Chisholm Elementary School is located in the growing community of Edmond. It was named for Jesse Chisholm, a half-Cherokee Indian trader. Oklahoma’s most famous cattle trail which is located west of the school was named after him. The Board of Education chose this name from a pool of suggestions from the community.
Chisholm Elementary School sits on a 10-acre tract of land. It was originally built by E.V. Cox Construction for $800,000 in 1977. The first phase of construction was a unique tri-level design which contained kindergarten through fifth grade. Chisholm was built with a media learning center located on the main level. A multi-purpose room, music room, and various offices were also located on this level. The kindergarten, first, and second grades were located on the lower level. Third, fourth, and fifth grades were on the upper level. The original staff included: 17 classroom teachers, 1 music teacher, 1 secretary, and 1 principal. In addition, there was a part-time staff consisting of 8 special service teachers and 2 nurses.
In May 1977, the partially built school was damaged ($250,000) by a tornado. Part of the roof was torn away, and air conditioning units were in neighboring yards. Reconstruction was not completed by August 29, the first day of school, so classes were held elsewhere. The first through fifth grade students and teachers pulled together to make their first three weeks of school at Memorial High School’s gym hallways, locker rooms, and cafeteria a fun and memorable experience. Meanwhile, the kindergartners start their year off at Will Rogers Elementary. The Friday evening before the school’s newly scheduled opening date, parents, students, teachers, and community members gathered at the school to unpack furniture and get the school ready to open. Although the replacement air conditioning units had still not arrived, Chisholm’s doors were opened for the 443 students on Monday, September 19, 1977.
In future years, several phases were added to the original structure. First, the cafeteria and classrooms off of a long hallway were built. These classrooms are now kindergarten rooms, a teachers’ lounge, and a computer lab. Next, the area behind the school which houses the second and third grade classrooms was added. The need for a gym, music room, and health room were the purpose for the far west section of the school. Lastly, the southern hallway of classrooms was built. It includes space for prekindergarten, enrichment, a computer lab, a science room, and two k-5 classrooms. The future plans for Chisholm include an addition on the east side of the school which will have safe rooms.
That same spirit of unity and dedication is evident at Chisholm today. Chisholm focuses on providing students with a variety of academic and social programs. The faculty and parents work together to create the best possible learning environment. The unique school building is built around a central media center. The semi-open classrooms are designed for a team-teaching approach.
Parent participation is a key element in childhood success. Volunteers work regularly in the school to provide assistance to students and teachers. The Chisholm PTO and faculty work together to achieve school goals. Parent and community involvement is encouraged and has traditionally been a strength at Chisholm Elementary School.