Plano Independent School District

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Plano Independent School District
Plano ISD Logo.jpg
2700 West 15th Street
, Collin County, Texas, 75075-7524
United States
District information
TypeIndependent school district
MottoTeamwork for Excellence
(129 years ago)
SuperintendentSara Bonser[1]
Governing agencyTexas Education Agency
Schools81 total[2]
Budget$707,660,000 USD[2] (2015-2016)
NCES District ID4835100[2]
Students and staff
Teachers3,899.94[2] (on a FTE basis)
Staff2927.59[2] (on a FTE basis)
Student–teacher ratio13.83[2]
Other information

Plano Independent School District (PISD or Plano ISD) is an independent school district in southwestern Collin County, Texas, based in Plano.[3] Plano ISD serves about 100 square miles (260 km2) of land, with 66 square miles (170 km2) of it within the City of Plano. The district also takes students from northern portions of Dallas and Richardson, and portions of Allen, Carrollton, Garland, Lucas, Murphy, Parker, and Wylie.[3]

PISD serves over 55,000 students and employs approximately 6,400 faculty members spread across 65 schools and 2 special and 4 early education centers. PISD had a 2012–13 operating budget of 434.5 million U.S. dollars. The district named Sara Bonser as Interim Superintendent in November 2017.[4] On March 6, 2018 Sara Bonser became Superintendent of Plano ISD, becoming the first female to hold the Superintendent title for the District.[5]

In 2010, the school district was rated "recognized" by the Texas Education Agency.[6]

There are two areas in North Dallas that are in Plano ISD, both in Collin County: one that is east of Midway Road, south of the George Bush Turnpike, and west of Waterview Parkway; and a group of apartments around Horizon North Parkway.[7] These areas, annexed into the City of Dallas after 1960, are generally high income.[8]

Educational Structure[edit]

Plano ISD has an educational structure that differs from the typical U.S. educational pattern. Primary education in PISD, following the typical U.S. structure, consists of 44 elementary schools that serve the kindergarten through fifth grades. However, PISD's system of secondary education consists of 13 middle schools that serve the sixth through eighth grades, 6 'high schools' that serve the ninth and tenth grades, and 3 'senior high schools' that serve the eleventh and twelfth grades. The 'high school' and 'senior high school' system is a departure from the standard U.S. high school that serves the ninth through twelfth grades.[1]

PISD students attend schools based primarily on the geographic location of their homes. Schools of a lower level feed into specific schools at the next highest level. The three exceptions to the feeder system is for students wishing to participate in the International Baccalaureate program, the Health Sciences Academy, or the STEAM Academy.[2] Parents of students may also request transfers out of their students' assigned schools for various reasons (such as to take classes unique to a particular school).[3]

This system leads to very large graduating classes and overall student populations. At Plano Senior High School, Plano East Senior High School, and Plano West Senior High School, the current student populations are listed as 2,567, 2,795, and 2,160 students, respectively. Each year's graduating class is approximately half of each number. Previous years' Graduation Commencement Ceremonies have taken place at Ford Center and the Dallas Convention Center.

Board of Trustees[edit]

The Board of Trustees includes seven at-large elected members that oversee the district. Elections are held in May in odd-numbered years for either three or four candidates.[9] The next election is May, 2019 for seats 4, 5, 7 and the remaining 2 years for seat 6.[4][10] The Board elects a President, Vice President and Secretary.

