At the June 10 meeting of the Highland Park ISD school board, trustees heard detailed data from demographers that reiterated one thing: the district is booming.
That may come as no surprise, as district enrollment has been steadily on the rise for years. But the breakdown was of specific importance to the board.
“It will confirm why parents are concerned about class size,” superintendent Dawson Orr said of the demographic study results.
Last year’s district-wide enrollment was 7,037 students. That’s an 11.15-percent increase in five years. Of that total, 501 students were kindergarteners. From the four elementary schools, Bradfield saw the most growth in the last two years, with a 6.6-percent spike.
So what does this all mean? According to PASA Demographics — a firm out of College Station that performed the study — growth will continue.
“The homework assignment that I give you is to think about how much demand there is among parents for this district — this small demographic area,” said Pat Guseman, president of PASA.
But there are not just Highland Park students to consider in terms of population. An estimated 1,583 students from the Highland Park district borders are enrolled in local private schools such as Ursuline Academy and St. Mark’s.
In addition, SMU’s new requirement that all sophomores live on campus (and the consequent construction of new residence halls) means more housing will be made available within the area.