Despite continued growth and plans for additional schools in Hays CISD, enrollment data is still not exactly where district officials would like. A presentation March 27 found that attendance during the 2022-23 school year, through March 11, was up nearly 3% from the previous school year.

The 2021-22 school year suffered a 5% drop in attendance, hovering at just over 90% attendance.

“Are we where we want to be? No, but I also want to give the credit to our teachers and staff who are working hard to get kiddos in,” Director of Student Services Brian Dawson said.

Further analysis shows that for the 2022-23 school year, attendance started strong and slowly tapered as the year progressed to drop below 95%.

The collective goal for attendance districtwide is 96%.

The lack of attendance not only creates a gap in students’ learning, but the district’s funding also takes a hit, Dawson added.

In addition to attendance, the presentation touched on discipline and areas of focus for the district.

A big issue is e-cigarettes and vape products containing THC.

The number of incidents in 2023 with e-cigarettes and controlled substances jumped to 166 districtwide, nearly double that of the previous school year. In the past four years, there has been an incident range from 70-166, the majority of which happen at high school but do trickle down into the middle schools.

There are also a lot of discipline referrals, primarily in middle schools.

Thus far in the school year, there have been 7,516 discipline referrals; the district’s three high schools, Simon Middle School and McCormick Middle Schools had the highest tallies.

The data has helped the district push for the implementation of multitiered systems of support. Multitiered systems of support focus on intervention best practices in a student’s academic, emotional and social well being. The tiers of the system are based on the student’s needs.

HCISD has had success with implementing a multitiered system of support at the elementary school level, and there has been an increase in positive behavior reports, Dawson said.

There were 1,608 positive behavior reports thus far in the school year.