History

Education in Round RockEducation in RR

Soon after Williamson County was founded in 1848, pioneer settler Jacob M. Harrell, a blacksmith, built a log schoolhouse for use by his neighbors. Believed to be the first school in the county, it was located at Moss’ Spring on Lake Creek (2 Mi. S.W.). Later, another log cabin school was opened north of Brushy Creek by Samuel. L. Makemson and Dr. D.F. Knight.

As the area developed, efforts were made to provide a complete community educational program, early college training was offered by the Greenwood Masonic Institute, which was established in 1867. The school was later operated by local Presbyterian churches and by the city as Round Rock Institute. The first publicly-supported school for Round Rock students opened in 1878. A second college, Trinity Lutheran, was in operation from 1904 to 1929.

In 1913, residents of the area voted to incorporate Williamson County Common School District No. 19 as the Round Rock Independent School District. M.G. York, an area school administrator, was chosen as the first superintendent of the new school system.

Under the direction of superintendents O.F. Perry, 1939-57, and Noel Grisham, 1957-79, the district has been noted for rapid growth and quality education.

 

May 17, 1913

Round Rock ISD is formed as a result of a 57-2 vote for incorporation of Common School District #19. Professor M.G. York was reelected as Superintendent.

May 30, 1913

The “Colored School District” Trustees of Round Rock had purchased 1.09 acres of land to construct a school for African American children in October 1909. The school was incorporated into the Round Rock District in May 1913.

On May 30, 1913, Trustees appointed J.S. Sampson as principal of the “Colored School.

May 30, 1913

The number of years of public education expanded from 10 to 11.

Jul 16, 1913

Round Rock voters passed a bond election for $29,000 to fund construction of a school building of rock and brick material. The issue was approved 100-37.

Jul 18, 1913

School district tax rate is set at 25 cents per $100 valuation.

Sept. 29, 1913

The first school year begins on the last Monday in September. Mr. T.A. Ferguson is the principal with six teachers.

Nov. 29, 1913

original_RRHS

A contract to construct the new school was awarded to James Belger for $21,680. It was the lowest of eight bids submitted to the district. The photo depicts school construction in April 1914.

March 27, 1914

Trustees name T.A. Ferguson as superintendent replacing M.G. York. His salary is set at $110 per month.

1914

origianal_school

Three-story school building opens. Younger children attended on the first floor, and older children on the second and third floors. A portion of the third floor also was used as an auditorium area.

This building housed all grades until a new Round Rock High School was built next door in 1944.

May 20, 1915

Trustees name L.J. Waggoner as superintendent replacing T.A. Ferguson. His salary is set at $100 per month.

August 3, 1915

Trustees name W.H. Emert as superintendent to replace L.J. Waggoner who had held the position for only three months.

April 24, 1916

Trustees replace superintendent J.E. Cook with J.T. Shaver after seven months.

January 1918

The Round Rock Parent and Teacher Association was formed.

April 30, 1918

Trustees name W.E. Cantrell as superintendent, replacing J.T. Shaver. His salary is set at $100 per month.

October 8, 1918

Due to an outbreak of influenza, school is closed until October 26.

Another outbreak closes school for 12 days in December 1918, and for 15 days in January 1919.

September 23, 1918

Trustees delay start of school from September 29 to October 13 after receiving a citizen petition to do so. The reason cited was “the cotton crop.”

November 3, 1919

Trustees vote to declare November 11, Armistice Day ending World War I, a half-day holiday.

May 4, 1920

Trustees vote to pay substitute teachers a rate of $3 per day, and that the amount be deducted from the salary of the teacher being substituted for.

1920

1920_RRHS

Students of the Round Rock School pose for a school-wide photo during the 1919-1920 school year.

At the far left of the front row is Claude Berkman who would become longtime elementary school principal. Berkman Elementary School is named in his honor.

May 2, 1921

Trustees select W.R. Woolsey as superintendent replacing W.E. Cantrell.

1922

1927_Old_Hopewell

“The Hopewell School” building is constructed for African American students. The school was funded by the Julius Rosenwald Fund of Chicago.

