Central High School (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

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Central High School
Central High School (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) seal.jpg
Central High School is located in Alabama
Central High School
Central High School
Central High School is located in the United States
Central High School
Central High School
905 15th Street


CoordinatesCoordinates: 33°11′53″N 87°32′58″W / 33.19802°N 87.54945°W / 33.19802; -87.54945
School typePublic high school
Motto"The Home of the Falcons"
School boardTuscaloosa City Board of Education
School districtTuscaloosa City Schools
SuperintendentMike Daria
PrincipalDr. Clarence Sutton, Jr.
Enrollment738 (2016-17)[1]

Central High School is a high school in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States, enrolling grades 9 to 12. The school enrolls approximately 700 students, and is one of three traditional high schools in the Tuscaloosa City School District along with Paul W. Bryant High School and Northridge High School.[2] Central High School offers the International Baccalaureate program.[3]


Central High School was formed by the merger of Tuscaloosa High School and Druid High School in 1979 in response to a federal desegregation order. The school operated on two campuses, a west campus (West Central) made up of the former Druid High property and enrolling grades 9 and 10, and an east campus (East Central) on the former Tuscaloosa High grounds enrolling grades 11 and 12. The former mascots and school identities were discarded for a new one. Nikole Hanna-Jones of ProPublica stated that the consolidated school "emerged as a powerhouse that snatched up National Merit Scholarships and math-competition victories just as readily as it won trophies in football, track, golf."[4]

In 1998, the desegregation order was lifted by judge Sharon Blackburn. In August 2000 the district board voted to establish two new high schools, and to reduce Central's attendance boundary to a majority black area. This led to what could be referred to as the re-segregation of Tuscaloosa high schools.[4] Even though the high school students took a vote to rebuild Central as one high school encompassing all four grades, the city council[citation needed] decided that instead they would build three separate high schools.[4] Two new high schools, Bryant and Northridge, were opened in 2003. That same year the population of white students at Central dropped to three people, ample evidence of said re-segregation. This separation also resulted in the Tuscaloosa city high school system, CHS especially, dropping from a 6A school leading to a decline in the city's athletic standing as a powerhouse among schools in the state of Alabama at the highest level.[citation needed] Central High declined academically after the opening of new schools.[4]

In 2004, all Central students were transferred to West Central so that East Central could be demolished for a new Central High facility. The $31 million school building was completed in 2006 and houses all current Central students.[5]

Clarence Sutton, Jr. became principal in 2010.[4]


In 2014 the student body was 99% black, and 80% of the students were designated as low income.[4]


For a five year-period in the post-2000 era, no Advanced Placement (AP) classes were offered at Central High. The post-2000 school began offering physics classes in 2013.[4]


For a period in the post-2000 era the school had no yearbook nor a school newspaper.[4]

Academic achievement[edit]

The State of Alabama designated it as a failing school in 2014.[4] The school was removed from the failing schools list in 2019.



  1. ^ "Central High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  2. ^ Central High School - About the School Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine , retrieved July 23, 2007; Our Schools Archived August 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved July 23, 2007.
  3. ^ International Baccalaureate Program - Central High School Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved July 23, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hanna-Jones, Nikole (2014-04-16). "Resegregation in the American South". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  5. ^ Alison Schmitke, "Teaching Brown in Tuscaloosa", Rethinking Schools, Vol. 20, No. 2, Winter 2005/2006; Jonathan Shaw, "New Central Expected to Make Community Proud", West End Journal, April 9, 2007.

External links[edit]