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Booming enrollment propels NISD's expected 5-year increase to double

A welder works on a metal staircase at Berkshire Elementary School

While Northwest ISD families have long known of the district’s rapid growth, new demographic data of booming enrollment indicates the previously projected five-year growth rate is now expected to double.

At trustees’ December 13 school board meeting, demographic experts presented the most recent data from the region showing significantly increased home construction. Zonda, the district’s demographer, presented data illustrating 4,355 new home starts within Northwest ISD over the past year. The mark makes Northwest ISD the only district in North Texas to break 4,000 new homes being constructed over that time span. Denton ISD followed in second at 3,831 and Prosper ISD ranked third with 3,557.

Tim McClure, assistant superintendent for facilities, said the district’s reputation and location has enticed families focused on strong school environments.

“We’ve heard time and time again from people moving to the area that Northwest ISD schools are a big reason why,” he explained after the board meeting. “Families appreciate the work we’ve done to instill a community atmosphere in all our schools. The strong academic standards and offerings, such as our academy system, as well as all the extracurricular opportunities available also draw families’ attention.”

While Zonda now ranks Northwest ISD as the fastest-growing district in North Texas based on its new home construction, enrollment has mirrored this substantial increase. This fall, Northwest ISD added more than 2,200 students from the same time frame last year, which Zonda attributes both to housing developments and a COVID “bounce back.” This increase means the district grew by 8.7% of its student population. This trend of strong enrollment growth is expected to continue, with 7.4% enrollment growth expected next year and rates above 5% for the following five years.

We’ve heard time and time again from people moving to the area that Northwest ISD schools are a big reason why. Families appreciate the work we’ve done to instill a community atmosphere in all our schools.

Tim McClure, Assistant Superintendent for Facilities

Zonda projects that Northwest ISD will reach an enrollment of 37,370 students in five years (2026-2027) – representing an increase of almost 10,000 students. The new projection is roughly double the previously expected increase of about 5,000 new students over five years. That growth is expected to continue, with Zonda projecting Northwest ISD enrollment to reach 46,069 students in 10 years (2031-2032). JLL Real Estate, which also consults with the district, provided trustees with an overview illustrating that the land mass the district encompasses means growth will exist for many years.

Mr. McClure said the revised growth projections mean planning timelines for future schools will be analyzed and revised with the help of community leaders.

“Our Long-Range Planning Committee is ramping up meetings over the next year to ensure we’re prepared to meet the demand of an increased student population and more families in Northwest ISD,” he said. “More schools are necessary with a larger population, and our community’s feedback is vital in that planning.”

Voters approved a bond package in May 2021 to address NISD’s rapid growth, and five campuses (two replacement elementary schools, two new elementary schools and a new middle school) will open in 2023-2024 to provide relief to existing schools. Information about ongoing construction and related planning can be found at www.nisdtxconstruction.org.