Academics and Honors[edit]

All three of PISD's senior high schools were recently listed in the top 250 of Newsweek's list of 1000 top high schools in America.[11] In the 2012 list, Plano West Senior High School was ranked as 63rd in the country, Plano Senior High School was ranked 108th, and Plano East Senior High School was ranked 243rd.[11] In 2011, Plano West Senior High had been ranked 98 on Newsweek's "America's Best High Schools," and Plano East Senior High had been ranked 461.[12] Plano ISD schools reportedly administer more Advanced Placement tests than any other school district west of the Mississippi River.[citation needed]

Plano ISD opened three academies (4-year high schools) in the 2013–2014 school year. The first "Academy High School", a STEAM, project based, high school that serves grades 9–12.[13]

The second magnet focuses on Health science, and is housed at Williams High School for grades 9–10, and will continue at Plano East Senior High School for grades 11–12.[13]

Additionally, the district has modified its existing International Baccalaureate program so that all four grades will be housed at Plano East Senior High as a "school within a school".[13]

The mean SAT score (math plus reading) for the district is 1152 out of 1600, and the mean ACT (test) composite score is 25.7, with 83.5% of district students taking the SAT or ACT.[14] 43.4% of district students take AP or IB courses, and 84.3% of those students pass their AP or IB exam(s).[14] Plano ISD offers all AP courses except AP Italian Language and Culture and AP Japanese Language and Culture to students.[15]

In the 2012–2013 school year, Plano ISD had 128 students named National Merit Semifinalists, more than any other Texas school district.[16][17] Also in the 2012–2013 school year, ten PISD students were named semifinalists in the Siemens Competition, and two were named as finalists.[18] In the state of Texas, a total of thirty eight and eleven students, respectively, captured those honors in the Siemens competition.[18] In the 2011–2012 school year, 76 students were selected as All-state musicians.[19]


Plano ISD Ethnicity Data 2018–2019[20]
Ethnicity Percent
White 33.6%
Asian 24.1%
Hispanic 25.3%
African American 12.6%
American Indian 0.3%
Pacific Islander 0.1%
Two or More Races 4.0%

In the 1990s Plano ISD received many non-Hispanic white families leaving urban areas. However this changed in the period from 1997 to 2015 as the number of non-Hispanic white children in Plano ISD declined by 10,000.[21]

Bilingual programs[edit]

In 1991 Plano ISD began a Chinese bilingual program for preschool and kindergarten students developed by Donna Lam. It is one of two Chinese bilingual programs in the State of Texas, along with the one established by the Austin Independent School District. It was established after Chinese professionals began to settle Plano.[22]


On the 9 December 2005, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, as part of his "War on Christmas" segment, news commentator, Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that the district had banned students from wearing red and green clothing "because they were Christmas colors." An attorney from the school district requested a retraction.[4] O'Reilly later retracted his allegation on 20 December.[5] O'Reilly had mistakenly included clothing among the items banned by PISD, while the ongoing lawsuit against the district only alleges the banning of the distribution of written religious materials.

That lawsuit was originally filed against PISD on Dec 15, 2004 (Jonathan Morgan, et al., v. the Plano Independent School District, et al.). On Dec 16, 2004, prior to the school "winter parties, Judge Paul Brown of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a Temporary Restraining Order, requiring PISD to lift these restrictions. The Morgan, et al., v. Plano Independent School District (PISD) case began in 2003, with school officials even banning students from using red and green napkins and paper plates to a school-sponsored "holiday" party.

In another more serious legal dispute, Plano ISD was found to have violated First Amendment rights of parents during public meetings about the implementation of a controversial new math curriculum, "Connected Math". During several years of appeals by PISD, the ruling was consistently upheld at all levels, including the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (in July 2003.) The district briefly considered an appeal to the United States Supreme Court, but instead reached a settlement of $400,000. It is important to note that this was a settlement of the judgment, not the ruling of a First Amendment rights violation by the district.[6]

The most recent Federal lawsuit against PISD was filed in March, 2006 by a religious group, Students Witnessing Absolute Truth (SWAT), alleging religious discrimination. In a Decision of the US District Court granting a preliminary injunction against Plano ISD, the judge said, part, "The issue in this case is not one of sponsorship or the lack thereof, but of the flagrant denial for equal access guaranteed to S.W.A.T. ... The harm at issue is irreparable because it inhibits the exercise of Plaintiff's First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion." On April 26, 2006, Plano ISD offered, and SWAT accepted, an Offer of Settlement, which included the district's promise to change its discriminatory policy.

