Cambridge Rindge and Latin School

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Cambridge Rindge and Latin School
Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Cambridge MA.jpg
459 Broadway


United States
Coordinates42°22′27″N 71°06′43″W / 42.37417°N 71.11194°W / 42.37417; -71.11194Coordinates: 42°22′27″N 71°06′43″W / 42.37417°N 71.11194°W / 42.37417; -71.11194
MottoOpportunity, Diversity, and Respect
Established1648; 374 years ago (1648)
School districtCambridge Public School District
PrincipalDamon Smith
Teaching staff177 (2014–2015)[1]
Age range14–20
Enrollment1,977 (2019–2020)[2]
Color(s)Silver and black
Athletics conferenceMIAA District A – Dual County League
NewspaperThe Register Forum
Nobel laureatesEric Allin Cornell

The Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, also known as CRLS or "Rindge," is a public high school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. It is a part of the Cambridge Public School District. In 1977, two separate schools, the Rindge Technical School and Cambridge High and Latin School, merged to form the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. The newly built high school at the time increased its capacity to more than 2,000 students from all four grades.

The school is divided into 'Learning Communities.' The Learning Communities are called C, R, L, and S. Until June 2000, the subdivisions were called Houses: Pilot, Fundamental, House A, Academy, Leadership, and the Rindge School of Technical Arts or RSTA. In 1990, RSTA became a "house" within the main CRLS school. The "Houses" then temporarily became "Schools" (called schools 1/2/3/4/5). In 2004 the schools transitioned to become "Learning Communities" C (formerly school 1), R(formerly school 2), L(formerly school 3), and S(formerly school 5).

The High School Extension Program, at the site of the old Longfellow School, just down Broadway, offers a nontraditional approach to the high school learning process, handling only 60–100 students at a time. In 2009 and 2010, the building became a temporary freshman academy to accommodate renovations.

CRLS is noted for its diversity.[4]

Beginning in 2003, the City of Cambridge mobilized an ambitious plan to renovate the high school. The project was claimed to be "the first major renovation and refurbishing of the 35-year-old [sic] high school building."[5] The project continued to be pushed back, due to state funding issues and other obstructions along the way. In 2006, the state announced a return in funding, and by the Spring 2007 the School Committee started looking at wider ranging renovations for the building. The renovations were undertaken in 2009-2011.[5]


CRLS is actually several separate schools combined into a greater whole. In 1642, the year Harvard College's first class of nine young men graduated, the General Court made it the duty of Cambridge to require that parents and masters properly educate their children or be fined if they neglected to do so. (Girls, however, did not usually attend public schools until 1789, when Boston voted that "children of both sexes" should be taught in the reading and writing schools of their newly reorganized system.) In 1648, Cambridge set up a public grammar school, Master Elijah Corlett's "lattin schoole," making Cambridge the fifth town (after Boston, Charlestown, Dorchester, and Salem) in the Massachusetts Bay Colony to do so. Corlett's schoolhouse came into the possession of Old Cambridge in 1660, and over the next century was succeeded by several new buildings. The public school that evolved from Cortlett's original was a "grammar school" in a double sense: an English grammar school for Old Cambridge and a Latin grammar school (teaching the rudiments of Latin and Greek) for all Cambridge.[6] The school generally aimed to prepare students for admission to college:

“And by the side of the colledge a faire GRAMMAR Schoole, for the training up of young Schollars, and fitting of them for ACADEMICALL LEARNING, that still as they are judged ripe, they may be received into the colledge of this Schoole. Master CORLETT is the Mr., who hath very well approved himselfe for his abilities, dexterity and painfulness in teaching and education of the youth under him.”[7]

By 1832, public schools in Cambridge were open to girls as well as boys. In 1838, Cambridgeport organized a public high school to serve all of Cambridge at the corner of Broadway and Windsor Streets. However, since the location was not easily accessible to either Old Cambridge or East Cambridge, most of the new high schools' students were drawn from Cambridgeport. In 1843, Old Cambridge set up the Female High School, and East Cambridge completed its Otis schoolhouse. Not until 1848 did plans to merge the high schools of the three competitive wards overcome sectional differences. This marked the origin of the Cambridge High School, which began in a new building erected at the corner of Amory and Summer streets and was immediately flooded with over 135 applicants.[6]

The Cambridge High School was divided in 1886: its classical department became the Cambridge Latin School and its remaining departments the Cambridge English High School. The English High School was located at the corner of Broadway and Fayette Streets, while the Latin School was transferred to the Lee Street church, which had been renovated to receive it. At the time of the separation, the high school contained 515 pupils, and 16 teachers. Six teachers and 165 pupils went to the Latin school.[6] In September 1888, the Cambridge Manual Training School for Boys (to become Rindge Tech), founded and maintained by Frederick Hastings Rindge, was opened to the boys of the English High School. In 1892, the English High School moved into a commodious new building on Broadway; Rindge had presented the land to Cambridge at a cost of $230,000. The EHS's old building at Broadway and Fayette was remodeled, and the Latin School moved in. By 1896, the Latin School had grown so quickly that plans were underway for another new building (cost approx. $250,000) that would stand on land adjacent to the English High School building and the Public Library.

