In 2010 Russell School District 407 transferred the territory and schools of Lucas and Luray to Sylvan Unified District 299. Starting with the 2010-2011 school year, USD 299 then established a grade school, grades K-6 in Lucas, called Lucas-Sylvan Unified Elementary, home of the Cougars. Grades 7-12 were house in the Sylvan Grove facility, called Sylvan-Lucas Unified Jr./Sr. High School, home of the Mustangs. The merger went well and it doubled the number of students in the 299 district.
The Sylvan Unified School District was established in 1966. The new district was a consolidation of the Hunter, Sylvan Grove, and Vesper school districts. The first class graduated from Sylvan Unified High School in 1967. It was the largest class to graduate from Sylvan Unified with 33 members. The school district is located in Western Lincoln County and includes southwestern Mitchell County. At the time of establishment, two official elementary attendance centers existed. One elementary attendance center was located in Hunter. This attendance center provided a learning environment for students in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. The other elementary attendance center was located in Sylvan Grove and provided a learning environment for students in Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. Some overflow classrooms were temporarily housed at the Vesper attendance center until the new Junior/Senior High School building was completed in 1968.
In the spring of 1973 the USD 299 Board of Education made the decision to close the elementary attendance center in Hunter. Along with the consolidation of the two elementary attendance centers in the fall of 1973, other changes were implemented in the new K-6 school. Sylvan Unified Elementary began the 1973 school year with departmentalized classes in the areas of Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science and Music.
The 1981-82 school year brought to the district another addition. The local Bethlehem Lutheran Grade School closed its doors. Sylvan Unified Elementary opened its doors to the students from that school.
In the 2007-08 school year the Sylvan Grove elementary building was closed and the Junior/Senior High building was converted to a PK-12 building.
Hunter Rural High School was organized in 1917 with the charter class graduating 14 students in 1921. Vesper High School was organized in 1914 with a charter class graduating in 1918. Sylvan Grove High School graduated its first class in 1902 with two charter members.