The Resource Portsmouth (Va.) Teachers' Registers, 1882-1955
- Portsmouth (Va.) Teachers' Registers, 1882-1955
- Inclusive dates
- African Americans -- Virginia | Portsmouth
- Portsmouth (Va.)
- Grade books -- Virginia | Portsmouth
- Local government records -- Virginia | Portsmouth
- School records -- Virginia | Portsmouth
- Schools -- Records and correspondence -- Virginia | Portsmouth
- Registers (lists) -- Virginia | Portsmouth
- Attendance records -- Virginia | Portsmouth
- Portsmouth (Va.) -- History
- Portsmouth (Va.) Teachers' Registers, 1882-1955, are volumes from both black and white schools recording student names, attendance, and grades. Directions for completing the registers are listed in the front matter; teachers were required to write neatly; use "good black ink"; and record the names of their pupils alphabetically, "the boys first." School holidays were carefully noted, including the funeral of Jefferson Davis (1889) and Decoration Day. Descriptions of the school buildings and lists of the textbooks were also recorded. Occasionally the volumes include lists of classroom visitors, indigent pupils, or student prizes for attendance and deportment
- School principal and teacher Willis A. Jenkins tucked a schedule of daily exercises in his 1886 register. The day began at 9:00 with roll call and included lessons in geography, grammar, calisthenics, physiology, arithmetic, history, and writing. Thirty minutes were allowed for lunch and recess combined
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- Portsmouth was located in Norfolk County, which is now extinct. It was named by its founder, William Crawford, for the English seaport and was established in 1752. Portsmouth was incorporated as a town in 1836 and as a city in 1858.
- The present public school system of Portsmouth came into being as the result of an act of the General Assembly, 1869-1870. Prior to this time, however, a system of primary schools had been established in the City as a result of an act of the General Assembly in 1846. This act established a system of "free education for all classes", but required the assent of two-thirds of the electorate of a county or city before it could be put into effect. In 1848, Portsmouth took advantage of this act by organizing a system of public education and electing a Board, which was given entire control of its affairs. These schools were open to all whites under certain conditions. A small tuition was required of all who were able to pay, the poorer children being cared for by funds received from the sale of the Glebe lands. There were two broad divisions in these schools corresponding somewhat to the present primary and grammar grade departments, with each further divided into male and female sections.
- White and black northern missionaries founded free public education for black students prior to the Civil War, although it was nothing like the system established by the government for white children. The first school constructed by the city for African American students was the Chestnut Street Colored School, built 1878 and run by principal Israel C. Norcom. Portsmouth city schools were integrated in 1962 following the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education (1954) and the subsequent negation by state and federal courts of Virginia's policy of massive resistance.
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