Background & History

ECONOMIC BACKGROUND

The Sealy Independent School District is located in the southern portion of Austin County, approximately 35 miles from the city of Houston.  It is intersected by Interstate Highway 10 and State Highway 36.  The district covers 217.64 square miles.

Historically, this is an agricultural area based on farming, ranching, and related businesses.  Cattle, cotton, maize, peanuts, rice, other grains and hay are among the principal crops.  Petroleum production and oil related businesses are also important parts of the economy.  In more recent years, a number of industries of a diverse nature have located here, resulting in increased job opportunities and residential developments.

The accessibility by highway and by rail has helped to make this a vibrant, growing community.

BRIEF HISTORY OF SEALY SCHOOLS

There were scattered schools in the Sealy area during the period from 1879 to 1886.  Among them were a private school on the east side of the Santa Fe Railroad and two  private schools on the west side.

In 1886, the Sealy School Board used a state appropriation of $450 to build a two-story frame building on what is now the site of Levine Park on Main Street.  In 1887, all private schools in Sealy merged into the first free public school here.  There were 210 students enrolled in ten grades.

A law passed in 1901 authorized the State Board of Education to invest state public funds in “Independent Free School District Funds”.  Sealy citizens voted a $9,000.00 bond issue for construction of a brick school building.  It was built in 1903 on the south side of Main Street.

The Sealy Independent School District was created by an act of the thirty-fifth legislature that was signed into law by Governor James E. Ferguson on March 26, 1917. 

A two-story brick building was built in 1922 on the north side of Main Street, on the block that is now occupied by the city hall and other governmental structures.

With the deterioration of old properties and the need for expansion, the high school and administration offices were moved to North Circle Drive and West Street in 1948.  The first brick building erected on the new site was the gymnasium, built in 1949, followed by construction of the elementary building in 1958 as well as other classrooms and facilities.  Classes were discontinued on Main Street and the buildings were razed.

The following years were marked by additional bond issues and major building additions and improvements.  Population growth, school consolidations, school mergers,  integration of schools, and a vastly enriched school curriculum contributed to the growth in student population and the need for additional facilities. 

In 1949, the dormant Cannon Hill, Mixville, Rexville, and Cleveland Schools were consolidated with the Sealy Independent School District by the Austin County Board of Education.  Cat Spring school and Sealy voted to consolidate on March 21, 1953, with approval granted by the County Board in April.  The San Felipe School was consolidated with Sealy on July 13, 1954, and Frydek School became a part of this district on March 10, 1964.  The parishioners of St. Mary’s Parochial School in Frydek had previously closed their school.  The Peters-Hacienda School, formerly the Peters School and the Hacienda School, consolidated with Sealy on July 20, 1965.

The Austin County High School (African-American) was integrated with the Sealy High School in 1966, and the Austin County Elementary School (African-American) was integrated with Sealy Elementary School in 1968.

The Immaculate Conception School of Sealy was merged with the public school on October 1, 1970, by joint action of the boards of the two schools.

With the completion of these actions, the Sealy School District served all students within its 217.64 square mile area in Austin County.

In 1982, the school district was expanded to a second site with the opening of the Maggie B. Selman Elementary School at 1741 Highway 90 West.

A physical education building was added in 1990 through a joint effort of the Sealy P.T.A. and the school district.

During the summer and fall of 1994, renovations and updates were completed at the Sealy Junior High School building. During the fall of 1997, major renovations and additions were completed at Sealy High School.  Twelve new classrooms, a new cafeteria, and relocating the library to the old cafeteria occurred.

During the fall of 2002, the voters passed a 24 million dollar bond election to construct a new high school.  This facility welcomed the students of Sealy High School on August 15, 2005.  The Administrative offices and classrooms on the first and second floors of the old high school were remodeled during the summer of 2005, to make room for the sixth grade.

During the summer of 2006, due to student population, the Intermediate moved to the Jr. High building, which was remodeled to accommodate the fourth and fifth grade.  The Jr. High then moved to the “old” High School, which was also remodeled.

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