Skinner Junior High School (United States, 1940)

Figure 1.--Here we see the graduating class (9th grades) at Skinner Junior High School all dressed up for their class portrait in 1940. For some reason they are all boys. That is unusual. Junior highs were public schools and almost always coeducational. Notice that none of the boys wear knickers.

We note the Skinner Junior High School in Denver, Colorado. A junior high school was a 3-year program (7th-9th grade) after elementary (primary) school preparing children for senior high schools. Most states had junior high schools until after World War II. After the War many school districts began expeimenting with varied approached, opening middle schools which often included 6th graders. High schools transitioned to a 4 year program (9th-12th grade). We have little information about the school at this time, but know t was operating in the 1940s-80s. Presumably it had the standard 3-year program (7th-9th graders). The 1940 class portrait here we assume is the 9th graders who were graduating. They all wear suits, As far as we can see they are all long pants suits. The portrait also suggests that Skinner was an all boys' school. That was highly unusual for a junior high school. The school seems to have been converted into a middle school, we think in the 1980s. A reader writes, "Interesting that knickers are no longer shown here. Knickers were still quite prominent in the HBC 1939 catalogue pages. And knickers were still being worn at my boarding school in the early 1940s, although long trousers were also worn then. No school uniform. Whether one wore knickers or long trousers was up to the parents of boys. I think that the boys who wore knickers in 1942-44 were 16 or younger at Western Reserve Academy." Yes, I was a little surprised too. Of course we do not know about the boys in the background. The date is a little indistinct, but I think it is 1940 rather than 1946. The seller who had the original specified 1940. These of course are the graduating class, the older boys, meaning I think 9th graders who by this time (June) were mostly 15 year olds.


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Created: 1:49 AM 2/28/2009
Last updated: 1:49 AM 2/28/2009