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Enrollment Lines and Happy Faces Highlight First Day

A longtime hotspot for student growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Denton ISD maintained that notoriety with large numbers of campuses enrolling students on the first day of the 2018-19 school year.


Situated in the ninth-fastest growing county in the United States, Denton ISD has consistently ranked among the top 10 districts in the number of new home starts and closures for the past five years. That growth has led to the district averaging at least one new school opening since 2008.


“I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. The secret is definitely out – our district is the perfect place for children to get an education and our communities are great to settle and raise a family,” said Dr. Jamie Wilson, superintendent of schools. “It was great to personally see so many happy faces walking through the doors and being welcomed by teachers and staff that were waiting for them all summer.”


Denton ISD enrollment has increased an average of 636 students per year over a four-year period. The district had 27,045 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade on the first day in 2013 and ended past school year with 29,586.


With the new school year starting a bit earlier than in the past, campuses across the district’s more than 180-square miles spent the better part of the morning working with families to register students. Denton ISD officials anticipate enrollment to exceed 30,000 students for the first time this year.


“We know the start of the school year can sneak up on you, especially in the middle of the week, so we want to do whatever we can to ensure families get their students enrolled and they start the new year ready to learn” said Mario Zavala Jr., the district’s director of communications and community relations.


“Seeing the long lines at several schools today, we’d like to remind families that they can complete a lot of their paperwork online, print those documents and save some time finalizing the registration process.”


The long lines didn’t dampen the excitement of a fresh start at campuses across the district. At Rodriguez Middle School, which opened last year in the Town of Oak Point, anticipates adding about 200 new students.


“I woke up at 4 o’clock this morning because I was so excited to get here,” said Rene Koontz, school principal. “The start of a new year and getting to see the kids is why you get excited. You miss them, and that’s why we’re here – for the kids – so when you don’t see them all summer, you miss them and get excited that you’re going to see them again.”


Guyer High School also had the excitement of opening two new additions to its current building, the installation of a new secure main entrance and working around road construction along its campus.


“There’s always something big going on here at Guyer, which makes every day exciting. With the official opening of key learning area additions, there was a sense of newness in the air,” said Dr. Shaun Perry, school principal.


The thrill of seeing old friends and getting back into the groove of learning about a favorite subject was enough for others as students seemed eager to get back into the classroom.


“I’m glad summer is over,” said Tripp Watkins, a first grader at Alexander Elementary. “I love math, and I can’t wait to get back to class and learn more math facts.”