One principal and one teacher divided the teaching duties for students who represented nine different grades. As attendance grew, grades one through ten were clustered into four groups for instruction: first through third, fourth through sixth, and two classes for grades seven through ten which made up the high school at that time. In 1928, the school year was lengthened to seven months, and this remained the school term for many years.

A training school to provide vocational skills for adults as well as young people was established in 1926, but was discontinued in 1928 because of lack of funds. During the time the school was operating, many awards were given to Hopewell community members who participated in competitions demonstrating the skills they had learned in this program. Throughout its life, the school, along with the local church, served as a center for community events. Benefit dinners, musicals, and commencement ceremonies brought families together to raise money, enjoy entertainment, and to celebrate success.

During the Great Depression, Hopewell suffered along with the rest of the nation. From 1932-33, teachers were asked to teach without pay for one to two weeks because of lack of funds. Indeed these were difficult times, but the late thirties brought positive changes. In 1936, an additional 2.4 acres of land were purchased to accommodate growth in the student population. The next three decades saw many improvements for the original Hopewell. The old tenant house on the school grounds was repaired and leased to the school principal, a new wing with additional class space and a cafeteria was added, and an annex was built southeast of the building. Moreover, a decision was made to hire only certified teachers who monitored student performance closely to ensure continuing academic progress.

In 1965, after the passage of Civil Rights legislation, the district adopted a free choice enrollment plan. Segregation had ended. In 1966-67, the name of the former Hopewell building was changed to Southside Elementary School for one year. It then became the transportation facility for the Round Rock Independent School District until it was finally abandoned for a larger facility.

In 1966 when the first Hopewell closed, it had eight teachers, a principal, and a business, a home economics, and a band department.

As for the old Hopewell building, it took an hour for the structure to be moved from its original site at Interstate 35 and McNeil Road to its new home on the grounds of the Round Rock Independent School District administrative offices. The building was renovated and is currently used as a staff development and community center.

Pictured is Hopewell’s Class of 1927

May 8, 1924

Trustees select C.E. Brown as superintendent replacing W.R. Woolsey.

April 16, 1925

Trustees name George B. Hatley as superintendent replacing C.E. Brown. His salary is set at $2,000 per year.

April 28, 1926

Trustees name Ed A. Gay as superintendent replacing Georg B. Hatley. His salary is set at $2,000 per year.

1929

1929-First-grade

Students pose for a class photo. Name of school and teacher unknown.

April 15, 1930

Trustees form a committee to explore instituting a “Mexican School.

June 3, 1930

Trustees name C.O. Britt superintendent replacing P.E. Dickison. His salary is set at $2,200 per year.

1931

1931-RRHS-football-team

Round Rock High School’s football team poses for a group photo.

May 3, 1932

Trustees reduce staff salaries 10 percent, “all the way from Superintendent down.”

Almost a year later, in April 1933, Teachers are asked to work 1-2 weeks with no pay; and in August 1933, teacher salaries are fixed at current levels with an “understanding that teachers may be asked to work without pay should funds fail to come in to cover payment in full.”

February 7, 1933

Trustees vote to appoint a committee “to look into the situation of teaching the Mexican children.”

In December 1931, a decision had been made to defer for a year deliberations about whether to establish a “Mexican School.

October 3, 1933

Trustees vote that “a teacher upon marrying will be held as breaking her contract, and that the Board can terminate it by asking for resignation of teacher,” notes official Minutes of the Board.

October 9, 1933

Led by Board President, Rev. Theodore Krienke, Trustees voted to establish a separate school for Mexican students. Round Rock Schools were now fully segregated, with separate schools for white, black and Mexican students.

The school, referred to as “The Mexican School,” was housed in rental space in the Negro M.E. Church in Old Town. Norma Pfluger was named the school’s teacher. The school year was seven months.

A school building was later constructed on the hillside near what is now the northwest intersection of I-35 and Round Rock Avenue (RM 620). The “Mexican School” was in use for 15 years, until 1948.

