• Updated Feb. 18, 2020

     

    This timeline is an effort to capture various events throughout the history of primary and secondary schooling, particularly public education, in Guilford County. It is by no means an all-encompassing history but rather an attempt to highlight various events that shaped public education in our community or are examples of education of that period. 

     

    If you have additional items you would like to see added to this timeline – such as photos, exhibits, research and data – or if you have other information that adds more insight into the history of education and public schools in Guilford County, we would love to review it. Please send information to feedback@gcsnc.com.

     

    1767

    • Presbyterian Minister David Caldwell establishes the Log College near what is today Hobbs Road and Benjamin Parkway. Tuition is $10-$12 per year. Caldwell's teachings focus on law and his students include several future governors including North Carolina's Gov. John Motley Morehead.
    • Around this period Quakers open the first school in western Guilford County in the Deep River area of what is now the Deep River Friends Meeting House in High Point.

     

    1770

    • Guilford County, a “hot bed” for “Whigs,” “Regulators” and “revolution,” was established by an act of the General Assembly in New Bern by combining parts of Rowan and Orange Counties to separate the “insurgents” and leave them in one county. The County is named for Lord North, the Earl of Guilford.

     

    1774

    • Quakers in Guilford County free their slaves.

     

    1776

    • North Carolina State Constitution establishes the University of North Carolina and directs that “…a school or schools shall be established by the Legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters, paid by the public, as may enable them to instruct at low prices; and all useful learning shall be duly encouraged, and promoted, in one or more universities.”

    1781

    • One of the last major battles of the Revolutionary War occurs on the grounds of the Guilford Courthouse.

    1808

    • General Assembly passes act naming Greensborough as Guilford County’s new county seat.

     

    1810

    • S. Census reports for Greensboro 11,420 residents: 9,850 free whites; 1,467 enslaved people of color; 103 free people of color.
    • Greensborough Male Academy founded.

     

    Mid 1800s

    • Various communities begin opening subscriptions schools; small, one-room schools that parents paid a fee for their students to attend. Many of these schools will remain in place, though altered in form and function, into the 20th century.

     

    circa 1819

    • Quakers open a two-teacher school at the Indulged Meeting House. Boys and girls are taught at the school.

     

    1820

    • S. Census reports 14,511 residents: 12,692 free whites; 1,611 enslaved people of color; 208 free people of color.

     

    1821

    • Quakers open a school for African Americans, which closes after opposition by slave owners
    • Greensborough Female Academy founded.

     

    1824

    • Minister, physician and educator David Caldwell dies.

     

    1825

    • The State Legislature adopts The Literary Fund Law for the “common and convenient instruction of such white children as the legislature might hereafter deem expedient to educate” and creates the first state board to oversee education. (Noble, 1930).

     

    1830

    • S. Census reports for Greensboro 19,737 residents: 15,761 free whites; 2,594 enslaved people of color; 382 free people of color.
    • C. General Assembly makes it illegal to teach slaves to read, write or do math. Any white person convicted of breaking the law could be fined $100 - $200 and face possible jail time. For a freed slave the penalty included no fewer than 20 lashes of a whip and imprisonment.

     

    1836

    • The U.S. Congress distributes a surplus in the treasury based on North Carolina’s federal population, including 268,459 slaves, “not one of whom would ever have one cent of public money spent on him for any kind of education” (Noble, 1930).
    • The North Carolina General Assembly later used the same formula to distribute proceeds from the Literary Fund, or school tax, arguing that wealthier counties, because of slave labor, contributed more to the state’s ability to fund schools.

     

    1837

    • Greensboro incorporates and includes one square mile.
    • Quakers open New Garden Boarding School, which becomes Guilford College in 1888.
    • The North Carolina General Assembly adopts a resolution calling for a plan for a System of Common Schools for the state’s estimated 150,000 white children in 1,250 school districts.

     

    1838

    • Greensborough Female College (Greensboro College), founded by Methodists, receives charter.

     

    1839

    • C. General Assembly passes the Common Schools Act, which includes the state’s first school tax, and voters ratify it in all but seven counties. Guilford County voters strongly support the effort to enroll all white children, regardless of whether they were “rich or poor,” in tuition-free schools. The law organized a “uniform and state-wide system of elementary public instruction which should reach the children of all the white people of the state” (Noble, 1930).

     

    1841

    • July – It's believed Thomas F. Beattie opened Guilford County's first public school in his house, following passage of the Common Schools Act. He likely taught only white boys.

     

    1842

    • The county establishes its first school tax, 10 cents on the poll and five cents per $100 in property valuation.

     

    1845

    • Greensborough Female College Main Building completed.
    • The state legislature adopts an “Act to provide for the education and maintenance of the poor and destitute deaf-mutes and blind persons in the State” (Noble, 1930).

     

    1853

    • Oak Ridge Institute opens. The private school, located in the Oak Ridge community, would later become Oak Ridge Military Academy, a title which it operates under to this day.

     

    1852

    • Calvin Wiley becomes first state superintendent of schools.

     

    1853

    • Guilford County has 72 school districts with 5,989 children reported in residence. Only 545 students attend school for an average of four and one-half months. There are 90 schools for white children and 30 for black children.
    • Male teachers earn $17; female teachers earn $14. The county reports having 57 males and 19 females licensed to teach by the state.


    1856

    • First train arrives in Greensborough.

     

    1859

    • City of High Point incorporated.

    1861

    • Sterling, Campbell & Albright Co. begins publishing school textbooks for Confederate school systems.

     

    1861

    • Schools begin to close as the Civil War approaches and begins.


    1862

    • Future short story author William Sidney Porter (O. Henry) born September 11.

     

    1865

    • Civil War ends.

    1866

    • Laughlin Elementary first established as a “Sabbath School” at Peace Church. It continued to serve the community as a school until 2011 when GCS re-purposed the site as a professional development center.

     

    1867

    • Possibly the first public school in High Point opened by Solomon Blair on what is now Centennial Street near Washington Street .

    1868

    • North Carolina officially rejoins the United States of America.
    • The North Carolina Constitution establishes “a general and uniform system of Public Schools, wherein tuition shall be free of charge to all children of the State between the ages of six and twenty-one years.”

    1869

    • Public schools for white children reopen following the Civil War. Freedmen’s Bureau and Northern churches and charities open schools for black children.
    • Alonza B. Collis, an educator at a school for black children, is seized from his home, “cruelly beaten” and “whipped,” and told to leave the state for teaching “social equality” and “stirring up among the colored people antagonism against the whites” (Noble, 1930, p. 306).
    • The state legislature requires county commissioners to hire a county examiner to supervise local public schools.

     

    1870

    • Schools opened: Piney Grove and Oak Grove school in Fentress, Mendenhall and High Point schools in High Point, another school named Mendenhall in Deep River and Warnersville in Morehead, which serves black boys and girls. These schools are opened by their communities and those communities have most of the oversight of them but the Guilford County Commissioners controlled funding.
    • The City of Greensboro incorporated, and establishes The Greensboro Graded Schools in its charter. The new graded school, Lindsay State School, made by expanding a brick, one-room schoolhouse, opens in the fall with 200 children in eight grades, two teachers and one principal. It is the state’s first graded school for white children.
    • In graded schools, unlike those that came before, education and skill sets are broken into several levels, or grades.
    • Unlike charters in other North Carolina cities, no distinction is made in the Greensboro charter between the allocation of funds to white and “colored” schools. However, board minutes from this time period show that allocations indicate that significantly fewer dollars were spent on schools that served black children.

     

    1872

    • There are nine white, four-month schools and three white, two-month schools. There is one African-American, four-month school.
    • Guilford County teachers join four other North Carolina counties in forming an association to improve education, earning $50 from the Peabody Fund.

     

    1873

    • Bennett Seminary (Bennett College for Women) chartered as coeducational school to train African American women as teachers for black children.
    • The State Educational Association is organized in response to a resolution by the State Board of Education for a “meeting of the friends of education at Raleigh, July 9, 1873” (Noble, 1930, p. 373).


