Student enrollment in Leander ISD will continue to grow at a slower rate than previous years, projections show.

What you need to know

After years of high growth, enrollment is leveling off in LISD with steady increases expected each year, according to the district’s annual demographic report by Population and Survey Analysts.

As of October, the district’s enrollment of 42,589 was lower than last year’s projections for the 2023-24 school year. This comes as more charter schools opened in the area, multifamily housing development slowed and fewer homes resold, PASA President Stacey Tepera said at an Oct. 26 board of trustees meeting.

The district is expected to experience moderate growth over the next 10 years with around 49,000 students by 2033, Tepera said.

“The district is still growing, but it’s not growing as fast as it was before COVID[-19],” Tepera said. “There is still growth projected. It’s just not as aggressive as the growth has been in the past, and it varies in different parts of the district.”

The details

Several factors have and will continue to lessen the rate of growth in the district, Tepera said.

Over 2,000 students left the district to attend charter schools from 2015 to 2023, she said. Tepera said BASIS Cedar Park and Valor Leander opened this year, and four new charter schools and a campus expansion planned within the district’s boundaries are expected to pull 2,000 additional students.

Additionally, the occupancy rate for multifamily housing in the area declined from last year as two new apartment complexes didn’t open while one occupied slowly, Tepera said.

PASA Demographer Angela Fritz said a 27% decrease in existing homes reselling over the last year led to less regeneration, which is when younger students move into older homes after students have graduated.

Over the next decade, over 33,000 new homes and apartment units will drive the majority of student growth with Travisso adding the most single-family homes, Fritz said. New housing construction will continue to add 1,000 to 1,500 students annually over the next five years and then decelerate after the district approaches build-out, according to the report.

While the district has seen a slight decline in kindergarten class sizes each year since 2021, a recent uptick in birth rates will likely result in larger kindergarten class sizes beginning in 2027, according to the report.

The moderate growth scenario also assumes mortgage rates will stabilize or drop, causing more homes to resell.

The impact

Future growth will continue to concentrate in the district’s northern campuses while some schools in the central and southern portions of the district will lose students, according to PASA projections for the next decade.

Tarvin Elementary is expected to gain over 1,000 students while Whitestone Elementary will lose 140 students, based on projections from attendance zones without Elementary School No. 30. Tepera said the opening of an early childhood center would also impact the projections.

New secondary school attendance zones for the 2024-25 school year have successfully addressed overcrowding issues at some middle and high school campuses, Tepera said.

Projections based on attendance zones for the 2024-25 school year show Danielson, Wiley and Stiles middle schools as well as Glenn and Rouse high schools gaining the most students. On the contrary, southern campuses Canyon Ridge Middle School and Vandegrift High School will lose the most students.

What’s next?

The district’s Long-Range Planning Committee will review the demographic report to inform the Long-Range Facilities Plan before submitting an updated plan to the board for approval, according to district documents.