October 1933

PTA funds 189 diptheria tests for all students. All but 12 students were found to be immune. Two weeks later, PTA pays for 61 students to get their first round of diptheria shots.

1934

1934_graduates

August 8, 1935

The architectural firm of Page and Sutherland was hired to design a gymnasium and auditorium for the Round Rock School. The design costs $300.

August 8, 1935

Trustees approved Page and Southerland, Architects, to design a school gymnasium and auditorium at a fee of $200.

November 8, 1935

Trustees voted to restore teachers’ salaries to levels prior to the cuts of 1931.

1936-37

1936-37_Hopewell_1-2-3

Pictured are Hopewell students in grades 1-3.

1936-37_Hopewell_4-5-6-7

Pictured are Hopewell students in grades 4-7.

1937

Lights are installed at the school football field. Cost is $1,968.

November 20, 1937

A bond election for $20,000 to construct a new school building was defeated by a vote of 74 to 42.

1937-38

1937-38_third_grade

Third graders pose for a class photo.

November 20, 1937

A bond election for $20,000 to construct a new school building was defeated by a vote of 74 to 42.

March 7, 1939

Effective July 1, O.F. (Oliver Floyd) Perry is named Superintendent of Schools with a salary of $2,350 for the 1939-40 school year.

Perry would serve as Superintendent until August 29, 1957, when the Board of Trustees fired him due to “neglect of duties as Superintendent of Round Rock School.

September 1, 1939

Trustees approved the purchase of a Chevrolet bus from the Henna Motor Company for $1,479.50. A down payment of $739 was made and the remainder was financed at a six percent interest rate.

The bus served the district until it was sold in 1954.

November 7, 1939

Trustees discuss the consolidation but table the discussion.

1939-40

1939-40_freshman

The Round Rock High School freshman class gather for a group photo.

April 1, 1941

A telegram from U.S. Representative Lyndon B. Johnson announces approval of partial federal funding for a new high school building.

Funding was made available through the National Youth Administration (NYA), a New Deal agency.

April 15, 1941

Voters approved a bond election 102-12.

1941

Located east of Round Rock, the Stoney (sic) Point School District occupied three different buildings. RRISD’s Stony Point High School is named for this former district.

September 2, 1941

The Caldwell Heights school district is divided between the Round Rock and Georgetown ISDs.

The old building was placed on the market for $100.The Round Rock School District continued to use the building for shop classes until the structure was sold.

March 16, 1942

The National Youth Administration advised RRISD that it would pull financial support for construction of a high school effective April 1942. This action was necessary due to funds needed for the war effort.

March 16, 1943

Voters approve a $12,000 bond election to complete the high school. The vote was 52-4.

1944

Round Rock High School opens with grades 7-12, and operates as such until 1971 when RRHS is moved to Lake Creek Drive.

This building, on Anderson Avenue, currently serves as C.D. Fulkes Middle School.

1945

The Merrilltown School District consolidates with Round Rock. The school was located on FM 1325 in Travis County.

1948

Following a court ruling (Delgado vs. Bastrop ISD) against segregation of Mexican-American students in Texas, the Mexican School closes and students are transferred to Central (Berkman) Elementary.

The building was sold to Col. W.N. Todd, Jr., in February 1953 for $4,500 and converted into a private residence. The building no longer stands.

July 7, 1948

Trustees vote to prohibit livestock grazing on the school campus, and to place a notice to that effect in the Round Rock Leader.

May 1952

Round Rock High School publishes its first yearbook, “The Dragon,” chronicling the 1951-1952 school year of 17 seniors, 30 juniors, 48 sophomores, and 52 freshmen. Senior Dick Mayfield is editor-in-chief.

November 5, 1952

Trustees review enrollment numbers (692 students in Round Rock) and acknowledge overcrowding.

May 15, 1954

Voters approve a $200,000 bond election to build a new elementary school that would replace the original 1914 building.

October 1, 1955

In a 199-38 vote, citizens approved a measure canceling results of the 1954 bond election.

April 6, 1957

Neysa Callison is elected as the first woman Trustee. She served until 1963.

Callison Elementary School, opened in 2008, is named in her honor.

