CISD on track to improve enrollment rates and student retention


Aliza Abidi

Coppell ISD cooperative strategies officer Cindy Powell speaks on the economic status of CISD and in specific improvements needed in CISD schools. The meeting addressed the district’s need to develop student retention and enrollment rates as well as updates The ESSER funds.

Maya Palavali, Staff Cartoonist

On Monday, the Coppell ISD Board of Trustees meeting was filled with celebration of new beginnings and past achievements.

Three Coppell High School students, Anushree De, Sahith Mocharla, Umang Vinayaka, were recognized for being selected to be on the Texas debate team. Richard J. Lee Elementary was also selected as an Apple Distinguished School.

The CISD Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of trustee Tracy Fisher. An emotional goodbye ensued from her fellow board members and audience. Many came to celebrate her accomplishments and wish Fisher the best. Fisher is running for the State Board of Education.

“Students have rallied around [Fisher] and felt confident to build their confidence to do things beyond just the ordinary,” trustee Anthony Hill said.

The Bond Steering Committee reported updates on its projections of the growth of incoming students, from its current population of 13,100.

“The projections will continue to grow over the next 10 years, although that district is slowing,” CISD cooperative strategies officer Cindy Powell said. “The projection is that over the next 10 years, it should grow by 712 students which is about 5%.”

The bulk of the growth is expected to take place in the next five years. As the findings are presented, the committee plans to take action.

“We take those enrollment projections and then we analyze and calculate the program and building capacity; it takes into account the programs that you’re operating building currently,” Powell said. “Every principal gave us input on how they use space in the building and we determine from that [about] the past year compared to enrollment.”

The ESSER funds update was presented by director of federal programs Robyn Webb and executive director of instructional leadership Mary Kemper.

Coppell ISD Board of Trustees members Manish Sethi, Leigh Walker, Nichole Bentley, Superintendent Dr. Brad Hunt and David Caviness listen to Cooperative Strategies by Cindy Powell during the Board of Trustees meeting on Monday. The meeting addressed the district’s need to develop student retention and enrollment rates as well as updates The ESSER funds. (Aliza Abidi)

The update on the feedback from the information the stakeholders regarding funding was positive. The members were also supportive of additional retention payment for the district educators and staff. All proceedings are in compliance with federal guidelines.

“We will continue to seek stakeholders feedback through meaningful consultation in reviewing and revising as needed at least every six months,” Webb said. “This process will include interest in the district educational improvement council, district leadership teams [and] stakeholder surveys.”

Webb and Kemper found new information about the 2022-23 school year’s projection rate of student retention. The team conducted a study of elementary school students in a school; all participants of the study are kept confidential for safety reasons.

“Already in the first few weeks of school we see that for this grade level, more than a quarter of the kids are already on track,” Kemper said. “This isn’t on track to pass some standardized tests; this is on track to understand the content they need to understand by the end of the school year.”

The ESSER update goes on to point out the areas of improvement for the students of CISD from the study’s results about intervention.

“Now the important one for us to look at to consider in terms of specific targeted intentional intervention is it’s good to know students are showing us in one way or another they may need some intervention,” Kemper said. “We [need] to support the students as we become more keenly aware of what they use.”

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