Burley High School

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Front view of Burley High School. Photo by WVIR.

Jackson P. Burley High School was an Albemarle County public high school that opened as in 1950 to educate African-American students.

The school was the result of a vote to consolidate Esmont High School, Jefferson High School and the Albemarle Training School. A city-county committee studied the idea in the summer of 1948. [1]

In the mid-20th century, Jackson P. Burley sold a 17-acre tract of land on Rose Hill Drive to the City of Charlottesville for the construction of a school for Black students from across the region. It is now Albemarle County's Burley Middle School. [2]

The school was repurposed and renamed Burley Middle School in 1974. The school's memory and legacy is curated and nurtured by the nonprofit Burley Varsity Club. [3] [4]

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A memorial to the school's status as the only area high school for African-Americans was dedicated in October 2017. The memorial lists the names of everyone who attended the school from 1951 to 1967. [5]

In October of 2020, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources added the school to the state's historic register.[6]

On September 6, 2011, Charlottesville granted the honorary street name "Jackson P. Burley" to the portion of Rose Hill Drive from Preston Avenue to Madison Avenue.[7] [8]


  1. Web. City-County White High SchoolsO Opposed by Survey Committee;Building Programs Suggested, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, June 2, 1948, retrieved October 16, 2017 from University of Virginia Library.
  2. Web. Honorary Street Name – Jackson P. Burley on Rose Hill Drive from Preston to Madison, James Tolbert, Director of Neighborhood Development Services, Staff Report, City of Charlottesville, September 6, 2011, retrieved January 3, 2021.
  3. Web. [1], retrieved October 31, 2012.
  4. Web. FACETIME- 42-year snooze: Burley Bears wake from hibernation, Lisa Provence, The Hook, May 21, 2009, printed issue 0820, retrieved Sep 26 2009.
  5. Web. Alumni Dedicate Monument to Preserve History of Burley Middle School, Staff Reports, News Article, WVIR NBC29, October 14, 2017, retrieved January 24, 2019.
  6. Web. Alumni reflect on educational experiences in Albemarle County during segregation, WVIR, 11/06/2020
  7. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, September 6, 2011.
  8. http://weblink.charlottesville.org/public/0/edoc/558321/2011-09-06.pdf