In the Know


Sherman Among the Nation’s Top Five for Highest Graduation Rate

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Sherman has been ranked as one of the nation’s top five metropolitan areas in terms of high school graduation. In the July issue of Texas Lone Star, a publication of the Texas Association of School Boards, the magazine highlights Texas High Schools that are among America’s best in the nation. The cities of Sherman and Denison are ranked as one of the top Texas towns in the nation with the highest graduation rate.

“We are proud of our graduation rate,” SISD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Susan Whitenack expressed. “We begin by talking about the importance of graduation early in our students’ academic careers and our teachers, counselors, and principals intentionally plan lessons and activities that encourage students to reach their goals.”

The article sites data from the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute which reports that high school graduation rates are the highest in the country in five Texas metro areas: Wichita Falls – 97.4 percent; Midland – 96.7 percent; Beaumont-Port Arthur – 96.4 percent; Lubbock – 95.3 percent; and Sherman-Denison – 94.6 percent. Additionally, the article explains that according to a study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), about 85 percent of high school students in the nation graduate with a diploma, putting Sherman ISD a little over nine points higher than the national average. Sherman ISD Assistant Superintendent of Student Engagement Dr. Tamy Smalskas credits the district’s strategic college and career readiness push for the high school graduation rate ranking.

“Our goal is to help our students plan beyond their high school graduation. Through our college and career readiness push, we help our students receive industry-standard certifications, college acceptance letters and study career paths they are interested in,” Dr. Smalskas explained. “As we design and set up academic programs with a college and career readiness focus, it allows our students to reach their high school graduation milestone and graduate with post-secondary plans.”

The article’s information is based on statistical data from the NCES from 2016-2017. The Texas Education Agency reports Sherman ISD at a 98 percent graduation rate for 2018.

Music in Action!

Mrs. Priscilla Burns, music teacher at Neblett Elementary School, is teaching SLC students all about rhythm! Mrs. Burns and her students started off the lesson by participating in a ribbon movement activity to the “Entry of the Gladiators” by Julius Fucik. Students waved their ribbons side-to-side, up-and-down, and around-and-around to the beat of a song. Next, the students were given egg shakers and created a steady beat to the song “Apples and Bananas." To end their fun day in music class, Mrs. Burns used her cow puppet to help tell the story, “There Was a Man and He Was Mad” by John Feierabend. Fun was had by all in Mrs. Burns's music class!
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Multiplication Fun!

In Beverly Warren’s fourth grade class at Wakefield Elementary, students are practicing their multiplication skills by playing a fun and engaging game called Multiplication War! Before starting, Warren decides whether the highest or lowest value will win. Each student picks up two playing cards then multiplies the value of the two cards. Without letting their classmates see, each student writes their answer on a whiteboard. After everyone has their answer, they show and compare their answers to see who won. If two students have the same value, they get to duel to see who wins! This game allows our students to play a fun and friendly competitive game while practicing their multiplication skills!
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School Cash Online

We are very excited to announce the launch of School Cash Online, an online payment system that allows parents to pay for student fees and school items. School Cash Online is our preferred method of payment moving forward. For teachers and staff, this means considerable time saved when planning, processing, and handling cash payments. No more collecting checks and counting cash!

Teachers, sponsors, fine arts directors, and coaches - for any of your field trips, pizza days, athletic fees, or any other items you have for students to purchase/pay, please fill out the attached Event and Activity Form and submit it to your campus secretary/bookkeeper. They will then be able to post this item on School Cash Online. Registered parents will receive a notification when the item becomes available for purchase for their child. This will help reduce the amount of overdue and forgotten payments. To view success strategies for teachers using School Cash Online, click here.

Our official launch date is Friday, August 16 and full district implementation will be done by January 2020. Once we are launched, please encourage your students and parents to enroll by registering at

We are excited about this great solution for teachers and parents. In order to make this successful, we need our staff to promote paying online at every opportunity. Remember, when you have an item you would like to collect fees for, please use the attached Event Template Form and forward it to your campus secretary/bookkeeper in order for the item or fee to be made available online. To encourage parents to make their payments on School Cash Online, please include the following link in your communication to parents (

To view the Parent Intro to School Cash Online video, click here.

