The first day of school is always a big day and student numbers will make it the biggest day ever for Midlothian Independent School District.

The first day of school in Midlothian is Monday and MISD is projecting enrollment to be 6,909 students, according to Templeton Demographics, a consulting firm hired by the district to gauge population growth around Midlothian. Midlothian ISD had 6,539 students in June of this year.

The first day of school is always filled with anxious students and parents and MISD is encouraging parents to visit the “Back-2-school” website at www.midlothian-isd.net for school supply lists, bus stops, calendars, menus and more.

“The district is fully staffed with all teachers, principals and office staff already at work to diligently make sure the first day of instruction is a success,” said Jana Hathorne, spokesman for MISD. “Last week, teachers new to the district met for orientation and this week all MISD teachers, administrators and office staff are meeting to prepare for the upcoming school year.”

Earlier this year, Midlothian ISD trustees voted to start the school year with a maximum class size of 18 students to one teacher in kindergarten and first grades.

At the end of the 2006-07 school year, parents were encouraged to pre-register their upcoming kindergarten and first graders. Elementary principals needed preliminary enrollment information for the 2007-08 school year to hire teachers and assign classrooms.

But a district never knows how many students will show up until the doors open on the first day of school.

The first day of new student enrollment began on Aug 13, which saw many new K through first graders signing up for classes.

Mt. Peak Elementary has already capped off in kindergarten and first grade and any new students will be transferred to J.A. Vitovsky Elementary. Longbranch Elementary has capped off first grade and any additional new students will be transferred to T.E. Baxter Elementary.

Transportation will be provided for students who are transferred to other campuses.

Templeton Demographics estimates the following enrollment for MISD schools in 2007-08 as:

Irvin Elementary - 435. Vitovsky Elementary - 581. Longbranch Elementary - 774. Mt. Peak Elementary - 755. Baxter Elementary - 592. Walnut Grove Middle School - 911. Frank Seale Middle School - 739. Midlothian High School - 2,120.

Elementary school number six on Suddith Road opens in 2008-09 and will help accommodate the anticipated growth.

While MISD has seen TAKS scores stagnate or drop at some schools over the past several years, the district points to federal accountability ratings as a sign of success.

According to the MISD administration the school district has met all requirements for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards established by the Texas Education Agency in compliance with the federally mandated No Child Left Behind Act.

All public school campuses and school districts are required to meet AYP criteria on 35 indicators that measure reading/language arts, mathematics and either graduation rate or attendance rate. The standard to meet AYP in mathematics increased from 42 percent in 2006 to 50 percent in 2007.

TEA reports that eighty-six percent of the 1,056 Texas school districts and seventy-nine percent of the 6,374 individual schools met the federal AYP requirements in 2007.

“This is just one example of the hard work and achievements of our students and teachers,” said MISD Superintendent Dr. J.D. Kennedy.

AYP ratings for schools and districts are available on the Texas Education Agency website at: www.tea.state.tx.us/ayp/2007/district.srch.html.