The exact beginning year of Farmington High School is difficult to establish due to the lack of recorded information. Traditionally, however, Farmington High School was said to be established in 1888 with the construction of a new building by a union of a number of one-room school districts in the township. The new district was to provide learning beyond the 8th grade, which until this time was provided by many one-room school districts. The Union School provided a four-year curriculum and the first class to graduate was in 1890.
Part of the problem of not finding records for this first high school may be that in 1918, the school burned to the ground and many records were lost. The school, after a month off in the middle the winter, was reopened and eventually rebuilt. The new building of 1918 lasted by adding additions until 1952. The building of the current high school in 1953 was necessary because of the growing enrollment and because it was impossible to do any more additions to keep up with the rising enrollment. Besides the new FHS, two other high schools have been built since 1953 and now divide the original high school district into three parts with the creation of North Farmington and Harrison High Schools.
Farmington High, then the Union School, started small. In 1891, six diplomas were given out, while in 1895, five diplomas were received. The closing night exercises of 1898 shows five graduates. In 1902, only three diplomas were given while in 1905, 11 graduates received their diplomas. The class picture of 1907 shows five graduates, the closing night exercises list six in 1915 and the class picture of 1917 shows seven graduates.
There were 11 graduating students in the class of 1920 with a school population that year of 61 students. Students then had four subject courses and some elected to take additional courses in music and chorus. A typical freshman schedule consisted of Composition, Algebra 9, Latin 9, and a half-year each of botany and general science.
By 1927, the four-year Farmington High School had an enrollment of 132 students, 24 in the senior class. The students still took four courses each year with electives of music and chorus, but additional subjects could be chosen. These included all of the previous ones and shorthand, bookkeeping, public speaking, typing, physics, business English, commercial arithmetic, and French.
It was not until 1944 that the one-room schoolhouses of the township were combined into the Farmington Public School District -- a result of a school study by Clarence Hickey of the University of Michigan.
In 1988, a 100-year time capsule was buried in the enclosed court just off the media center. The capsule contains a first generation computer used in the classroom and many other curriculum items of the time replaced by the renovations of the high school in that year.
On March 10, 1998, a groundbreaking ceremony took place in FHS, marking the beginning of a three-year renovation/expansion project. The construction project turned FHS into a bigger and brighter high school. The project left few of the areas in the building untouched; adding a new performing arts center (including new band rooms, a vocal music room, rehearsal rooms, a scene room connected to the back stage of the auditorium), a new science wing, computer labs, a completely renovated technology wing and physical education area -- with a modernized pool, auxiliary gym and a fitness center. The completion of this project brought FHS into the new millennium with state-of-the-art technology in place for future generations.
Since 1957, our staff has increased from 35 staff members to over 140. Our student body has grown from 818 to over 1400. Farmington High School has continued to be a pioneer in academics, the performing arts, technology, and athletics. In 1998, Farmington High received a Blue Ribbon Exemplary School Award from the State of Michigan and the list of other awards and distinctions is endless. For example, Newsweek magazine has listed Farmington High as one of the best one thousand schools in the United States for the last three years in a row.