admission is determined by a combination of a student's score on the Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) and recent grades, and is limited to residents of the city of Boston.[38] Although Boston Latin runs from the 7th through the 12th grade, it admits students only into the 7th and 9th grades. Consequently, the higher grades have fewer students than the lower grades, as a relatively large number of students transfer out. The school has historically been described as having a sink-or-swim environment, but in recent years there have been notable efforts to create a more supportive atmosphere.

Because it is a high-performing and well-regarded school, Boston Latin has been at the center of controversy concerning its admissions process. Admissions are very competitive, and it is not uncommon for fewer than 20% of applicants to be admitted. Before the 1997 school year, Boston Latin set aside a 35% quota of places in its incoming class for under-represented minorities. The school was forced to drop this policy after a series of lawsuits involving non-minority girls who were not admitted despite ranking higher than admitted minorities.[39][40] Boston Latin subsequently defeated a legal effort to do away with its admissions process entirely and conduct admissions by blind lottery. The percentage of under-represented minorities at Boston Latin fell from 35% in 1997 to under 19% in 2005, despite efforts by Boston Latin, the Boston Public Schools, and the Boston Latin School Association to recruit more minority applicants and retain more minority students. Some[who?] advocate instituting a quota for the number of students that must be admitted from Boston's public middle schools.


Declamation is the most time-honored of the school's traditions. Pupils in the 7th to 10th grade are required to give an oration, known as 'Declamation', in their English class three times during the year. There is also Public Declamation, where pupils from all grades, or classes, are welcomed to try out for the chance to declaim a memorized piece in front of an assembly. During Public Declamation, declaimers are scored on aspects such as "Memorization" "Presentation", and "Voice and Delivery", and those who score well in three of the first four public declamations are given the chance to declaim in front of alumni judges for awards in "Prize Declamation".

Front entrance of the school house on Avenue Louis Pasteur. 2007
Front entrance of the school house on Avenue Louis Pasteur. 2007

In addition to the well-known and time-honored tradition of declamation in English classes, recently the Modern Languages department instituted an annual "World Language Declamation" competition. Once a year, during National Foreign Language Week (usually the first week of March),[41] students from grades 8 through 12 perform orations in languages other than English. Most students choose to declaim in the modern language they are studying, though some choose Latin, Greek, or their native tongue. Judges are brought in from various institutions around the city, and mark the students in similar categories to those used in Public Declamation. Entrants are categorized by level, rather than language, such that all students declaiming at the first-year level of various languages are competing against each other, all students at the second-year level compete against each other, and so on. Students who regularly perform exceptionally well at World Language Declamation are honored at Prize Night with the Celia Gordon Malkiel Prize.[42]

In a move that was controversial among some alumni, the school decided in 2001 to decrease the requirement for students' Latin instruction by one year, starting with the class of 2006.[43] The mandatory minimum period of Latin instruction was decreased for students admitted for 7th grade from five years to four years, and for students admitted for 9th grade from four years to three years. This decision was made by the head of the school's Latin department, in recognition of the fact that the requirement was hampering students' ability to take enough courses in important modern subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science and modern languages. However, students can still take Latin courses after their fourth year, in AP Latin and Latin 5, the latter if there is demand. Greek is additionally an option.

In a 1789 codicil to his will, Benjamin Franklin established a legacy to fund the Franklin Medals, which are awarded to the school's top-ranking pupils at graduation. The second most prestigious awards, the Dixwell Prizes, are given to pupils excelling in Latin or Greek.


There are currently three main publications of the Boston Latin School: The Register is the school's literary magazine, The Argo the school newspaper, and Catapulta is the school science magazine. George Santayana founded The Register in 1881 to serve as the school newspaper. Over the years, however, it evolved into a purely literary magazine, publishing prose and poetry written by members of the student body, as well as artwork. There are generally three editors-in-chief, and it is published twice per year. The Argo, the school's newspaper, is far younger, having been founded in 1970 after it was clear that the Register had become a purely literary magazine. As of the 2006–2007 school year, it is published seven times a year. Catapulta, the science magazine, highlights popular and recent science and technology and is generally published four times a year. The Register, the Argo, and Catapulta are entirely student-produced, and the "Argo" and the "Register" have won awards from the New England Scholastic Press Association, while Catapulta has won awards from the American Scholastic Press Association.[44]

Another Boston Latin publication is "BLSA Bulletin", published by the Boston Latin School Association, whose president is Peter G. Kelly, '83.[45]


A wolf's paw is the logo for Boston Latin's athletic teams
A wolf's paw is the logo for Boston Latin's athletic teams

Boston Latin's teams are known as the Boston Latin Wolfpack; their colors are purple and white. Boston Latin has played rival Boston English in football every Thanksgiving since 1887,[46] the oldest continuous high school rivalry in the United States.[47]

The school has fielded several successful sports teams, including the fencing team, sailing team, cross country team, indoor and outdoor track teams, girls volleyball team, the boys and girls crew teams, the boys and girls swimming and diving teams, baseball, softball, wrestling, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls hockey, and cheerleading.

