Edward Devotion School

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The Edward Devotion School
Edward Devotion School, Brookline MA.jpg
Location
345 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446
Information
Type Elementary School
Established 1892
Principal Jennifer Buller
David O'Hara
Monica Crowley
Grades K-8
Enrollment 798[1]
Student to teacher ratio 11.6[1]
Website
The Edward Devotion Elementary School,[2] is a public elementary school located at 345 Harvard Street, Brookline, Massachusetts, United States. The school was founded in 1892 on land formerly owned by Edward Devotion (1621-1685) and later by his grandson, another Edward Devotion (1667-1744). The land was purchased by the town from a later owner.[3] The Devotions' 18th-century house[4] is preserved by the Brookline Historical Society[5] and stands amidst part of its original gardens in the school's forecourt.

Demographics[edit]

The school is attended by over 800 students from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade, and is the largest of eight public elementary schools in Brookline. The school emphasizes diversity, with English being a second language to over one third of the student body, among which about 40% are English Language Learners. Roughly 37% of students are non-white or multiracial. [6]

Student life[edit]

The school has a Parent Teacher Organization supporting activities including field trips, "Arts Council," a science fair, Math night, and an International Night.[7]

Renovation[edit]

The school is being reconstructed and enlarged, which is expected to be completed in August, 2018. [8] For the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years, the student body is split between two temporary buildings, termed Lower Devotion School (grades K-4) and Upper Devotion School (grades 5-8).[9] The principals of Lower Devotion are David O'Hara and Jennifer Buller, [10] and the principal of Upper Devotion is Monica Crowley. [11]

History[edit]

The Edward Devotion school is named for the second Edward Devotion, who decreed in his will that any money left over after the payments of his debt and funeral expenses be given to the town for use "towards Building or Maintaining a School as near the Centre of the said Town as shall be agreed upon by the Town."[12] Although the money was long gone by the time school was built, the school was named for him in recognition of his original request. In 2018, several citizens organized a movement which will remove Edward Devotion's name from the school because he was a slaveholder.[13]

The school was attended by John F. Kennedy from 1922 to 1924.[14]

Until 2005, the school librarian was award-winning author Norman H. Finkelstein who wrote the book The Other 1492[15] (not to be confused with the similarly named professor Norman Finkelstein). Another former librarian, Christine McDonnell, is an author of many popular children's books including Dog Wants to Play and Ballet Bug. She retired in 2014.

In popular culture[edit]

The school is the inspiration for Abigail Adams Junior High School, the fictional school featured in the Beacon Street Girls children's books series.[citation needed]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°20′40.35″N 71°07′26.19″W / 42.3445417°N 71.1239417°W / 42.3445417; -71.1239417