By Jennifer Lindgren

PROSPER (CBSDFW.COM) – Monday is an important day for students in the Prosper Independent School District, as they went back to school a week earlier than normal. The district moved up the first day from last year so that children can be done and on summer vacation a little bit earlier in the spring.

District officials said that this is something that the community wanted.

The early start means that kids will also get a few more three-day weekends sprinkled throughout the school year. It gives the students a break and allows for additional teacher training opportunities. Parents seemed to be ready for their children to get back to class.

“They’re looking to make new friends, but they’re ready to have a little more challenge academically,” stated Barbara Barnett, who just moved to Prosper from Arizona, where school usually starts even earlier. “We have had time with family and enjoyed the summer, but I definitely think they’re ready to go back.”

“I want new best friends,” added Barnett’s little kindergartener.

The new schedule has Prosper ISD students done on May 25, before the Memorial Day weekend.

And that is just one of many new things happening in the Prosper ISD at the start of the new school year.

All students from second grade through high school will have access to Google Chromebook computers.

The Prosper ISD is one of the fastest growing school districts in Texas. They have added 7,000 new students over the last five years. To meet the projected growth, the district is building new facilities including a football stadium with 12,000 seats and a natatorium complex, set to open next year.

“I don’t know how they’re going to keep up with all the students coming here,” said Soliene Pender. She and her girls moved to Prosper from McKinney. “Every day there’s people moving here. They’ll have to build more schools.” In fact, two new schools are also under construction right now, and two more are slated to break ground in the next couple of years.

“It’s been insane,” said assistant superintendent Dr. Greg Bradley. “We’ve grown over 100 percent in the last five years and are projected to do that again and again for the next ten.” The district has also added 850 new employees in the last five years to accommodate the increase in students.

Prosper is a hot destination for families moving to North Texas, for several reasons. “We like a little bit more space and a little smaller town feel and, to be honest, the prices in McKinney were quite a bit higher, and the houses were a little bit older,” said Barnett. “We went with Prosper just because we could have a better house for the money and still be so close to everything in Frisco and McKinney.”

There are 12,000 students heading to Prosper ISD schools on Monday. To put that number in perspective, in 1995, the district only had one campus for all grades. Windsong Ranch Elementary School opened last fall to 500 students. Nearly 900 students went through the doors on Monday.

“It was, even five years ago, kind of a small town farming community at the end of the tollway that most people didn’t know about. Now, it feels like everyone knows about Prosper. Everyone wants to be in Prosper,” explained Bradley. “Along with that comes a lot of excitement and energy.”