Plano ISDPublic Schools
District Name: Plano ISD
District Size & Class Size: Students: 55,000; staff: 6,500. Elementary class sizes: K-4th: 22; 5th grade: 26
Grade Level Alignment: Early childhood schools (pre-K); elementary schools (K-5); middle schools (6-8); high schools (9-10); senior high schools (11-12); special programs (K-8); special programs (9-12); Plano ISD Academy High School (9-12); IB World School at Plano East (9-12 for IB students only)
Distinguishing Characteristics: Steeped in a history of excellence spanning more than 100 years, Plano ISD is a highly regarded district known for the continual accomplishments of its diverse and competitive student population. The district’s exceptional educational offerings make the surrounding community an excellent place to live, work, and raise a family. Through a comprehensive selection of electives, academic courses, and extracurricular activities (detailed below), Plano ISD is able to meet the individual needs and talents of its students.
Specializations and Program Offerings: CTE, special education, dual credit, AP, GT, STEM, etc.
Academy Programs of Plano: Plano ISD opened three student choice academy programs for ninth and tenth grade students for the 2013-14 school year: Plano ISD Academy High School, Health Sciences Academy, and IB World School at Plano East Senior High School. Each provides students with more choices in not just what they learn, but also how they learn—and allows Plano ISD to serve an even greater variety of student interests and needs. Learn more at pisd.edu/academies.
AVID: Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. Every Plano ISD secondary campus supports the AVID program. Several elementary schools are piloting the AVID program.
Gifted Education/PACE: Plano Academic and Creative Education (PACE) is the cornerstone of the district’s gifted and talented education program and serves students in kindergarten through graduation. Students may join at any grade level. PACE is more than a course; it is a motivating and challenging experience that lasts multiple years of a student’s education. The PACE program provides an invigorating, creative, and rigorous learning environment to nurture the unique academic, social, and emotional needs of gifted and talented students. The PACE program focuses on gifted academic experiences and personal development. Although the majority of PACE students also possess artistic or musical talent, courses exist outside of the PACE program for students talented in speech, the performing arts, and/or the visual arts.
International Baccalaureate Program: The IB World School at Plano East is a rigorous course of study designed to meet the needs of highly motivated secondary students and to promote international understanding. Many students earning the IB diploma are awarded advanced college credit at prestigious universities around the world. In 2013, Plano ISD had 113 full diploma candidates in the IB program; 80 IB diplomas were awarded and students took 767 IB exams.
Collin College Dual Enrollment: Since fall 2005, Plano ISD has offered a dual enrollment program through Collin College. Spring 2013 enrollment was 511 students. Fall 2013 enrollment is 665 students. Students earn college credit through Collin College in U.S. History, Government, Economics, and English IV.
Career and Technical Education (CTE): CTE offers opportunities for students to learn skills they may use in high school, college, their career, and as a financial means to help further their education. CTE blends academics and career preparation skills to produce more well-rounded graduates ready for the opportunities of the world. Courses include agriculture science, automotive, business, criminal science, culinary, education, engineering, family and consumer science, health science, marketing, and technology.
Credit by Exam: Credit by Exam provides a way for kindergarten through eighth grade students to take a test to move ahead one grade level. For high school students, Credit by Exam provides advanced students an opportunity to earn credit in a course that they have not taken in school.
eSchool: Plano ISD eSchool, designed and implemented by Plano ISD faculty and staff, enables students to take high school courses online, on their own time, wherever access is available to the Internet and a computer. Students have the opportunity to interact with a group of recognized, experienced, and well-trained teachers as they work through the curriculum independently. Since February 2001, Plano ISD eSchool has served more than 30,000 high school students in Texas, the United States, and other countries. Plano ISD eSchool students have a completion rate of 87 percent and an overall passing rate of 96 percent.
Special Education: Plano ISD provides special education services for students with disabilities, ages 3-21, who have a need for specially designed instruction. Identification of children with disabilities begins at birth. Plano ISD is actively involved with “child find” efforts to ensure that children with learning challenges have access to evaluations and services, when appropriate. Plano ISD believes in educating students in the least restrictive environment. A full continuum of instructional and related services is available to eligible students, with initial consideration given to provision of services in the general education classroom to the greatest extent possible.
Summer Opportunities for Learning: The 10,000 students who annually attend Plano ISD’s summer school program are given opportunities to study curriculum that reinforces and/or enriches skills and knowledge learned during the regular school year. Two types of curricula are offered: the regular program and the enrichment program. Additionally, classes provide students with an environment that is both stimulating and encouraging.
Extracurricular: Plano ISD offers an array of curricular and extracurricular activities. Students are able to find their fit through student-led clubs and a full complement of award-winning fine arts and athletics programs. Young scholars, artists, and athletes have brought numerous regional, state, and national awards to the district.
Safety and Security:
Plano ISD recently approved an enhanced security plan that included such features as:
> Target hardening – modifying entrances/exits as needed and creating physical barriers.
> Added police protection – adding police surveillance and/or presence at all campuses through the use of contracted police patrols that will continually move between campuses.
> Mobile panic buttons – these tools are being added at the elementary and early childhood campuses that serve our most vulnerable students.
> Additional safety drills and training for new tools.
The police presence and the updated security plan address a broad range of security issues. New components complement the existing security plan and provide added security to all campuses with an emphasis at elementary and early childhood locations. Plano ISD is fortunate to have individual city and county efforts to provide this support.
M&O/I&S Tax Rates and Last Bond Passage: Plano ISD held and passed its last bond election in 2008. In 2013, the district held a tax ratification election, which also passed, adjusting the total M&O and I&S tax rates to $1.453.
Average Home Value in District: $259,201
Selling Points: With award-winning teachers and programs, Plano ISD has long played a vital role in the economic success of its surrounding community. Its reputation for excellence continues to lure professional families, and in turn, companies to the area. Plano ISD students’ scores on college entrance exams far exceed state and national averages each year. The incomparable performance of Plano ISD students on these exams and boasting two U.S. Presidential Scholars and 208 National Merit Scholarship Finalists over the past two years provides a competitive edge for college admission and higher education success. Plano ISD is one of 477 school districts in the United States and Canada, and 14 school districts in Texas, to be honored by the College Board with placement on the fourth annual AP District Honor Roll. All Plano ISD elementary, middle, and high school campuses provide rigorous programs that cultivate achievement at each level and prepare students for their experiences at the senior high school campuses and beyond graduation.
Philosophy: Plano ISD believes that today’s classroom, community, and global environments demand new learning standards for students so that they will have the ability to successfully live in, learn in, lead, and contribute to a world that is truly global, connected, and increasingly competitive in scope and character.