MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Rio Grande Valley school districts are just about a week or two away from the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
With the threat of COVID-19 still present, will South Texas classrooms be full?
Here in the Rio Grande Valley, enrollment data shows the classrooms will be 100% back with students, and most of them are already enrolled.
For the McAllen Independent School District (ISD), one of the largest school districts in the RGV, enrollment is not an issue.
“We haven’t seen much evidence of a drop going into the 2021 school year” said Lisa Cavazos, Director of Student Outreach for McAllen I.S.D., “We’re excited to bring kids back in person and we know there is no substitute for peer-to-peer engagement.”
Brownsville ISD is the largest school district in the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan area and tells KVEO their enrollment numbers are doing well too.
“We have 38,500 at this point, we know that number can grow, we always get newcomers when school starts that did not go through the enrollment process before hand and show up on the first day of school,” said Dr. René Gutiérrez, Brownsville ISD superintendent.
According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), from the 2020 school year to the 2021 school year, there were only 1,000 RGV students that did not re-enroll.
The Accountability Research Unit in the Division of Research and Analysis publishes an annual report presenting enrollment trends in the Texas public school system, as well as special reports on related topics.
The annual report provides statewide enrollment data by grade, race/ethnicity, gender, and economically disadvantaged status and for special populations and instructional programs.
For the state of Texas there were 5,493,940 enrolled in the 2020 school year compared to the 2021 school year with5,371,586..
This leaves only 122,000 students not enrolled in 2021 throughout all of the Lone Star State.
Specifically here in the Rio Grande Valley, classified as Region 1, there were 439,638 students in 2020 vs. 438,396 in 2021, which left about 1,000 students that withdrew from valley campuses.
But school districts say for the upcoming school year, they are expecting to get back all their students and even more.
“We’re expecting to land where we did if not a little higher,” said Cavazos.
It isn’t just the students that are coming back, but all the exciting things that come along with the fall semester.
“We have a 100% return to extracurricular activities, UIL academics,” said Cavazos, “Last year we limited activities to pretty much just varsity sports, but this year we are back with middle school athletics, JV, Varsity.”
Both districts say they want parents to feel reassured when their child arrives on campus.
“We’ve been practicing this for a while, even since the last school year, summer school,” said Gutierrez,” We do temperature checks, sanitizing, social distancing, we highly encourage the masks”
All those protocols and more are being enforced as school district leaders say there’s no way to replace in person-instruction.
“We know there has been a decline in the learning, there has been a huge gap because we know distance learning wasn’t as impactful, we’re going to help them academically and in order for us to do that they need to come to school to have their teacher right there in the classroom. ”
If you still haven’t registered your child, there are still plenty of ways to register your child.
“We can help get you set up for the school year, the process is very simple and you can do it on the phone so you don’t even have to make a trip to central office or you can even go to your child’s assigned campus,” said Cavazos.
If you would like more information on your child’s district COVID-19 protocols or how to register your child, visit your district’s website.
McAllen ISD Registration Link: https://www.mcallenisd.org/page/enroll-with-mcallen-isd
Brownsville ISD Registration Link: https://www.bisd.us/students-and-parents/student-enrollment
Edinburg CISD Registration Link: https://www.ecisd.us/apps/pages/register
PSJA ISD Registration Link: https://www.psjaisd.us/register
La Joya ISD Registration Link: https://www.lajoyaisd.com/318858_4
Harlingen CISD Registration Link: https://www.hcisd.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1535544&type=d&pREC_ID=1666497
Mercedes ISD Registration Link: https://www.misdtx.net/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1625244&type=d&pREC_ID=1839317