Rock Hill Academy

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Rock Hill Academy was a private white high school that was located near McIntire Park in Charlottesville. It was one of several white-only schools founded by the Charlottesville Educational Foundation and the Parents' Committee for Emergency Schooling in Charlottesville in 1959, when city schools were closed rather than comply with federal orders to desegregate following the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling. The academy was closed in 1979.


In 1958, federal courts ordered Charlottesville's public high schools, Jackson P. Burley High School and Lane High School, to integrate in the aftermath of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Despite being one of the more liberal communities in Virginia at that time, the city instead chose to close its schools as part of a political strategy known as "Massive resistance."[1] Concerned white citizens had established local State Sovereignty Commissions such as the Charlottesville Education Foundation and the Parents' Committee for Emergency Schooling whose goals were the preservation of segregation in schools within their region. Rock Hill Academy was founded by these organizations as a white high school to serve the area, alongside Robert E. Lee School which served as the local white elementary school.[2] The academy was eventually shut down in 1979, with its campus being taken over by the now defunct-Heritage Christian Academy.

Academic Information

Rock Hill Academy served as the local high school for white students in grades 8-12. A large portion of tuition at the school was covered by state grants, with endowments of this nature being upheld by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in 1964.[3] The first wave of students had been granted vouchers by the state to attend the academy while the public schools were closed at the time. The academy was headed by Principal William Story throughout the majority of its 20-year existence, a man who had previously served as superintendent of schools in the city of South Norfolk before that community was merged into the city of Norfolk.[4]

External links

Geographic map showing location of former school

  1. Web. [ Christ Episcopal Church Amidst Massive Resistance: A Theological Examination of Christian Duty], Project on Lived Theology, 03/07/2003
  2. Web. A Virginian's boyhood during segregation, Press-Republican, 11/04/2016
  3. Web. Text of Supreme court's Decision ordering Virginia County to Reopen Its Schools, New York Times, 05/26/1964
  4. Web. Interview with Judge Barry Marshall, Virginia Center for Digital History, University of Virginia, 2000