LTISD superintendent holds his first State of the District

Lake Travis ISD Superintendent Paul Norton gave a presentation during the annual State of the District luncheon Oct. 21. (Courtesy Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce)
Lake Travis ISD Superintendent Paul Norton gave a presentation during the annual State of the District luncheon Oct. 21. (Courtesy Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce)

Lake Travis ISD Superintendent Paul Norton gave a presentation during the annual State of the District luncheon Oct. 21. (Courtesy Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce)

Lake Travis ISD Superintendent Paul Norton delivered his first LTISD State of the District speech during an Oct. 21 luncheon sponsored by the Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce.

Traditionally, the annual event delivered by the LTISD superintendent touches upon enrollment updates, legislative properties and improvement projects—but this year’s presentation largely centered on the coronavirus.

Norton joined the district in July as LTISD was addressing the many challenges associated with the 2020-21 school year. LTISD and all Texas districts shut down in April in accordance with orders from Gov. Greg Abbott. LTISD went 178 days without having students on campus.

“There were lots of obstacles put in the way,” Norton said. “But this community as a whole has overcome those challenges and our school district, in particular, has done a phenomenal job of dealing with things.”

As of Oct. 13, 65% of LTISD students are back on campus, but the percentage varies per school, Norton said. The remaining students are voluntarily engaging in remote learning, which Norton said will likely be an option for the rest of the school year.


Considering the district’s size of more than 11,000 students, Norton told attendees there have been a small number of reported positive cases. There were two active coronavirus cases among students or roughly 0.02% of the student body as of Oct. 21, according to the district’s public COVID-19 dashboard.

Enrollment has been a point of discussion within LTISD for years; however, the district has seen a slight decrease in numbers in 2020-21. Norton attributed the dip to the pandemic and noted surrounding districts have experienced similar consequences.

Elementary schools took the largest hit, as enrollment is down 6.78% or 336 students from last year. Middle schools saw a smaller decrease of about 0.48%.

Yet, Lake Travis High School continues to grow, and Norton acknowledged parents' concerns on this issue. Despite the pandemic, LTHS increased to 3,583 students, reflecting a 5.35% change.

“We’re quickly getting to the point of capacity at Lake Travis High School,” Norton said, adding that the district is developing a plan to deal with growth.
By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


MOST RECENT

Local Austin act the Peterson Brothers perform at the historic Continental Club in 2019. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Council 'experiment' could send $15 million in hotel taxes to 'iconic' music venues, restaurants

The move represents the latest attempt by the city to save live music venues and restaurants that are struggling through the pandemic.

Adorn Boutique owner Kim Chalet, right, and Lakeway location employee Kari Pakarinen work at the shop. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Adorn Boutique celebrates 10 years in business and more business news from the Lake Travis-Westlake region

Here is the most recent business news from the Lake Travis-Westlake area.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Dec. 2 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allotted 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the state of Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First allotment of COVID-19 vaccinations expected to arrive in Texas in mid-December

About 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been allotted to the state of Texas and will arrive the week of Dec. 14.

Frontyard Brewing opened Nov. 14 in Spicewood. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
New brewery opens in Spicewood and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community updates from Central Texas.

Traffic moves along the upper decks of I-35 near downtown Austin on Dec. 1. The Texas Department of Transportation is seeking public feedback on a $4.9 billion project to improve the 8-mile stretch of I-35 through downtown. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
TxDOT is spending billions to fix I-35 through downtown Austin, but some community members say the state is wrong in its approach

A report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute released Dec. 1 said the 8-mile stretch of I-35 from Hwy. 290 to SH 71 is the most congested roadway in the state.

Graphic of a coronavirus unit
COVID-19 rates after Thanksgiving have yet to climb, but experts say spike could still be coming

As Austin awaits a vaccine whose first doses could arrive by the end of 2020, health officials say the impact of Thanksgiving gatherings on the spread of the virus could take time to show up.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a campaign to address declining college enrollment numbers across the state since the pandemic started. (Courtesy Pexels)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launches campaign to boost college enrollment

The decline in college enrollment across the state of Texas has prompted several agencies to partner up and create online resources for students and counselors.

Foster Angels of Central Texas is hosting a toy drive for Central Texas teens living in foster care. (Courtesy Foster Angels of Central Texas)
10 Lake Travis-Westlake nonprofits to support this Giving Tuesday

As the holiday season approaches, Dec. 1 marks Giving Tuesday, an official day of global generosity.

Frontyard Brewing opened Nov. 14 in Spicewood. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Spicewood sees addition of new brewery and more business news from the Lake Travis-Westlake area

Here is the most recent business news from the Lake Travis-Westlake area.

Local health leaders are urging caution ahead of Thanksgiving. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Ahead of Thanksgiving, Travis County health officials urge caution

Austin Public Health leaders say gatherings with people outside one's household held indoors and without masks pose the greatest risk.

Harini Logan, 10, won the 66th annual Express-News Spelling Bee at the University of Texas at San Antonio downtown campus on March 17, 2019. For 2021, the event is slated to be held in March at the Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre in New Braunfels. (Photo by Jerry Lara, courtesy the San Antonio Express News)
New Braunfels to host regional spelling bee and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from Central Texas.