Class of 1955 students created a plaque commemorating their time at George Washington Carver High School & Junior College. They held a dedication ceremony on June 16, which can be seen below.
George Washington Carver High School and Junior College was the high school for black students in Rockville prior to the integration of public schools, which occurred between 1955 and 1961. It replaced two earlier all-black high schools, the first founded in 1927. From that time until integration, there was only one high school for black students in all of Montgomery County, Maryland.
The first high school for black children originally opened in 1927 as Rockville Colored High School with 40 students. Built partly with money from the Julius Rosenwald Fund, the two-classroom building stood next to the two-room Rockville Colored Elementary School. Both were wooden buildings that shared one bathroom. The county did not initially provide transportation so parents and the black community pooled resources to buy a used bus.
In 1935, the school was replaced by a larger wooden building—covered with bricks to match white high schools—nearby in Rockville and was then known as Lincoln High School. It was soon overcrowded, just as the earlier, smaller high school became.
When built in 1950, George Washington Carver High School operated with roughly equal funding with the white schools and was fully accredited. A new brick building with eight classrooms on the first floor, and large science and home economics labs on the second floor, it offered junior college-level courses as well. This was the first post-high school opportunity for black children in Montgomery County, as Montgomery Junior College, located in Takoma Park, was for whites only. The Carver Class of 1960 was the school’s last, the first black elementary schools were closed in 1955 with the remainder by 1961.
(History and video courtesy of MCPS)