- Plano Independent School District
Plano ISD to Vertically Align and Unify High Schools with Senior High Schools
March 20, 2023
Plano ISD is undergoing a vertical alignment between feeder high schools and senior high schools in order to address challenges due to the district’s unique configuration 9-10 and 11-12 campus to enhance cohesion, student engagement and unity.
In conjunction with the district’s strategic plan, the Plano ISD Athletics Department began taking steps to evaluate the athletics program and identify needs to enhance student engagement and participation. Some of the issues identified included addressing small teams at the 10th grade level, as well as increasing player development. Additionally, Plano ISD’s unique configuration, as compared to a comprehensive 9-12 high school model, can cause scheduling challenges with other districts when competing. Recruitment of coaching staff is another challenge of this structure as compared to other districts.
Currently, Plano ISD 9-10 campuses have their own identities. Aligning schools will consist of unifying brands, mascots and colors of 9-10 campuses with their respective 11-12 senior high schools.
Wildcats (Maroon and White)
Plano Senior High School (11-12)
Clark High School (9-10)
Vines High School (9-10)
Panthers (Black and Gold)
Plano East Senior High School (11-12)
McMillen High School (9-10)
Williams High School (9-10)
Wolves (Blue, White and Black)
Plano West Senior High School (11-12)
Jasper High School (9-10)
Shepton High School (9-10)
“We believe this change will also enhance student engagement and increase participation while recognizing that some of our high school student-athletes are already competing at the senior high level,” said Plano ISD Superintendent Dr. Theresa Williams. “We want everyone to feel a strong sense of belonging and great school pride.”
A community survey was open to all stakeholders last January, in which 2,576 (70 percent) out of 3,669 respondents supported alignment. Seventy-six percent of respondents believed that alignment will increase school spirit and unity within ninth through 12th grade student groups.
“Our students are chasing that dream of being a Wildcat, Panther or Wolf,” said Plano ISD Director of Athletics Jeff Smith. “Everyone is going to be on the same team, and that will create a lot of enthusiasm and excitement as we’re all one team working in the same direction together.”
Alignment changes will be accomplished in phases over the next three years within the existing annual budgets and in conjunction with projects from the approval of the November 2022 bond election. Uniforms will be aligned starting in the 2023-24 school year, and facility changes will be made in phases during that time.