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Welcome to the home of the Sterling Bear Cubs and Black Bears. This small rural farming and industrial community was the location of the first school district in Rice County dating back to September 1872 when it started with 68 students in a town then known as Peace. The community changed its name in 1876 to what it is known today as Sterling. Eighty-nine years later, District #1 became USD 376 after combining Sterling with three nearby rural schools. Today, USD 376 is home to over 500 students in grades Pre-K through 12th. There are two school buildings that compose the district.
The current Sterling Grade School building opened in 2010 on the same grounds as the previous elementary school that opened in 1927. SGS is home to over 280 students in grades Pre-K through 6th with Pre-K students attending school five half-days a week (morning or afternoon sessions). The grade school was recently recognized as a National ESEA Title 1 Distinguished school as well as a National Blue Ribbon school. Students in grades PreK-1 are 1:1 with iPads in their classrooms while grades 2-6 enjoy being 1:1 with Chromebooks. Many of these classrooms also have access to iPads. SGS offers students a variety of school activities that include D.A.R.E, Music Memory, and Science Olympiad. Sixth-grade students have the opportunity to play in the band as they prepare for junior high.
Sterling Junior High became part of Sterling High School after an addition was built in 1995. Prior to the construction, Sterling Junior High was part of the old grade school. Sterling Junior High is a 1:1 Chromebook environment that also provides students the opportunity to participate in athletics, band, vocal music, Science Olympiad, Quiz Bowl, and organizations like DFYIT, A Few Good Men, and J-Teens. Upon eighth grade promotion, students attend Sterling High School. The original part of Sterling High School was opened in 1955. It was not until 1993 that the current Ora Shields Activity Center was constructed to give the students a second gymnasium to be used for athletics and various school functions. Then, in 2012, some remodeling and additions were completed, bringing about the current building. Sterling High School provides students with a variety of athletics throughout the school year to go along with highly recognized performing arts programs including band, vocal music, theatre, and forensics. Activities like debate, Scholars’ Bowl, and clay target team provide a well-rounded balance of opportunities for student involvement. When not competing athletically or in activities, students are encouraged to participate in student organizations like FBLA, FCCLA, and DFYIT. Academically, Sterling High School students average an ACT score of 23 while sporting a 100% graduation rate.