In the November 2010, following a complaint by the parents of a student, the Plano ISD textbook board decided to remove the textbook, Culture and Values: A Survey of the Humanities: Alternative Volume by Lawrence S. Cunningham, from its Humanities curriculum because the illustrations of works of art included nudity and various sex acts. After a public outcry, the decision was reversed within days.[23]

List of schools[edit]

Each household in Plano ISD is zoned to an elementary school, a middle school, a high school, and a senior high school. High schools serve grades 9–10 while senior high schools serve grades 11–12; however, any 9th or 10th grader is eligible to participate in extracurricular sports at the senior high level. There are 67 schools: 44 elementary schools, 13 middles schools, 6 high schools, 3 senior high schools, and 1 alternative STEM-based high school, Plano ISD Academy High School. Out of the 67 schools, 56 are located within the city of Plano. There are 4 schools in both Murphy and Richardson, 2 schools are in North Dallas, and 1 school in Allen.[24]

Secondary schools[edit]

Senior high schools (grades 11-12)[edit]

High schools (grades 9-10)[edit]

Academy Schools[edit]

Middle schools (grades 6-8)[edit]

  • Armstrong Middle School
  • Bowman Middle School
  • Carpenter Middle School
    • 1992–93 National Blue Ribbon School[28]
  • Frankford Middle School (within Dallas city limits)
  • Haggard Middle School
    • 1999–2000 National Blue Ribbon School[29]
  • Hendrick Middle School
  • Murphy Middle School (within Murphy city limits)
  • Otto Middle School
  • Renner Middle School
    • 1994–96 National Blue Ribbon School[28]
  • Rice Middle School
  • Robinson Middle School
  • Schimelpfenig Middle School
    • 1988–89 National Blue Ribbon School[28]
  • Wilson Middle School
    • 1988–89 National Blue Ribbon School[28]

Special Program Centers[edit]

  • Bird Special Programs Center (K-8)
  • Guinn Special Programs Center (9-12)

Elementary schools (grades K-5)[edit]

  • Aldridge Elementary School (within Richardson city limits)
  • Andrews Elementary School
  • Barksdale Elementary School
  • Barron Elementary School[30]
  • Bethany Elementary School
  • Beverly Elementary School (within Allen city limits)
    • 2006 National Blue Ribbon School[31]
  • Boggess Elementary School (within Murphy city limits)
  • Brinker Elementary School
    • 1996–97 National Blue Ribbon School[28]
  • Carlisle Elementary School
    • 1987–88 National Blue Ribbon School[28]
  • Centennial Elementary School
  • Christie Elementary School
    • 1998–99 National Blue Ribbon School[28]
  • Daffron Elementary School
  • Davis Elementary School
    • 1993–94 National Blue Ribbon School[28]
  • Dooley Elementary School
    • 1989–90 National Blue Ribbon School[28]
  • Forman Elementary School
    • 1993–94 National Blue Ribbon School[28]
  • Gulledge Elementary School
  • Haggar Elementary School (within Dallas city limits)
  • Harrington Elementary School
  • Haun Elementary School
  • Hedgcoxe Elementary School
    • 1993–94 National Blue Ribbon School[28]
  • Hickey Elementary School
  • Hightower Elementary School
  • Huffman Elementary School[b]
    • 1991–92 National Blue Ribbon School[28]
  • Hughston Elementary School
  • Hunt Elementary School (within Murphy city limits)
  • Jackson Elementary School
  • Mathews Elementary School
    • 2000–01 National Blue Ribbon School[28] and 2005[31]
  • McCall Elementary School
  • Meadows Elementary School
    • 1996–97 National Blue Ribbon School[28]
  • Memorial Elementary School
  • Mendenhall Elementary School
  • Miller Elementary School (within Richardson city limits)
  • Mitchell Elementary School
  • Rasor Elementary School
  • Saigling Elementary School
    • 1991–92 National Blue Ribbon School[28] and 2005[31]
  • Schell Elementary School (within Richardson city limits)
  • Shepard Elementary School
    • 1991–92 and 2008 National Blue Ribbon School[28][33](p17)
  • Sigler Elementary School
  • Skaggs Elementary School
    • 2006 National Blue Ribbon School[31]
  • Stinson Elementary School (within Richardson city limits)
  • Thomas Elementary School
  • Weatherford Elementary School
  • Wells Elementary School
    • 1991–92 National Blue Ribbon School[28] and 2007 [34]
  • Wyatt Elementary School