May 13, 1957

Trustees approve the first purchase of IBM electric typewriters. Five were bought on a three-year payment plan.

July 19, 1958

Round Rock voters approve a bond election for $150,000 to construct a new elementary school.

The new 12-classroom school opens in September 1959, replacing the 1914 structure. Originally named Central Elementary, the school is now Berkman Elementary School.

October 9, 1958

Trustee minutes record a unanimous vote that “Round Rock Schools be completely segregated until other schools in the County integrate colored and white students.”

1959

Central Elementary School (now Berkman Elementary) is constructed.

Board minutes note that more than 400 people attend an open house at the new school on September 6, 1959.

December 10, 1959

The Board of Trustees approve a policy that disallows married students from participating in extra-curricular activities, such as football, pep squad, senior trips, majorette and cheer leaders.

1961

Previously, seventh and eighth grades were housed in Round Rock High School.

July 27, 1962

Trustees approve a resolution authorizing demolition of the district’s original three-story building, erected in 1914. The cornerstone is saved and mounted in a brick marker outside of the current C.D. Fulkes Middle School.

1964

The Hopewell annex, a three-classroom addition, opens. This building is renamed Southside Elementary School in 1966, and was closed in 1967 following the desegregation of Round Rock ISD schools.

July 9, 1964

Trustees approve use of educational programs offered on television by KLRN-TV, a public broadcasting station operating in Austin and San Antonio.

July 9, 1964

Round Rock trustees adopt a free-choice pre-enrollment plan for all schools in an attempt to comply with the 1964 Civil Rights Legislation. The plan was abandoned a year later when its goals were not realized.

February 10, 1966

Trustees approve RRISD participation in Head Start, a new federal program designed to promote the school readiness of preschool children from low-income families. Initially, it is an 8-week summer program.

March 10, 1966

Signe Quick, a Round Rock elementary school teacher since 1915, announces her retirement after 51 years of service

March 24, 1966

In compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that outlawed major forms of racial discrimination, Trustees unanimously vote to close the Hopewell School and operate one junior high and one high school for all students.

1967

Hopewell (renamed Southside in 1966) is closed and African-American students are reassigned to Central (Berkman) Elementary and Round Rock High School.

Hopewell had educated the district’s African-American students since 1922.

April 10, 1969

Isaac Lopez, a 1958 graduate of Round Rock High School, is sworn in as the district’s first Hispanic Trustee. He serves until 1981.

December 6, 1969

Isaac Lopez, a 1958 graduate of Round Rock High School, is sworn in as the district’s first Hispanic Trustee. He serves until 1981.

July 1, 1970

C.D. Fulkes retires after 20 years with RRISD including 13 years as principal of Round Rock High School. C.D. Fulkes Middle School is named in his honor.

November 12, 1970

The Board of Trustees vote to enact the Pregnancy-Leave Policy as follows: A teacher may not teach after seven and one-half months of pregnancy and may not return to work until the child is at least six weeks old unless by special permission of the school board and administration.

December 10, 1970

At the December 10, 1970, meeting of the Board, trustees unanimously approve a proposal that “women faculty members be allowed to wear pants suits.

1971

A new Round Rock High School opens on Lake Creek Drive. It replaces the high school building on Anderson Avenue, opened in the 1940s, which is now C.D. Fulkes Middle School.

May 28, 1972

Dedication ceremonies are held for the new Round Rock High School on Sunday, May 28, at 4:30 p.m. Guest speakers were Dr. L.P. Sturgeon, Executive Secretary of the Texas State Teachers Association, and Dr. L.D. Haskew, Dean of the UT College of Education. An open house followed.

August 17, 1972

On a split vote, Trustees approve revisions to the student dress code. Boys’ hair may extend to the bottom of a shirt collar but must be short enough so that ear lobes show. Beards or mustaches are not allowed. Girls may wear jeans but without patches or emblems.

January 10, 1974

Trustees approve computerization of all property tax records by the 1975 tax roll.