However, the football team has not won its league or made the playoffs since 1987.

In the spring of 2014, Boston Latin launched its varsity boys lacrosse as well as varsity girls lacrosse, the only public school in Boston with lacrosse. In the spring of 2017, in just its third season as a varsity sport, the girl's lacrosse team made the state tournament for the first time.

In the winter of 2015, Boston Latin launched its varsity boys fencing as well as varsity girls fencing, the only public school in Boston with fencing.

In the winter of the academic year 2015-2016, the school's varsity fencing team took home the state championship title for the first time ever, with the men's team placing second overall and women's fourth overall.[citation needed]

In popular culture


Boston Latin has graduated notable Americans in the fields of politics (both local and national), religion, science, journalism, philosophy, and music. Of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, five were educated at Latin: Adams, Franklin, Hancock, Hooper, and Paine.[49] Graduates and students fought in the Revolutionary War, American Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, and the Vietnam War, and plaques and statues in the school building honor those who died.

Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame, known casually as "The Wall," refers to the upper frieze in the school's auditorium, where the last names of famous alumni are painted. These names include Adams, Fitzgerald, Franklin, Hancock, Hooper, Kennedy, Mather, Paine, Quincy, Santayana, Winthrop, and many others. The most recent name, Wade McCree Jr., was added to the frieze in 1999, and the selection of the name involved a conscious effort to choose a graduate of color.[50] There are no names of female graduates, mostly because women have attended the school for just 46 years and the honor is only bestowed posthumously. There is also a lower frieze with the names of many other distinguished graduates, and a place on the lower frieze can be awarded while the person is still alive.

Rankings and awards

In 2007, the school was named one of the top 20 high schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report magazine.[51][52] It was named a 2011 "Blue Ribbon School of Excellence", the Department of Education's highest award.[53] As of 2018, it is listed under the "gold medal" list, ranking 48 out of the top 100 high schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.[54]

