A common school district was first established in Allen in 1883. A total of 3.8 acres were purchased for a school from the Houston & Texas Central Railroad for $150.
The citizens of Allen voted in April of 1910 to change from a common school district to an Independent School District which served 10 grades. That same year a two story brick building with a total of six rooms and an auditorium was built at the corner of Belmont and Cedar. The annual budget for 1910-1911 was $64,866 and the average teacher salary was $45 per month. The district had five teachers and served approximately 200 students.
Allen’s first graduating class of record was the class of 1914; a class of eight students.
In 1931-32 the Negro Methodist Church building was purchased to open the Allen Colored School. The Allen Colored School had eight grades and two teachers. Students then attended Doty High in McKinney for grades 9-12.
Many smaller school districts in Collin County were consolidated in the mid 1930’s. The Bethany Schools were divided between Plano and Allen while the Bush Schools were divided between Frisco and Allen. As part of redistricting, the Collin County School Board denied Allen’s request for expanded boundaries claiming the community would never grow. Allen citizens, however, were determined to have their own school.
During the 1940’s, the district faced its greatest challenge when enrollments fell one student below the state minimum of 158. The district was in danger of losing its accreditation due to shrinking enrollment, inadequate facilities, and lack of courses. Members of the Board of Trustees actively recruited and housed teachers in Allen to prevent consolidation of the Allen district with McKinney ISD. Citizens also helped to keep teachers employed by opening their homes and paying salaries through donations to PTA.
Through strong efforts on the part of the school administrators and community leaders, the outlook improved in the latter part of the 1950’s. Voters supported the 1953 and 1959 bond elections by wide margins of 61-1 and 106-0.
Growth and Expansion
In 1959, the district opened the new high school on land donated by Harris Brown at the corner of Jupiter and Main Streets. The Allen school system integrated in 1964, being the first among the County school systems in the area to do so. Enrollments increased steadily through the 1960’s. The 1968-69 school year showed total enrollments exceeding 500 for the first time.
Allen ISD’s first elementary level school was Rountree Elementary which opened in 1974. It was dedicated in honor of D. L. Rountree, a superintendent in the district for 23 years. Boyd Elementary, which opened in 1978, was named for Alton Boyd, a school board member for 27 years. In 1980, Reed Elementary opened its doors. It was named after Gene Reed, a former student and local businessman who was a dedicated supporter of Allen ISD. Ford Middle School opened in 1984 in honor of W. E. “Pete” Ford, a local businessman and long time school supporter. The late eighties saw the addition of Story Elementary (1987), dedicated in honor of Alvis C. Story, an Allen bus driver, tax collector and community leader; and Vaughan Elementary (1989), named for Max Vaughan, teacher, coach, principal and administrator for more than 30 years.
Allen Grows Up
City and school populations boomed in the 1990’s. Curtis Middle School was added in 1994, being named for two long-time Allen residents and employees of Allen ISD, Lois and Walter Curtis, who collectively served the district for more than 74 years. Mrs. Curtis was one of the first cooks for the district and later became Food Services Director. Mr. Curtis drove school buses and was a long-time tax assessor and collector for the city and school as well as many other activities. Green Elementary opened in 1995 and was named in tribute to the grandmother of the land donor, Flossie Floyd Green. Anderson Elementary and Norton Elementary opened for the 1997-98 school year. Anderson was dedicated in the name of George C. Anderson, former principal of the Allen Colored School, and teacher-coach in the Allen school system. Norton bears the name of Frances E. Norton, a dedicated teacher in the Allen schools for 30 years. Allen ISD added two new campuses for the 1999-2000 school year. The Dillard Special Achievement Center was named for the former school board member, Mrs. Pat Dillard. The school serves as a site for alternative education programs and other non-traditional education services.
August of 1999 also saw the opening of Allen High School 2000. The state of the art facility opened to 2,200 students in grades 10-12. The former high school was converted into the Becky Lowery Freshman Center in honor of a former middle school teacher and school counselor.
Two new elementary schools opened in August 2000. James Kerr Elementary School was named for the former school board member of 23 years. Luther and Anna Mae Bolin Elementary School was named in honor of the former school board member and his wife on land donated by their sons, Kenneth and Forrest Bolin. James & Margie Marion Elementary School opened in August 2003 in honor of the former Allen principal and librarian. Thomas Ereckson Middle School opened in August 2004 in the name of the former school board member. Dr. ET Boon Elementary School opened in 2005 honoring former school board member and community businessman Dr. ET Boon. Chandler Elementary School opened in August 2006 in recognition of Carlena Chandler, a former Allen High School student and long-time teacher. Mary Evans Elementary School opened in August 2008. The school was named for a former school board member and community leader Mary Evans. David and Lynda Olson Elementary School opened in August 2009. It is named for David Olson, a former school administrator and Lynda Olson, a school counselor. Beverly Cheatham Elementary School, named in honor of the former high school nurse, opened in August 2010. Named for long-time Allen educator and school board member, Lois Lindsey Elementary opened in August 2013.
Today, with enrollment of over 20,000 students, up more than 150 percent since 1984-85. The district includes 23 campuses and employs more than 2,300 individuals.