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Denton ISD Named Fastest Growing District in Latest DFW New Home Report

The emerging global pandemic has done little to slow growth in the Denton Independent School District. At a recent meeting of the Board of School Trustees, Bob Templeton, of Zonda Demographics (formerly known as Templeton Demographics), provided a detailed second-quarter growth report on new home sales in Texas.   

Denton ISD continues to rank number one, as the fastest-growing school district in DFW based on new housing closings, posting 2,841 annually. Denton ISD far outpaces other neighboring school districts in North Texas for new home starts, quarterly new home starts, current new home inventory, vacant developed lots, and future lots. 

Within the district’s 180 square miles, Denton ISD currently has 55 actively building subdivisions with 42 future subdivisions and approximately 4,881 future multi-family units in the planning stages.  

It is no coincidence that being a hotspot for student growth would impact the number of students in our classrooms. As doors opened on the first day of school, the district posted its highest student enrollment numbers of all time. In Pre-kindergarten through 12 grades, 32,309 students registered for the 2021-22 school year.

“The biggest area of growth in the district is currently occurring in the eastern corridor along highway 380 and specifically in the Union Park elementary zone,” said Mr. Templeton. “The next elementary school to open will relieve Union Park which was built in 2019 with a capacity of 740 students. The most recent projections for the 2022/23 school year at Union Park elementary would be more than 1,300 students based on the current number of homes under construction (944) zoned to attend the school. We expect Union Park to see a significant change once the district redraws the boundary lines in that zone and opens the new elementary school (Sandbrock Ranch Elementary) in the fall of 2022.” 

Situated in one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States with an average annual growth rate of 3.2 percent, Denton ISD has consistently ranked among the top 10 districts in the number of new home starts and closures in North Texas for the past five years. 

The largest factor in new home sales has historically been the unemployment rate. Early in the 2021 calendar year, the impact of COVID-19 on unemployment numbers in Denton County appeared as though it would continue to impact the home market surrounding Denton ISD. Those unemployment numbers continued to rise in May. However, as the entire state of Texas slowly reopened, those numbers began to change.  

Texas and DFW’s unemployment rates peaked in May and began dropping in June with the largest declines in leisure, hospitality, education, and health services. And, as challenging as those early-year unemployment numbers were, it impacted home inventory as well. Home sales in Texas declined in April.  

However, in June, total monthly home sales rebounded statewide and surpassed 2019 levels in Austin, DFW, Houston, and San Antonio. Low-interest rates resulted in a fast recovery for the housing market. Don’t expect there to be a drop-off in the district any time soon. This summer’s spike in sales now has Denton ISD growing at an even faster rate now than it was a year ago.

“This extraordinary growth is not just within the boundary lines of our district. Just north of the Providence community, in a neighboring school district, DR Horton is building a 5,000 home subdivision,” said Charles Stafford, board of trustees secretary. “We’re surrounded by this growth. We’ve found over time that people discover there are better programs right down the road and they transfer over to us. As we keep building facilities like the Advanced Technology Center and offer those types of programs on our campuses that these other districts don’t have, more and more people are going to want to come to Denton ISD and that’s a good problem to have.”