Peeking Into the Past: When was 12th grade added?

Published 4:57 pm Monday, August 14, 2023

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During the early 1900s, most students in high schools in North Carolina graduated after the 11th grade.

During the 1920s and early 1930s, a few school systems around the state began to add a 12th grade, but the depression made it difficult for many of the smaller school systems to afford to add this additional grade.

On March 14, 1938, the Albemarle City Schools board voted that the students that would be completing the 11th grade that year would have the option to either graduate or they could return for the 1938-39 school year and graduate as part of an added 12th grade. Eleventh graders during 1938-39 would also be allowed to graduate, so there were actually two graduating classes during this and the following several years.

In 1942 the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation that required all schools to add a 12th grade, but the school systems were given time to implement this plan.

The Albemarle High School class of 1947 was the first where all students were required to complete 12th grade.

{Lewis Bramlett – Stanly County Historical Society}