LISD approves early calendar, discusses demographics

Option B, now the official schedule for LISD's 2018-19 school year. (Graphic courtesy LISD)

At its regular meeting Monday night Jan. 22, the Lewisville ISD approved its 2018-19 academic calendar and heard a report on the district’s demographic future, among several other items.

The next school year will begin Aug. 15, the third Wednesday in August, a full two weeks earlier than this year’s Aug. 28 start date, which was the fourth Monday of the month, but realistically its fifth week since Aug. 1 fell on a Tuesday last year.

The calendar has been a source of much consternation on social media, but according to a survey conducted by the ISD’s communications office in November, an overwhelming majority of the community voted for an Aug. 15 start date — of the four available options, 76 percent of the 14,424 votes went to the two options that started Aug. 15, with 50.4 percent going to the specific calendar that was just approved. The two calendars that started Aug. 27 received only 23.9 percent of the vote.

The board also approved proposals to move forward with its classrooms’ audio-visual capabilities and security systems, as well as approving a construction manager for repairs related to a severe hail storm last March that caused an estimated $15.4 million in damages to eight schools, almost two thirds of that to Marcus High School.  

Along with updates on the gifted and talented program and the Lewisville Education Fund, the board also heard Bob Templeton, president of Templeton Demographics, deliver a detailed presentation on how students will fill LISD schools in the future. Templeton said that due to a high-priced housing boom in the district’s region, more families are moving into LISD, but those families tend to have fewer children.

Templeton also said those factors, combined with an increase in area charter schools, are what lead to the district’s unexpected loss of 782 students this year.

Board member Tracy Scott Miller expressed strong concern and called for the board to discuss the changing landscape further.

“This is a lot to absorb given the perfect storm that we’re in,” he said. “It’s material as it relates to bond money that was allocated toward capacity. We need to look at this and track what’s happening this year.”

The entire four hour meeting, as well as its background material, is posted online.