    1874

    • Of North Carolina’s estimated 369,960 children between the age of six and 21 years of age, only about 174,083 were in school, including about 55,000 black children.
    • The Greensboro charter is amended to designate property taxes to the use of public schools within city limits. Funding allocations vary by race.
    • Greensboro residents approve a special tax for the support of its public schools, with only eight voters dissenting.

     

    1875

    • An African American graded school, possibly the first in Greensboro, begins in a one-room church. That school would get a permanent school building in 1880 known as Percy Street School.
    • .R. Wharton is named the first superintendent of the three Greensboro Graded Schools for white children; later he is elected County Supervisor of Schools. He reports that 95 percent of white children ages six to 16 residing within city limits are in school.

     

    1877

    • The North Carolina legislature adopts a Constitutional Amendment legalizing separate but equal schools: “And the children of the white race and the children of the colored race shall be taught in separate public schools, but there shall be no discrimination made in favor of, or to the prejudice of, either race.”
    • The state legislature also adopts an “Act to Establish Normal Schools” in connection with a University to “train young men of the white race” to become teachers of “common schools in the state.” (Noble, 1930, p. 411).
    • Legislation is later added to provide “Colored Normal Schools” for the training of young men of the colored race” to teach in “colored schools.” Low pay for teachers discouraged young men of color from enrolling, however.
    • The State Board of Education decides to open the normal schools to women, including UNCG.

     

     

    1879

    • The state’s public school law is amended to allow county commissioners to submit a special tax for local schools to qualified voters to “enable either race to vote separately a school tax in a district to the exclusion of the other race” (Noble, 1930, p. 386).
    • Salaries for third grade teachers were set at $15 per month, while second grade teachers could earn up to $25 per month. Salaries for teachers of color were lower than for white teachers.

     

    1880

    • Local tax supplement funds 120 days of public school instruction.
    • 1,383 school districts in North Carolina still lack schoolhouses for white or black children.

     

    circa 1881

    • Legislature establishes county school superintendents. Jesse R. Wharton becomes first Guilford County Superintendent of Schools. The position is primarily responsible for guiding curriculum and managing the school tax fund.
    • The hiring and firing of teachers and principals of schools and most other school-based decisions remained in the hands of the local community. This management system would continue mostly unchanged but not without strife well into the 20th Century.

     

    1883

    • Guilford County adopts graded school legislation modeled on those approved by Goldsboro and Durham to ensure that special taxes for schools, including “taxes paid on white property and polls should be applied exclusively to the support of white schools only, and that the taxes paid on colored property and polls should be applied to the maintenance of colored schools only” (Noble, 1930, p. 406).

    1885

    • State legislature establishes boards of education. Guilford County's first board consisted of three white men, Professor J.A. Holt, Dr. J.A. McLean and Dr. Nereus Mendenhall.
    • Pruett vs. Commissioners of Gaston tests the “legality of the race distinction in the law of 1883” (Noble, 1930, p. 395).

     

    1887

    • There are 98 schools in the county, 75 serving white students and 23 serving black students.

     

    1890

    • S. Congress enacts the Second Morrill Act, mandating a “separate college for the colored race.”

     

    1891

    • The Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race is established in Raleigh as an annex to Shaw University.
    • The college is moved to Greensboro, thanks to the advocacy and leadership of DeWitt Clinton Benbow, Charles H. Moore and other local citizens.

     

    1891

    • Greensboro voters approve financial incentives for N.C. A&T State University and UNCG.
    • Newspaper editors coin the nickname The Gate City, referring to city’s many railroad lines.

     

    1892

    • Two brick schools for African-Americans are built in Guilford County. The schools are the first brick schools for black students in the state.
    • After a long campaign led by Dr. Charles Duncan McIver, North Carolina’s first tuition-free normal school opens in Greensboro to train white women as teachers and to “give instruction in drawing, telegraphy, typewriting, stenography, and other such industrial arts as might be suitable to their sex and conducive to their support and usefulness” (Noble, 1930, p. 438).
    • The Normal and Industrial School later became the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).
    • The first African American women were not admitted to UNCG until 1956; the first African-American men were admitted in 1964.

     

    1896

    • Proximity School opens near Greensboro but outside of the city limits to serve the children of white Proximity mill workers.

     

    1897

    • High Point City Schools’ first school board sworn in. Mayor W. G. Bradshaw, W.P. Pickett, J.A. Lindsay, D.A. Stanton, J. Elwood Cox, D.C. Aldridge, William Tate, T.A. Snow, W.H. Snow, Fred N. Tate, W.H. Ragan, J.C. Welch. First Superintendent, George H. Crowell
    • City of High Point's first public graded school for white students opens at what was going to be the Cox Granite Mansion on Green Street and South Main Street. About 350 students enroll.
    • The first public graded school for black students opens at the High Point Normal and Industrial Institute with about 169 students attending.


    1898

    • Revolution Mill opens.
    • Educator Booker T. Washington speaks at NC A&T State University.
    • Southern leaders and Northern philanthropists start meeting annually to improve education in the region. The meetings become known as at the Conference for Education in the South.

     

    1899

    • Typhoid epidemic kills 14 at UNCG, school closes temporarily
    • Superintendent George A. Grimsley buys St. Agnes Catholic Church to add high school courses for white students who attend Lindsay Street School.

     

    1902

    • Having outgrown the capacity of the High Point Normal & Industrial Institute, an African-American school established by the Quakers, families in the southern area of the city open Fairview School to serve black students and adults.
    • In Hooker v. Town of Greenville, the Supreme Court of North Carolina requires equal appropriations for blacks and whites.
    • Charlotte Hawkins Brown opens the Palmer Memorial Institute as a mission school in Sedalia for black girls after hosting concerts and other fundraisers.
    • 87 white schools open, 24 black schools open in the Guilford County school system.

     

    1903

    • July – Thomas A. Sharpe is appointed superintendent to finish out Wharton's term. Wharton steps down due to health issues.

     

    1904

    • September – Thomas Roswell Foust named superintendent of Guilford County Schools. The brother of Julius Foust, president of Women's College which later became UNC Greensboro, Thomas Foust would remain superintendent until 1945.
    • Revolution (Cotton Mill) School opened by mill to serve the children of its white employees.

     

    1905

    • In Lowery v. School Trustees of Kernersville, the Supreme Court of North Carolina overturns Hooker decision requiring equal funding for black and white students.

     

    1906

    • Greensboro City Schools enrollment is 2,092 students. Average daily attendance is 1,438 white, 376 black

     

    1907

    • Guilford County Board of Education announces the locations of the first high schools for white students. Jamestown, which would serve the western area, and Pleasant Garden, which would serve the east. These would be additions to schools that already existed in these communities. The Pleasant Garden school had already established some high school courses for students.
    • County provides some high school courses for black students.
    • January – Report to Greensboro school board notes low attendance due to families making children work during the holiday season.

     

    1908

    • The state superintendent approves a third Guilford County high school, this one is built in Monticello to serve white students.


    1908

    • Greensboro celebrates Centennial.
    • Journalist Edward R. Murrow born in southern Guilford County.


    1909

    • Local educator Charlotte Hawkins Brown founds N.C. Federation of Negro Women’s Clubs.

     

    1911

    • A fourth high school is approved to serve white children in the Summerfield community.

     

    1911-1914

    • Dorms are added to the Jamestown and Monticello schools for white students because transportation is so difficult.

     

    1913

    • About 40-50 percent of all Guilford County children attending school, only slightly better than prior to the Civil War. The county school board lobbies the state General Assembly to make school attendance compulsory. Later that year state law passes requiring all children 8-12 years old attend school for four months each year.

     

    1915

    • School enrollment is up to 74 percent of all children and attendance is up to 70 percent.
    • State legislators change the name of the Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race in Greensboro to the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina.

