CLHS Exceeds Growth Expectations
Canyon Lake High School shattered enrollment projections this school year, topping the 1,000-enrollment mark by approximately 30 students.
Comal County Independent School District (CCISD) said an April study by Templeton Demographics predicted Canyon Lake High School wouldn’t top the 1,000-enrollment barrier until the 2018-19 school year.
CLHS, 8555 Farm to Market 32, Fischer, has a classroom capacity of 1,375 students.
“I think it has a lot to do with academics and the fact it’s a great environment at Canyon Lake,” CCISD Superintendent Andrew Kim says. “Anyone visiting can also see just how much the community unites behind an athletic or extracurricular event.”
CCISD is experiencing explosive growth, with no end in sight. Comal County is the seventh-fastest growing county in the United States.
Smithson Valley High School currently has more than 2,650 students while Canyon High School has an enrollment figure of 2,608 as of Oct. 3. Both schools were built with a classroom capacity of 2,450.
No plans to rezone
However, Kim says the district has no plans to rezone and add to CLHS’ student population.
“Many people would immediately ask why don’t we use attendance boundary modification and send students to Canyon Lake High School? That’s only a two-year fix at best because CLHS’ classroom capacity is 1375, and then we’re looking at overcrowding at all three of our high schools,” he says.
“Now at the rate we’re growing at Canyon Lake, I don’t see that being a realistic option. I think the secret is out and it’s what many of us have known for a long time – Comal ISD is an awesome place to live on so many levels and it’s only going to get better.”
“There’s no question we would like to get our student-to-teacher ratio down because sustaining our academic performance is very important,” Kim says. “The long-term solution is a bit more complex because we have to address space as well as keep our funds from the Robin Hood school finance system.”
Growth no surprise
“It doesn’t surprise me that we’re exceeding our enrollment expectations,” Mark Kershner, CLHS college and career advisor says. “The climate and culture that has been created here has been such a positive one. Our county has absolutely embraced what’s going on here.”
Canyon Lake High opened with freshmen and sophomores in the fall of 2007. Its first, full class graduated in 2010.
“Since I came aboard at this campus in 2009 we’ve seen the amount of local scholarships given to students skyrocket,” Kershner says. “More than ever, people are excited about wanting to be here. I don’t see it slowing down either. Almost everywhere you look they’re building neighborhoods. It’s no wonder we’re one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation. I think that will be the case for a long time to come because this is a great place to raise your kids and be a part of an awesome community.”
Canyon Lake High teacher Sherri Painter, who has been at the school since 2008, agrees the campus is an incredible place to work.
“Our campus has characteristics that draw families our community,” Painter says. “The tremendous amount of business growth on this side of the lake has been great for the population boost as well. There’s also so much natural beauty in the hill country. There’s absolutely no place I’d rather work.”
Excellence at CLHS
Canyon Lake High earned all seven Texas Education Agency Distinction Designations in ELA, Math, Social Studies, Science, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps, and Postsecondary Readiness in 2016. Only 400 of the 8,600 schools in Texas earned all of the TEA Distinction Designations it qualified for.