In 1964, with an increase in Jacksonville’s African American population, Duval County School Board decided to send African American students to Jean Ribault High School, but the all-white faculty and students rejected the idea. The school board then decided to build a new facility, costing two million dollars. School No. 165 opened its doors at 3663 Clarkson Avenue on January 25, 1965.

The opening of the school brought about the reassignment of 1,305 black high school students in grades nine through twelve from Northwestern Junior-Senior High School to the new school. The 2000 student capacity high school was a $2 million project and duplicated the new Fletcher High School in the Beaches community. The school opened unnamed and was referred to simply as School No. 165. On June 10, 1965 at a school board meeting the school was officially named William Marion Raines Senior High School.renamed William Marion Raines Senior High School.

Dr. Andrew A. Robinson was appointed principal of the new school. Robinson, a 35 year old African-American and Jacksonville native, held a Bachelor of Science degree from FAMU and a doctorate in education from Columbia U.

Raines remained an all-African American school until the Mims vs The Duval County Schools decision in 1971.

Raines was originally accredited in 1968. It was the first school in Duval County to achieve accreditation. Raines was re-accredited in 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2008 and was given glowing compliments from the visiting boards.

Raines has been under the leadership of 12 principals: Dr. Andrew A. Robinson (1965–1969), Dr. Ezekial W. Bryant (1969–1972), Kernaa McFarlin (1972–1978), Ike James (1978–1979), Jimmie Johnson (longest serving principal 1979-1995), Dr. Milton H. Threadcraft (1995–1997), Dr. Roy I. Mitchell (1997–2002), Carol H. Daniels (first female principal 2002–2006), Nongongoma Majova-Seane (2006–2009), George E. Maxey (2009-2011), Ms. Shateena Brown (December 8, 2011 – 2013) & the 12th and current principal Vincent Hall (2013–Present). Vincent Hall is the first Raines graduate to serve as principal.[8]

Raines became the county’s science, math and engineering magnet school in 1990. This new focus supported by the addition of the Andrew A. Robinson Science wing in that same year. Raines received its first ninth grade students as a part of the magnet program and additional personnel and programs have been added to help these students make the adjustment to high school.

The varsity boys’ basketball team won the state championship in 1991, 2003 & 2004. Our boy’s track and football teams have also won state championships. We have 3 championships in boys track the last achievement in 1997 & we received our first in football in 1998. The varsity football team is the only public high school in Duval County to earn a state championship in football. Most recently, our girls track team won back to back state championships in 2008 and 2009, the first state titles for a female sport at Raines.