• Note: 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.

Richmond Normal School (City Normal School)

  • This school originally consisted of the post-graduate year of Richmond High School, located at 805 East Marshall Street (1877). It was specifically designed for those students who planned to become teachers; many of Richmond's most efficient elementary school teachers were said to have been trained here.

    When Dr. J.A.C. Chandler became Superintendent in 1909, he recommended the introduction of a two-year normal course, similar to that offered in the State Normal School at Farmville; it would be located in an elementary school. Accordingly, in February 1910, the course at Richmond High School was extended to two years and was known as the Teachers' Training Department. In 1911, two practice classes were added; the Teachers' Training Department moved to the new William Fox School and became the City Normal School. Fox School soon became crowded, and the Normal School was transferred first to Stonewall Jackson School (1915-19) and then to Robert E. Lee School (1919-26).

    Finally, a new building at Roseneath Road & Patterson Avenue was especially constructed to meet the needs of the Normal School and was occupied in 1926. School Architect Charles M. Robinson wrote: 'The latest successful innovation is to be found at the City Normal in the consultation room adjoining the classrooms and used for teacher training." The first year of the new three-year training course was completed in June 1930 with the first three-year graduates in June 1932. According to the 1933 annual report, it was here that "...the school did its most successful work with an able faculty, splendid equipment, and practice classes from Kindergarten to High School."

    In June 1932, due to the urgent need for revenue, the School Board instituted a Normal School tuition of $150. This income proved insufficient to meet the entire expense of conducting the school; consequently, in May 1933, the decision was made to discontinue the Normal School at the close of the session. The building on Patterson Avenue was then renamed Albert H. Hill School.

    Enrollment:
    1918-1919 25 (Normal School) + 469 (Elementary)
    1926-1927 109 (Normal School) + 871 (Elementary)

    Principal:
    1911-1918 Joseph H. Saunders
    1918-1920 Algar Woolfolk
    1920-1922 W. Daniel Ellis
    1922-1923 Coalter C. Hancock
    1923-1929 W. Daniel Ellis
    1929-1930 Horace R. Eckles
    1930-1933 W. Daniel Ellis

    See:
    William F. Fox School
    Albert H. Hill (Junior High) Middle School
    Stonewall Jackson School
    Robert E. Lee School