McKinney ISD file

Despite stagnant enrollment numbers for this year, McKinney ISD is still looking ahead to “unabated” growth over time.

Last school year, the district reported about 23,400 students, a drop from the 24,000 reported at the end of the 2019-20 year. This school year, enrollment has again hit 23,400, said Jason Bird, the district’s deputy superintendent of business operations, accountability and technology.

“We were hoping we would bounce back even though the pandemic is still with us,” Bird said. “But unfortunately, we’ve stayed pretty flat with where we were at the 2020-21 school year.”

It’s a trend that school districts across the nation have contended with, he said.

Last year, the biggest hit to the numbers came from low enrollment for pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and first grade, Bird said. Enrollment has continued to be low for those grade levels this year. Meanwhile, enrollment for the rest of the district is close to what was anticipated.

However, Bird forecasted continuing growth over time for MISD. He pointed to campuses north of US 380, specifically the district’s Press Elementary, which was completed in 2007.

The school currently has about 765 students and an 850-student capacity, meaning the school will be “maxed out” by the 2022-23 school year, Bird said.

“So we are definitely moving forward with the plans for the school located in the Trinity Falls area in order to provide relief for Press, which has an enormous school zone north of 380,” Bird said.

About 12,000 new homes are slated to come north of US 380 over the next several years, Bird saaid, which will contribute to increasing district enrollment.

“If you look at the housing and the multifamily housing starts that are in process in McKinney, we’re confident that our growth will come back unabated,” Bird said. “Even if the pandemic lasts longer than what people would prefer, we believe that the growth in McKinney will come back unabated over time.”

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