Fall 1974

Spicewood Elementary School was the district’s first campus to be established west of the current Round Rock High School — nearly 10 miles of ranch land and rock quarries separated the two schools. Prior to its opening, students living in the area attended Berkman (Central) Elementary School. Spicewood was built in 1974 to serve the newly developed area.

April 7, 1975

Central Elementary School is renamed for longtime principal Claude Berkman. The school was opened in 1959, and remodeled and updated in recent years.

The school sits on the site of the original Round Rock School which served the district from 1914-1957.

August 1975

Voigt Elementary opens at 1201 Cushing Drive. The school is named for long-time teacher Xenia Voigt.

July 13, 1978

Trustees authorize installation of a computer terminal in Central Office.

August 1976

Grisham Middle School opens at 10805 School House Lane. It is named after Noel Grisham, Superintendent of Schools from 1957-1979.

August 1977

April 13, 1978

Kathy Caraway is appointed principal of North Oaks Elementary School. She served until 2002. In 2005, the school was renamed in her honor, following her death the previous year.

August 1978

North Oaks Elementary School opened its doors in 1978. Kathy Caraway was the school’s principal. In 2005, the school was renamed in Caraway’s honor.

Due to severe overcrowding, freshman at Round Rock High School attend classes on a separate campus. After Westwood High School opens in 1981, the Ninth Grade Center becomes Chisholm Trail Middle School.

August 31, 1978

Trustees approve the addition of computer science courses to the high school curriculum. They also accepted the donation of a computer from Texas Instruments.

August 31, 1978

Trustees authorize Austin Community College to offer college credit courses at Round Rock High School and Grisham Middle School.

For two years, classes were offered only during after-school hours. In December 1980, Trustees voted to schedule college credit classes during school hours and to allow students to co-enroll in high school and ACC prior to graduation.

September 14, 1978

Trustees approve creation of a swim program for high school students. They contract to use the pool at Southwestern University in Georgetown at the cost of $300 quarterly.

October 26, 1978

Trustees approve creation of a soccer program for high school students.

January 18, 1979

Trustees name Dr. Norman Hall as Superintendent succeeding retiring Superintendent Noel Grisham who served from 1957-1979.

Dr. Hall’s administrative duties begin July 1, 1979. He serves the district until 1984.

June 1979

The Texas Historical Commission erects a marker honoring the Pond Springs community and school. In 2006, the marker was relocated to Pond Springs Elementary School, the site of an early Pond Springs school.

August 1979

Vic Robertson, Jr., Elementary School opens at 1415 Bayland. It is named in honor of Trustee Robertson who served the district from 1967-1979. In its planning stages, the school was called Mesa Ridge Elementary.

August 7, 1980

Trustees approve a high school orchestra program beginning in the 1981-1982 school year.

November 20, 1980

Round Rock Middle School is renamed in honor of C.D. Fulkes, longtime principal of Round Rock High School.

January 15, 1981

Trustees approved free admission for senior citizens to district events.

Now known as the Gold Card Program, it offers free admission to all athletic, music, and drama events to Round Rock residents age 65 and over.

1981

The Texas Historical Commission erects a Historical Marker at the RRISD Administration Building to note the development of education in the area. The first schoolhouse was a log cabin built by settler James G. Harrell in 1848 at Moss Spring on Lake Creek.

Superintendent Norman Hall officiates at the dedication ceremony.

August 1981

This building originally served the district as Round Rock High School’s Ninth Grade Center from 1979-1981. After Westwood High School opened, the building was converted to a middle school.

August 1981

The school was named on May 10, 1979. During the planning stages, it was called Anderson Mill High School.

In June 1979, a citizen requested the Board rename the school for Robert M. Williamson for whom Williamson County was named, but Trustees took no action.

On July 16, 1979, trustees adopted the school colors of orange and white. On August 7, 1979, the meeting minutes were amended to designate the orange color as “Texas Orange.

August 1981

Brushy Creek Elementary School opens at 3800 Stonebridge.

August 1981

In 1981, Purple Sage Elementary opened for the school year with 241 students.

The school is named after the native sage that has a purple flower. The mascot is “The Rider” from Zane Grey’s novel “Riders of the Purple Sage.”

