School transition is a process with several moving pieces that impact our students, families, schools, and community. A few years back, Sherman ISD started a transition process to support growth within the school district and community. The huge project has been a process of transitioning many areas to increase space and enhance learning opportunities for all students. As the Sherman ISD prepares to start the school year with the Transition 2020 project completed, here is a full update on transitions that will occur within the district by the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
This current school year, Sherman ISD has been actively working on completing the Transition 2020 Project to achieve the district's transition goals, which include:
- Design and build a new Sherman High School
- Expand enrollment capacity in grades 6-8 by opening a second middle school campus, Sherman Middle School
- Rezone our elementary schools into K-5 campuses
- Upgrade classroom instructional technology and districtwide technology systems
Opening the New Sherman High School
Sherman ISD opened the new Sherman High School on Monday, January 11, 2021. The state-of-the-art campus is 542,782 square feet on 98.362 acres. It accommodates 2,600 students and features a multi-purpose activity center with an indoor practice facility and weight room, four gyms, athletic fields, and a courtyard that serves as a safe, vibrant outdoor learning space for students and faculty.
The school is more than 500,000 square feet and serves as the flagship campus for Sherman ISD. It features modern technology resources, flexible classrooms and comfortable collaboration areas, natural lighting, outdoor learning spaces, and superior fine arts, athletics, and career and technical education facilities make the campus one of the premier high schools in the nation. Additionally, the SHS project has positively impacted the local economy by utilizing several Texoma contractors and purchasing goods and services from area businesses.
Piner Middle School and Sherman Middle School
In August of 2021, Sherman ISD will have two middle schools; Piner Middle School and Sherman Middle School. Each campus will serve kids in grades 6 - 8 and provide increased capacity for our growing enrollment. The transition to two middle schools will also allow the district to strengthen athletics, fine arts, and advanced academic programs by increasing the number of teams, performing groups, and sections of advanced academic classes. District staff has identified and prioritized maintenance projects and facility upgrades for both middle school campuses to prepare for the August 2021 opening. It is of the highest priority that Sherman ISD maintains equity among our core academic, athletic and fine arts programs.
Redesigning the Attendance Boundaries for Grades K-8
Returning to a K-5 elementary grade configuration and a 6-8 middle-grade configuration was strongly prioritized by our Building Bearcats Committee. Beginning in August of 2021, Sherman ISD elementary schools, including Dillingham Elementary, will serve grades K-5, and Piner and Sherman Middle School would serve grades 6-8. This instructional model has been used successfully in our district’s past and allows fifth graders to remain in an elementary setting for one additional year. It also reduces the number of school-building transitions that our students make.
Transition 2020 K-8 Implementation Important Points
- Grades K-8 attendance zones boundaries have been determined
- Implementation of boundary changes for elementary students (K-5) will take place at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
- In August of 2021, Piner Middle School and Sherman Middle School will serve students in the 6-8 grades.
- In August of 2021, all elementary campuses, including Dillingham, will serve students in grades K-5. The redesign of all elementary attendance boundaries will be fully implemented.
- In August of 2021, Jefferson Elementary will no longer be utilized as an elementary campus. Most students previously zoned to Jefferson will now attend Dillingham Elementary.
Jefferson Campus Transition
In August of 2021, Jefferson Elementary will transition to Jefferson Learning Center. The campus will house the high school alternative school and Early Head Start programs currently at Perrin Learning Center. Over the past 15 years, the district’s design model for elementary campuses has increased to a capacity of around 600 students. By increasing the design capacity, Sherman ISD is able to address population growth better and more efficiently operate district facilities. Currently, Jefferson’s population is around 230 students. By combining the Jefferson population with Dillingham in 2021-22, Sherman ISD can maximize facility space at Dillingham and significantly reduce operating costs by repurposing the Jefferson facility. To recognize the past 125 years of Jefferson Elementary within Sherman ISD, a celebration of Jefferson’s heritage and tradition will take place in May before the end of the year.
Early Childhood Centers and Full-Day Pre-K
In August of 2021, Sherman ISD will have two early childhood centers. Fred Douglass Early Childhood Center and Perrin Early Childhood Center will offer full-day Pre-K classes to all eligible three and four-year-old students. It has long been a strategic goal in the district to expand its Pre-K program, but facility constraints at both Fred Douglass and most elementary schools have prevented Sherman ISD from achieving this goal. However, with the decision to have Jefferson Elementary transition to house the alternative programs for high school students and early head start program, the district will now have the needed classroom space available at Perrin to accommodate an additional early childhood center. At the start of the school year, Pre-K and Head Start will move to Perrin with Fred Douglass and Perrin dedicated to serving the district’s early childhood students.