Orientation for Parents

Frisco ISD holds special sessions for families new to the area

February 21, 2017
High Achievers – Frisco ISD students consistently score higher than the national average on ACT, SAT and STAAR tests. Photos by Meghan Youker

One of the pleasant surprises about living in North Texas is the abundance of high-quality public schools.

Residents take athletics and academics seriously in these parts, which means you don’t have to look far for a great school.

Frisco Independent School District, located just north of Plano, is one of those schools. FISD is one of the fastest-growing school districts in the country, welcoming 2,500 to 3,500 new students each year.

The district has added twice-a-year parent orientation sessions to help new families learn more about its operations, programs and policies, easing their transition into a new school district.
At a session in October, Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Lyon spoke about the district, which has grown to 55,924 students this school year from 1,933 students in 1993. FISD expects to add 10,000 more students over the next five years.

“New students join us every day from all over the state, country and world,” Lyon says. “Time and time again, these families tell us they made a deliberate decision to move to our area because of the schools. We take their confidence and trust in us very seriously and strive to do all we can to help them acclimate to our community and better understand our strengths and challenges as a school district, as well as all the tremendous opportunities available to their students in our schools.”

Team Players -- A small school philosophy ensures Frisco ISD students have ample opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities. 

Some FISD highlights:

  • A commitment to small schools means high school enrollment is capped at 2,100. This is contrary to other area schools. Nearby Allen has just one high school with about 4,800 students. FISD is building its 10th high school, with plans to add three or four more.
  • Through unique public-private partnerships, FISD is part owner of the Dallas Cowboys’ new practice facility, Dr Pepper Ballpark, Dr Pepper Arena and Toyota Stadium. These partnerships allow the district to use the facilities for student-related activities such as football games, marching band competitions, soccer tournaments and high school graduations.
  • Rezoning takes place each fall in FISD. That helps to relieve overcrowding and balance enrollment in existing schools, and draw attendance zones for any new schools opening the following year.
  • Starting salary for new teachers is $50,000, among the highest in the state but on pace with other local schools.
  • Academically, students scored higher than the Texas average and the national average on the SAT and ACT. On the Texas standardized tests, called STAAR, 38 percent of students met advanced objectives, well above the Texas and regional rates.

All this from a city that was mostly farmland in the 1990s.

–Karen Nielsen
Editor's note: Frisco ISD announced plans to delay the opening of four schools in August 2017 to save money after voters rejected a property tax hike.


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