If you have any additional questions, please click here to review the new Activity Fund Procedure manual and forms or contact your campus secretary/bookkeeper.


The safety and security of Sherman ISD students and staff are paramount, and the District fully understands that SISD staff are first on the scene in the event of an emergency intruder situation. As a result, the Board of Trustees established local policies CKC, DH, and GKA to facilitate the implementation of a School Guardian Program. This program permits selected and approved employees to receive the necessary training and carry a concealed firearm on Sherman ISD property. An application process is currently available for interested and eligible employees. If you would like to consider applying as a School Guardian, please contact Tyson Bennett, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, at or 903-891-6415.

Human Resources

Employee Pay Rates: Please log on to the Frontline (TEAMS) Employee Self-Serve portal and check your pay information for the 2019-2020 school year. That portal can be found at If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Human Resources department.

Start of School: Please give your campus principal/director your employee handbook receipt, certificates for any required training(s) you completed over the summer, and a copy of your teaching certificate, classroom assistant certificate and/or professional license.

Benefit Enrollment- New Employees: All new employees need to enroll in or decline benefits. You may choose to do this in person, or enroll online. Representatives will be at the Service Center on August 5 and August 12 (8am-4pm) to help with your enrollment. These days are teacher workdays on the campus, please inform your principal/director when you come to the Service Center to enroll during the day. The enrollment window closes on August 19. Attached, you will find information on electronic enrollment.

Benefit Enrollment- Current Employees: It is time to make sure you have made all of the changes you intended to make in your benefit enrollment for 2019-2020. As you are aware, open enrollment occurred in the spring for all employees. If you need to make changes in your selections, please log on and make those changes. In addition, if flexible spending arrangements or health savings accounts were not re-enrolled at your on-campus enrollment in May, you need to reconfirm your enrollment at this time online. The enrollment window closes on August 19. Attached, you will find information on electronic enrollment.

Upcoming District Events

Aug. 27- SHSVolleyball at Community @ 5:30/6:30

Aug. 29 - BOTA Community Pep Rally @ 6pm at Municipal Grounds

Aug. 30 - BOTA Spirit Day @ 5pm-7:15pm

Aug. 30 - BOTA Football Game @ 7:30pm

Sep. 2 - Labor Day Holiday (All district offices and campuses closed.)

BOTA Canned Food Drive

A great part of BOTA is the annual Canned Food Drive Competition led by the Sherman High School Student Council. Of course, we fully intend on being number one with loads of donations that will benefit Master Key Ministries of Sherman.

Over the past couple of years, due to the support of our community, we’ve successfully collected thousands of cans. We look forward to another successful year and need your help to #BEATdenison and collect the most cans!

Listed below are a few examples of items that can be contributed:

  • Tuna or other canned meats
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned or Dried Beans
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Pasta

Items may be donated to each Sherman ISD campus of the SISD administration building. Donations will be accepted during the duration of the drive (through August 28) during regular business hours.

Introduction to Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care

Training provided by Child & Family Guidance Center of Texoma and Texoma Community Center for mental health providers, school personnel, and anyone else that works with individuals that have been exposed to trauma.

About this Event

  • Date And Time
  • Friday, September 27, 2019
  • 10:00am – 12:00pm

Trauma is a prevalent factor in the lives of many of the people with which we interact daily. Research informs us that 67% of the population has experienced at least one Adverse Childhood Experience. As community members, it is valuable to increase our knowledge of trauma, its’ impact, and how to provide care through a trauma-informed lens. In this interactive workshop, participants will:

• Increase their understanding of trauma,

• Learn about common impacts and effects of trauma,

• Gain knowledge about trauma-informed care, and

• Identify how trauma-informed care policies and practices can enhance the work they are doing.

To register for this event, click here.

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