    1916

    • Possibly the first “bus” routes begin in the county. The county board hires a driver to transport children from the Sunnyside community to the Bessemer school. Two years later the Bessemer and Fentress communities buy two “auto wagons” to bus their children to school. By 1933, the county school system operated 107 trucks for busing about 5,000 students. It was the largest fleet in the state.

     

    1917

    • High school opened to serve white students in the Bessemer area, including Gilmer and West Jefferson townships.

     

    1918

    • Spanish influenza outbreak closes many public places including schools and churches.

     

    1919

    • Whitsett area high school opens for white students. The normal school for white women in Greensboro changes its name to the North Carolina College for Women.

    1920s

    • Four schools in the High Point township, known as “free schools,” operated by the county join High Point City Schools. Mechanicsville, Oak Hill, Welch and Highland. Springfield school remains under county school board. City schools opening include Emma Blair School, Leonard Street School and Ray Street School.
    • County school board buys 60 toilets for schools.

     

    1921

    • There are 123 school districts – communities with schools – in North Carolina. 88 serve white students and 35 serve black students.

     

    1921

    • Lindsay Street School PTA opens first school cafeteria in the state.

     

    1921 – 1925

    • Busy period of new school construction for the county school district. New schools for white students included Alamance, Busick, Colfax, Gibsonville, Guilford, McLeansville, Nathanael Greene, Rankin, Stokesdale, Sumner, Summerfield, while Woodyside, Brown Summit and Gibsonville opened for black students. Charles D. McIver School, which opened in 1923, is pictured below (Contributed by: Edward Allred)

     McIver School

    1924

    • Wingate Andrews named High Point City Schools fourth superintendent.
    • Schools in African-American communities include Oak Ridge, Goshen, Stony Hill, Mt. Tabor, Red Hill, Florence, Jamestown, Poplar, Zion Hill and Jonesboro.

     

    1925

    • High Point City Schools buys 42 acres between Jones Street (Ferndale Boulevard) and Chestnut Street for a large, central high school. High Point Senior (Central) High School opens in the fall of 1927 for white students.
    • County school system opens new school for white students on Church Street Extension and names it after the county's first superintendent, Jesse Wharton.

     

    1926

    • 6 – Greensboro School District chartered by Guilford County Board of Education. Among the Greensboro school board's first tasks was selecting a site for a new senior high school for white students.
    • Greensboro Public Library launches first bookmobile in South.

     

    1926

    • April - Greensboro Board of Education requests a merger with the county board. The merger works as a system within a system and the city schools retain their own superintendent. Many families from both school systems protest the move and by June, 1927 the merger is dissolved.

     

    1927

    • Black schools of Florence, Jamestown, Poplar and Zion Hill consolidate with the opening of the brick Florence school, among the first such structures in the state to serve black students.
    • December – Pomona School burns. The school was in disrepair and scheduled to be replaced the following year. Students were moved to Central High School, Charles D. McIver School and the Pomona plant.

     

    1928 – 1929

    • Schools built; Allen Jay, Brightwood, Florence, Oak View and Union Hill. Union Hill will be rebuilt and reopened in 2009.

     

    1928

    • Proximity community opens a second school, the most modern school in the county
    • James B. Dudley High School opens for black students.


    1929Grimsley High

    • Greensboro Senior High School (Grimsley) opens for white students.

     

    1931

    • Emancipation Day celebration includes downtown parade and pageant at Dudley High School.
    • Bessemer School gets first gym in county.
    • The Great Depression sets in, straining the school districts. Superintendent Andrews warns the High Point school board they may not be able to meet payroll for the year. The Greensboro and High Point school systems pay teachers in scrips, essentially vouchers that drew interest for businesses that accepted them.

     

    1932

    • High Point Junior High School opens for white students. Later becomes Ferndale Middle School.
    • The North Carolina College for Women becomes the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina. Only white women are able to enroll.

     

    1934

    • Greensboro school board creates vocational education program for the unemployed.
    • Greensboro School District employs 288 teachers.

     

    1935

    • Ceasar Cone Elementary School opens to serve the children of mill employees.
    • Greensboro Senior High School football team becomes co-champions of the Class A Championship of North Carolina.

     

    1936

    • April 1-2 Deadly tornado rips through Greensboro killing several and injuring as many as 144 people and causing millions of dollars in damage including extensive damage to Washington Street School.
    • August Ben L. Smith named superintendent of Greensboro School District.
    • Greensboro Senior High School football team becomes co-champions of the Class A Championship of North Carolina.
    • High Point Senior High graduate Harry Williamson competes in the Olympics in Berlin.

     

    1937

    • Bennett College students boycott downtown Greensboro theaters, protesting theaters’ practice of editing films to downplay the roles of black actors.
    • J. (Tony) Simeon takes a position at High Point Senior High, beginning a career that lasts into the 1970s. He won four state basketball championships and made the championships another three times. Simeon also co-founded, with coach and educator Bob Jamieson of Grimsley High School, the North Carolina Coaches Association and the East-West All Star Games.

     

    1939

    • Graduation requirements closely resemble those of today: 120 credit hours including four English, American History and general science. Students could also receive a half credit for earning First Class Rank as a Boy Scout and a full credit for Eagle Scout Rank
    • The Rock Gym at Allen Jay School is built as a Works Progress Administration project using rocks gathered by local residents and wooden beams. In 2012 the gym was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

     

    1940

    • Greensboro school board approves leasing a portion of the Gillespie Park School to the city for a new municipal golf course funded in part through the Works Progress Administration.
    • October – Greensboro Senior High School vault is robbed of $150 and three radios.
    • Greensboro Schools Superintendent Ben L. Smith defends widely-used textbooks written by Dr. Harold Rugg. Some, including many business leaders and chambers of commerce, claimed the textbooks were subversive and promoted communism.

     

    1941 – 1945 World War II

    • Perhaps as an indication of how unprepared the nation was for just how extensive our involvement in World War II would be, in April the Greensboro Board of Education approves a measure allowing students to postpone graduation, as long as it doesn't cause classes to be congested
    • In January 1942, just weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the school board approved a written request to Selective Service asking that a man's occupation be considered when drafting into the military because so many teachers and principals were being taken.
    • Classes directed at the war effort are incorporated including wartime citizenship, pre-flight training, military drill.

     

    1943

    • High Life, the Greensboro Senior High School newspaper, wins awards from the Columbia Press Association contest.
    • Greensboro school board approves awarding high school credit to students for military training.

     

    1944

    • Auto mechanic shop class created at Dudley High School as part of the war effort.

     

    1945

    • Cone Mills community annexed – by request – into Greensboro City Schools. Schools included Proximity, Ceasar Cone, Edgeville and East White Oak.
    • December, fire destroys main building of Alamance school, no one injured
    • March 22 – Eleanor Roosevelt speaks at Bennett College.

     

    1947

    • Class developed for disabled children at Cloverdale School in High Point. It is the first of its kind in the state.
    • High Point Rotary, city and PTA fund drivers’ education program at High Point Senior High School. Possibly the first drivers’ education program in North Carolina .

     

    1948

    • August – Schools open late due to Polio epidemic concerns.

     

    1949

    • November, fire destroys main building of McLeansville school.
    • P. Pearce Jr. becomes the county school district's first Director of Instructional Services. Pearce becomes superintendent in 1958 and holds the position until 1978. He is popularly recognized as one of the most influential educators in the county's history. Pearce Elementary was named in his honor in 2007.

     

    Late 1940s – Early 1950s

    • A period of busy construction, with amenities like gyms, athletic fields, cafeterias, auditoriums and additional classrooms added. Schools included Sumner, Gibsonville, Bessemer, Summerfield, Guilford, Colfax and Brightwood.

    1950

    • Cerebral Palsy School (now Gateway) opens in Greensboro.
    • Six Greensboro city elementary schools for white children are among only 10 accredited by the state.
    • Several Greensboro city schools for black children, particularly Dudley High School, are considered among the best in the state for children of color.

     

    1951

    • Edward M. Burke of Gibsonville becomes the first woman elected to Guilford County’s Board of Education.

