Timeline of Richmond Public Schools 1869 to 1960

 

 

1869

 

Richmond School System Founded

 

1870

 

. . . Advanced Grammar Grade was established,  which was really the high school in embryo.

 

1871

 

. . . confronted by an urgent need for teachers,  the board requested funds for a normal and high school. Accordingly,  the Richmond High School was established in rented rooms on Broad Street between Ninth and Tenth Streets. The principal,  William F. Fox,  and two teachers composed the faculty,  and there were forty-nine pupils. The course of study,  which covered three years,  was the same for all students.

 

1873

1 Oct

First High School Building,  805 E. Marshall St. 3-story building w/ 8 class rooms; 3rd floor was assembly hall. Building cost "40, 000,  capacity 274 pupils. Faculty consisted of principal,  3 teachers & enrollment was 76.

 

 

June

1st class "regularly" graduated. 6 boys & 8 girls.

 

1875

 

Senior pupils were employed as substitute teachers in the city schools.

1st High School

1881

 

Enrollment outgrew capacity of the building. Structure enlarged by adding 8 rooms & a basement. Popularity of school increased & rooms were added several times afterwards to "take care of growing enrollment".

 

1882

 

Faculty = 12 & enrollment = 393.

 

1884

 

A desire for a higher standard was manifested in 1884 by the substitution of fifty per enter instead of forty-five per cent as the minimum for promotion,  and in 1888 this was raised to sixty per cent.

 

1888

 

Minimum for promotion raised to 60 per cent

 

1883

ca

A year after becoming principal,  Mr. Bowles resigned to accept a position in a larger institution,  and Julian P. Thomas was elected principal.

 

1883

ca

Further expansion of curriculum. Phonography & typewriting introduced. Shortly afterward,  a 2 yr business course was established. "The superintendent recommended that,  in addition to the college preparatory,  business,  and post graduate courses,  a manual arts course for boys and girls be adopted. A full course at that time did not seem feasible,  but a partial compliance with the recommendation was made by the establishment,  in 1893,  of a course in cooking."

 

1893

 

Course in cooking established. Later discontinued due to lack of funds.

The John Marshall House and The Jefferson Club

1894

 

School overcrowded again & "the practice of renting outside rooms was begun. This continued until Juhe,  1909,  when the school occupied every available corner in three buildings: the high school building,  the John Marshall House,  and the old Jefferson Club."

 

1903

bef.

Before 1903,  it became evident to the School Board that the building at 805 East Marshall was hopelessly beyond improvement and totally unfit for a 20th century school.

 

1904

 

School Board obtained half of the lot on which the building "now stands". "Plans for the new school were submitted,  but before any work was begun,  the citizens headed by the School Board,  the Richmond Education Association,  and the daily press,  so vigorously pressed the question of securing the whole block,  bounded by Clay,  Marshall,  Eighth,  and Ninth Streets,  that in 1905 their efforts were crowned with success."

 

1903

 

Fall -- "Examinations were abolished for all except the graduating classes. The standard adopted for these classes was an average of 80% with a minimum of 70% on a subject."

 

1906

 

Spring -- "committee appointed by the board made a study of the standards of high schools throughout the State and reported the Richmond High School as among those requiring the highest standard."

 

1905

 

Only 2 courses in the school: regular 3 year course & 2 year business course.

 

1908

Spring

Ground broken for new building.

John Marshall High School

1909

Fall

cornerstone for new building laid.

 

1909

Sept.

building not quite complete,  but began being used. Before completion,  name was changed to "John Marshall High School"

 

1911

Feb.

. . . the plan of promoting students was put into effect. A pupil making 75% on a subject was advanced in that subject. The pupils became more interested in their work,  and the good results of the plan were immediately evident.

 

1912

Summer

. . . the vacation school was established so that pupils who so desired might have an opportunity to continue their work in the summer.

 

1911

Fall

Teachers' Training Dept. moved from the high school to the William F. Fox School,  and became the City Normal School.

 

1912

Fall

Library established & trained Librarian appointed. System of supplying free text books introduced. Spanished added to program of studies.

 

1926

 

In 1926 it came under the inspection of the Government,  and has been rated first in its class (55C schools) by Federal Inspection in 1927,  1928,  & 1929.

 

1918

 

In 1918,  during the Great War,  22 male teachers were furloughed for military duty,  & five hundred alumni of John Marshall were in the service.

 

1918

Fall

great influenza epidemic reached it's height." Richmond hospitals were overcrowded & more space was needed.

 

1918

4 Oct

School closed within 3 days,  desks had been removed & beds & patients admitted to the high school building. School held about 1, 000 patients. It was used as a hospital for a month.

 

1918

7 Nov

Building reopened for school purposes.

 

1920

 

Bronze tabled dedicated in memory of 16 alumni who "fell in the Great War". Tablet was gift from the Patriotic Society of the school."

 

1921

 

School was overcrowded again "and a two-session day was necessary. Pupils of the 3rd & 4th years attended from 8:20 a.m. until noon,  and those of the 1st & 2nd years from 12:30 to 4:10."

 

1928

Sept.

Enrollment had increased "to such an extent that a double session was necessary in George Wythe building."

 

1929

 

As the history of John Marshall High School is,  after all,  the history of secondary education in Richmond,  it is with great pleasure that we learn that the construction of a splendid new high school in the West End is now in progress. The new school will be occupied in September,  1930.

 

1960

June

John Marshall High School at Ninth and Marshall Streets Last graduating Class

 

1960

September

The present John Marshall and George Wythe High Schools opened on the Northside and Southside of the cityrespectively.