August 1984

March 14, 1985

Dr. Brent Rock, assistant superintendent in the Anchorage, Alaska, school district, is named superintendent, effective July 1, 1985.

August 1986

Double File Trail Elementary School opens at 2400 Chandler Creek Blvd.

The school is named after the Double File Trail that led the Delaware Indians from their homes in east Texas in 1828 to a location near Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Two horsemen could ride “double file” on the trail, hence the name.

August 1985

Pond Springs Elementary School opens at 7825 Elk Horn Mountain Trail.

This school was originally named Milwood Elementary, but was renamed when the older Pond Springs building was closed and its students reassigned to the newly-constructed Milwood. Trustees approved the move and renaming on April 18, 1985.

August 1985

Laurel Mountain Elementary School opens at 10111 D K Ranch Road.

August 1985

Wells Branch Elementary School opens at 14650 Merrilltown Drive.

August 1986

Bluebonnet Elementary School opens at 1010 Chisholm Valley Drive.

August 1986

Double File Trail Elementary School opens at 2400 Chandler Creek Blvd.

The school is named after the Double File Trail that led the Delaware Indians from their homes in east Texas in 1828 to a location near Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Two horsemen could ride “double file” on the trail, hence the name.

August 1986

Deerpark Middle School opens at 8849 Anderson Mill Road.

August 1986

Live Oak Elementary School opens at 8607 Anderson Mill Road.

August 1986

The current McNeil High School originally served as the Westwood Annex, a school for Westwood’s ninth grade students from August 1987 through the end of the 1991-1992 school year.

April 28, 1988

Trustees name Dr. Dan McLendon as Superintendent effective July 1, 1988.

May 19, 1988

Trustees vote that, on all future school calendars, Spring Break will coincide with Spring Break at the University of Texas.

August 1988

Old Town Elementary School opens at 2200 Chaparral Drive.

December 15, 1988

Trustees approve a pilot project in distance learning via satellite at Westwood High School. The approved courses were Japanese and Probability and Statistics. The classes were limited to three students.

August 1991

August 1991

Gattis Elementary School opens at 2920 Round Rock Ranch Road. The Gattis school district, southeast of Round Rock, consolidated with RRISD in November 1939.

August 1991

Jollyville Elementary School opens at 6720 Corpus Christi, Austin.

August 1992

McNeil High School was established in 1992. During the first year only grades 9, 10 and 11 attended. The first junior class became McNeil’s first graduating class in 1994.

From 1987-1992, McNeil’s building was known as the Westwood Annex or Westwood Ninth Grade Center, a school for Westwood High School’s ninth grade students.

May 6, 1993

Archie Holmes is sworn in as the first African American Trustee. He serves until 1996.

May 20, 1993

Trustees approve changing name of Round Rock High School stadium to Dragon Stadium.

August 1993

Cedar Valley MS opens at 8139 Racine Trail, Austin.

January 27, 1994

Trustees name Dr. Tom Norris Superintendent, replacing Dr. Dan McLendon. He had been serving as Interim Superintendent since November 1993. He served until June 1998.

August 1996

Forest Creek Elementary School opens at 3505 Forest Creek Drive, Round Rock.

August 1996

Hopewell Middle School originally opened at 1901 Sunrise Drive, Round Rock.

In 2002, the school became the Ninth Grade Center for Stony Point High School when a “new” Hopewell School was built at 1535 Gulf Way.

On August 24, 2010, the school was returned to a middle school and renamed PFC Robert P. Hernandez Middle School.

Hopewell Middle School is named in honor of the first school for African American students in Round Rock. This school building operated from 1922-1966.

Spring 1997

The Round Rock High School Baseball team wins the 5A State Championship.

August 1997

Great Oaks Elementary opens at 16455 Great Oaks Drive. Matt Matthys was the school’s first principal. The school opened with 400 students.

August 1998

Canyon Creek Elementary School opens at 10210 Ember Glen Drive.

December 10, 1998

Trustees name Thomas H. Gaul Superintendent, effective January 1999. He will serve until 2005.

1999