Early childhood schools (PreK)[edit]

  • Beaty Early Childhood School
  • Head Start[c]
  • Isaacs Early Childhood School[30]
  • Jupiter Center (currently closed)[d]
  • Pearson Early Childhood School
  • Early Childhood School #4 (Funded-TBD: within Dallas city limits)


  1. ^ Plano East Senior High School offered the IB Diploma Programme since 1995.[25] Starting in the 2013-2014 school year, the program expanded to freshmen and sophomores a preparatory program for the IB Doploma Programme (International Honors Preparatory Program).[26]
  2. ^ Huffman Elementary offered the IB Primary Years Programme since the 2019-2020 school year.[32]
  3. ^ Head Start is a government funded educational program to teach preschoolers from low-income families.[35]
  4. ^ Jupiter Center closed due to mold issues.[36]

Feeder Schools Chart[edit]

  • 3-4 elementary schools feed into a middle school
    • Note that Wilson Middle School takes students from 4 different elementary schools and half of the 5th graders from Jackson Elementary.
  • 2-3 middle schools feed into a high school
  • 2 high schools feed into a senior high school[37]
Elementary Middle High Senior High
Christie Carpenter Clark Plano
Beverly Hendrick
Bethany Schimelpfenig
Davis Haggard Vines
Aldridge Wilson
Jackson (east of Coit)
Dooley Armstrong McMillen Plano East
Boggess Murphy
Barron Bowman Williams
Mendenhall Otto
Andrews Rice Jasper Plano West
Daffron Robinson
Barksdale Renner Shepton
Haggar Frankford
Jackson (west of Coit)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "District Leadership / Superintendent's Profile". Plano Independent School District. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 18 November 2019. The Plano ISD Board of Trustees appointed Mrs. Sara Bonser as superintendent of schools in March 2018. Her appointment followed her service as Plano ISD's interim deputy superintendent beginning May 2017, and as interim superintendent beginning November 2017. As superintendent, Mrs. Bonser manages the daily operations of the district.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for Plano ISD". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b "About Us / About Our District". Plano Independent School District. 10 April 2018. Archived from the original on 13 August 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019. Plano ISD serves the residents of approximately 100 square miles in southwest Collin County. This area includes 66 square miles in the City of Plano, with the balance including northern portions of the cities of Dallas and Richardson and parts of the cities of Allen, Carrollton, Garland, Lucas, Murphy, Parker and Wylie.
  4. ^ a b Wigglesworth, Valerie (28 November 2017). "Plano ISD superintendent, board to part ways over 'differing leadership philosophies'". The Dallas Morning News. A. H. Belo. ISSN 1553-846X. Archived from the original on 18 November 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2019. Trustees named interim deputy superintendent Sara Bonser to take over his leadership duties effective immediately. Trustees will start the search for a superintendent who will be "focused on fast-paced innovation aligned with the district's ongoing goals to ensure continued improvement in student learning and efficient use of resources," according to the statement.
  5. ^ Pugh, Gavin (6 March 2018). "Plano ISD board names Sara Bonser as lone finalist for district superintendent". Community Impact Newspaper. Archived from the original on 4 September 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2019. The Plano ISD board of trustees named Sara Bonser as the lone district superintendent finalist nearly a month after beginning its selection process.
  6. ^ "2009 Accountability Rating System". Texas Education Agency. Archived from the original on 25 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Live in Dallas (But Don't Use Its Schools)". D Magazine. 9 March 2016. ISSN 0161-7826. Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2019. If you want to live in Dallas, not pay for private school, but still not send your kids to DISD, here’s where you’ll want to live:
  8. ^ Hanson, Royce (2003). Civic culture and urban change : governing Dallas. Wayne State University Press. p. 82. ASIN B008UXLLZC. ISBN 978-0814330807. OCLC 872451899. OL 11353308M. Archived from the original on 18 November 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019. The Richardson and Plano districts serve mostly affluent neighborhoods in northern and far north areas of Dallas that were annexed after 1960.
