Judy Everett Ramos, 817-399-2025

For the first time in several years, the district had more than 20,000 students by the second week of school. There were 508 more students enrolled in HEB ISD the second week of school than during the same period in 2005.

And while some increases began last year with the addition of hurricane evacuees, Superintendent Dr. Gene Buinger said that is not the primary reason for this year’s numbers.

“Last year, we had more than 350 students enroll here because they fled hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” he said. “But many of those students did not return this year, and we are still more than 500 students over this time period in 2005. We are definitely experiencing the kind of growth we haven’t seen in years.”

The largest enrollment, by grade, is first grade, with 1,620 students during the second week of school. The second largest enrollment this year is kindergarten, with 1,569 students.

These figures are consistent with projections by Dennis Harner and Associates, which conducted an enrollment projection and demographic study for the district in 2004. The study projected increased enrollment in kindergarten classes for 2005, 2006, and 2007, because of an increase in births in 2000, 2001, and 2002.

Oakwood Terrace is the district’s largest elementary school, with 731 students enrolled the second week of school. The largest junior high school is Harwood Junior High School, with 976 students. Trinity High School has the largest senior high enrollment, with 2,135 students.

Enrollment will continue to increase with the development of single-family homes in the southern portion of the district. The Board of Trustees approved the purchase of a 10-acre site on Texas Highway 10, just east of Bell Spur, earlier this year.

The school site is next to a proposed housing development with 98 single-family lots. Other nearby property will have approximately 250 homes built in the next 12 months, and nearly 400 more homes in another area will be ready by 2008. The possible development of 4,000 homes in the Bird’s Fort area of north Arlington, which is also located in the HEB school district, is also on the horizon.

Developers anticipate brisk sales of the new homes, as new residents are attracted to the quality of HEB schools and the advantages their children will receive.

The district is poised for continued growth over the next five years, and the Board of Trustees is now considering realigning schools and having a bond election to accommodate the increased enrollment.
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