Report: About 9K more students projected at Leander ISD over next 10 years

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
(Community Impact Newspaper staff)

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Image description
School construction projections include six elementary schools, one middle school and one high school to be built over the next 10 years. (Screenshot courtesy Leander ISD)
Image description
School construction projections include six elementary schools, one middle school and one high school to be built over the next 10 years. (Screenshot courtesy Leander ISD)
Image description
School construction projections include six elementary schools, one middle school and one high school to be built over the next 10 years. (Screenshot courtesy Leander ISD)
Leander ISD is expected to add about 9,000 students over the next 10 years, according to the district’s 2021 annual demographer report. About 2,000 of these students are expected in the next school year.

Quicker-than-expected housing development, new charter schools, pandemic-related student loss and decreasing elementary students were some of the effects on the 2021 projections.

The report was presented to the Leander ISD board of trustees Nov. 18. Population estimates including low-, moderate- and high-growth rates indicate the district could add between about 2,600 and nearly 13,000 students over 10 years. The moderate rate indicates about 9,000 more students by 2031.

High elementary student growth is projected in the Akin, Tarvin, Larkspur, Plain, Mason and Bagdad elementary school boundaries.


Made with Flourish

School construction projections include six elementary schools, one middle school and one high school to be built over the next 10 years. Specific school locations are to be determined, though Elementary School No. 29 is already under construction in the Bryson subdivision. There are also elementary school sites planned in the Ranch at Brushy Creek and Travisso neighborhoods.


New schools may be needed in these years:

  • Elementary School No. 29: 2022

  • Elementary School No. 30: (possible Ranch at Brushy Creek neighborhood site) and 31 (possible Travisso neighborhood site): 2023

  • Elementary School No 32: 2024

  • Elementary School No. 33: 2028

  • Elementary School No. 34: 2029

  • Middle School No. 10: 2024 or 2025

  • High School No. 7: 2025


The number of schools needed did not change between the 2020 and 2021 reports, however, the projected opening years for elementary schools no. 33 and 34 were postponed three years each.

The annual report from Population and Survey Analysts looks at how employment trends, enrollment trends, and housing and commercial developments affect district growth. It also provides student growth estimates and projects when schools may need to open to meet growth.

The full report and summary for the 2021 report and previous reports can be viewed on the district website.

Housing projections

LISD is 68% built out. Pat Guseman, a demographer from Population and Survey Analysts, said there was a 26% increase in new homes built in 2021 data compared to the amount expected in 2020 data. This means that some housing developments are completed quicker than projected.

The report estimated about 40,000 new housing units by 2031 including over 18,000 single-family homes and over 17,000 multifamily units. about 10% of current students live in multifamily units. Guseman said she expects an increase in students living in multifamily units. About 10% of LISD students live in multifamily housing currently.

“We know that there will be a big increase in students living in multifamily units because a coveted district like Leander ISD continues to attract families even as lots become more difficult to find and as development becomes more challenging,” Guseman said.

Other factors that will affect Leander ISD growth include an aging student population, pandemic loss and new charter schools, demographer Stacey Tepera said.

Elementary population decreases

LISD has seen decreases in elementary students of built-out neighborhoods over the past several years, Tepera said, which will lead to smaller middle school and high school classes as the students age.

There was a larger decline of 1,431 students in 2020-21 followed by a net increase of 254 students in the current school year. Tepera said, however, that this was likely a recapture of students lost during the pandemic.

“We know logically that the millennials are beginning to have children, and those children are populating homes,” Tepera said. “So we know that that increasing portion of the population is growing and will contribute to younger students eventually.”

Charter schools' effect

In fall 2020, data estimated that 2,300 to 2,500 students chose home school or alternative virtual schooling options during the pandemic. These students would have otherwise been at LISD. Currently, there are about 2,000 students who are not enrolled in LISD, and there will be a slow return to schools in LISD and across the state, Tepera said.

Tepera said there are about 600 students enrolled in charter schools who would otherwise be at Leander ISD.

There are about four large charter systems that will open new charter schools in and around LISD over the next few years, Tepera said. These schools include campuses from IDEA Public Schools in Leander, Harmony Public Schools in Leander, Great Hearts in Cedar Park and BASIS Texas in the Avery Ranch area.

Over 10 years, charter schools could pull up to 2,000 students from LISD.

“This will have a significant impact on our projections of Leander ISD students,” Tepera said.
By Taylor Girtman

Reporter, Cedar Park and Leander

Taylor Girtman became the reporter for the Cedar Park-Leander edition in February 2020. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida.



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