Is Plano ISD a good School District?
If you are new to Plano Schools or just have younger kids it’s a good idea to learn a little bit more about Plano public schools and introduce you to Plano ISD.
What is Plano ISD (PISD)?
Plano ISD Schools (PISD) are structured a little differently from other surrounding school districts so it’s a good idea to know more about them before your kids start. Nationally renowned, Plano has real pride in PISD, which currently educates just under 53,000 students.
Within 73 campuses over 100 square miles, over 7,000 Plano ISD teachers and staff serve kids from 127 countries with 95 spoken languages.
PISD has a number of programs (ESL (English as a Second language, PACE (for gifted and talented students), Special Education, AVID, Summer learning programs and also has an adult transition center for Special Education students aged 18-22.
Plano ISD also has 4 specialized facilities: Plano Academy High School, an IB World School and the Health Science Academy (Plano East Senior High School) and an IB PYP World Elementary School at Huffman.
Are you new to the area?
Your child will automatically be placed to the zoned school for the address you are registered at. Use the Plano ISD School Finder to see which one you are zoned to. When you enroll at the school you’ll need a copy of your rental agreement, property tax/utility bill and other proof of residence. Transfers are available but within limited windows of time and by following the process, so be sure to research this so you are familiar with how it works. It differs for each school level and some schools may not be open to transfers if they are at capacity.
If you live in parts of Richardson, Dallas, Wylie, Murphy, Allen, Carrollton, Garland, Lucas or Parker you may be zoned to a PISD school.
Plano Public Schools Calendar
The Plano ISD School Calendar can change year to year, but currently starts August 12th and will let out just before Memorial Day. For the current Plano ISD Calendar 2019-20, you’ll find it here.
Plano ISD Calendar 2020-21
Early Childhood Schools: Beaty, Isaacs & Pearson
Half day program: 8 to 11 a.m. or 12 to 3 p.m.
Full day program: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Head Start 8:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Elementary Schools (grades K-5): 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Middle Schools (grades 6-8): 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
High/Senior High Schools (grades 9-12): 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Academy High School: 9:20 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Health Sciences Academy and IB World School: 9:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Elementary (grades K-8) – 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Secondary (grades 9-12) – 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
How many Schools are in Plano ISD?
Pre-K: Half-day programs are available at some of the Campuses and transportation available too. Be sure to check if you qualify. Low income students qualify for full day, but in 2020-21, those who meet any of the seven qualifiers defined by the state will be eligible.
4 new schools will be added to cater for more students which will be: Barron, Boggess, Hughston and Matthews.
Existing Pre-K campuses are: Beaty, Isaacs, Pearson, Plano Head Start, Christie, Forman, Haggar, Huffman, Jackson, Memorial, Mendenhall, Mitchell, Sigler, Thomas and Weatherford.
Elementary: Once your child turns 5 (on or before September 1) they are ready to start Kindergarten and one of the local PISD elementary schools. These schools will be for grades Kindergarten – 5th grade.
Middle: PISD Middle school serves grades 6-8th.
PISD High School: This is for grades 9-10th only.
Senior High: Senior High Schools in PISD serve grades 11-12. Plano has 4, including Plano Academy.
Plano East Senior High School has an IB World (International Baccalaureate) program and also offers some unique programs including Health Sciences, Audio Visual programs and has it’s own car shop for budding mechanics!
PISD Academy Programs: In the last few years, Plano has incorporated some academy high schools for some qualifying students. Right now there are 3 academy programs at different locations across Plano including the PISD Academy High School. These are great for kids that need a different learning and smaller environment at the High School level and offer places using a Lottery Application.
Special Programs: Special programs serve students that are referred by an intervention team from their home school, that need some special behavioral training and assistance. For older students, they help with at-risk students that are in danger of dropping out or students that need some accelerated instruction.
PISD prioritizes Special Education, English as a Second language, AVID, PACE and Title 1 schools. There is a Section 504 co-ordinator at every campus.
Plano ISD does offer free busing if you live more than 2 miles from your zoned school. Ensure you are familiar with the bus stops, routes and times for pick up and drop off and that the Transportation Department have your child listed. You’ll need to advise the school if your child will be riding the bus. You’ll be asked to advise your child’s teacher when you register for the school and on your first day or at your welcome meeting at Elementary age.
From 3rd grade onwards, children are able to leave the school to walk home and crossing guards are situated at the schools that need it for safety reasons.
If you are driving to and from school, be sure to understand how the carpool line works at your local campus and the best times to arrive.
Breakfast and Lunch
Breakfast options are available on early arrival at school
Students can choose to eat lunch provided by the School Cafeteria each day (funded by parent contributions via the Paypams system or bring a packed lunch to school. Kids who have food allergies are given a separate table to eat at on all campuses. FANS is the short name for the Food and Nutrition Services department at PISD. Menus are available to check and you can email the cafeteria manager if you wish to restrict any student choices they make.
Free and Reduced lunch benefits are open to those families who qualify.
PASAR – After-School Care
For working parents who need after-school care, many campuses will have programs and after school clubs which are optional extras (some operated by PTA for an extra cost). PASAR is Plano ISD’s after-school care program for students in grades Pre-K through grade 5, located on all elementary campuses, including Head Start, Beaty ECS, Isaacs ECS and Pearson ECS.
Pasar Hours are:
Monday through Thursday 2:45 – 6:30 p.m.
Friday 2:45 – 6:00 p.m.
Early Childhood Programs
Plano has a number of options that you might not know about for preschool-aged children.
- There are 3 Early Childhood centers that your child could attend based on where you live in Plano. These are tuition based and are 5 days a week for children of age 4 before September 1st.
- State and Federal Programs. If you meet the criteria stated, your child could attend one of the early childhood centers for free.
- Full Day Pre-K: This is for families that live only in the Christie, Huffman, Jackson, Memorial and Thomas elementary schools. If you do not know what school area you live in check this school finder.
- Preschool for Children with Disabilities: PPCD is a special education program that serves children 3-5 with disabilities. You have to qualify to attend but some children go for speech and social and emotional delays. The cost is free after a child turns 3 years old.
- Senior High Learning Centers: This is a tuition-based preschool for children ages 3-5. The schools are located at each Senior High School and along with teachers, high school students interested in teaching help assist and work there.
- Plano Family Literacy: This is a full family educational program. It will assist in teaching the adults and children in the family. There are specific requirements for this program including low income and limited English.
- Head Start: A federally funded program for children ages 3 or 4 and the families that meet low-income guidelines.
Resources for Parents
If you wish to connect with other parents and help your school fundraise or lobby as a parent for our student’s education, welfare and extra programs, join your campus PTA as a single member. Annual rates start at $15 per member and provide numerous benefits.
PISD Parent Portal
Parents with registered Parent Portal accounts can login and access:
- Grades (the PISD Gradebook)
- Student Registration
- PASAR Registration & Payments
- Emergency Card
- STAAR & Performance Data
- Immunization Records
For grades, click the Parent Viewer button on the portal dashboard and look for Gradebook.
PISD uses an online payment system for School Lunches for a meal account balance, Fare Busing, Early Childhood Tuition, Adventure Camp, and Off-Campus PE payments – you can connect it to your debit or credit card and it will deduct money to add to your student’s account as needed.
They also have a great App you can download as a Parent or a Student with handy links to everything you’ll need.
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