HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) — The Hutto Independent School District welcomed back its first campus of students Wednesday at Veteran’s Hill Elementary.

Principal Eric Johnson said Wednesday marked the official start of school for the entire Veteran’s Hill Elementary campus, but some students were already learning during the summer break.

Johnson said the campus is piloting a new program that adds 25 days of additional schooling during the summer months for its students. This is the only campus in HISD to have such a program. The campus will also have six additional calendar days this academic school year, which is why it started school one day earlier than other campuses.

Johnson said 220 families signed their students up for the “summer camp days” program. He said this is an effort to help students retain what they learned over the summer.

“It was three hours of academics, two hours of enrichment, and the students loved it. What we hope to see from that is that it’ll combat the summer slide, which typically shows about two to three years regression in student’s academics over the summer for low-income students,” Johnson said.

Construction on new Hutto ISD schools continue into the school year

Celina Estrada-Thomas is the outgoing Superintendent of HISD. She is stepping down from the roll at the end of the month, with her successor to be named on the first day of school for all HISD schools, August 10.

Estrada-Thomas said accommodating the growth of the student population has been an ongoing challenge for the district.

This past May, voters approved all three of the district’s bond propositions. Prop A was the most expensive proposition at $471.5 million. Almost all of those funds are going toward building new campuses or providing upgrades and additions to existing facilities.

Estrada-Thomas said the district has already sold $145 million of bonds to finish renovations to the high school and start construction on Elementary School #8.

The district is the fourth-fastest growing in the state, Estrada-Thomas said. She stressed that maintaining community is at the heart of all ongoing and future construction projects.

“In a fast growth district, when you’re just always welcoming new families and new children and new teachers, we spend a great deal of time talking about keeping that convey that sense of connectedness,” Estrada-Thomas said.