Washington High School
In 1866, Brewer came to Raleigh for the AMA to help educate black people that have been freed from slavery. There were 5 African American schools, and Washington School was one of the schools, it held all its classes in an old church building. This school started in the autumn of 1866. Brewer’s sister (Adele Brewer) taught classes as a African American teacher for the AMA, possessing the name of Washington School. Adele continue to teach blacks in some rented space while Fisk worked very hard to get a dedicated school building constructed. The AMA bought 6 acres of land between McDowell and Manly Streets. With financial help from the Raleigh Education Association and some labor from some students and parents they built a school. The city of Raleigh added Washington School to the public school system in the early 1880’s.
By the 1910’s, parents of Washington students began lobbying for a new public funded school building to replace the 19th century structure. In April 1922, some of the voters expressed their favor for their children’s welfare by giving a million dollar bond to build new schools. The new Washington school had more rooms that the other school did not have. Such as a cafeteria, and labs for biology, physics, and chemistry.
Washington had 30 classrooms and 14 of them were for the 465 high school students which had about 33 students per classrooms in 1926-1927. Washington built a 14 room addition in 1927 to more effectively divide the high and elementary sections. By the 1939-1940 school year 717 high school students attended classes at Washington plus all the elementary students. The faculty there included 27 black high school teachers and 21 black elementary school teachers.
The school board told the public that they would make a African American high school before 1947. This did not happen until 1950’s. The last graduating class of Washington High School was in 1953. In 1971, Washington was a racially integrated 6th grade center. It was the largest 6th grade center in that year . Officials anticipated that 70% of the 660 students from West Raleigh. The school and system came together in 1976 and Washington became part of WCPSS or Wake County Public School System
Washington High School
1000 Fayetteville Street
Raleigh, North Carolina
Opened 1923 - Closed 1953
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