In 2019, the school was rated the school as the top high school in the Boston area by U.S. News & World Report and number 33 in national rankings.[55]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Boston Latin". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  2. ^ Caldwell, Dave (2006-11-10). "Thanksgiving Day Games: Old Rivalries, Then the Turkey". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  3. ^ "History of Boston Latin School—oldest public school in America". Boston Latin School. Archived from the original on 2007-05-02. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
  4. ^ "Boston Latin School". Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  5. ^ "First Public School Site and Ben Franklin Statue". City of Boston.
  6. ^ "Boston Latin School". NNDB.
  7. ^ Jeynes, William H. (2007). American educational history : school, society, and the common good. Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u.a.]: SAGE Publications. pp. 4, 6, 12. ISBN 978-1412914215. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  8. ^ Simon, Christopher A. (2001). To run a school : administrative organization and learning. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. p. 8. ISBN 978-0275968342.
  9. ^ a b Sacchetti, Maria (November 27, 2005). "Schools vie for honor of being the oldest". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 14, 2016. "In Boston everybody may have agreed that education was important, but nobody put his wallet on the table," said Robert Hanson, Dedham's former executive secretary and the unofficial historian.
  10. ^ Howe, Françoise Waquet. Translated by John (2002). Latin or the empire of a sign : from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries (Paperback ed. 1. publ. by Verso. ed.). London: Verso. p. 22. ISBN 978-1859844021. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  11. ^ "History of Harvard". Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  12. ^ Morison, Samuel Eliot (1968). The founding of the Harvard College. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. p. 333. ISBN 978-0674314504. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  13. ^ Meckler, ed. by Michael (2006). Classical antiquity and the politics of America : from George Washington to George W. Bush. Waco, Tex.: Baylor Univ. Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-1932792324. Retrieved 6 March 2016.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Wright, Conrad Edick (2005). Revolutionary generation : Harvard men and the consequences of independence. Amherst [u.a.]: Univ. of Massachusetts Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-1558494848. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  15. ^ Reese, William J. (1999). The origins of the American high school. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0300079432.
  16. ^ "Benjamin Franklin". Exodus Provisions.
  17. ^ John B. Judis (August 18, 1996). "Maximum Leader". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-05-19.
  18. ^ Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Volume 27. Colonial Society of Massachusetts. 1932. p. 135. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  19. ^
  20. ^ Marie Frisardi Cleary (May 19, 1985). "The Halls of Boston Latin School". The New York Times. Letter to the editor.
  21. ^ Bergeron, Amanda (July 21, 2007). "Juanita Ponte, 62; taught at Boston Latin". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  22. ^ Jan, Tracy (2007-02-14). "Boston Latin headmaster to retire". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  23. ^ "Assistant head is named to Latin's top job". Boston Globe. June 26, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
  24. ^ Vaznis, James; Staff, Jan Ransom Globe; June 21; 2016; Comments, 3:10 p m Email to a Friend Share on Facebook Share on TwitterPrint this Article View. "Amid controversy, Boston Latin headmaster resigns - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  25. ^ "Rachel Skerritt: The First POC Headmaster of the Country's Oldest Public School". Her Campus. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  26. ^ Hank Brandli (September 30, 2004). "Boston School Cadets". The Bulletin. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  27. ^ 42°21′28″N 71°03′35″W / 42.357909°N 71.059798°W / 42.357909; -71.059798
  28. ^ (Estimated from: Plan of Boston showing existing ways and owners on December 25, 1635. Author: Lamb, George. 1635 Location: Boston (Mass.)) [1] [2]
  29. ^ Boston 1842 "Boston" from Tanner, H.S. The American Traveller; or Guide Through the United States. Eighth Edition. New York, 1842 [3]
  30. ^ 42°21′28″N 71°03′35″W / 42.357640°N 71.059679°W / 42.357640; -71.059679 (Estimated from Tanner map)
  31. ^ Catalogue of the Boston Public Latin School, Established in 1635: With an Historical Sketch, Henry Fitch Jenks. Boston Latin School Association. 1886. Pages 94–95.
  32. ^ Map title: Map of Boston, 1865 Photographically Reduced From City Engineer Plans With All The Latest Improvements. A Complete Guide To Strangers. Publisher: L. Prang & Co. Date: 1865 [4]
  33. ^ 42°21′14″N 71°03′40″W / 42.353840°N 71.061060°W / 42.353840; -71.061060 (Estimated from Prang & Co. map)
  34. ^ Catalogue of the Boston Public Latin School, Established in 1635: With an Historical Sketch, Henry Fitch Jenks. Boston Latin School Association. 1886. Page 303.
  35. ^ 42°20′39″N 71°04′24″W / 42.344178°N 71.073380°W / 42.344178; -71.073380 (Estimated from description in Jenks, page 75)
  36. ^ SCHOLA LATINA BOSTONIENSIS CCCL ANNOS NATA. (BOSTON LATIN AT 350). April 21, 1985. Boston Globe. By John Powers
  37. ^ Jan, Tracy (March 4, 2006). "Growing a Boston Latin in Brooklyn". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
  38. ^ "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Entrance to Boston Latin School" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  39. ^ See: Wessmann v. Gittens, 160 F. 3d 790 – Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit 1998 s:SARAH P. WESSMANN, p.p.a. HENRY ROBERT WESSMANN, v. ROBERT P. GITTENS, CHAIRPERSON OF THE BOSTON SCHOOL COMMITTEE, ET AL., and McLAUGHLIN BY McLAUGHLIN v. Boston School Committee, 938 F. Supp. 938 F.Supp. 1001 (1996) Civil Action No. 95-11803-WAG. United States District Court, D. Massachusetts. s:938 F.Supp. 1001 (1996) Julia A. McLAUGHLIN, by Catherine McLAUGHLIN, Plaintiff, v. BOSTON SCHOOL COMMITTEE, et al., Defendants.
  40. ^ "The Boston Latin Case". Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation, and Educational Policy. Archived from the original on 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  41. ^ Kate Stevenson (2008). National Foreign Language Week
  42. ^ Prizes and Scholarships, BLS Web Site
  43. ^ Vaishnav, Anand (2001-04-13). "Boston Latin Eases Language Requirement". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on April 16, 2001. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  44. ^ "Publications—Argo". BLS Web Site. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-06-01. Includes scans of first Argo edition, 1969.
  45. ^ "BLSA Bulletin". Boston Latin School Association. Fall 2008.
  46. ^ Werchadlo, Emily (2005-11-24). "It's still defined by Latin and English". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  47. ^ Dahlbeck, Dwayne (2007-11-27). "Latin's first conquest comes at last". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  48. ^ "President Bush Speaks in Boston". 2002-01-08.
  49. ^ Rauseo-Ricupero, Ronaldo (2002-01-09). "Bush Comes To Boston After Education Victory". Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  50. ^ Hill, Tony (2000-11-12). "To Place a Black Man in Latin's Pantheon: An Alumnus Quietly Raised to the Star-Studded Frieze". Boston Globe.
  51. ^ "Best High Schools 2008". U.S. News & World Report. November 29, 2007. Archived from the original on December 18, 2008.
  52. ^ "The First-Class State—Two examples of how Massachusetts gets it right". U.S. News & World Report. November 29, 2007. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008.
  53. ^ 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools, accessed April 3, 2012
  54. ^ "National Rankings Best High Schools". U.S. News & World Report LP. 2016-04-19. Archived from the original on 2016-04-20. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
  55. ^ Reiss, Jaclyn (2019-06-12). "These are the best high schools in the Boston area, according to US News & World Report". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2019-06-12.

External links

Preceded by
King's Chapel Burying Ground
Locations along Boston's Freedom Trail
Boston Latin School
Succeeded by
Old Corner Bookstore
This page was last edited on 4 January 2020, at 16:46
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