In 1833, the people of Thompson's Corners built a one-room, log schoolhouse just east of town. People on the west side were not happy with the location, so they built one on the west side in 1834. These buildings were used for classes for a three month winter term and a three month summer term, but they also served as community centers for spelling bees, debating societies, singing school, anti-slavery and temperance meetings and Sunday school.
The South Lyon Union School District was formed in 1876; three years after Thompson’s Corners became incorporated as South Lyon. A large frame building was erected for the one hundred children of the community on the site of the current City and School Administration Building at the corner of Liberty and Warren. The first graduating class consisted of two young ladies, Carrie Greig and Hattie Hooker, who received their diplomas on June 23, 1887, eleven years after the building was erected. The staff that year consisted of the principal, a Mr. Williams, and three female teachers: Miss Bertha Arms, Miss Electra Ensign and Miss Nellie Greig.
In 1915, a two story brick building was constructed on the same site at Liberty and Warren. It served as the district school for many years and was later used as the School Administration Building, until it was demolished in 1998.
The first of a series of consolidations with neighboring school districts began in July 1947, when the district, known as the Lyon Township School District, consolidated with New Hudson. The enrollment resulting from the consolidation was 720 students with an equalized valuation of slightly over 4 million. The original members of the South Lyon Board of Education following the consolidation in 1947 were Donald K. Smith, President; William Markham, Secretary; Robert McCrory, Treasurer; Oral McGary, Trustee; and Ray Braun, Trustee.
During the next few years, several neighboring school districts chose to join the Lyon Township School District. By June of 1957, with the annexation of the Salem District, the Lyon Township School District had 1,400 students and an area of approximately 75 square miles.
On June 6, 1966, the last annexation to the district was the Wash-Oak District giving the newly named South Lyon Community Schools an area of 83 square miles and an enrollment of 2,555 students.
By the 1971-72 school year, the school district had a state equalized valuation of $65,679,799 and a student enrollment of 3,489. For the 2014-15 school year, the District has a total taxable value of $1,806,876,140 and a student enrollment of 7658.
Here are some important dates in the District's history from the consolidation in 1947 to the present.
1947 - Consolidation
1948 -Five rooms added (east wing) at New Hudson Elementary
1952 - Eight more rooms and a gym added at South Lyon Elementary (demolished in the late 90’s)
1955 - New High School was built (now Bartlett Elementary)
1957 - Elementary addition to New Hudson Elementary
1961 - Sayre Elementary built; late used as a junior high
1964 - Addition to High School - First Salem unit
1968 - New High School was built (now Millennium Middle School) and Bartlett became a junior high, with Sayre reverting to an elementary
1972 - Four classrooms added to New Hudson and South Lyon Elementary
1976 - Centennial Middle School opened
1990 - New South Lyon High School built at Pontiac Trail and Eleven Mile
1992 - Additions added to Salem and Dolsen Elementary
1994 - 6th Grade Wing added to Middle School
1995 - Voters approve technology bond issue
1997 - Voters approve Brummer Elementary School, High School addition, Salem and Sayre additions
1998 - New City/School Administration Building built on site of previous Board of Education Building. Salem and Sayre additions completed
1999 - High School - 22 classrooms and gymnasium addition completed
1999 - Voters approve $67,945,000 Bond issue for two new elementary schools, a conversion of Centennial Elementary to a middle school, land purchases for new school facilities, and other projects.
2000 - Brummer Elementary completed.
2001 - Kent Lake Elementary and Early Childhood Center opened; Centennial Elementary closed for conversion to a middle school
2002 - Centennial Middle School opens. South Lyon Middle School changes name to Millennium Middle School
2004 - Sharon J. Hardy Elementary opened.
2007 - South Lyon East High School opened to freshmen and sophomores
2007 - The Griswold Operations Center opened in December. It houses the Operations, Food Service, Transportation and Technology departments.