The city of Goodson, Virginia, was renamed Bristol in February, 1890. The first public high school was named Central School and opened in 1891 with 75 students. The name was changed to Jefferson School in 1895, and in 1915 a new school was built on Piedmont Avenue and renamed Virginia High School. The school housed grades 5 - 11 and grade 12 was added in 1945. The present Virginia High School was dedicated in 1954 in the Spring Garden section of Bristol housing grades 9 - 12.
The community served by Virginia High School is urban. Traditionally, manufacturing and professional trades have been the largest employers in the city. The closing of several major companies in the past few years has contributed to a decline in available jobs and school enrollment.
While declining in number, the student population remains characteristic in several areas. The majority of Virginia High School grades have attended this school for all four years and most have attended Bristol, Virginia schools since kindergarten.
Virginia High School offers a variety of 24 clubs and 14 sports teams for students to participate in after school hours. Students also take part in Odyssey of the Mind, forensics and drama competition, academic teams, and various competitions sponsored by curriculum related clubs. A number of club and school sponsored programs as well as formal and informal dances provide involvement of students after school hours. The Bristol area has several community-sponsored activities for students such as the Boy's and Girl's Clubs, Theater Bristol, city recreation teams, and volunteer programs at the hospital.
Virginia High School is a comprehensive high school. The Center for Technology is attached to the main building making it possible for the large majority of the students to be able to take two or more vocational classes yearly.
Virginia High School offers various programs for the special needs students. Classes are provided for Trainable Mentally Disable, Educable Mentally Disabled, Emotionally Disturbed, and Learning Disabled students. Honors, advanced placement, and International Baccalaureate courses are offered for the highly motivated and gifted students. An alternative school and an adult basic education program have been set up to meet the needs of some of our "at risk" students.