1. The district’s priorities are to set students up for living in the future
“We think of these kids and what they are going to experience [with technology] in their lifetimes,” Leonard said. “Things are changing. The world our kids are going to be living in is changing.”
He said the district is focused on teaching communication skills and social-emotional learning while using the proper amount of technology.
Social-emotional learning ensures students have self-awareness, self-management skills, can build relationships, show empathy and compassion, and make healthy and responsible choices, Leonard said.
“No matter what the world looks like, they will need to be good communicators,” he said. “They will need to have grit, resiliency, empathy and compassion.”
2. District enrollment has dropped in the 2017-18 school year
As of Sept. 14, EISD has 74 fewer students than last year, Leonard said. The largest drop came at the elementary level, which lost 85 students while 18 students were added at the high school level.
“When you look at the enrollment history of our district, for the most part, we’re a slow-growth district,” he said.
3. Less transfer students are attending Westlake High School this year
While the number of out-of-district students who have transferred into EISD has remained consistent in elementary and middle schools, the number dropped by 11 percent at the high school this year, Leonard said.
The drop was the result of a long discussion by the district’s board of trustees last spring, he said.
“We could have had 220 [transfer students] at the high school again, but [the district] really put a cap at the 190s,” he said.
4. The class of 2017 earned more scholarship funds than the previous year
The Westlake High School Class of 2017 earned $25.7 million in college scholarships, an increase of $5 million from the Class of 2016, Leonard said.
About 84 percent of students from the Class of 2017 are attending a four-year institution, 14 percent are attending a two-year institution and 2 percent joined the armed forces or took employment out of high school, he said.
The district also had 28 National Merit Scholar semifinalists in 2017, he said.