HISD enrollment reaches 215K, highest level in four decades

The first of four official state counts of enrollment in Houston ISD showed Friday that membership now surpasses 215,000 students — the highest figure since 1973.

The district’s membership tally on the 51st day of school was 215,225, up from 211,406 over the same day in 2013, 3,819 students more. It is the figure that will go into state records as HISD’s fall Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) count.

“The steady upswing in student performance, our great neighborhood schools, and HISD’s reputation for a school option for every interest and goal are undoubtedly helping to draw families to our schools,” said Superintendent Terry Grier.

The count comes on the eve of the launch of HISD’s annual School Choice Fair and opening of online applications to magnet schools. Last year’s pilot online program attracted more than 60,000 applications, a significant increase from previous years that relied only on paper applications.

HISD’s portfolio of school choices – including fine arts and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) magnets, career, Montessori, college preparatory, early college high schools, international specialty and dual-language campuses and more — are outlined at www.HoustonISD.org/SchoolChoice, where the district’s annual SchoolMATCH publication of options can also be viewed.

HISD Demographer Justin Silhavy says robust housing development in HISD is accommodating the increase in enrollment. “We have a lot of housing under construction and a lot more planned in the next three years,” Silhavy said.

Currently, there are 23,830 housing units under construction or move-in ready in Houston ISD, according to the demographer — the most active level since 1972.