C-FB ISD provides instructional services to children who live in portions of Addison, Carrollton, Coppell, Farmers Branch, Irving and Dallas.
C-FB ISD prides itself on making the schools, principals and teachers accessible to its communities.
From their humble beginnings as log cabins with dirt floors, schools in the district have grown to a present value of more than $300 million. While a total enrollment of 200 students in Carrollton in 1914 filled one school to its capacity, the district’s 43 schools today serve more than 26,000 students from parts of Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Addison, Coppell, Dallas and Irving.
Times have changed, but the commitment to providing quality education for the children of the community is as strong today as it was in the earliest days of public education.
Prior to 1890, children were educated in private schools either affiliated with local churches or maintained in the homes of area families. Resources were pooled among neighbors to provide for teachers’ salaries, books and other necessities.
The first mention of a school in Farmers Branch can be traced to 1846 at the Webb Chapel Methodist Church. Located near the present-day Webb Chapel Cemetery, the school was also believed to have been the first school in Dallas County.
In Carrollton, the earliest recollection of an organized school was around 1856. The school, referred to a “Rainwater College” because of its leaky roof, was located near the present intersection of Ross and East Park Drive. The Union School, located at the Union Baptist Church in the area of the present-day Perry Cemetery, was also among the first schools to appear in the Carrollton area.
In 1890, the first school to actually bear the name of Carrollton was constructed. Known as “the Carrollton Academy,” the school was located at the intersection of Josey Lane and Reddick Road, which is now Country Club Road.
Private schools such as these, however, were ever-changing. They frequently were moved to different locations or even closed completely due to the lack of adequate facilities, teachers and transportation for students.
The turn of the century marked the beginning of a new era in education for Carrollton. A new, two-story school building, constructed on land donated by A.W. Perry, was now able to serve the entire community. The unpainted, clap-board structure, which was often referred to as the “institution of higher learning” because it was two stories high, later became the first public school building for Carrollton’s new school district. In fact, the new school housed the entire Carrollton public school system until 1916.
Changes in education were being made throughout the state as the legislature authorized the establishment of school districts in 1901. Communities could designate their school districts as independent, and levy local taxes in addition to the state funding they received, or they could declare themselves common school districts and operate solely on state funding.
For Carrollton, the choice was an independent school district, and the 1902-1903 school term marked the new district’s official beginning. There are no records to confirm the organization of the Farmers Branch Independent School District, but it is assumed that is, too, began operation with this school term.
While Carrollton’s new public school system was housed in the recently completed two-story building at Belt Line and Erie, it is believed that the Farmers Branch school was located at the site of the former Valley View Center on Valley View Lane.
Both school districts continued to grow, and by 1914 it became evident that Carrollton needed a new school. A special tax was approved and a new two-story, red-brick building was constructed by the Carrollton Independent School District in 1915 at the site of the present-day DeWitt Perry Junior High School. D. C. Perry and Harriet Perry Warner, the children of A. W. Perry, who donated the original property at Erie and Belt Line, donated the site to the district.
The new Belt Line campus continued to be the hub of the Carrollton school district for many years. In 1936, Carrollton High School, which today is known as DeWitt Perry Middle School, was opened in a new building just east of the old red-brick school. The original red-brick building was then used to house the elementary school program.
1954 marked a turning point for both local school districts. A city election in Farmers Branch resulted in the disbandment of the Farmers Branch Independent School District. The Dallas County Board of Education then divided the district’s 13 square miles between the Dallas and Carrollton Independent School districts, with Dallas receiving seven square miles and Carrollton receiving six.
It was not until 1963, however, that the name of the district was officially changed to theCarrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School district.
The newly expanded school district experienced rapid growth, and an era of new school construction was begun that has continued to the present day. With the construction of each new school, a piece of history has been preserved.