In the last five years, Lake Travis ISD has gained 1,763 students, which makes the district one of the fastest growing ISDs in the region.
To accommodate and plan for its annual growth, the LTISD board of trustees reviewed the official 2021 demographers report during a May 19 board meeting.
The report was conducted by Population and Survey Analysts, or PASA, a demographic firm that works with Texas school districts. The data provides an estimation of enrollment growth over the next 10 years based on development and other factors.
Among the data presented, enrollment for the upcoming 2021-22 school year is particularly unpredictable as ISDs begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to demographer Justin Silhavy. LTISD lost 84 students in the 2020-21 school year, which Silhavy said is on par with regional trends.
PASA forecasts a rough 75% return rate for those students, most of whom were within the elementary school levels. When combined with traditional yearly growth, total enrollment for the 2021-22 school year could reach 11,640 students—an increase of about 600 students.
“Your growth has been very stable over the last decade or so, gaining in all grade groups,” Silhavy said. “So once this is all over, we expect a return of that.”
Moving forward, much of LTISD’s growth will be determined by the subdivisions under development within the Lake Travis region.
Silhavy said three developments—Rough Hollow, Sweetwater and Provence—will be among the district’s largest enrollment contributors. Both Rough Hollow and Sweetwater should be built out within the next 5 years, he said. After that point, PASA estimates that Provence, which is under development off Hamilton Pool Road, will supply the largest number of new students.
“Provence is really the leader during this ten year period,” Silhavy said, adding that upon completion the subdivision will host just under 1,500 homes.
He said these developments are not considered “starter homes,” meaning most new tenants are not young, first-time homebuyers. Families within these developments have more kids on average than the overall district.
The West Cypress Hills community in Spicewood has a student-per-home ratio of 1.03, which reflects a rate of 103 students for every 100 homes. LTISD’s districtwide rate is .44, according to PASA.
This continued development will have an affect on the district’s long-range planning and will likely require the construction of new campuses, Stacy Tepera, PASA demographer said.
The construction of Provence is expected to affect enrollment at Bee Cave Elementary School, which could hit 1,500 students by 2030. Rough Hollow and West Cypress Hills Elementary follow close behind with 1,200, according to Tepera.
Those campuses have a capacity of roughly 850 students, and according to PASA’s estimations, could hit their maximum capacity threshold in the fall of 2023.
“Likely the fall of 2024 is the earliest that you can get elementary school No. 8 opened,” Tepera said. “In that case, elementary school No. 8 needs to relieve both Bee Cave and Rough Hollow.”
LTISD currently encompasses seven elementary school campuses, with the newest being Rough Hollow, which opened in August.
With three middle school campuses, PASA projects that LTISD will be able to accommodate its growth for the next 10 years. However, a second high school could be needed in the future.
Lake Travis High School, the sole high school in the district, could reach 4,529 students by 2030 and reach maximum capacity in the fall of 2028.
Both Silhavy and Tepera noted that these projections are influenced by dozens of factors and are still fluid. Financial considerations, including potential bond elections, would impact when and how LTISD launches new campuses, which Tepera said would be local decisions.