State Marker Q-30 Intersection of
Commerce and 4th Street NW
The name Jefferson School has a long association with African American education in Charlottesville. It was first used in the 1860s in a Freedmen's Bureau school and then for a public grade school by 1894. Jefferson High School opened here in 1926 as the city's first high school for blacks, an early accredited black high school in Virginia. The facility became Jefferson Elementary School in 1951. In 1958, some current and former Jefferson students requested transfers to two white schools. The state closed the two white schools. Their reopening in 1959 began the process of desegregation in Charlottesville. Jefferson School housed many different educational programs after integrating in 1965.