RPS: A Mini History: Bits & Pieces

Much of the history of the Richmond Public Schools was recorded in the context of a segregated society, and the reader should readily discern between pre- and post-desegregation observations. The terms "black," "colored," "Negro," and "white" in this booklet should not be considered offensive as they have been used according to the custom of the particular period. Since 1962, the division has omitted such racial designations from its reports and publications.

Randolph (Junior High) School / Randolph Special Education / Opportunity Center 300 South Randolph Street (Corner of Randolph Street & Chaffin Street/Grayland Avenue)

Randolph School was named for the adjacent street which, in turn, was named for a prominent family of Randolphs who lived in the neighborhood. The first public school in this area was -in rented quarters. As the city moved westward, Madison School served the neighborhood. When a school was built at this site in 1896, it was immediately filled to capacity. An addition was erected in 1902, and more land was purchased for playground space; the play space was enlarged again in 1922-23.

The students were relocated to Madison and Stonewall Jackson in 1929, and Randolph was converted to a colored school. A twelve-room addition, partially funded by a U. S. government grant, was made in 1936; another addition was made in 1952.

The seventh grade pupils were transferred to Moore School for many years, but the 1952 addition allowed seventh and eighth graders to remain at Randolph in a junior high school organization. The growth of the Negro community produced crowded conditions although West End School (1954) and Maymont School (1957) relieved Randolph of a large part of its enrollment. The ninth grade was added to the junior high school in September 1961. From 1967 until it was discontinued in 1970, Randolph housed junior high school grades only.

Randolph Special Education/Opportunity Center operated a secondary EMR program from 1970 until mid-year 1973-74, when the students were transferred to Chandler Special Education Center.

Randolph was declared surplus to the City, July 18, 1974; it was subsequently sold and privately rehabilitated as apartments for the elderly.

Enrollment: 1895-1896 495
  1928-1929 122 (final white)
  1953-1954 1,327
  1954-1955 216 junior high + 799 elementary
  1966-1967 648 (grades 7-9) + 398 (Junior Primary-grade 3)
Architect: 1952 Addition Merrill C. Lee
Cost: 1902 Addition $ 20,511 (including furniture)
  1936 Addition $ 65,400
  1952 Addition 327,884
Principals: 1896-1905 Samuel D. Turner
  1905-1928 W. H. Cooke
  1928-1929 Martha LaTouche
  1929-1944 Lulie F. Jones
  1944-1954 Charles Julius E. Burrell
  1954-1955 James Harry Williams
  1955-1970 Joseph Rodman Ransome (Acting 1955-56)
  1970-1974 Murrell Hampton Winfree
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