Built in 1926, the Jefferson School was Charlottesville’s first African American high school, and for decades it stood as a beacon within the black community. Students and families gathered to attend plays and meetings, use the library, and learn from teachers who seemed like family. Today the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center celebrates Charlottesville’s rich African American history and culture with historical and contemporary exhibitions as well as special events.

From Reconstruction to the Great Migration, from the Gilded Age to the Civil Rights Era, the Jefferson School has many stories to tell. We invite your students to walk the halls of the Jefferson School and learn how their community made history.

All students visiting the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center receive a guided tour of the historic building and its exhibitions. Our education department will work with you to create a field trip experience that complements your classroom curriculum. All K-12 field trips are free of charge.

To plan a field trip to the Jefferson School, contact us at:

(434) 260-8723



outdoor tour of JSAAHCIMG_1277