The current Roye-Williams Elementary School began it's building life as a segregated, all-black school serving the Havre de Grace/Aberdeen area of Harford county. In 1953, Harford County Public Schools opened the K-12 Havre de Grace Consolidated School for students of color from the greater Havre de Grace and Aberdeen areas. By the mid-1950s, parents and student began filing suit to transfer out of the consolidated school to local schools, such as Aberdeen High School and others, perceived as having better curriculum, facilities and opportunities.
The consolidated school re-opened in 1965 as the Oakington Elementary School. In 1982, the district re-named the school after the two principals of Harford's consolidated schools in response to a local campaign to recognize their contributions to Harford education: Dr. Percy Williams (Central Consolidated School) and Mr. Leon Roye (Havre de Grace Consolidated School). The lawsuits began in 1955 when a group of students filed suit to attend Aberdeen High School, which was much closer to their homes than Havre de Grace Consolidated. In 1963 and 1964, a group of Havre de Grace Consolidated faculty rose up and openly protested the district administration's lack of effort to achieve equal opportunity in teacher placement and hiring and the slow pace of desegregation.
Roye-Williams Elementary School serves as a reminder of the segregated era, as well as the tremendous efforts and battles waged by students, parents and teachers to achieve full desegregation of Harford County Public Schools.