Moment of Integration
In September 2023, the Lower Merion community honors the anniversary of an important local chapter in civil rights history -- one that changed our schools forever. LMSD's Moment of Integration marks the anniversary of the closing of the Ardmore Avenue School.
The Ardmore Avenue School, built in the late 1800s, was one of the first elementary schools in Lower Merion Township. As the Civil Rights Movement grew in the 1960s, concerns about the school increased. It had fallen into disrepair, was both segregated and inferior to the other schools in the District.
In August 1963, the Board of School Directors voted to close the school and reassigned its 223 mostly Black students to four other elementary schools, marking the beginning of the true desegregation at the primary level in LMSD. At the time, the District's other elementary schools only had a handful of students of color. Most white students in Lower Merion did not attend desegragated schools until they reached junior high school.
The links on this page connect you to a number of projects that were created by LMSD students, staff and alumni in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Moment of Integration, which was celebrated by the District in 2013.
The Ardmore Avenue School
Students at the south entrance of Ardmore Avenue School circa 1957.
1963 March on Washington D.C.