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The History of Waller Schools


Waller Independent School District

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1887 - The first Waller School was built by community members led by Judge J.T.Sanders. The 30' x 24' building was located on the NW corner of Penick and Cherry Streets and is believed to have been facing Penick Street.

The first public school term in Waller began in the fall of 1887. It was six months long and the teacher, Nettie Collins Anderson Baker, was paid $35 per month.

By the end of the first term, 80 students were attending the Waller School, sitting on rough hewn benches, using slates, McGuffey's readers, and Blue Back Spellers. Water was supplied from a well dug near the front door.

1898 - Community School No. 4 for African-American students opened on the SW corner of Bois D'Arc and A Streets. The building was a one-room wooden structure built on blocks. A cafeteria occupied the west end with the remaining area set aside for classroom space. There was no porch, but wooden steps led up to two double doors on the east end. The building was surrounded by a hedge fence, and students climbed wooden steps built over the hedge to get onto the school grounds.

1899 - The second Waller School building was constructed near the Waller-Harris line on what is today the NW corner of Pine and Cherry Streets. The building was a two-story, box-like structure with four rooms, a bell on top, and a well out front.

1911 - The Waller Independent School District was formed by election (54 votes for, 7 votes against).

The first Waller School Mothers Club, a forerunner to later Waller P.T.A. and P.T.O. groups, was organized.

1916 - The third Waller School building was constructed on a five-acre site on the northern edge of town. The property, the former location of the South Texas Baptist College which had been destroyed in the 1900 hurricane, cost $600.

The new, U-shaped, wooden building was completed and ready for use by 165 Waller School students in the spring of 1917. The bell topping the central entry of the structure was the same one that had been used in the previous school.

1924 - A home economics building was added to the Waller School campus. It was a wooden structure with a front porch, living room, storage area, and four kitchen units which were also used for sewing classes.

1926 - The Waller School building was renovated to allow  for the addition of an eleventh grade.

1930 - The Waller district became the Waller Consolidated Independent School District as other area schools began to consolidate with it.

The Waller School received its classification as a high school after applying for nine affiliated credits and receiving all but one - an action that set a state record for credits gained in one year. The student population was 339.

The fourth Waller School building was constructed on a site in front of the U-shaped third Waller School building. The new structure of brick and stucco had a large auditorium and stage with side dressing rooms, as well as classrooms, library, administration offices and indoor restrooms. It was completed for $30,000.

1937 - The fifth Waller School building was constructed of red brick and housed a basketball court, gymnasium, and classrooms.

1940 - The fifth, sixth, and seventh grades of Community School No. 4 were moved to the Prairie View Training School and a twelfth grade was added to the Waller School.

The first Waller School Marching Band was formed.

1952 - A new 12-classroom brick elementary school was constructed along Waller Street with an entrance on Farr Street across from the high school.

1957 - Umland Junior High School was built just north of Waller Street, immediately beside the recently constructed elementary school. (Note: Both structures, which were long and narrow with exits at both ends, were situated across the Waller-Harris County line. As a result, students and others could enter in one county and exit in the other.)

1958 - A new Prairie View High School is opened.

1963 - A study released by the Waller County Development Council described the Waller district: "The Waller Independent School District covers an area of 328 square miles with 12 school buses transporting students. Student population is 984, an increase of 47 over last year. There are two accredited high schools and two accredited elementary schools - one each in Waller and Prairie View - with a total of 41 teachers employed."

1964 - Prairie View Training School building becomes Prairie View Elementary School.

1969 - A new Waller High School opens on Waller Street on the site of the old brick and stucco building.

The Waller Junior High School opens at Prairie View.

1974 - The new I.T. Holleman Elementary School opens in Waller.

1979 - A new Waller Junior High School for seventh and eighth grade students is constructed east of the Umland Building and the old elementary school.

The Waller Middle School opens in Prairie View for all sixth and some fifth grade students.

1985 - A newly constructed Roberts Road Elementary School opens several miles east of Waller.

A new Waller Junior High School opens on Stokes Road.

1992 - After a four-year closure for repairs, Herman T. Jones Intermediate School opens in the Prairie View facility.

The name of the Waller Junior High School is changed to Wayne C. Schultz Middle School.

1998 - A new Waller High School opens on Fields Store Road north of Waller and the old Waller High School becomes Waller Junior High.

2002 - Fields Store Elementary School opens and Jones Intermediate School becomes Jones Elementary School.

2004 - Groundbreaking for classroom additions to Waller High School, to be followed by additions for performing arts and outdoor athletics dressing facilities.

2006 - Faculty, staff and students move into the newly constructed classrooms, performing arts and outdoor athletics dressing facilities additions at Waller High School.

2008 - Groundbreaking for Evelyn Turlington Elementary School, classroom additions to Schultz Junior High, Waller ISD Athletic Stadium, and renovations to Waller Junior High. 

2009 - Waller ISD undergoes a grade realignment at the elementary and junior high schools.  All elementary schools grade levels were converted from PreK-4th grade into Pre-K-5th grade schools.  Schultz Middle School was changed from a 5th-6th grade campus into a 6th - 8th grade campus, and renamed Schultz Junior High.  Waller ISD opened the school year with 5 elementary schools, two junior high schools, and one high school.
2010 - Waller ISD is a Texas "Recognized" School District. Signage is added to the exterior of the Administration Building.  Construction began on the new Technology & Training  Center in November and was completed in January, 2011. Evelyn Turlington Elementary School selected for the prestigious Caudill Award, Texas highest honor for the planning of public education facilities over 99 other school design projects.
2014 - Waller ISD's Fields Store Elementary School is named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education  - One of 25 in Texas and one of 337 in the country.
2015 - Waller ISD develops a Citizens' Planning Committee to recommend a bond referendum package.
The Waller ISD 2015 bond referendum passed with an unofficial count of 2,119 votes “FOR” the bond resulting in a 64% approval rating. This was the highest voter turnout in Waller ISD's history with a total of 3,299 votes cast at the polls.
2016 - The Waller ISD plans a groundbreaking ceremony for a new H.T. Jones Elementary School.  The existing campus building is a leased property from Prairie View A&M University.  Waller ISD owns the new property.  The projected school opening date is planned for August, 2017.

The bell in the Waller ISD logo is a photograph of the original 1887 Waller School bell which, after years of silence, has once again assumed a position of prominence in the Waller Independent School District.   The bell has been on display since 2000 in the main foyer of the Waller Administration Building.  The building was the elementary school from 1952-73 and was renovated in 2000.

FROM: The History of Waller, Texas /Burman/1997. Copies available from cityhall@wallertexas.com.



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