Katy ISD's enrollment is projected to exceed 100,000 students by 2027, and a projected 30% of new enrollees are expected to be emergent bilingual students, or students for whom English is a second language, according to Population and Survey Analysts, a demographic firm cited by the district.

Currently, more than 25% of Katy ISD’s student population is made up of bilingual learners, and the district offers a comprehensive bilingual dual-language education program starting in prekindergarten through fifth grade to native Spanish speakers, who represent the district’s largest emergent bilingual group, according to the district.

Among the support KISD provides to emergent bilingual students and their families are instruction in science, technology, engineering, arts and math programs hosted by the district at the Robert R. Shaw Center for STEAM, as well as information sessions focused on course selection and applying for post-secondary education, according to the release.

What the experts say

PASA data indicates that KISD is the fastest-growing school district by student population in the Houston region, adding more than 2,000 new students each school year, according to an Oct. 30 news release.

District officials are working to ensure instructional staff are prepared to serve the growing emergent bilingual population that will be part of that growth.

What they’re saying

During an Oct. 30 Katy ISD board meeting, Linda Shepard, director of KISDs ESL and bilingual programs, delivered an update on the growth of the population of Katy ISD students.

“Beyond ESL certification opportunities, the district provides a comprehensive professional development plan to support teachers with the tools to address the varying proficiency levels of their students,” Shepard said in a statement from the district. “Components of the plan address students’ affective, linguistic and cognitive development, as well as the positive contributing factors of parent, family and community engagement in a child’s education.”