     

    1952

    • High Point City Schools Superintendent Charles F. Carroll becomes state superintendent, replaced by Dean B. Purette who held the position until 1975.

     

    1953

    • Hallie Bacelli, the county district's director of libraries, begins an effort to establish a library in all county schools.

    1954

    • May, 17 – Brown v. Board of Education declares “separate but equal” schools unconstitutional.
    • The City of Greensboro Board of Education adopts a resolution to implement the Supreme Court decision. Board Chairman Hudgins urged the school board to “furnish leadership in the way we approach this problem” “not only to the community but to the state and to the South.”
    • Greensboro city schools do not desegregate until under federal court order in 1971.

     

    1955

    • Jamestown High School Band performs at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla.
    • Bond approved for major construction plans including the Lucy Coffin Ragsdale High School in Jamestown. This is the only million-dollar school construction project in the county system. The school opened in September, 1959, for white students only.

     

    1956

    • September 8 – North Carolina voters in all 100 counties approve referendum on the Pearsall Plan, which provided publicly funded “freedom of choice grants” for white parents and their children to attend private schools rather than desegregated public schools. The plan also legalized the closing of public schools.
    • The first women of color are admitted to the Women’s College of Greensboro.

     

    1957

    • Greensboro city limits extended to more than 49 square miles
    • Natural Science Center opens as Greensboro Junior Museum
    • Six African American students attend previously all-white schools for the first time in Greensboro. Josephine Boyd enrolled in Greensboro Senior High School (Grimsley High) and Harold David, Elijah Herring, Jr. and Russell Herring entered Gillespie Junior High. Brenda Kay Florence and Jimmie B. Florence enrolled in Gillespie Elementary.
    • Greensboro's Superintendent Ben L. Smith had a cross burned on his lawn and Josephine Boyd endured considerable ridicule.


    1958

    • Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks at Bennett College.
    • Page High School opens to relieve over-crowding at Greensboro Senior High.


    1959

    • Miriam Lynn Fountain, 11th grader at High Point Senior High School, and her sister Brenda Jean Fountain, at High Point Junior High, are the first black students to attend a white school in High Point. Other African-American families requested transfers but were denied. The Fountain sisters were escorted to school after the school day began and through a side entrance by Superintendent Dean Pruette, Rev. J. Elton Cox and their cousin Dr. Perry Little. Little would later serve as a High Point school board member.


    1960

    • 1 – Four NC A&T State University freshmen, including two Dudley High School graduates, begin sit-in protest at Woolworth's lunch counter, launching change across the South; local counters desegregate on July 25. Dudley High School students joined the protest on Feb. 2.
    • 11 – students at William Penn High School (formally the High Point Normal & Industrial Institute for black students) hold first sit-in led by high school students at a local Woolworth's
    • William Penn High wins two football and a basketball championship during the decade.
    • Charlotte Hawkins dies after graduating more than 1,000 students during her 50-year tenure as founder and president of the Palmer Institute, a fully accredited college preparatory school for black girls and women.

    1962

    • Northeast, Northwest and Southeast high schools opened, consolidating several high school programs and meeting with extensive popular opposition.
    • Greensboro school board renames Greensboro Senior High after former Superintendent Grimsley. Some in the community protest the decision.
    • 19 black students attend formerly all-white schools in Greensboro.

     

    1963

    • More than 200 black students now attend formerly all-white schools in Greensboro.
    • The Women’s College changes its name to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

     

    1964

    • Civil Rights Act enacted, strengthening desegregation of schools by denying federal funds to school districts that refuse to integrate schools.
    • Ben L. Smith High School opens.

     

    1965

    • The U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare (HEW) determines that Greensboro’s school desegregation plan is “inadequate” but “negotiable.” Plan is ultimately approved.

     

    1964

    • UNCG becomes co-educational and accepts men, including men of color, for the first time.

     

    1966

    • High Point school board votes to close the all-black William Penn High School, moving the students to newly opened Northeast Senior High (now T. Wingate Andrews High) in an effort to promote integration.

     

    1967-1968

    • Only two schools in the county school system had entirely white student bodies but several all-black schools remained. There are no entirely black faculties.
    • Sam Buford, an African-American principal of Penn High School, named principal of Andrews High, but not without public opposition.
    • The state elevates Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina to university status.


    1969

    • Protests over student body elections at Dudley High School spread to NCA&T State University campus; National Guard called in and one student is killed.
    • The U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare determines that Greensboro City Schools are out of compliance with Brown; District Court rules that High Point must desegregate.
    • Greensboro Superintendent Philip J. Weaver refuses to write an integration plan, arguing that the district is in compliance. The school board appeals HEW’s ruling; local NAACP leaders call for Weaver to resign.

     

    1970

    • Notre Dame High School in Greensboro is razed.
    • George Simkins and 10 other African American parents file lawsuit demanding immediate school desegregation against the Greensboro city school system. GCS later names a new school in his honor in 2014.
    • UNCG-run Curry School, which served as learning lab for new teachers, closes after 77 years.
    • City of High Point public schools are ruled in compliance with Brown.

     

    1971

    • Greensboro integrates public schools through federal order, becoming one of the last five cities in North Carolina to do so. A massive crowd turns out against the effort at a May school board meeting.
    • Future astronaut Ronald McNair graduates from NC A&T State University. McNair later dies in the 1980 Challenger space shuttle explosion. In 2011 the school board names Ronald McNair Elementary School in his honor.
    • A fire burns parts of Proximity School. No one is hurt.
    • Greensboro City Schools are ruled in compliance with Brown.
    • In Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the Supreme Court of the United States rules that busing may be used to desegregate schools.

     

    1972

     

    • C. A&T State University becomes a constituent university of the University of North Carolina.

     

    1974

    • Walter Johnson becomes first African American to chair Greensboro Board of Education.
    • Racial tensions lead to disruptions at Grimsley High School.

    1975

    • S. Supreme Court upholds public school authority to administer corporal punishment after hearing a case involving Gibsonville school parent Virginia Baker who sued her son's teacher, principal and Superintendent E.P. Pearce over a spanking her son received
    • High Point voters approve referendum to end school board appointed by city council and elect the board instead.

     

    1976

    • Safety Town program launched to teach children traffic safety.

     

    1978

    • Discussion begins about a possible merger between the three public school systems (City of Greensboro, City of High Point, Guilford County) serving Guilford County.

     

    1979

    • William Penn School in High Point added to the National Register of Historic Places.

     

    1981

    • Computers added at all four county school district high schools and several elementary and middle schools.
    • Northeast High History teacher and former Philadelphia Eagles player Bob Owens creates first Students Against Drunk Driving chapter in Guilford County. Reader's Digest magazine would signal out the organization in 1986 for its work.

     

    1982

    • Debate about merging the county, Greensboro and High Point school districts intensifies with the appointment of a 20-person committee by the Guilford County Commissioners to research the impact of funding the three separate systems.
    • James Mebane becomes the first African-American elected to the Guilford County Board of Education. He would later become the first African-American chairman of the board.

     

    1983

    • A Greensboro News & Record poll finds 59 percent of city residents oppose merging the county's three school systems. 80 percent opposed the idea in High Point and 78 percent of residents outside of the cities opposed it.
    • A North Carolina school finance study commission hears from Jay Robinson, Charlotte-Mecklenburg superintendent, who notes, if not for the merger …”we’d have had a black city school system and a white county school system.”

     
    1987

    • NCCJ launches AnyTown ® youth leadership program to combat bias, bigotry and racism. GCS students participate.
    • High Point and Greensboro school boards present a merger plan to County Commissioners. The county school board rejects the plan but merger efforts continue into the next decade

     

    1990

    • A student-built miniature golf course opens at Southern Guilford High. About 100 students spent more than 1,100 hours building the nine-hole course, which was designed especially for students with disabilities.
    • The county school board considers a “revolutionary” computer system that would automate the teacher substitution process.
    • More than 2,00 Greensboro City and Guilford County Schools kindergartners and first graders participate in the “Draw Your Dream House contest sponsored by the Greensboro Board of Realtors.

