History of Horace Mann School

  • Founded in 1869, the Horace Mann School for the Deaf is the oldest public day school for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the United States and has a rich history of providing quality education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students.  Horace Mann School recognizes that communities of Deaf people share distinctive cultural and linguistic identities and that all Deaf and Hard of Hearing students have a right to appropriate learning environments and instructional methodologies that reflect individual learning styles that enable them to achieve their fullest potential.



  • 1869  The Boston School for Deaf-Mutes (now known as Horace Mann School for the Deaf), is founded under the direction of the Boston School Board.  It is the first free public day-school for the deaf ever established.

    1875  Outgrowing its accommodations in Pemberton Square, the school moves to a building on Warrenton Street. 

    1877  The Boston School committee votes to change the school's name to Horace Mann School, honoring a famous Massachusetts educator known for his work to improve schools and teaching. 

    1880  The first Horace Mann student is admitted to the North Bennet Street Industrial School.  The successful experience led to more students also being admitted in the following years, giving them the opportunity to develop manual training skills (sewing, cooking, woodworking and mechanical arts).

    1890  Transferring to a building at 178 Newbury Street in Back Bay, Boston, Horace Mann School now had rooms furnished for manual training.

    1929  Horace Mann School moves to a beautiful building on Kearsarge Avenue in Roxbury.

    1955  A nursery school is established at Horace Mann School, where children are admitted after two years of age.

    1963  The school forms an official basketball team, playing their first basketball game in the history of the school against Beverly School for the Deaf.

    1975  Relocating for a final time, Horace Mann School shares a building with the Jackson Mann School on Armington Street in Allston.

    1978  For the first time in its history, Horace Mann School is able to provide a full high school education and diploma for deaf students, and the first high school graduation is held in June of 1978.

    2019  Horace Mann School receives American Sign Language and English Dual Language Program Designation. 

    Today Located at 40 Armington Street in Allston, the Horace Mann School continues to provide quality education for deaf and hard of hearing students ages 3 to 22 in Boston and surrounding towns.