Sherman Elementary was named for General William Tecumseh Sherman, a famous general in the Civil War and a frequent visitor to Omaha. General Sherman helped protect the railroads, an issue of great importance to the Omaha area. Late in the nineteenth century what is now 16th Street was named Sherman Avenue and the school built near this street took the same name.
The property that includes Sherman Elementary was annexed by Omaha in 1887. The first Sherman School, built in 1888 at 16th and Jaynes Streets, opened under Miss Ada Tobbit with 21 students. This frame building stood until 1955. In 1891, eight lots were purchased and a two-room building was erected at a cost of $1200. Margaret Vincent and Avis Z. Hanson taught 73 students. By 1894 the enrollment had increased to 97, and an annex was added west of the first structure. By 1914 a third two-room frame building was constructed just north of the original buildings and all opened onto a common courtyard.
In 1927 additional lots were purchased, and a brick building was erected at a cost of $102,000.. This building housed 281 students. It still functions as the middle section of the Sherman Elementary building. In 1948 the Beechwood School District was incorporated into Sherman School. The Beechwood School building was moved to Sherman to help accommodate the student body of 375.
In 1953 the Omaha School Board approved construction of two brick additions to the main building at a cost of $342,000. This project added seven classrooms and a library to the north side, and a gym and cafeteria to the south side of the original building. At the same time the old Beechwood building was moved to the grounds of Saratoga School for use as an annex there. The frame buildings, including the original 1888 structure, were auctioned off. In 1965 Sherman School had an enrollment of 560 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
1976 brought many changes: Sherman seventh and eighth grade students began attending McMillan Junior High School, students from the former Pershing School came to Sherman Elementary School, and a desegregation plan was adopted for all Omaha Public Schools. Sherman and Miller Park elementary schools were "paired schools" under the plan. Sherman area students attended Sherman for kindergarten and first grades, went to Miller Park for grades two through four, and then returned to Sherman for grades five and six.
Sherman Elementary School became one of the first Title I School wide buildings in Omaha Public Schools in 1995. This allowed all Sherman students to receive additional resources and assistance in reading and math. In 1999, the Omaha Public Schools implemented a neighborhood schools plan. As part of this plan, Sherman became an academy school with smaller class sizes and an emphasis on reading, writing, and math achievement.