     

    1991

    • November - Guilford County voters approve merger of three school systems.

    1993

    • Guilford County Schools is created by merging Greensboro City Schools, High Point City Schools and Guilford County Schools.
    • The new school system encompasses 645.7 square miles and includes 11 cities and towns, and seven universities and colleges.
    • Jerry Weast becomes the first superintendent of the new Guilford County Schools, a position he holds until 1999. The merger is later considered the most successful such effort in the United States.
    • Children of color become the majority of students served in the combined district.

     

    1995

    • Grimsley High begins the county's first International Baccalaureate program. High Point Central offers the program the following year.

     

    1996

    • Pilot Elementary opens. It is the first new school opened in the county in 17 years.
    • 6 – 11.5 inches of snow falls closing schools for a week. Guilford County Schools is featured in a New York Times article about the district's efforts to improve education.

     

    1997

    • Hundreds of families vie for seats in one of the county's 11 magnet school programs.
    • With crowding at some schools reaching unmanageable levels, redistricting planning cranks up.
    • The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation of Greater Greensboro awards the school district a $1 million grant to expand Paideia teacher training. Guilford County schools have for years embraced Paideia teaching, 31 of the 50 Paideia schools in the country are in Guilford County at the time.

     

    1998

    • School district officials and families struggle with meeting court orders for racially balanced and neighborhood focused schools as neighborhoods and communities remain identifiable by race and class.

     

    1999

    • Terry Grier is named Superintendent of Schools and oversees the rapid expansion of visionary programs, including magnet schools, middle/early colleges, the growth of Advanced Placement courses and the creation of more International Baccalaureate programs.

     

    2001

    • Guilford County Schools opens the first middle college high school programs in the state at GTCC and Greensboro College.

     

    2002

    • President George W. Bush signs his sweeping education reform plan, No Child Left Behind, into law.
    • Guilford County Schools opens Early College at Guilford (College), the state's first early college high school.

     

    2003

    • Guilford County voters approve $300 million schools construction package. The bond approval end a 30-year drought in which no bonds were passed to support school facilities in the three districts (City of Greensboro, City of High Point and Guilford County) prior to merger and during the first 10 years following merger.
    • Six Guilford County high school students score a perfect 1600 on their SAT: Adam Sheppard, Grimsley, Jonathan Brentnell, Ragsdale, Ben Beasley, Northwest, Andrew Shoffner, Northwest, Mark Edmonson, Northwest and Kate Scott, Page

     

    2004

    • Academic improvements at Hunter Elementary are touted as an example of what can be done when a community comes together. Dozens of volunteers work at the school including parents, retirees and college students. In 2002-2003 school year, more than 88 percent of students pass state tests.

     

    2005

    • School board discontinues a high school reassignment plan that families, especially those in the High Point area, opposed.

     

    2006

    • 18 – President George W. Bush delivers speech at Falkener Elementary School promoting No Child Left Behind.
    • Guilford County Public School enrollment numbers 68,722.
    • 1 – Fire destroys Eastern Guilford County High School. No one is injured. Investigation determines arson was the cause; the case is never solved. The new Eastern opens for the spring term of 2009.
    • The district’s graduation rate is 74 percent.

     

    2007

    • Representing the world’s diversity, GCS’ 70,409 students speak more than 70 world languages or dialects.
    • The district’s student poverty rate, as measured by the percentage who qualify for the federal free or reduced price lunch program, is 48.65 percent.
    • Businesses for Excellence in Education donates nearly $500,000 to support GCS schools.
    • Reedy Fork Elementary Its construction and amenities represent some of the most advanced environmentally “green” technology implemented in school construction in the country.
    • GCS starts Home Field Advantage program to provide more stability in school assignment for homeless students.
    • GCS starts the Twilight School program, serving students within a few credits of graduating, but who have demonstrated difficulties completing high school requirements in a traditional setting. The program provides smaller classroom sizes and later instructional hours to attend to the unique needs of the student population.
    • Terry Grier resigns to become superintendent of the Houston public schools. Sharon Ozment and Dr. Eric Becoats are named co-interim superintendents.

     

    2008

    • Voters approve historic $457 million bond proposal to improve existing school facilities and build new schools.
    • The package contains 27 projects, which include five new schools and more than 6,500 new student seats. Thirteen schools will receive major renovations and additions. Of the prioritized list of projects, 93.5 percent of the request relieves overcrowding, 3.5 percent targets repairs and renovations and 3 percent is for district-wide improvements to heating and air conditioning systems.
    • Maurice “Mo” Green, a Duke University-trained attorney and former deputy superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, is named Superintendent of Schools. Green is the first African-American and first non-educator to serve in this capacity.
    • Guilford County Board of Commissioners name November 6 “Dot Kearns Day” in honor of school board member and long-time education advocate Dot Kearns.
    • The Great Recession begins, resulting in mid-year budget cuts in state funding to local public schools.

     

    2009

    • 8 – President Barack Obama plans to deliver a speech specifically to the nation's children using technology. Every Guilford County public school tunes into the speech. Some parents refuse to send their children to school or insist on alternative assignments during the speech rather than have their children hear from President Obama.
    • Superintendent Green rolls out the district’s first strategic plan after conducting a countywide listening and learning tour. The plan focuses on improving academic achievement, character and service, parent engagement and operations.
    • Superintendent Green reorganizes the district into regions while carving more than $1.6 million from central office expenditures.
    • As part of its strategic plan to expand visual and performing arts opportunities for students, the district creates its first Summer Arts Institute.
    • $265.8 million in bond projects are completed or underway. GCS budget is $677.5 million.
    • The district launches Energy Wise to encourage students to analyze and reduce school energy consumption. Program is replicated statewide and nationally.
    • GCS celebrates the first graduates of its Alternative Certification Track (ACT) program. GCS ACT is the only program in the state to offer lateral entry candidates an in-house teacher preparation program that leads to licensure.
    • Weaver Academy, The Middle College at GTCC-Jamestown and The Early College at Guilford are three of only seven schools in the state to reach 100 percent graduation rates. Northwest High is one of the top two schools with 500 or more graduating seniors. Overall, GCS’ 2008-09 graduation rate was 79.9 percent.
    • Northeast High gym named after longtime educator and faculty member, John Primm.
    • The Early College at Guilford ranks No. 19 and Weaver Academy ranks 81 on Newsweek's top 100 high schools.

     

    2010

    • The state legislature lifts the 100-school cap on charter schools, triggering rapid growth in this sector.
    • The Schott Foundation for Public Education finds GCS had one of the 10 best graduation rates for black males in the nation among large school districts, according to data from the 2007-08 school year.
    • The space shuttle Endeavour carries an experiment designed by nine Mendenhall Middle School students. The experiment studied the effects of weightlessness on the growth of brine shrimp. Private funding underwrote the costs.
    • The State Board of Education approves an allocation of $16.8 million in Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCB) for GCS as part of the federal stimulus legislation, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).
    • Thanks to ARRA funding, GCS starts work on 28 maintenance projects in 24 schools not included in the 2008 bond program. Funding included $3 million for window and door replacements, $3 million for roof repairs/replacements and $10.8 million for HVAC system improvements.
    • Renovations begin at Southeast Middle and High Schools, Southwest High, and Summerfield Elementary. The projects were part of the 2008 school construction bond.
    • GCS opens the Meredith Leigh Haynes – Bennie Lee Inman Education Center, a state-of-the-art facility for children with disabilities. New Jamestown Middle School opens.
    • GCS’ Twilight School expands from 80 to 100 students in the second semester.
    • The Council of the Great City Schools finds that federal stimulus (ARRA) funds provided relief to GCS in the 2009-10 school year, saving as many as 964 full-time and part-time jobs.
    • Superintendent Green challenges students to read more books outside of school time, setting a goal of 1 million books; students respond by reading more than 1.9 million.
    • GCS increases its graduation rate for the fourth year in a row to 80.7 percent. Five of the district schools celebrate 100 percent graduation rates.
    • Northwood Elementary, Ferndale Middle and Hairston Middle schools receive IB World School authorization from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization.
    • GCS graduating seniors earn more than $110.5 million in scholarships, up $31 million from the 2009-10 school year.
    • State Superintendent June Atkinson presents Triangle Lake Montessori teacher Kimberly James with the 2010 Milken Family Foundation Educator Award. James was one of only 55 teachers nationally to receive the award.
    • GCS students, teachers, administrators and central office employees raise $50,759.95 for the district’s Operation HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) campaign. The campaign supported disaster relief after a devastating earthquake in Haiti.
    • Five GCS choice schools are recognized nationally by Magnet Schools of America. Johnson Street Global Studies was among a select group named Schools of Excellence. Jones Spanish Immersion Elementary, The Early College at Guilford, Weaver Academy and Washington Elementary were named Schools of Distinction.

