According to forecasts from Zonda Education’s Bob Templeton, the school population in Coppell ISD will drop in the upcoming years.

The founder of the Southlake-based company that projects school enrollment throughout North Texas spoke to the CISD board of trustees during the Oct. 23 meeting, sharing where the district stands compared to five years ago while projecting numbers five years in the future.

Zooming in

Templeton said there is potential for further growth with the four active housing projects within the CISD boundaries. There are 187 lots available and another 50 that will be available across three subdivisions.

“The challenge continues to be the high cost of housing,” Templeton said. “When we look specifically at Coppell ISD, you can see the single-family numbers are really winding down because of the amount of vacant land that's left. So we've got a couple of projects where there are some single-family homes being built. I will say though, it's very expensive. The Coppell market is one of the most expensive markets in the DFW region. The family makeup tends to be older; it tends to have fewer younger kids, so we don't see that regeneration at the younger grade levels.”

He showed the Blackberry Farm development, a 54-acre community, that will feature 63 custom homes with prices starting at $900,000. There are also two apartment complexes: Hastings End at Cypress Water and August Hills at Cypress Water.

Combined, they would offer nearly 800 apartment units. Templeton said Hastings should be finished by the end of 2023, while August Hills just broke ground in August.

Templeton, in reviewing enrollment, noted the multifamily development is where the school district is seeing the biggest addition of new students and the biggest loss of students out of the district.

The big picture

Templeton reviewed the number of students within the district and told the board to expect to see lower enrollment going forward due to trends with students.

“I think we may beat the peak total enrollment right now,” he said. “I thought last year it was two years away, but now it could be that it’s here right now.”

A lower enrollment at the kindergarten level this year marks the fifth year in a row there has been a decrease.

Comparing student enrollment in October the last five years, this year saw an increase of 252 students compared to October 2022. CISD added 1,502 new students but lost 1,250 students.

“The good news is you're still adding more students to the district [versus those] leaving the district, so that's good,” Templeton said. “I've got a lot of clients that don't see that. They're seeing the leaving outnumber the newcomers.”

Templeton said they gathered those numbers by looking at new student identification badges compared to the previous years. The newcomer numbers span first to 12th grade; the leaving numbers are first to 11th grade, not counting graduated seniors.

The overview

Templeton said the biggest number of those leaving are still within the district, many choosing to go to religious-based schools or homeschool options. While stating it isn’t a "huge issue," he said he has noticed a similar growing trend throughout the state.

“The biggest number [of people] that I interviewed was millennials that were all about the flexibility of controlling the school day, the school week, when to have holidays or when to take breaks, and they wanted that ability to have more control and more flexibility,” Templeton said.

He said CISD has lower enrollment in kindergarten, 11th and 12th grade this year compared to the prior year. The 704 students in kindergarten this year is the lowest in the past five years.

He told the board to expect high school enrollment numbers to start declining over the next six to seven years.

The total enrollment across the district this year is 13,371. By 2028-29, he expects that number to be about 12,973. He gave the district a series of numbers with the high-end and low-end projections, with12,973 being a middle projection.