We can’t wait to welcome students back for another exciting school year on Thursday, Aug. 12. This page has updated information to help our families prepare along with information about why early student registration is so critical for our learners. This page is updated regularly as more details become available.
Create more stability for students, especially our youngest learners
Preparing for an accurate number of enrolled students is more important than ever, which is why it’s critical that our community register students as soon as possible. Whether you are new to Leander ISD or a returning student, early registration/enrollment verification helps our team hire enough high-quality staff to serve our campuses. Please take time to register or verify enrollment and share the news about registration. Visit the Registration page to learn more.
Please note: Any student that is not active on the first day of school will be withdrawn at the end of the day. After that, elementary parents will need to accompany their student to their school registrar’s office the first day they are enrolled so that they can be activated in the system, but they will not have to go through the entire enrollment process. Secondary parents will not be required to accompany their students as the student may visit the registrar to complete the process on their own. Every effort will be made to maintain the student’s preferred schedule.
Why is early registration crucial for our planning?
Our students, families, teachers, and schools deserve consistency. Under-planning for new student enrollment will create issues with hiring qualified teachers, crowding classrooms and staff retention as we anticipate a more typical in-person learning experience.
We start actively recruiting and hiring teachers and school staff in the spring. This allows us to find high-quality candidates early. But right now, we are staffing based on conservative (3%) estimates on student enrollment after experiencing a decline in 2020–21 due to COVID-19.
This means we could have more students than expected in August 2021 when we start the school year. This leads to hiring teachers in the fall instead of the spring or summer, teaching students in crowded classrooms to start the year, and moving students to new teachers after 4–6 weeks with a teacher. Our elementary teachers master building strong relationships with students on Day 1. Having widespread student transitions to new teachers will not be good for student learning.
Important Questions & Topics
What will 2021-22 school look like?
The vast majority of our learners will be in-person, as all campuses will be open for instruction and ready to welcome students on Aug. 12. Leander ISD continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 in our LISD community and implement prevention strategies at the district and campus levels to the largest extent practical. We work closely with our local health agencies to respond to outbreaks, get information to our families and coordinate vaccination efforts. For the current status and protocols, visit the COVID-19 Health Protocols page for more information.
Based on information from our local health agencies and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine is readily available for all adults and children ages 12 and up. The vaccine is not mandatory for school attendance, but the CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic.
Health Response Protocols
We recently updated our COVID-19 Health Response Handbook to align with new CDC guidance on school operations.If our local health departments change their guidance in responding to the pandemic, so will our protocols.
Virtual School Option
Our Board of Trustees approved a virtual learning school option for the 2021-22 school year to provide 100% remote instruction for PreK thru 12th-grade students with a health-related concern. Please complete this virtual learning enrollment form for your student if you are interested. If you completed an interest form in the Spring, you still need to complete this form to join the school.
Other virtual learning details include:
- a minimum commitment of one semester;
- special education/504, gifted services provided;
- all courses necessary to fulfill basic promotion and/or graduation requirements offered;
- limited advanced and elective course offerings; and
- secondary students are not eligible to participate in extracurricular activities offered on the home campus.
Based on vaccine distribution, low COVID-19 transmission rates in classrooms, and guidance and rules set by TEA, we believe that the best opportunity for most students is to learn in person with their teacher on our LISD campuses. In keeping with our mission to partner with families and create safe and supportive environments to nurture each student’s personal growth, we believe it is important to offer this remote learning option. More details about virtual learning.
How does early registration help our budget, staffing, and planning?
Just like the entire state and nation, we experienced declining enrollment last school year. This is new for us as a fast-growth district. For the 2021–22 school year, we are budgeting for 41,749 students. Based on home sales, surveys with developers on new home builds, and other economic indicators, our demographer anticipates an enrollment of 43,951.
According to the Texas Fast Growth Schools Coalition and a statewide demographic update and a recent report by the Williamson County Appraisal District, our area is seeing record-breaking growth in new properties.
Enrollment Research Explained
Our demographer geocodes and maps our current student students to track student movement from year to year. They survey developers who are currently working on building new homes as well as developers in the planning stages for building to estimate the total number of new single-family and multi-family housing in a given area.
In their forecasting, demographers estimate how many students will be in a given neighborhood, setting a “per unit” student ratio. They base this on current students and similar neighborhoods or multi-family complexes, resetting those ratios as trends change.
The demographer uses census data and surveys private and charter schools to estimate how many kids live in our attendance zones, attend other schools, and could potentially attend other schools. While we have seen news of new charter and private schools in our area, we have not seen an increase in capacity of outside schools, meaning most students who did not attend Leander ISD schools in 2020–21 probably stayed home.
Our principals and school staff remained connected to families who stayed in the area but chose not to send their kids to our schools this year. Many intend on re-enrolling in the upcoming school year or they moved out of the area during the past 12 months.
Our attendance team has been calling families to remain connected and work to recapture students back into our schools.
School Staffing Formulas
We staff schools based on enrollment projections and defined student-teacher ratios and then monitor actual enrollment numbers throughout the summer. For example, we staff grades kindergarten to fourth grade at a ratio of 22 students to 1 teacher, so a school projected to have 110 first grade students has five first-grade teachers. But if 125 first-grade students enroll in school and we learn about that in the summer, we are able to add a teacher to accommodate the increase. If this increase doesn’t happen until after the school year starts, those classes increase to 25 students to 1 teacher until we can hire a new teacher. Under this scenario, we would move 15–22 students from their original teachers to a new teacher, which is tough on many kids.
Additional Resources & Materials
In addition to staffing resources, bus route allocations, portable buildings, and school budgets for supplies depend on enrollment numbers.
What is registration verification for returning students?
We moved registration to an online system in Summer 2019. With the move to online registration, we need all families to verify registration online through this link every year. Last year, registration verification occurred in July 2020, but we moved this process into April 2021 to plan for the 2021–22 school year.
If you have a current student, please log into the Home Access Center (HAC) where you will be prompted to complete the verification process. If you are a guardian and do not have a HAC account, please submit a dialogue using Let’s Talk. Please refer to the Registration page with any questions.
2021–22 District Calendar
The complete district calendar includes information on student and teacher holidays, the bad weather makeup day, early release dates and more. Visit the Calendar page to learn more.
Home Access Center
Home Access Center (HAC) provides families with an online tool where they can view helpful student information to support and guide their children through the educational process. From home or work, at any time of the day or night, parents can access the web portal to track academic achievement.
- Grade notifications,
- Class schedules
- Attendance records.
Visit the Home Access Center page to learn more.
Student Code of Conduct & Dress Code
The Student and Parent handbooks, which include the Student Code of Conduct and dress code, will be finalized before the start of the school year. To view last year’s handbooks, visit the district’s Handbooks page.
Immunization requirements for the 2021–22 school year are available on the district site’s Immunizations page. To avoid crowded waiting rooms and long waits, families may visit one of the public health clinics or their family physician to schedule an appointment.
Bus Route Information
Beginning Aug. 5, Leander ISD parents can enter their home address into Infofinder to look up their child’s bus route number, pick-up/drop-off times, and bus stop locations for the 2021-22 school year. Bus routes are subject to change, so LISD parents are strongly encouraged to confirm their child’s bus information again the week prior to the start of school.
The Transportation Department will continue to use the Remind platform to communicate delay notifications and other important updates. Bus riders and their guardians will be added to a Remind “class” for their assigned bus route.
Share your first-day photos with LISD by submitting them to the district’s communications team!