     

    2011

    • Student enrollment reaches 72,196 K-12; the student poverty rate is now 55.15 percent. Schools serve students from 100 different countries who speak more than 123 world languages or dialects.
    • About 40.8 percent of students are black; 37.9 percent are white; 11.2 percent are Hispanic; 5.7 percent Asian. The rest identify as multi-racial, American Indian or Pacific Islander.
    • GCS reports a dropout rate of just 2.8 percent, the lowest since 1999.
    • Thanks to $860,000 in private funding, Guilford Parent Academy debuts with nearly 2,000 parents registering on the website and about 5,000 attending events in its first year of operation.
    • A new, nine-district electoral map is implemented for the Board of Education.
    • Volunteers log more than 367,000 hours of service to GCS, contributing $7.8 million at an estimated rate of $21.36 per hour. Community partners contributed more than $1.4 million in goods, services and donations to support school initiatives.
    • Oak Hill Elementary increases its composite score on state reading and math tests by 19.4 percentage points; three years earlier the school was listed among the lowest achieving in the state.
    • The Guilford County Board of Education approves a change to the student assignment boundary for Colfax Elementary to help ease overcrowding at Southwest and Pearce Elementary Schools.
    • For the first time, the district honored students who completed 50 hours of community service tied to academic content. 440 students earned the inaugural Service-Learning Exemplary Award.
    • GCS opens its seventh early/middle college and 122nd school – The Middle College at UNCG, thanks to about $800,000 in private donations that were used as start-up money.
    • The district adopts a $659.5 million budget for the 2007-08 school year. The district now maintains more than 9.4 million square feet of facilities on a capital outlay budget of $11.6 million.
    • The U.S. Department of Education selects Brown Summit Middle as a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School.
    • Renovations begin at Ragsdale High.
    • Wiley Elementary begins a new extended year schedule, starting school 10 days earlier than schools on a traditional calendar, made possible by a $2.4 million School Improvement Grant.
    • Guilford Parent Academy hosts its first Family Fun Day – a healthy family celebration – at Smith High School. More than 621 parents attend.
    • Students read 2.6 million books as part of the superintendent’s “One Million Books” challenge.
    • The district’s high school graduation rate rose to 83.1 percent. Eight GCS schools achieved 100 percent graduation rates while six schools posted graduation rates between 90 and 99 percent.
    • The Class of 2011 earned a record $121.7 million in college scholarships and grants, an increase of about $11 million over 2010. 53 seniors were named Named Merit Commended Students;
      29 seniors were named National Merit Scholars; 28 were named National Merit Semi Finalists and 26 were named National Merit Finalists.
    • More than 1,000 seniors earned AP Scholar recognition for earning scores of three or higher on at least three AP exams during their high school careers; 35 seniors earned the highest honor – National AP Scholar – by earning a four or higher on eight or more exams.
    • The district’s performance composite score on standardized state tests increased from 73.2 percent to 74.5 percent, while the number of schools with performance composites under 50 percent proficiency decreased from 30 to one.
    • 14 schools were named Honor Schools of Excellence or Schools of Excellence, the highest categories recognized by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, with 90 to 100 percent of students at those schools earning passing scores on state exams.
    • Jennifer Arberg, a teacher at Kiser Middle, was named district Teacher of the Year. Patrice Faison, principal at Oak Hill Elementary School, was named Principal of the Year.
    • Newsweek names Early College at Guilford one of the best high schools in the country, ranking 19th in the nation. Penn-Griffin School of the Arts (22) and Weaver Academy (87) made the top 100 in the country. Of the 21 North Carolina schools on the list, seven were GCS schools.
    • Kirkman Park Elementary wins the prestigious statewide “Spirit of North Carolina” award by the United Way for its outstanding campaign.
    • The Middle College at Bennett receives the North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s Lighthouse School Award.

     

    2012

    • GCS operates 124 schools and 337 buildings and serves 72,585 students K-12. More than half (56.6 percent) of the district’s students qualify for free- or reduced-price meals, a common indicator of poverty.
    • Students enroll from 95 different countries and speak more than 117 world languages and dialects. The district has 9,486 fulltime and 918 part-time employees.
    • The district is awarded a record-breaking $35.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support personalized learning in 24 middle schools and related strategic plan initiatives.
    • Montlieu Academy in High Point receives $750,000 in funding from business and community leaders to pilot one-to-one learning.
    • GCS’ performance composite scores on state tests increases to 75.9 percent, with 20 schools posting proficiency rates of 90 percent or higher, 10 with 90 to 95 percent, seven with 95 to 99 percent, and three with 100 percent proficiency rates.
    • Six GCS high schools achieve 100 percent graduation rates for the 2011-12 school year and another school was among the highest in the state based on its size. Overall, the 2011-12 graduation rate for GCS increased to 84.5 percent.
    • 19 schools are named Honor Schools of Excellence by the state, up from just one in 2008. An additional 27 schools are designated as Schools of Distinction.
    • The U.S. Department of Education names The Academy at Smith and The Middle College at Bennett as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools.
    • Sharon Ozment retires from her post as the district's chief financial officer. Ozment spent 38 years with the district during which she served as interim superintendent and earned a reputation as strong financial leader with a heart focused on students
    • The STEM Early College at N.C. A&T welcomes its first class, thanks in large measure to $1 million in private funding secured by Chancellor Harold L. Martin and Superintendent Green. Those students join the all-boys Middle College at N.C. A&T established in 2003.
    • 580 graduating seniors qualify for annual Cool to Be Smart event by passing at least five qualifying AP/IB exams or qualifying college courses with a B or better.
    • GCS Teacher of the Year Karyn Dickerson earns Regional and State Teacher of the Year recognition.
    • Guilford Parent Academy hosts its first Family Fun Day at Camp Weaver; more than 5,000 participated, representing a 900 percent increase in attendance from the 2011 family event.
    • WFMY TV partners with GCS to start Read2Succeed, which promotes reading for fun and learning through a weekly program and high-energy school visits. PSA debuts during local Super Bowl broadcast.
    • Patrice Faison, principal of Oak Hill Elementary, is named the North Carolina Principal of the Year.
    • The new Ronald E. McNair Elementary opened, welcoming 510 students. The students have to start the year at neighboring elementary schools due to construction delays.
    • The Board of County Commissioners approve the transfer of more than $6.2 million funds remaining from the 2000 and 2003 school bonds, as well as the funds needed to modify Laughlin Primary to become a professional development center for GCS employees.
    • Dudley High holds its football season opener in a newly constructed athletic complex that includes a new stadium, football field, track and field house.
    • GCS creates its second early college, The STEM Early College at N.C. A&T State University. The school focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. This new addition brings the district’s total number of schools to 123.
    • Southeast High celebrates the completion of renovations funded by 2008 School Bonds.
    • The class of 2012 was offered a total of $139,050,955 in scholarships and grants, smashing last year's previous record amount of $121,752,804 by more than $17 million. GCS’ graduation rate is now at 84.5 percent.

