LHISD submits enrollment to UIL
By Lauren Jette
A new UIL realignment will be announced in just a few months, and on Friday, Liberty Hill submitted an enrollment number of 1,092 students at Liberty Hill High School — its largest enrollment figure to date.
“We’ve been watching that number all the way, from the first day of school,” said Superintendent Robert Hart.
“We’ve been monitoring, once a week or so, we’ve been checking and putting it into our system. It started growing a bit early on and stabilized now, so no, (that number) doesn’t surprise me at all.”
UIL is the governing body of all public schools’ athletic and academic competitions, and goes through this realignment process every two years.
In the last alignment, which set districts for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, Liberty Hill was bumped up from the 3A classification to the 4A classification, because UIL added a new 6A classification for the largest schools in the state, so all schools that were previously considered 3A, were the 4A schools, unless their numbers changed significantly.
With all the growth around Liberty Hill, it has been speculated that the school will jump up to 5A with this next realignment.
“It’s not always set in stone, it really depends on what other schools do, because they try and keep the same number of schools in the classifications, and then it divides out by region,” Dr. Hart explained.
“It’s just hard to say what that number will do and how far it will move, if it does at all.”
A cutoff mark for each classification will be announced by UIL in December, while districts for the next two school years will be released in February.
The conference cutoff in the last realignment was 1,059 for conference 4A. If that number were to remain the same, Liberty Hill would bump up to 5A with the current enrollment number. But like Dr. Hart mentioned, the cutoff number for conference 4A will likely increase as well.
“We won’t know until February,” Dr. Hart said.
“It’s part of the process from year to year. I’ve seen all kinds of surprises in February. Some times you can pretty well predict it, and sometimes its like, ‘what did they do to us?’”
Liberty Hill has been in the same classification since at least the early 2000s, and football won two state championships in 2006 and 2007 in the 3A conference.
Dr. Hart said he isn’t worrying about the move up, if that is what should happen.
“We’ll play with whoever we’re dealt. It’s going to be a change for us,” he said.
“It will be a positive thing in some areas, because there’s so many more districts in our area, schools that are 5A, with Round Rock and Leander and all those schools, so if we get put in those districts, travel is going to be a whole lot easier for us. Competition will be a little different, but I think we can compete with anybody.”