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The first effort at a public school building in the 1860s was at a private home in the Little Elm area which gave way to a one-room log cabin schoolhouse built in 1865. In 1877, the Little Elm School Community District No.18 was constituted by Denton County as a public free school. The King school building was constructed around 1895 or 1896 and served as the District’s elementary school for all students in first through eighth grades. King underwent many additions and renovations before transitioning to an early childhood center in 1995 until its closure in 2012.
The Denton County School Trustees for District No. 48 bought a plot of land and build another schoolhouse in 1909. In 1913, a new three-room schoolhouse was built on land owned by the Stover Family. The nearby Hackberry School operated from 1876 until 1930, when it consolidated with the Little Elm School District and the community of Dickson to form the Little Elm Rural High School. The high school eventually closed due to lack of students.
Students in and around Little Elm were bused to Frisco or Denton High School through the mid-1960s. The class of 1974 was the first to graduate from Little Elm High School and the 1978 graduates were the first who had the opportunity to attend the Little Elm School System all 12 years.
In 1979, an administration building was built on Lobo Lane in front of what is now known as Lakeside Middle School. A bus barn was constructed in 1983 near King Elementary, which is considered central Little Elm. In 1985 what is now known as the Colin Powell campus was built on Lobo Lane beside Lakeside Middle School. Because of growth, the District expanded and renovated the “old Little Elm High School” in 1995 to accommodate more students. The District expanded the building several more times between 2001 and 2009.
Zellars Elementary was opened in 1995 serving students until its transition to an administration building in 2014. D.H. Brent opened in 2000 and served as both an elementary and intermediate school. Two years later, Cesar Chavez Elementary School opened its doors in 2002. Hackberry Elementary opened the following year in 2003 and the current Little Elm High School opened in 2004 making way for the old high school to become Lakeside Middle School. Lakeview Elementary opened in 2005 and the District opened Oak Point Elementary in 2008 to serve the students in the far western portions of the District. In 2014 Prestwick STEM Academy opened as a K-8 school in The Colony serving students living in The Tribute and other students throughout the District.
Most recently, the Little Elm ISD Community approved a $240 million bond package in November 2017, which made this the largest bond in the history of the District. The voter-approved bond money will be used to build two new middle schools scheduled to open in the fall of 2020. Additionally, the bond package included improving CTE & athletic facilities, enhancing safety and security features at two elementary campuses, and upgrading technology, purchasing new buses, and securing land for future facilities.
Little Elm ISD is a fast growth district. The earliest data shows the first class to graduate at Little Elm High School was in 1974 when 13 seniors walked the stage. The class of 2019 consists of 474 students with overall growth expected to continue for decades. Little Elm ISD will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2020 coinciding with the opening of its two new middle schools. This confluence of history, tradition, excellence, and growth will mark a new era for Little Elm ISD as it continues to provide a quality education for all students.
If you have any historical relics, documents, or photos you would like to share with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are gathering as much information as we can in anticipation of a 125-year celebration.
Sources: Denton County History and Culture, Handbook of Texas online, 112 Years in Little Elm Community by J.M. Harris, Texas State Historical Association, The Colony Website, Frisco ISD website, personal correspondence with former alumni and elected officials.