     

    2013

    • The district’s 10,408 employees serve 72,388 students K-12 as well as about 2,000 in pre-kindergarten in 126 schools and 340 buildings. The district’s budget is $680.7 million.
    • Students now represent 95 different countries and speak more than 117 world languages or dialects.
    • GCS is named a North Carolina and National School District of Character, and earns the 2013 United Way Spirit of North Carolina Award for raising a total of $374,013, including $39,382 by students.
    • Four schools – Southern High, Southern Middle, Southwest Middle and Colfax Elementary – are named North Carolina Schools of Character.
    • Students post more than 638,000 hours of service learning and more than 400 students earn Service Learning Diplomas.
    • The Class of 2013 had a graduation rate of 86.2 percent, exceeding the 2013 state average of 82.5. The graduates earn $126,579,480 in scholarship offers and grants.
    • The Personalized Achievement, Curriculum and Environment (PACE) Schools project, funded by a federal grant that put tablets in the hands of 15,000 middle school students and staff members.
    • Program is suspended just weeks later after devices malfunctioned; program later becomes the only successful restart nationwide after several high profile, large-scale technology initiatives fail. .
    • The Ellison Foundation and Philips Foundation pledge $1 million to support the creation of a new magnet school in High Point that uses movement, chant, rhyme, music and other creative techniques to engage students in learning.
    • The new school, the Allen Jay Middle School: A Preparatory Academy, opens later that school year in temporary quarters, sharing space with Welborn Middle School while awaiting bond-financed renovations to its permanent home.
    • The district partners with Children’s Defense Fund, Greensboro College and the McAlister Foundation to start a Freedom School to stem summer learning losses.
    • Students respond to Superintendent Green’s challenge to read more books by logging more than 3 million, bring the three-year total to nearly 8 million books.
    • In January, Pat McCrory (R), a graduate of Lucy Ragsdale High School in Jamestown, is sworn- in as North Carolina’s 74th Governor after winning the election in November of 2012.
    • Community members, parents, foundations and philanthropies donate $4 million in private contributions and in-kind donations to support GCS students and schools.
    • 15 students re named National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists; 19 members of the Class of 2013 received their high school diploma and an associate degree.
    • Grimsley High teacher Karyn Dickerson is named North Carolina Teacher of the Year.
    • Thanks to funding from the Cemala Foundation and Philips Foundation, the district launches a new partnership with Teach For America to place 30 new recruits in high-need secondary schools.
    • The Middle College at N.C. A&T joins the elite ranks of the nation’s highest performing schools as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School.
    • The Guilford County Board of Education approved a list of priority construction projects totaling nearly $80 million.
    • GCS opens two new schools to serve exceptional children formerly attending the McIver school: Herbin-Metz Education Center in Greensboro and Chris Greene Education Center in Jamestown.
    • The Common Core State Standards debut in North Carolina, along with new standardized state tests. Test scores drop across the state and nationwide. In GCS, the student performance composite on state tests drops from 75.9 percent in 2012 to 46.3 percent in 2013.

     

     

    2014

    • The district serves 72,192 K-12 students, as well as Pre-K students with 10,256 employees.
    • GCS graduation rate reaches 88.5 percent, and exceeds the 2014 state average of 83.8 percent. Seven schools post 100 percent graduation rates, the most of any other district statewide.
    • The African-American Male Initiative starts in three schools – Parkview Village Elementary, Ferndale Middle and High Point Central High – to focus on improving academic achievement in reading and reducing disparities in discipline, particularly in and out of school suspensions.
    • Lost instructional days in pilot schools drop by 49 percent as compared to a 4.7 percent drop for African American males districtwide. A similar effort targeting literacy in six elementary schools did not post significant increases, however.
    • The district debuts North Carolina’s first Advanced Placement Capstone Academy, located at Western Guilford High School.
    • Students read more than 222,670,354 minutes as part of a new challenge issued by the superintendent.
    • 15 high schools make the 2014 Washington Post’s America’s Most Challenging High Schools list. GCS schools also took 4 of the top 10 spots in the state.
    • 7 percent of the graduating class took at least one AP, IB or college-level course and 33 percent passed at least one AP or IB exam, or earned a B or better in a college-level course.
    • Eugene Grant, a Southeast High School mathematics teacher, is named Teacher of the Year. Ged O’Donnell, principal of Montlieu Academy, is named Principal of the Year.
    • Thurman Haynes, a 96-year-old volunteer at Haynes-Inman education Center, is recognized as the oldest volunteer in the district. He later goes on to win state and national recognition.
    • All four of North Carolina’s 2014 State Schools of Character come from GCS: Colfax Elementary, Southern Middle, Southern High and Southwest Middle. Colfax Elementary, Southern Middle and Southwest Middle also earn 2014 National Schools of Character recognition..
    • The Guilford County Board of Education files a lawsuit in Guilford County Superior Court, alleging the state legislature’s retroactive invalidation of contractual teacher tenure rights granted by GCS and other local school boards is unconstitutional. In May, a Wake County judge rules in the board’s favor.
    • The new Simkins Elementary School opens for more than 400 students. The school is named after Dr. George C. Simkins Jr, a longtime civil rights activist from Greensboro who was president of the local NAACP chapter from 1959 to 1984.

     

    2015

    • GCS serves 71,908 students K-12 and 73,407 students Pre-K in 127 schools with a total budget of about $701,783,597.
    • The district graduation rate reaches 85.4 percent.
    • The district is named the next Say Yes to Education community after local philanthropists and foundations pledge more than $45 million to provide “last dollar” tuition scholarships for college for graduating seniors from Guilford County public high schools.
    • Approximately 67 percent of GCS students are considered low-income based on Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) data as well as the number of students who qualify for free and reduced meals.
    • Superintendent Green receives the Thurgood Marshall 2015 Esther Award from the Welfare Reform League in Greensboro.
    • GCS Board of Education and Administration receive a prestigious Profiles in Courage Award from the Council of Great City Schools.
    • Board Chairman Alan W. Duncan receives the Dr. I. Beverly Lake Public Service Award from the North Carolina Bar Association.
    • In December, Superintendent Green announces resignation to serve as Executive Director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem. Board begins search for a new superintendent.
    • Approximately $342.6 million in bond projects have been completed.
    • Duke University’s prestigious Trinity Scholarship is awarded to only three students in North Carolina – all from GCS.
    • More than 530 graduating seniors qualify for the district’s annual Cool to Be Smart celebration by earning passing scores on at least five AP/IB exams, or a B or better in at least five qualifying college courses.
    • The graduating class earns more than $156 million in scholarship offers and grants.
    • An outside financial review by Schoolhouse Partners and Say Yes to Education indicates that 95.9 percent of total district spending from 2011 to 2015 focused on program expenses, including providing direct services to students, training or supervising teachers, curriculum purchases and development, and operating and managing school campuses.
    • The United Way of North Carolina names Guilford County Schools and Pearce Elementary 2014 Spirit of North Carolina Award winners.
    • Brooks Global Studies, Joyner Elementary and the Middle College at Bennet earn North Carolina Schools of Character recognition. Nine others receive honorable mentions.
    • S. News and World report ranks The Early College at Guilford ranked second in the state and 40thbest high school in the country. The school was also named seventh best high school in the nation for STEM education. Weaver Academy is ranked as the fourth best high school in North Carolina and 100th in the nation. Penn-Griffin School for the Arts ranked eighth in the state, 240th in the nation and 46th best magnet school in the country.
    • The Guilford County Board of Education joins dozens of other North Carolina school districts that are suing the state for more than $46 million that should have gone to public schools from certain motor vehicle violation fines.
    • The Town of Summerfield places a historical marker commemorating the site of the original Laughlin Elementary School outside of what is now the Laughlin Professional Development Center. Laughlin was first established as a “Sabbath School” at Peace Church in 1866, and continued to serve the community as a school until 2011 when GCS repurposed the site as a professional development center.

