History of Thomas Dale

History of Thomas Dale

Jayda Benn

Have you ever wanted to know how our school came to be? Has it always been a school from the beginning? When was the beginning of Thomas Dale? In this article you’ll learn what you need to know about Thomas Dale and how it came to be what it is today.

The first full fledged high school in Chesterfield County Public Schools, what we now know as Thomas Dale, began around 1906.  In 1908 it was established by the state legislature as one of 10 “Agricultural High Schools” in Virginia, the school housed both elementary and high school students.  

The High School curriculum was divided into “academic” and “practical” students who decided to participate in the practical curriculum taking agriculture, mechanical, or home economics instead of a language.  Some students in the past even came from different places in Virginia and boarded with families living in Chesterfield county so they could attend the high school.

This school was demolished in 1949, and then it was changed to Thomas Dale between 1941-2.  The ninth graders attend school at the former Chester Middle School that was demolished in 2001 due to budget cuts.

After I was done with my research about how Thomas Dale came to be, I was left unsatisfied.  There is so much I still want to learn about Thomas Dale, things the student body might want to know about.  For example, how this school became the Specialty Center for the Arts, and what the process was for it to become that.  There was also no information of when this school integrated within the books or Thomas Dale website, which I thought would be important information to know about.

My final conclusion is I’d love for the website to be updated with other information about the programs we have within the school and how they came to be.  It’ll get more people to be interested in Dale and it’s history if they are able to learn about how their favorite school programs came to be, and how they evolved from what it was.