The Frisco ISD board of trustees finalized attendance zones for the next school year to accommodate the district’s newest schools and alleviate overcrowding at other campuses.

Over the past 20 years, the district has redrawn attendance zones almost every year. The most recent rezoning was prompted by Panther Creek High School, which will open in the fall of 2022 with students in ninth, 10th and 11th grades.

Panther Creek will pull from Lone Star and Memorial high schools’ current zones.

The attendance zones, which were approved at a Nov. 8 meeting, will alter boundaries at high schools in the western part of the district.

Some neighborhoods currently in the northern attendance zone of Reedy High School will be moved to Wakeland, while neighborhoods in the south will go to Frisco High. Portions of the southeast Wakeland zone will move to Frisco High.

The district received 856 messages from concerned community members within a month-long period designated for collecting feedback after proposed zones were released, Deputy Superintendent Todd Fouche told the board. Of those, 274 were concerned about the Reedy to Frisco High move. Another 279 messages were concerned about Reedy students moving to Lone Star.

In an attempt to balance community feedback with enrollment numbers, there are sibling exceptions across all high schools. Affected families will receive email communication from the district on Nov. 9 including details on exceptions and an application to opt-out of the zone change, which closes on Jan. 7.

Although the new high school sparked zone adjustments, schools at every level were affected by the redistricting.

At the middle school level, Trent, Stafford, Staley, Griffin, Cobb, Pioneer Heritage, Pearson and Hunt were affected.

Minett Elementary School will open at the same time as Panther Creek High School next year. As a result, Newman, Miller and Phillips elementary schools will be affected.

Because Sparks Elementary is under 90% capacity, it is open for transfer applications. However, transfers to the school are a year-to-year change, meaning that spending one year at Sparks does not guarantee enrollment the following year.

Rising eighth- and fifth-grade students have the option to remain in their current school zones for next year. More details will be provided in the district’s email to affected families, Scott Warstler, executive director of operations for the district, said.

School attendance zone changes are routine for FISD. As Frisco’s population grows, rezoning takes place to preserve the district’s small school model, which supports students having opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities, officials said.

The district implements enrollment changes to keep high schools under 2,100 students, middle schools under 900 students and elementary schools under 760 students, officials said.

Currently, there are more than 65,000 students enrolled in FISD. By 2026, a demographic study conducted by Population and Survey Analysts projects more than 71,400 students to be enrolled. By 2031, the projected enrollment will jump to just over 74,500.

“With this amazing growth, 17 of the last 20 years, we’ve been in this room with this amazing challenge in front of us,” board member Chad Rudy said.

He added that all three of his daughters who attend FISD schools have been rezoned multiple times.

“This is the most challenging thing this board faces.”