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Beyond the Classroom: Exploring History Through Archival Research

Beyond the Classroom: Exploring History Through Archival Research

Seniors enrolled in American City: Rise, Fall, & Rebirth, a course designed and taught by Mr. Matthew Joyal '08, traveled to the Lawrence History Center (the former Immigrant City Archives) on Essex Street to tour the facility and collections.

This opportunity provides an important introduction to archival research.

On Thursday, November 4, and Friday, November 15, the 35 American City students worked with Collections Manager & Research Coordinator Amita Kiley and Head Researcher Kathy Flynn. 

The students were accompanied by Mr. Matthew Joyal '08 and Assistant Principal Mr. Andrew Murray on both days. Mr. Mark Svendsen, a CCHS teacher who sits on the Board of the Lawrence History Center and serves as treasurer, joined them on Friday,

The major purpose of the trip was to begin establishing connections that will contribute to the students' final projects. Their research will culminate in an original work of scholarship about a particular topic that relates to the City of Lawrence or the Merrimack Valley.

Students gathered around a table at the Lawrence History Center.

About American City: Rise, Fall, Rebirth

This full-year, senior Social Studies elective focuses on the urban and suburban history of the United States from the early-1800s to the Present. Students have opportunities to work closely with local historians and community leaders, particularly regarding the history of the City of Lawrence. Major topics addressed in this course include: industrialization, migration and immigration, public health and public safety, class formation and labor movements, political corruption and organized crime, suburbanization, urban planning, gentrification, and redevelopment.


Thank you to the Lawrence History Center for this wonderful opportunity!

Thank you to Mr. Matthew Joyal '08 and all of our faculty and staff for making these types of learning experiences possible and continuing to challenge students and enhance coursework by going beyond the classroom to offer additional perspectives and insights.

Central Catholic High School
A College Preparatory High School of Excellence in the Marist Tradition

Founded by the Marist Brothers in the heart of Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1935, Central Catholic High School enrolls 1,200 students from over 60 cities and towns and several countries. Students come from diverse backgrounds to form a caring community of faith, learning, and service. They advance to college in overwhelming numbers (nearly 100%) and move on to successful careers and positions of leadership in government, business, industry, academia, and professions.

Central Catholic High School is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

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Mission: Central Catholic High School makes Jesus known and loved.
We educate the whole person for college and for life, with particular care for the least favored and those in need.