Demographers expect Leander ISD to exceed 50,000 students by 2026. Trustees talked about special education and the recent tours of LISD classrooms. And the district will continue to work on performance objectives for its annual district improvement plan. 

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The district expects a need for 9 schools in the next 10 years, eclipsing 50,000 students in 2026

Signs of regeneration and growth in elementary schools were among the highlights in the annual demographic report for Leander ISD, which expects to add 1,200 students every year until 2029. 

To accommodate the expected growth, the district will need to build at least nine schools in the next 10 years, the demographer said.

Leander ISD partners with Population and Survey Analysts (PASA) from Texas A&M University to study housing and development trends to predict future school enrollments. 

“The amazing teaching staff and educational opportunities are the reason why our district continues to grow,” Board President Trish Bode said. “It is our responsibility to prepare ourselves and utilize our resources wisely to continue to support this growth in our community.” 

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Board directs the administration to reconsider performance objectives for the District Improvement Plan

Trustees continued a discussion from the Oct. 17 meeting around the District Improvement Plan, focusing on the performance objectives aligned to the Board’s goals approved in February. 

In a discussion that included debate on the merits of state accountability for measuring student academic growth, the Board opted to approve the required targeted improvement plans and directed administration to reconsider the performance objectives.

“I am happy we could agree that the goals are the right goals we should focus on, and I am looking forward to adding the targets to measure these goals,” Trustee Pamela Waggoner said. “Accountability is not going away, we just need to be measuring the right things.”

Board debriefs on special education presentations, classroom visits

After four visits and five presentations covering special education and 504 programs in Leander ISD, Trustees discussed their recent campus visits to six schools and possible next steps as the special education team continues its work with community engagement. 

“It was very difficult to see who the student receiving services were,” said Board Vice President Aaron Johnson, complimenting district staff for what he observed during his classroom visits. “I thought that was great, to watch the way our instructional aids and inclusion teachers were interacting with all students and the teacher. It was a great education on a number of fronts for me.”

Trustees and staff discussed continued efforts to improve relationships and collaboration between special education parents, school staff and special education staff to create and support Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) required by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). The district’s special education team recently contracted with a third-party consultant to engage active parents seeking more inclusive practices and improved systems for special education assessments. 

Trustees adjust meeting schedule for 2020

The Board approved an updated meeting schedule for 2020, moving meetings from the first and third Thursdays of every month to the third and fourth Thursdays, with some exceptions due to holidays.