Scott Warstler encouraged the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees on Monday to enjoy a rezoning-free school year because it won't be like that for long.
Warstler, executive director of operations, said the district likely won't have to adjust school boundaries until the 2021-22 school year.
Instead, two campuses – Nichols and Spears elementary schools – are expected to close enrollment because they are approaching capacity.
Nichols has an enrollment of 813 students, and Warstler said the plan is to close enrollment at possibly 820 students with the overflow going to Bledsoe Elementary. He said that will likely happen around the holiday break.
Warstler said Spears will likely close its enrollment in the summer or possibly the fall of 2020 with any overflow students potentially going to Smith Elementary.
Warstler said the district closed Liscano Elementary enrollment on Oct. 2 at 823 students, meaning any new students who come to that zone will go to Norris Elementary.
Warstler said the district expects to begin rezoning discussions next year for Emerson High School, which is the district's 11th high school that will open in the fall of 2021. Warstler said that will include elementary and middle schools zones in an effort to clean up some of the boundaries on the east side.
“Again with the emphasis being on how do we use rezoning to effectively use capacities in schools that are under-populated so that we're not building schools before we need to build schools,” Warstler said.
Warstler said there will also likely be rezoning with the opening of the 12th high school, which will open in the fall of 2022.
He said there could also be rezoning for elementary school No. 43, which will be located in the Hollyhock subdivision. Warstler said the goal is to get that campus open in the fall of 2021.
Warstler said for the first time in years Frisco ISD is not the fastest-growing school district in the state. He said Katy ISD is now the fastest-growing, followed by Prosper ISD and Frisco ISD.
According to data from Population and Survey Analysts (PASA), FISD experienced a growth of 1,732 students in the 2018-19, which is down from about 2,500 the year before. Warstler said once the 2019-20 data is released later this month it's projected the growth will be around the 2,500 mark.
“There's some data that shows last year may have just been an irregularity in what we were seeing in our data and our student growth,” Warstler said. “We do know we'll continue to slow over a period of time, but what we saw in the rebound this year kind of changes our projections a little bit and makes us believe that slow down is going to happen more slowly than we were thinking over the past two years.”
Despite the slowdown, Warstler said this year's kindergarten enrollment of 3,996 students represents the largest number of kindergarteners in the district's history. This comes after FISD had a net decrease in kindergarteners last year.
“Students are still coming to Frisco ISD,” Warstler said, adding that the trend indicates this class will grow as it gets into middle and high school.
Warstler said FISD is 81 percent built out, but he said there are three tracts of land totaling 15.4 square miles that are undeveloped – the Fields, Gartner and Brinkmann estates.
Warstler said over the next 10 years it's projected there will be approximately 18,596 single-family homes to be built in FISD.
“There are still a lot of single-family homes to come in Frisco ISD,” Warstler said.
He said there is also projected to be 26,575 multifamily units to be constructed in the district. He said single-family homes yield about 0.8 students per household while multifamily yields about 0.2.
Warstler said while it's hard to project what the district's build-out will be, he said the best guess is approximately 83,000 students, and it could be between 15-20 years. He said the biggest unknown is how the Brinkmann property is developed, adding that will be a major factor in the district's growth over the next several years.