In 1977, Cambridge High & Latin and the Rindge School of Technical Arts and were merged into Cambridge Rindge and Latin, or CRLS. The old Cambridge High & Latin building was demolished in 1980, but the old granite lintel and doorway frame[8] have been put in place at the corner of Ellery Street and Broadway as a commemorative archway, leading into the grassy fields of Joan Lorentz Park.[citation needed]

In 2001 there was an attempt to restructure the Cambridge Rindge & Latin school under headmaster Paula Evans, which had found controversy. She resigned shortly afterwards. After her resignation she began efforts to create a charter school, which became the Community Charter School of Cambridge (CCSC). Colleen Walsh of the Boston Globe said that Evans's charter school efforts "touched off a firestorm" and that "many people" were upset at her because they perceived that she had abandoned Cambridge Rindge & Latin.[9]


During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the school was subject to multiple accusations of inherent racism in its infrastructure, which led to the disbanding of the original houses, as well as the changing of the original school mascot from a bust of a Native American to a falcon and their name from Warriors to Falcons after concerns about the racist history of the mascot. Students entered their ideas and then voted for the new mascot in a school wide contest. The graduating class of '90 went from wearing brown and gold and Native American warrior and being called The Mighty Warriors to wearing black and silver and a falcon and being called Falcons [or Gyrfalcons.][10]

The Register Forum[edit]

The school's newspaper is Register Forum. It was first founded in 1891 as the C.M.T.S Register, the name was further changed to the Rindge Register, and in 1977, when the two public high schools in the city merged, their papers merged as well. The Cambridge Latin Forum merged with the Rindge Register to become The Register Forum. The Register Forum now publishes 10 editions per year at the end of each month, September to June. Those editions range from 8 to 24 pages, and focus on events around the school. The paper is printed at The Harvard Crimson press.


Athletics have always played a major part in the school's extracurricular activity structure.[citation needed] The 11 fall and winter sports take place between September and Thanksgiving (the day of the football team's final game), and between the first Monday following Thanksgiving and February or March. The ten spring sports start on the third Monday in March, and finish in late May.


CRLS has an arts programs, with an emphasis on visual and performing arts. The school has programs in photography, graphic design, fine arts, pottery, a modern dance company, a jazz band and an orchestra.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Profile: CRLS: Teacher Data (2010–11)", Massachusetts Department of Education
  2. ^ "Profile: CRLS: Enrollment Data", Massachusetts Department of Education
  3. ^ "Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education - 2019-20 SAT Performance Report - All Students Statewide Report".
  4. ^ Michelle Bates Deakin (June 8, 2003). "Course Correction". Boston Globe. Retrieved January 10, 2008. Cambridge Rindge and Latin is one of the few urban high schools to place A students and D students in the same classrooms. Achievement-blind classes are intended to break down barriers, but it remains to be seen if the program will serve as a national model or a cautionary tale.
  5. ^ a b "CRLS Renovation Project". Archived from the original on September 27, 2008. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c Arthur Gilman, ed. The Cambridge of 1896: a picture of the city and its industries fifty years after its incorporation. The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1896. pages 187–197. Google Books
  7. ^ "History", Cambridge Public School District (archived 2004)
  8. ^ The old Latin School arch Archived July 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved July 17, 2010
  9. ^ Walsh, Colleen. "A NEW SCHOOL CAMPAIGNS FOR CREDIBILITY ; EDUCATOR UPBEAT DESPITE THE CRITICS." Boston Globe. August 14, 2005. City Weekly p. 8. Retrieved on June 3, 2013.
  10. ^ Duncan-Wald, Chloe; McArthur, LiLi. "History of the CRLS Mascot". The Register Forum. Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  11. ^ "Bio: Leroy Anderson"
  12. ^ Theroux, Paul (2001). Fresh Air Fiend: Travel Writings, 1985–2000. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 258. ISBN 9780618126934.
  13. ^ 'Public Officials of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1951–1952,' Biographical Sketch of Walter Joseph Sullivan, pg. 290
  14. ^ Goode, Erica; Serge F. Kovaleski (April 20, 2013). "Boy at Home in U.S., Swayed by One Who Wasn't". The New York Times. Retrieved September 23, 2018. Dzhokhar, a handsome teenager with a wry yearbook smile, was liked and respected by his classmates at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School,[...]
  15. ^ Martin, Philip (March 25, 2015). "Tsarnaev Trial Puts Cambridge Rindge & Latin High in National Spotlight". WGBH. Retrieved September 23, 2018. And since 2013, CRL has also become known for its most infamous graduates: the Brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

External links[edit]