Skip to main content

Unified School District of De Pere

About... » District Profile / History

District Profile / History

Driving Directions
School District History
Schools of one kind or another have existed in De Pere since the early nineteenth century.  The first schools were informal and usually were taught by a local woman with enough education to teach her own and her neighbor's children in her home.  There were also itinerant teachers who traveled locally to give lessons.

In 1847 the Town of De Pere (East De Pere) organized its school district with the election of three school commissioners and school was held in the court house. 

In 1848 statehood for Wisconsin was achieved and with it the creation of a state school fund.  The West De Pere school district was organized in that year.

Initially the school term was only three months.  In the decade from 1860 - 1870 the school term was lengthened from three months to ten months. 

During the industrial boom of the 1870's both school systems expanded.  In 1877 a high school was started in West De Pere, and in 1878 East De Pere opened one.

The tradition of two separate school districts is a long one.  In 1890 the City of West De Pere was annexed to the City of East De Pere, but the two districts remained separate.  Today, the De Pere school district comprises the City of De Pere east of the Fox River and parts of  the Towns of Bellevue, Glenmore, Ledgeview, Morrison, Rockland, and Wrightstown.  This is an area of approximately 63 square miles.

Source:  League of Women Voters of Greater Green Bay, The  De Pere Schools, 1979