Friendswood ISD is preparing to enter the 2021-22 school year with several new full-time instructors and about 30 less students in its classrooms as compared to this spring, according to student enrollment projection data.

FISD projects its enrollment this September will be at 6,090 students, down slightly from the 6,118 that were enrolled in late April. A total of 372 new students are expected to enroll in 2021-22, mainly at the Cline and Westwood elementary campuses.

All enrollment data was presented at the May 10 board of trustees meeting. The district tracked its enrollment throughout 2020-21 as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect events in and out of classrooms. Approximately 40 more students were enrolled in late April—the 29th week of the academic year—as compared to late September.

Based on district needs and projected classroom totals, the board approved 10 new full-time staff positions for 2021-22 on May 10. Of the approved positions, several are for instructors that will work specifically with students to help close learning gaps.

One full-time math coach and one full-time interventionist position will be added at both Windsong and Bales intermediate schools. Instructional coaches, career and technical education teachers, and career and college specialists were approved at the junior high and high school campuses. One interventionist position per school was also approved for the Cline and Westwood elementary campuses.

Roughly $1 million in funds will be needed to bring in the additional personnel, per district documents presented at the board meeting. The interventionists and instructional coaches are a result of funding provided through recently released Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds, FISD officials said at the meeting; these funds are to be spent in the next three years.

FISD’s mandate to wear face coverings expires June 1, meaning masks will be optional in campus facilities and activities after that date. FISD board members also voted May 10 to eliminate the district's virtual learning option for 2021-22 and return all students to in-person instruction.