Out of Eanes ISD’s 9 campuses, Barton Creek Elementary and Westlake High School are the only schools that are expected to maintain or exceed last year’s enrollment numbers.

This is according to the updated enrollment projections for the 2021-22 school year provided by EISD Deputy Superintendent Jeff Arnett.

Enrollment at the district’s sole high school campus is projected at 2,859, which is five students higher than the 2020-21 school year. As of the June 8 presentation, 519 students are enrolled in Baron Creek—just one student more than the previous year.

The seven other campuses within EISD are reflecting slight declines in enrollment. Districtwide enrollment is at 7,848 students, which is just under the 7,968 students enrolled last year. However, this number will remain fluid heading into the summer, Arnett said.

“Overall our average class sizes are very good. They’re certainly in the range of where we would like them to be,” Arnett said.

However, certain classroom sections, particularly at the elementary level are higher than the recommended average of 18 to 20 students. Arnett said the district is keeping a close eye on these “pressure points.”

Within Eanes Elementary School, seven classroom sections are currently holding between 23 and 24 students. According to Arnett, this rate is not always a concern on an elementary campus but can present challenges in grades kindergarten through second. Additionally, a higher concentration of students who receive special services is not ideal in a classroom of 24 children.

In light of this, Arnett said the district is working closely with the special services staff to understand these needs, and will pay close attention to these classroom section numbers, which are not final.

Still, several classroom sections fall below the desirable threshold, including multiple 15-student classes at Bridge Point Elementary School. Though EISD has exhausted its ability to place an out-of-district transfer student in one of those sections, Arnett said the district does accommodate resident transfers.

For example, trustee Ellen Balthazar asked if a parent with a child in a 24-student classroom at Eanes Elementary could transfer their child to a smaller section at Bridge Point Elementary, if desired. Arnett said the district can accommodate these requests and has used a similar approach to balance enrollment in the Spanish immersion program.

Additionally, EISD worked to bolster enrollment through a $4,964 advertising campaign to attract out-of-district transfer students, which present a financial benefit to the district.

A total of 708 transfer students are enrolled for the upcoming school year. They will provide roughly $6.2 million in funding as a result of reduced recapture payments.

The recapture program requires what Texas considers property-wealthy districts to provide a portion of their local tax revenue to the state to be redistributed to districts with funding per student below a certain threshold.

The advertising effort resulted in a 15% increase in enrollment applications and allowed the district to accept 86 more transfer students at a value of $754,736. According to Arnett, EISD turned down 116 applications.