First Junior High School in the United States
In 1909, the Columbus, Ohio, Board of Education authorized the creation of the first junior high school in the United States. Previously, students in Columbus remained in elementary school through the eighth grade, when they then attended high school. Unfortunately, fifty-two percent of Columbus's students dropped out of school before entering the tenth grade. Only seven percent of Columbus's children actually graduated from high school. Columbus school officials hoped that new schools, consisting of the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades, might better prepare students for the rigors of high school and keep a larger percentage of students enrolled in school.
On July 6, 1909, the Columbus Board of Education formally approved the creation of junior high schools in Columbus. The first junior high school was Indianola Junior High School at 140 East 16th Avenue in Columbus. The building still stands. As of 2006, the Columbus School District housed the Indianola Informal School—a school that utilizes innovative approaches in the classroom, allowing students to learn through a variety of means, including ones not usually used in a traditional classroom setting—in the building. The teachers at Indianola Informal School work in conjunction with education professors and students at The Ohio State University to improve and to enhance education at Indianola Informal School. In 2006, the school accepted students in kindergarten through the eighth grade.