History of Red Oak ISD

  • The Red Oak Independent School District was officially established in 1912. The first school was a white-frame building at the corner of Red Oak Road and Methodist Street (the current location of the ROISD Education Service Center). All students attended that school. The earliest available records show an enrollment of 245 students.

    A storm in April of 1913 swept across Ellis County destroying the first school building by fire from a lightning strike. In 1913, a two-and-a-half-story brick building was constructed at the same location with a gymnasium added in 1937. Ironically, both buildings were also destroyed by fire in 1963. Eventually, the site housed the first elementary school in the district, Red Oak Elementary.

    The first secondary campus was built in 1963 on Live Oak Street. This facility served grades 7 through 12. Elementary students were bussed to this campus for lunch daily. In Fall 1965, enrollment was open to all school-aged children, and the district was fully integrated. In 1972, a second wing was added to this campus as the enrollment neared 800.

    As the district continued to grow, a $1.25 million bond issue was passed for a new high school and gymnasium on FM 2377. When the building opened in 1976, enrollment had reached 1,133 students. The following spring, construction began on an athletic complex that included a 3000-seat stadium, all-weather track, field house, baseball field, and tennis courts. An expansion project was completed in 1993 and changed the face of Red Oak HS. Classroom capacity doubled and a cafetorium was added. In 1998 a band hall was added to the campus and the CTE center opened in 2004.


    In 2010, ROISD opened a $75 million, state-of-the-art high school building on SH 342. Enrollment for the district was 5,494 students. The new high school featured a 1,200-seat Performing Arts Center along with premier athletic and academic facilities. The three-story building encompasses 370,000 square feet and has a capacity for 2,400 students with the ability for expansion.

    The district pursued a bond in 2017 for an additional $75M to accommodate growth at the middle school and high school, plus renovate aging athletic facilities for ADA compliance, launch Classroom Revolution, and complete some smaller renovations, plus safety and transportation needs. The bond failed.

    Since 2017, the district has used Maintenance Tax Notes and operating funds to complete many of the smaller renovations. In addition, the ROISD and City of Red Oak swap provided for funds and future land needs in exchange for the Live Oak facility which the City is renovating into new City offices and a community center, plus youth fields.

    The district has purchased an expanded transportation fleet, built a new agriculture project center (Ag Barn) and renovated previous barns for maintenance and vehicles, constructed practice fields on the back of the high school to reduce travel and provide for safer surfaces for all student-athletes, renovated part of the CTE facility for middle school expansion, and several smaller HVAC, lighting and renovations.

    By 2012, total district enrollment was 5,617 and the district eclipsed 6,000 students in the fall of 2019.

    Current enrollment (August 30, 2021), is 6,272.

    To learn more about the history of all our campuses, view the "History of Red Oak ISD Campuses" presentation.

  • Original ROISD school built in 1912

    ROISD school built in 1913

    First secondary school on live oak

    front view of Red Oak High School built in 1976