Devotion School (Ruffin Ridley School)

Three large school buildings arranged around historic house in courtyard
Three school buildings were built in 1892, 1898, and 1913, around the Edward Devotion House.

Brookline Historical Society

Quick Facts
345 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA
John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s elementary school

From kindergarten through third grade, John F. Kennedy attended his local public school, the Edward Devotion School, officially renamed the Florida Ruffin Ridley School in 2021.

This school had a promising reputation of academic excellence. By sending her children to this school, Mrs. Kennedy was allowing to become friends with all of the children in the neighborhood. As a young student here, Jack was a diligent reader and avidly read books, but would be known to zone out of focus, often staring off into space during class. His teachers hardly approved. One day, after school, Jack knew he was in trouble. His teacher was planning to walk to his house to tell his mother about his daydreaming habits. Jack quickly ran ahead of her, to speak with his mother before his teacher got to her. To defend himself, he told his mother, “You know, I’m getting on all right, and if you study too much, you’re liable to go crazy.”

At the Florida Ruffin Ridey School today, the students commemorate JFK. Each year, third graders spend time studying JFK and his legacy in Brookline and write about what JFK means to them.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site

Last updated: February 26, 2021