Enrollment on the rise; District prepares for demographic study

As one of the fastest growing school districts in the greater Houston area, Sheldon has seen an increase of 3-8% in student enrollment growth for the last seven years. This growth is attributed to new housing developments and potential for land development, as well as economic opportunities. With ascending trends in enrollment, demographic studies were conducted in 2018 to diligently stay ahead of the growth. Results revealed Sheldon ISD could more than double in size at build out with approximately 21,000 students. Currently, SISD has 10,280 students. 

“It is important to us to forecast our future as best we can to plan ahead for our growth,” said Superintendent Dr. King Davis. “We have enrolled an additional 2,300 students in the past five years, and based on this year’s current enrollment, our growth pattern is continuing to increase.”

Approximately five million students are enrolled in public schools across Texas, and since the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an estimated 4% drop in enrollment across the state. However, Sheldon ISD has approximately 200 more students (roughly a 2% increase) now than at this time last year. 

“Part of the long-range planning process includes working with demographers to track growth trends throughout our boundaries. We will initiate a new study this spring to provide accurate data as we plan ahead,” said Dr. Davis. 

To address the increase in student enrollment, Sheldon ISD Board of Trustees called for a bond election in May 2020 which was postponed to November 2020 due to the pandemic. Prior to the start of school, the board unanimously voted to postpone the November bond election. The 2020 bond proposal included a new middle school, elementary and early childhood academy, a multipurpose community center, natatorium, safety and security upgrades, and expansions to existing schools.

“Our board members understood 2020 was a difficult time for everyone,” said Dr. Davis. “I appreciate their decision to postpone the bond as it allowed us to allocate our efforts to safety in uncertain times and changes in instruction that included remote learning.”

In order to build or expand schools to prevent overcrowding, school districts must acquire funding from its community. A bond election is called to fund construction for new schools, expansions for existing campuses, land acquisitions, technology and bus purchases and/or safety and security upgrades. In May 2016, voters approved a bond package that funded Sheldon Lake Elementary School, a new King High School, Panther Stadium, technology and security upgrades, and much more. Projects included in the 2016 bond proposal are nearly complete. 

“The results from the demographic study will drive our conversations to plan for how to prepare to meet the needs of our growing community,” Dr. Davis said. “We know growth in Sheldon is inevitable. We want to plan appropriately and prioritize initiatives that will continue to support and enhance our mission to prepare students for a college and career.” 

To follow updates on construction projects and growth in Sheldon ISD, visit www.sheldonisd.com/grow/