Hitting an enrollment milestone leads to forecasting for future growth

The school district continues to experience growth in student enrollment annually increasing from 10,200 in the 2020-21 school year to 10,600 students for the 2021-22 school year. Since the last bond election in 2016, the district has grown by more than 2,100 students (8,459 to 10,600). 

 “It is important for us to monitor the growth by working closely with demographers so that we can make decisions that are in the best interest of our students academically while staying fiscally mindful of taxpayer dollars,” said Superintendent Dr. King Davis. 

To best prepare for a variety of growth scenarios the district could face, Sheldon works with a demographer, Population and Survey Analysts, to study trends in enrollment based on new housing developments and economic factors that are unique to Sheldon. These factors include job growth, employment sectors, socioeconomic characteristics, quality of life indicators, housing construction, charter and private school plans and land development potential. 

Trends from the study show:

  • Sheldon ISD is expected to build out completely at approximately 20,137 students. 
  • In the next 10 years, Sheldon could serve just under 13,000 students which is an additional 2,400 students or 18% enrollment increase. 
  • King High School currently serves approximately 3,300 students with a maximum capacity of 3,500. With this continued growth, the campus could reach its maximum capacity in the 2022-23 school year. The optimal functional capacity for a school is around 90% which is 3,150 students which the campus has currently surpassed. In a two year period, the campus increased from 2,700 to 3,300 students.  
  • New housing developments in Sheldon are generating students across all grade levels
  • Larger developments in the area will continue to influence housing demands in Sheldon, including the 4,000+ acre Generation Park. With much land left to develop on this property, Generation Park could be a driving force for new home construction in Sheldon ISD. 
  • The housing market continues to remain robust thanks to historically low mortgage rates and lower-than-normal home listings. 

While most school districts in Texas either lost students or saw little growth since the start of the pandemic, Sheldon ISD gained nearly 4% in enrollment growth for the 2021-22 school year which is nearly a 20% increase since 2016.

In 2020, Sheldon ISD trustees called for a bond election in May which included a 9th grade center, new elementary and middle school, as well as a natatorium and event center. This bond was canceled due to school closures from the pandemic. To keep up with the growth in enrollment or expand schools to prevent overcrowding, school districts must acquire funding from their community. The district’s last bond election in 2016 funded Sheldon Lake Elementary School, a new King High School facility and Panther Stadium athletic complex, as well as technology and security upgrades. Projects from this bond are nearing completion. 

“Our school board has called for bond elections focused on the feedback they have received from our community through dialogue and surveys,” Dr. Davis said. “We know our community is accustomed to a certain standard and expectation of facilities equipped with the tools needed to graduate students ready for their futures. The results from this demographic study will now be used to review items previously considered from the postponed 2020 election and address any future items that may be appropriate at this time for students and staff.”

To review information about construction, previous bond elections and more, visit www.sheldonisd.com/grow/. The district will hold a Town Hall meeting (in person and online) at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 8 to provide information to families as well as gain input. More details will be available soon.