Needham History Center & Museum Needham History Center & Museum, Needham Massachusetts 02492

Needham’s Schools


In 1900, there were 732 children enrolled in Needham’s seven schools. There were two comprehensive grammar schools – the Kimball in Needham Center, and the Avery in Needham Heights. These served Grades 1 through 9, and each class had its own teacher. There were two two-room schools (Eliot and Dwight), and two one-room schools (Harris and Parker).

Even a century ago, the concept of the one-room school was considered antiquated, and the Superintendent of Schools urgently and repeatedly petitioned the Town to close the Harris and Parker Schools and consolidate them into the more progressive, multi-classroom schools. Nevertheless, one-room schooling persisted in Needham until the Harris School was rebuilt in 1938.