Carver High School & Junior College

The Heart of a Community 1951-1960 | Montgomery County, Maryland


1866: The first school for African American children, the Sharp Street School in Sandy Spring, opens with the financial and scholastic support of many Quakers, six years prior to the establishment of a public school system for African Americans in Maryland.

1896: The U.S. Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson confirms the doctrine of “separate but equal,” which in practice was certainly separate, but hardly equal.

1922: The county sets a school term of 161 days for African American schools and 190 days for White schools. Previously, African American schools opened later and/or closed earlier, depending on funds.

1926: The first of 15 “Rosenwald” schools is built for African American students in the county with money from a fund established by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald.

1927: The first county secondary school for African American students, Rockville Colored High School, opens for students in Grades 8-11. Prior to this, students who wanted to continue their education beyond Grade 7 had to go to another jurisdiction.

1935: Lincoln High School replaces Rockville Colored High School to serve Grades 8-11.

1937: The Board of Education agrees to abolish the practice of paying lower salaries to African American teachers than to White teachers. The county also equalizes the length of the school year for all schools about this time.

1944: The first group of students completes Grade 12 at Lincoln High School. Previously,
the county offered education only through Grade 11 for African American students.

1951: The county opens its first senior high school and first college for African American students, George Washington Carver High School and Junior College, in Rockville. Upon the opening of Carver, Lincoln becomes a junior high school for Grades 7-9.

1954: The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, declares the segregation of public schools unconstitutional.

1955: The Board adopts a policy on integration, and, assured by the state superintendent that the Supreme Court decision supersedes any state laws that prohibit integration, MCPS superintendent Forbes H. Norris gives the order to begin implementing the policy.

1956: Poolesville citizens argue against integration of their school before the Board. Parents who refuse to send their children to the newly integrated school relent after Norris threatens to take them to court for failure to comply with state attendance laws.

1957: The Board adopts the integration plan for 1957-58, which affects students in kindergarten through Grade 9 in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Montgomery Blair, Northwood, Wheaton, and Walter Johnson attendance areas.

1959: Margaret T. Jones is appointed the first African American principal of an all-White school, Bannockburn Elementary. Gerald G. Reymore is the first White principal of Rock Terrace Elementary, a school for African American children.

1960: Carver graduates its last class before closing as the last African American school in the county. All undergraduate students are assigned to integrated schools for the next year.

1961: Carver reopens to house the central administrative offices for the school system, a function it serves to this day.

2003: Carver High School and Junior College is designated a Rockville Historic District.

> Timeline

strides toward equality in education in the local Community

> Submit Reflection

send us a comment about the project or a reflection about Carver HS

> Visiting Carver

come and see our display at the historic Rockville MD building