     

    2016

     

    • Nora K. Carr and Dr. Terrence Young are named co-interim superintendents. The Guilford County Board of Education hires North Carolina School Boards Association to conduct national search for a new leader.
    • GCS serves 71,747 students K-12 and 73,306 PreK-13 during the 2016-17 school year. GCS students speak more than 105 world languages. The top five languages other than English include Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Vietnamese and Karen.
    • The district serves 2,640 homeless students; approximately 62.3 percent of all students are considered economically disadvantaged; 2,640 are homeless. Students of color (66.6 percent) make up the majority of those enrolled. The graduation rate is 89.4 percent.
    • GCS operates 127 schools in 340 school and administrative buildings with an average age of 51 years. The district now maintains more than 12,538,725 square feet.
    • The number of nationally board-certified teachers reaches 774, ranking the district ninth in the country.
    • Twenty-three Guilford County high schools rank among the best in the country for preparing students for college and career according to two new reports from U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post.
    • GCS students record more than one million hours of service-learning since the program began in 2009, contributing an estimated economic impact of $21 million to the community. Four schools earn North Carolina and National School of Character recognition.
    • The United Way of North Carolina names Guilford County Schools and Pearce Elementary 2015 Spirit of North Carolina Award winners.
    • GCS students earn a record $160 million in college scholarship offers and grants.
    • The district receives more than $3.1 million in goods, services and cash donations from local businesses, foundations and community members.
    • 92 percent of parents say they plan to re-enroll their children in a GCS school next year, and 90 percent say GCS has good programs for gifted or advanced learners on an annual survey conducted by an outside group and paid for by the business community.
    • Nearly 83 percent of all schools meet or exceed expected growth, up from 67.2 percent in 2012-13 when the state put higher standards in place, and exceeding the 73.6 percent of all schools in North Carolina.
    • Sharon L. Contreras, Ph.D., is named Superintendent of Schools. A former teacher, principal, chief academic officer and superintendent with experience in multiple states, Dr. Contreras becomes the first woman of color and first Latina to serve in the district’s top post.
    • Superintendent Contreras launches districtwide “Listen and Learn” Tour, visiting hundreds of schools and classrooms, attending dozens of parent, staff and community meetings, and hosting 11 community input sessions with Board of Education members. Input is also gathered from an online survey.
    • Superintendent Contreras convenes a 95-member Transition Team of local parents, educators, community members and national education experts to analyze district results and make recommendations for improvement. Their report serves as the foundation of the 2022 strategic plan.
    • The Early College at Guilford is named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • GCS and High Point University win an $888,116 grant to create a Principal Leadership Academy for aspiring school leaders.
    • Four GCS schools are named State Schools of Character; Three are named National Schools of Character.
    • GCS seniors earn $160.8 million in college scholarships and grants..
    • 778 graduating seniors qualify for Cool to be Smart recognition, up from 679 in 2015, by earning college credit on 5 or more AP/IB exams or earning a B a better in equivalent college classes.
    • Krista Hannah of Ferndale Middle School is named Teacher of the Year; Kevin Wheat of Allen Jay Middle is named Principal of the Year.
    • In December, the district installs a new, nine-member school board, which was elected on a partisan basis for the first time in November. Alan W. Duncan is elected chair of the new board Darlene Garrett is elected vice-chair.
    • 1,462 seniors earn Service Learning recognition, or about 26 percent of the graduating class. 814 seniors earn Service Learning Diplomas for giving 250 hours or more of voluntary service to their communities while working on academically oriented projects. GCS students complete 338,669 hours of service.
    • Bond projects at Dudley High, Northwood Elementary, Northwest High, Allen Jay Middle and Southeast High are completed. Construction begins on the last four of nine original priority projects at Smith High, Dudley High, Western High and Guilford Middle.
    • GCS football coaches receive additional training on safety techniques to become Heads Up Certified from USA Football as concerns about head injuries grow.
    • GCS expands participation in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to get a clearer picture of the district’s strengths and challenges.
    • Western High’s AP Capstone program celebrates its first graduating class.
    • The Academy at Central is renamed the Dorothy “Dot” Kearns Academy in honor of longtime High Point school board member and public school advocate.

     

    2017

    • GCS moves from a system of four geographic regions to 12 learning areas. Each learning area is supervised by a school support officer (SSO). The new structure, which aligns to extensive research regarding effective schools and instructional leadership, will provide greater support to principals as the district works together to improve learning and life outcomes for all children.
    • Sixth-grade students are now allowed to play on GCS middle school sport teams, with the exception of football, following a change in policy from the state board of education.
    • GCS students post a record-high graduation rate of 89.8 percent.
    • Data analysis underscores existence of disparities, disproportionalities and gaps between students of color and their white peers (all subjects and grades), discipline, special education, honors, and AP/IB enrollment.
    • Students at The Early College at Guilford post the highest SAT scores of any public high school in the Triad and the second highest in the state with a combined score of 1404. The STEM Early College at North Carolina A&T State University was in the state’s Top 10 with a combined score of 1,231.
    • Aycock Middle School is renamed after Dr. Melvin C. Swann Jr. Swann worked as an educator in Guilford County for 36 years, serving as a teacher, administrator and was the first deputy superintendent of the newly merged Guilford County School district in 1993.
    • The Say Yes Guilford Scholarship Board announces it will tighten eligibility requirements and cap scholarship awards for public colleges and universities, based on income and years attending GCS.
    • Western High officially dedicates its new gymnasium and multipurpose room, a project that began in 2016 as one of nine priority projects for the district, and the new media center and cafeteria open at High Point Central High.
    • Johncarlos Miller, newly appointed principal of Grimsley High School, is named Principal of the Year for his previous work at Weaver Academy of Visual and Performing Arts and Career and Technical Education.
    • Alan W. Duncan is re-elected chairman of the board. Deena A. Hayes is elected vice-chairman and becomes the first woman of color to hold this position since the three districts were merged in 1993.
    • The new Hunter Elementary School opens for the 2017-18 school year.
    • GCS selected to participate in the Sprint 1 Million Project, providing 2,500 smart phones to eligible GCS ninth grade students, allowing them to access the internet at home.
    • Districtwide, 86.3 percent of schools met or exceeded student growth targets in 2017, a growth of 3.4 percentage points over 2016. GCS also set a new graduation rate record, with 89.8 percent.

     

     

    Bibliography

     

    Arnett, Ethel Stephens. For Whom Our Public Schools Were Named, Greensboro, North Carolina. Greensboro, N.C.: Piedmont Press, 1973.

     

    Batchelor, John E. The Guilford County Schools: A History. Winston-Salem, N.C.: John F. Blair, 1991.

     

    Chafe, William H. Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black Struggle for Freedom. Oxford University Press, New York, 1981.

     

    Greensboro Historical Museum. 130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro, N.C. Phone: (336) 373-2043.

     

    Guilford County Schools. 712 North Eugene Street, Greensboro, N.C. Phone (336) 370-8100.

    • Annual Reports 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016.

     

    Hawkins, K. & Dowell, C. “Desegregation and Integration of Greensboro’s Public Schools, 1954-1974,”Retrieved from www.uncg.edu

     

    High Point Enterprise. 210 Church Avenue, High Point, N.C. Phone: (336) 888-3500.

    News and Observer, “School Mixing Total in 43 NC Counties,” August 8, 1968.

     

    High Point Museum. 1859 East Lexington Avenue, High Point, N.C. Phone (336) 885-1859.

     

    Love, Bayard. “Groundwater Analysis: Examining the Prevalence of Racial Inequity in Guilford County Schools.” Prepared for the Guilford County Board of Education’s Achievement Gap Committee.  Greensboro, NC, 2017.

     

    News & Record (Greensboro). 200 East Market Street, Greensboro, N.C. Phone: (336) 373-7000.

     

    Noble, M.C.S. A History of the Public Schools in North Carolina. The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1930.

     

    Pierce, Michael G. History of the High Point Public Schools 1897-1993. Charlotte, N.C.: High Point Public Schools, 1993.

     

    Stockaru, Sallie W. The History of Guilford County. Guilford College. 1902.

     

    University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Civil Rights in Greensboro, www.uncg.edu