Coolidge Corner School

  (Redirected from Edward Devotion School)

The Coolidge Corner School,[2] formerly known as the Devotion School or Devo, and soon to be known as the Florida Ruffin Ridley School, is a public K-8 school located at 345 Harvard Street, Brookline, Massachusetts, United States. It is a part of Public Schools of Brookline.

The Coolidge Corner School
Edward Devotion School, Brookline MA.jpg
345 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446
TypeK-8 school
School districtPublic Schools of Brookline
PrincipalJennifer Buller
David O'Hara
Monica Crowley
Student to teacher ratio11.6[1]

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.


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 lifeEdit

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


The school was reconstructed and enlarged (completed in August, 2018). [8] For the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years, the student body was 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 were David O'Hara and Jennifer Buller, [10] and the principal of Upper Devotion was Monica Crowley. [11]


The school built in 1892 was 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 apparently named for him in recognition of his original request, although no records from the 1890s survive discussing the naming.[13]

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

Albert Edward Scott, “Scotty,” was a Brookline newsboy and a graduate of the Devotion School. As the US entered World War I, he enlisted in the United States Army, at age fifteen. On July 23rd, 1918, at the age of sixteen, he was killed in action in France. Albert Edward Scott was a member of Company H, 101st United States Infantry, Allied Expeditionary Force. As his citation reads, “For extreme gallantry and risk of life, in combat with an armed enemy force,” Albert Edward Scott was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, an award second only to the Medal of Honor.

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 2018, a citizen-led movement endorsed by Brookline's Town Meeting and School Committee began the process of renaming the school, in recognition of the fact that the estate of Edward Devotion sold for his bequest included a slave.[16] In May 2018 the name was changed to the Coolidge Corner School pending a new name.[17] As of September, 2020, the school will be called the Florida Ruffin Ridley School following the vote of Town Meeting in November 2019.[18]

In popular cultureEdit

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]


  1. ^ a b "2017 Massachusetts School Report Card Overview". School and District Profiles. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Brookline Town Meeting votes to rename Devotion School". Retrieved 2018-05-30.
  3. ^ "1919 Proceedings of the Brookline Historical Society". Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  4. ^ "House website". Archived from the original on 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2006-04-03.
  5. ^ Brookline Historical Society website
  6. ^ "2013 Report Card - Coolidge Corner School (00460015)".
  7. ^
  8. ^ "October 15, 2015".
  9. ^
  10. ^ "School Administration / Administration".
  11. ^
  12. ^ Brookline (Mass.) (1875). Muddy River and Brookline records. 1634-1838. The Library of Congress. [Boston] J. E. Farwell & co., printers.
  13. ^ "Minutes of the Ad Hoc Task Force on School Names" (PDF). 2018-04-24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-09-11.
  14. ^ Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, National Park Service (2012). "Cultural Landscape Report for John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site" (PDF).
  15. ^ Photo-article showing Finkelstein with Devotion students
  16. ^ Murphy, Emma R. (Mar 14, 2018). "Brookline considers renaming Devotion School". Brookline TAB. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Brookline Votes To Change Name Of Devotion School". Archived from the original on 2018-09-11. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  18. ^ "Coolidge Corner School Renamed, Fossil Fuels Out In Brookline". Brookline, MA Patch. 2019-11-20. Retrieved 2019-11-21.

External linksEdit

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