Sherman ISD enrollment soars, demographics changing

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SHERMAN, TEXAS -- Sherman ISD Superintendent Al Hambrick is managing one of the most diverse school districts in the area; a district that's growing steadily.

"We have been averaging about 100 student growth in a year, but this year, we're over 200, so we felt like that that is more significant than we've seen," Hambrick said.

His 7,200 students are 46 percent white, 33 percent Hispanic and 14 percent African American: demographics that have evolved within the past five years.

"We have 27 languages in our district right now," Hambrick said.

The district's biggest change this year is their increase in enrollment.

Hambrick says the city's growth remains steady, but the district has grown by about 2 percent each year for the past five years. This year, enrollment jumped by about 3 and a half percent.

"We really need to start looking at our seat space and make sure that we have enough classroom space for all of our students," Hambrick said.

That's where Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tyson Bennett comes in. He oversees a transfer program that ensures Sherman schools don't get overcrowded.

The district transfers students when classrooms exceed a 22 to 1 student-teacher ratio.

"Whenever we transfer students to another campus, what we do is we transfer them to an adjacent campus, or a cluster campus, where we want to make sure that we still maintain neighborhood schools as best we can," Bennett said.

Hambrick says the district's growth spurt, and change in demographics, has come as a shock, but they're handling it the best they can.

"We are providing the support that our teachers need to make sure that they're not overloaded and to make sure that students have space that they need to learn," Hambrick said.

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