In 1936, in an effort to offer further education to rural students, Slide, Barton, Woodrow, New Hope, and Union schools were consolidated to create Cooper Rural High School, District Number One. Named for county board member George C. Cooper, Cooper Rural High School, or as it would later be called, Cooper School, began with the construction of an $84,000 elementary and high school building in the Woodrow community, which still stands today.
The doors of the first official Cooper School building opened in 1938 under the leadership of Cooper’s first superintendent, B. M. Hays. With the completion of construction of the new building, the five original consolidated elementary schools were made defunct and Cooper became fully operational.
Upon opening, Cooper Rural High School offered two years of Vocational Agriculture to boys and Vocational Home Economics to girls, and offered typing, bookkeeping, and music classes to all students. Rural schools in Lubbock County were considered to be among the most successful in the state of Texas. Aside from an enrollment drop during World War II, Cooper School experienced substantial year-to-year growth under the leadership of superintendents Anthony, Deering, and Nicholas.
In 1962, the building now known as Lubbock-Cooper South Elementary opened, the second free-standing building addition to the district. This building would serve as the only Cooper Elementary for forty years. Almost a decade later, the building now known as Lubbock-Cooper Middle School was constructed to serve as the new Cooper High School. The district was under near constant construction for the next several years, with a gym, agricultural building, and wings added as necessary. This construction was overseen by superintendents Spears, Owen, and Carpenter.
This period of construction and physical growth also brought about the need for a more distinguishable title for the district, which led to the transition from Cooper School to Lubbock-Cooper. Under the leadership of superintendents Vinson and Caplinger, Lubbock-Cooper developed a name for itself as far more than a little country school nestled within the cotton fields of south Lubbock County.
In the mid-1990s, the reputation of Lubbock-Cooper as an academically-driven, close-knit, technologically current school district began to draw families hoping to offer their children a top notch education in a community-oriented environment. Under the leadership of Lubbock-Cooper’s longest-serving Superintendent Pat Henderson, Lubbock-Cooper North Elementary was opened in 2002, the second LCISD elementary school.
Lubbock-Cooper West Elementary was opened just six years later to accommodate additional residents of the district. Lubbock-Cooper Central Elementary and the first additional middle school, Laura Welch Bush, were opened in the fall of 2011. In 2016, Lubbock-Cooper ISD opened an alternative high school campus, New Hope Academy, a nod to one of the five schools consolidated to form the district. Lubbock-Cooper's fifth elementary campus, East Elementary, opened in 2018.
In 2021, voters in the Lubbock-Cooper community approved the largest bond proposal in Lubbock County history, slating $420 million to construct the district's second comprehensive high school, Lubbock-Cooper Liberty, in addition to a third middle school and sixth elementary campus. With the Fall 2023 opening of Liberty High School came the need for a second mascot, and the district officially became the "Home of the Pirates and the Patriots."
Carrying on a longstanding tradition of excellence, Lubbock-Cooper ISD is now a 5A district boasting a variety of academic, fine arts, and athletic accolades. The demand for a Lubbock-Cooper education is so overwhelming that it is one of the fastest-growing school districts in the state of Texas. Though the graduating class of 2023 was approximately 34 times larger than the original graduating class of Cooper Rural High School, the district has successfully maintained a hometown environment while offering opportunities afforded to students in larger, more urbanized districts. If the past is any indication of the future, Lubbock-Cooper Independent School District has decades of success and excellence ahead.