FRISCO, Texas - The school year begins Thursday for another 48 school districts in North Texas. That includes Wylie, Ennis, Mineral Wells, Princeton and the fast-growing Frisco.
Four new schools are opening this year in the Frisco Independent School District, where the student population is expected to soon top 60,000.
Over the past 12 months, Frisco ISD’s population has surpassed Garland, Plano and Lewisville. It’s now the fourth largest school district in the Metroplex, trailing only Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington.
For comparison, Frisco has added 15,000 students over the past five years while McKinney added just 500 students in that same period.
One of the two new elementary schools opening Thursday is Talley Elementary. Principal Jamie Paeden talked to FOX 4’s Dan Godwin about opening day jitters and what’s in store for the school this year.
“First day of school is so exciting, brings a little bit of the jitters for sure,” she said.
Paeden said Talley Elementary is a school that believes in innovation. And in addition to being built with some of the latest technology in the classrooms, the teachers hope to incorporate some of that innovation in their teaching methods with help from Chromebooks, iPads and a variety of other tools.
“As far as getting a new school up though up and running, I mean, it’s going to be especially confusing today with everybody figuring out where they need to be. Our practice started last April, if you can believe that,” she said. “We have been planning for this day for months and months and months. And although we’re a little nervous, I think it’s going to be great.”
In addition to Talley, Frisco is also opening Liscano Elementary, Lawler Middle School and Memorial High School.
Superintendent Dr. Mike Waldrip said security is also top of mind this year. The district is hiring more staff members to allow counselors to focus more on students’ mental health.
“We felt like one of the best places we could spend money would be to put those resources into identification, intervention and prevention with regard to student health. And so we’ve tried to free our counselors up from some of the other duties they’ve kind of taken on down through the years so they can focus more on students,” he said.
Like some other districts, Frisco is also introducing an app this year to allow students to anonymously report concerns.