• 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 Vocational School

  • 22nd & Broad streets (Old Bellevue School)

    The Richmond Vocational School was started by the School Board in July 1938, "after mature deliberations." The day program was housed in a remodeled school building (old Bellevue) and provided vocational training for out-of-school youth of high school age.

    In the first year, the school enrolled 220 trainees. Half that number had secured employment by the following year, as jobs were said to be waiting for those who could offer prospective employers the skills that were demanded by industry.

    More than two-thirds of the funds for this school came from the State Board of Education and local organizations like the Richmond Community Fund and the Citizens' Service Exchange. Sales and services at the school also provided some revenue. Equipment valued at several thousand dollars was acquired from various sources such as the Citizens' Service Exchange and the National Youth Administration.

    The Vocational School was under the direction of the Adult Education Department, and offered the following courses:

    • Art
    • Auto mechanics, body-fender work
    • Barbering
    • Beauty culture
    • Furniture repair and refinishing
    • Printing
      (Classes in electric refrigeration and hat making were discontinued.)

    When the Richmond Vocational School was closed in 1946, it had an enrollment of 15.