The study was conducted by Population and Survey Analysts, a demographics consulting firm that works with public school districts to determine their needs.
PASA’s study showed three different scenarios for growth: low, moderate and high projections.
The highest projection could see enrollment reaching over 120,000 students in the district. Historically, the district has recorded enrollment higher than the highest projection with the exception of the 2020-21 school year, according to PASA.
The moderate enrollment projection shows the district recording 98,353 students by the 2032-33 school year. PASA President Stacey Tapera said the organization wants to remain conservative in its projections.
“It is very important to us that we don’t make big promises or big projections that would cause you to overbuild or to ask your voters for funds for schools that may not be necessary for another year or two down the road,” she said. “Every year, with the exception of the COVID[-19] year, your enrollment has exceeded our projections.”
CISD Superintendent Curtis Null said over the last two bond cycles, the most recent of which was approved by voters in 2019, the district also exceeded PASA’s highest enrollment projections.
“We don’t want to overbuild, but at the same time, we find ourselves today at 102% of our capacity districtwide because we didn’t hit the number,” Null said. “Where we really see this as a potential concern is at the individual campus level. ... I t’s a balancing act of being conservative. ... But at the same time we don’t want to spend money chasing something that is never going to be.”
The study also projected that the district will see the most growth in the Conroe, Caney Creek and Grand Oaks feeder zones.
For example, San Jacinto Elementary School is projected to see an increase of over 1,700 students due to the building of master-planned communities in the attendance area.
“If you ballpark estimate that a new elementary school is about 950 capacity, then two more elementary schools could be needed in the San Jacinto attendance zone in the next 10 years,” Tapera said.
Three high schools, four junior highs, five intermediate schools and 20 elementary schools are at capacity or overcapacity in the district, according to CISD. Eight schools throughout the district are 120% overcapacity or more. Through 2032-33, the district would need to add 10 elementary schools, three K-6 schools, three intermediate schools, four junior high schools, three ninth-grade schools and two high school campuses to keep up with the projected growth.
To address the growth, the district is forming a bond committee that will begin meeting in February in anticipation of a bond to be called for the Nov. 7, 2023, election. The district is requesting that those interested in serving on the CISD Bond Planning Committee fill out an interest form. Members of the committee will be notified of their selection at the end of January.