Growth was the theme of Leander ISD’s 2019 State of the District event. Outgoing Superintendent Dan Troxell gave the talk during a luncheon June 12 at Glenn High School in Leander.
“You will see new subdivisions that sprung up out of nowhere in a very short period of time,” Troxell said about the area surrounding Glenn. “That’s been the future of our district for many years, and it’s not slowing [for] a single moment.”
LISD is the 10th-fastest-growing district in Texas, Troxell said.
In the 2018-19 academic year, enrollment was at 40,031 students, up 41% from the 2008-09 academic year. By 2028-29, the district is expected to have 51,890 students, according to a demographer’s report on the district.
People are drawn to the area from all over, according to Troxell.
“We have a number of languages that are spoken in our school district, over 76 languages,” Troxell said. “Kids join us from all over the world; their parents come from all over the world. We have diversity. It really makes us stronger.”
One of the challenges that comes with growth is keeping up with academic excellence, Troxell said, but the district is maintaining above-average test scores. SAT and ACT scores in LISD outpace state and nationwide scores, according to a presentation Troxell gave during the event. The district also surpasses the state in State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness and End of Course scores.
“We’re continuing to see a wider gap between our district and the state, and that’s really because of the work teachers are doing in the classroom and the work parents and grandparents are doing with their kids,” Troxell said.
Troxell said one of the goals the district has is to improve reading levels among students. He said children should be reading and read to regularly. In the 2018-19 academic year, 80% of students were reading at or above their grade level by the end of third grade, according to the presentation.
“One of our big goals is ensuring all students are reading at grade level completely by third grade,” Troxell said.
Troxell ended his speech by spotlighting district successes, including four-year graduation rates. The four-year graduation rate for the class of 2018 was 98.8% of students. Among economically disadvantaged students, the rate was 98%.
Other successes include state championships. Students in LISD have landed state championship awards in a number of areas, including marching band, cheer, wrestling, tennis, robotics, academics and more.
“I’ve been here three years,” Troxell said. “I’ve been to more state championship events in three years in Leander than my 28 prior years in public education.”
Troxell announced in April he will be leaving LISD for a new position as deputy executive director for the Texas Association of School Boards. He will stay with the district through July 31, according to a statement on the LISD website.