Empire Union School District

Who are we?

Empire Union School District is more than its name implies. Our district boundary includes most of South East Modesto and the community of Empire which is located in a small portion of unincorporated Stanislaus County. We work in partnership with three local governments (Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, City of Modesto, and the Empire Municipal Advisory Council)  In addition we work in partnership with two law enforcement agencies (Modesto Police Department and Stanislaus County Sheriff Department). We strive to make a positive impact in the communities in which our schools are located by offering high-quality education of children at well-kept facilities that enhance nearby businesses and properties.

Empire Union School District began as three separate school districts, the Rinehart School District, the New Hope School District, and the Garner School District. As early and 1881 the Rinehart School District began serving students in a small building located on the Northwest corner of Albers Road and Yosemite Blvd.  Materials and purchased to serve Rinehart School students included a box of chalk for $1.25, a water bucket for $1.00, a dipper for $0.25, two brooms for $1.00, and a cord of wood for $5,00.  In 1911, the Rinehart School was relocated to third street in Empire to make way for the New Hope School.

In August of 1905 Garner School District Board Trustees voted to sell school bonds, in the amount of $2400 to purchase a school lot and raise one or two school buildings.  In 1909 the Garner School District Bonds went for a vote.  A total of nine ‘bond’ votes were submitted and all votes were a ‘yes’ to build what was thereafter called Garner Grammar School.  Until the Garner School facilities could be built on the northeast corner of Claus Road and Yosemite Blvd, the existing structure on that site ‘Laurel Lodge’ was used as a temporary school.  For their new school, the Garner Board of Trustees approved the hiring of two teachers, and each would earn $90 per month.  In 1922, the Garner Grammar school class building was relocated to the Empire Union Grammar School Site, the current location of Empire Elementary School.  The first school bus in Stanislaus County was purchased by the Empire Union Grammar School and Sam Flora drove it to transport children to and from school.

In 1924, the ‘Empire Union Grammar School’, became what is known today as the ‘Empire Union School District’.  Over time as the City of Modesto continued to grow, so did the Empire Union School District.  Since the inception of its first school, the Empire Union School District has added Capistrano Elementary (1974); Sipherd Elementary (1978); Teel Middle School (1980); Hughes Elementary (1990); Stroud Elementary (1994); and Glick Middle School (2003).

For nearly 100 years, the Empire Union School District has maintained its commitment to being a place dedicated to each of our children, devoted to our whole community, defined by our ideals, and providing the finest elementary education in the Central Valley.