The first graduation at the Tobin School was in June of 1972.
The Tobin, named after educator and school superintendent John Tobin,
replaced the Russell School which was located on Grozier Road. The Tobin
was built adjacent to the fields of Father Callahan Park and still uses
those fields as its playground. At about that same time, the high-rise
apartments, Rindge Towers, were built and the children from there and
later from the Walden Square Apartments were districted into the Tobin.
Thus, a small neighborhood school became a much larger one. At its
largest, the Tobin School had 4 classes of each grade and held over 700
school busing was ordered in Boston to address de facto segregation,
Cambridge took the initiative to put into place a voluntary
desegregation program which allowed for school choice. This was first
accomplished by drawing large school districts and later was changed to a
city-wide school choice program. Once there was open enrollment, there
was a push to draw students to certain schools by creating various
magnet programs. At The Tobin, the Follow -Through Program was
instituted. This was meant to be a continuation of the “enriched” Head
Start Program for pre-school and kindergarten. The program was meant to
target low income children and give them a “head start”. Tobin School
would then have these “Head Start” families mix with more affluent
families in a separate program within the Tobin School. Later, another
magnet program was created in which there was an integration of computer
technology into the classrooms. This program was known as “The School
of the Future”. These magnet programs, as well as the classrooms of the
original Tobin School existed together for many, many years.
educational practices changed and technology was being used in all
classrooms in the city, it became clear that the best course of action
would be to merge all of the programs at the Tobin School and create one
unified school. This merge was accomplished through the cooperative
efforts of the administration, staff and parents of the three programs.
next big change came when Dr. Fowler-Finn, the superintendent of
schools at the time, created a Montessori School which was housed at the
Tobin. As each new class of Montessori children came through, the
standard classroom would be eliminated. This brings us to the 2012-2013
school year when there will be Children’s House to grade five Montessori
classrooms. The building will also house the Vassal Lane Middle School
Campus that will draw students from the Graham and Parks School as well
as the Haggerty School.