As we welcome our students back to school in this new year of 2021, it’s hard to believe that we are just months away from marking a full year of work under very new circumstances. This past year has completely altered the landscape for so much of what we all consider to be most important–especially our interactions with one another.
As I reflect on this past year, I am proud of how our schools have partnered with our community to bring as much normalcy to our kids’ lives as possible. Few districts across the state opened their doors on time in August with face-to-face learning, and fewer still did so with such a large percentage of students opting to learn in-person like Celina ISD (74%). Our teachers and staff committed to providing strong virtual and in-person instruction while also taking extra precautionary measures to keep our kids and colleagues safe. Additionally, our coaches and fine arts staff have been remarkable at providing opportunities for our kids to safely participate in activities and experiences that are vital to the overall learning of our students.
For the first time in Celina ISD’s history, our enrollment surpassed 3,000 students, and by the time of this article’s publication, we will have broken ground on a brand-new 6-8 grade middle school that will open in the fall of 2022. Our district’s most recent demographic report suggests that Celina ISD has the potential to add 3,000 more students over the next four years, and we anticipate opening one new elementary school in both 2023 and 2024. Looking further into the future, our demographic report also notes that CISD will likely approach 12,000 students during the 2030-2031 school year. We are on the cusp of exponential growth in our community!
Celina was recently ranked first in The Dallas Business Journal as the fastest growing city in the North Texas area, and our district is proactively planning for new campuses, district-wide improvements, and land purchases that will prepare the district for the challenges that will come with this growth. Celina ISD and the City of Celina have a long history of addressing any challenge by seeing not the problem before us, but seeing instead the opportunity. We are excited about these opportunities, as we actively shape our district culture to enhance the truly unique facets of our community while welcoming new Bobcats to our district. What has always been a strength for Celina ISD is the greatest calling in our district/city partnership: true connection is about taking care of one another.
Part of Celina ISD’s commitment to our community is financial prudence as we continue to grow. The Celina ISD Board of Trustees approved a 2020-2021 district tax rate of $1.4832, which is the lowest school district tax rate in over 20 years. As districts across the state prepare for this next legislative session, school funding will continue to be a great challenge. This challenge is even greater for smaller school districts, particularly fast-growth districts like Celina ISD.
We are excited for the challenges ahead, and we are thrilled to welcome a new year that brings new opportunities to serve our families as we continue to serve our kids.
Superintendent, Celina ISD