Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and trustees said a demographic report showing a slight student enrollment decrease this year is a call to action to determine ways to bring families back to the district.
The student enrollment in 2015–16 is 158,692, which is down from the 2014–15 student enrollment of 160,253. The largest enrollment drop—approximately 1,000 students—came on the kindergarten level.
Hinojosa said the slight student enrollment decrease is a wake up call for anyone who believes the district can go about “business as usual.”
“We must determine why students are leaving or not choosing to come to Dallas ISD, and we must address the issue head on,” Hinojosa said. “This will take a total team effort to address this issue.”
In initial conversations during Thursday’s board briefing on how to potentially stop the enrollment slide, trustees suggested the district could more aggressively market and advertise Dallas ISD to show the great things happening in the schools. Other preliminary ideas trustees discussed included continuing to increase the number of choice schools; figuring out what is working well at schools and spreading that information and those practices to other schools; continuing to focus on and expanding pre-K; improving Dallas ISD schools; and continuing to reach English Language Learning students.
Hinojosa added that the district should conduct an external analysis to help identify what issues must be addressed to stop an enrollment slide.
“We will look at every possible angle,” Hinojosa said. “This information is powerful, and together we can come up with a solution to take our students back.”