The Williams Elementary School traces its roots from the Auburndale School District 4 schoolhouse. According to1873 reports, the schools in Newton were divided into 11 districts, with about 2,100 students in all.
In the Newton School Committee records it is first called by name as Williams School in 1874. Prior to that time, the school in Auburndale was referred to as the “Auburndale Village” school. Along with Hamilton School it became part of District 1 in 1874.
The school was named for Thomas S. Williams (1812-1874), a lifelong resident of Auburndale who had a special enthusiasm for education. He was superintendent of the Boston and Maine Railroad. Thomas was a relative of Ephraim Williams, the founder of Williams College, also born in Newton.
The school is described in 1878 as having five rooms and 250 students in classes 1-9. In 1883 the first Williams School building was erected on Hancock Street, where the current playground stands today. It had eight classrooms. This building served the Williams community until 1950, when the current facility was built at 141 Grove Street. In the early 1900’s through the mid 1950’s Williams was part of the Burr District. Burr and Williams shared a principal up to that time. Finally, Williams got its own principal, Merton Tefft, and became totally independent of Burr.
In the 1980’s Williams was in danger of being closed due to declining enrollments and school consolidation. After a spirited effort by the Williams community, Williams was spared and continued to grow and thrive. The PTO built a new playground in 1995. A major building renovation was scheduled, which was completed in September of 2001. A new wing with three classrooms, a library, art room, and offices were added to the current building. In addition, the original auditorium was restored in full.
Today Williams thrives as a 21st century learning community. We are a K-5 school with a current enrollment of 306 students. We are a diverse community, with more than 20 languages spoken by our families and staff. Williams has participated in the METCO program since its inception in Newton in 1966. It is the goal of the Williams community that every child who comes through the school doors reaches their fullest potential as thinkers, learners and members of our society.