  9. ^ "Board of Trustees". Plano ISD. Archived from the original on 14 March 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Plano Independent School District elections (2017)". Ballotpedia. 17 February 2017. Archived from the original on 8 November 2018. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  11. ^ a b "America's Best High Schools 2012". The Daily Beast. 2012. Archived from the original on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  12. ^ "America's Best High Schools". Newsweek. 19 June 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  13. ^ a b c "Academy Programs of Plano". Plano ISD. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Data Dashboard". Plano ISD. Archived from the original on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  15. ^ "Advanced Placement". Plano ISD. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  16. ^ "National Merit Semifinalists". Plano ISD. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  17. ^ Ayala, Eva (22 November 2012). "Plano ISD Leads State in National Merit Scholars". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  18. ^ a b "Siemens Competition". Siemens Foundation. Archived from the original on 27 November 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  19. ^ "All State Musicians". Plano ISD. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Nicholson, Eric (3 May 2016). "In Dallas, White Flight Never Ends". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  22. ^ Meyers, Jessica. "Rare Chinese bilingual program highlights Plano schools’ diversity" (Archive). The Dallas Morning News. November 4, 2011. Retrieved on September 22, 2014.
  23. ^ Jessica Meyers (16 November 2010). "Plano ISD scraps plans to ban humanities textbook containing ancient nude statues". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  24. ^ "PLANO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT ATTENDANCE ZONE MAP * 2016-17" (PDF). Plano Independent School District. 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 July 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  25. ^ Roark, Chris (2 March 2015). "LISD exploring International Baccalaureate program". Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  26. ^ "Plano expands IB academy into a new academy". September 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  27. ^ Ojeda. "Plano ISD Academy High School". Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002. PDF Archived 26 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Haggard Middle School - Campus Profile". Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  30. ^ a b "Construction & Renovation Update/News Archive". Archived from the original on 11 August 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2009.
  31. ^ a b c d Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 2003 through 2007. PDF
  32. ^ "District staff: Foundation to consider Plano ISD bid for academy at Huffman Elementary". 26 June 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  33. ^ "2008 No Child Left Behind – Blue Ribbon Schools" (PDF). United States Department of Education. 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  34. ^ Microsoft Word - 2007-schools.doc
  35. ^ "'Head Start' Plano ISD". 2017. Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  36. ^ "'Jupiter Center in Plano CondemnedSD". 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  37. ^

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Kantrowitz, Barbara. "The 1000 Best High Schools in America." Newsweek. 16 May 2005. Accessed 10 December 2005.
  2. ^ "'Red & Green Clothing Ban' False Rumor". 12 December 2005. Accessed 25 December 2005.
  3. ^ Breen, Kim. "O'Reilly: I made mistake". The Dallas Morning News. 21 December 2005. Accessed 25 December 2005.
  4. ^ Celia J. Chiu, et al. v. Plano Independent School District, et al.[permanent dead link] Accessed 10 December 2005.
  5. ^ "Know Your School District: Plano ISD". Plano Independent School District. Archived from the original on 12 July 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2006.
  6. ^ "Intra-District Transfers: Plano ISD". Plano Independent School District. Archived from the original on 10 July 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2006.
  7. ^ "International Baccalaureate: Plano ISD". Plano Independent School District. Archived from the original on 9 July 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2006.