Students in the Higley and Gilbert school districts go back to school this week.
Higley Unified School District starts the 2008-09 school year Monday, while students in the Gilbert Unified School District go back on Wednesday.
A controversial decision by the Gilbert district has high schoolers coming to school earlier this year to comply with state officials' new interpretation of the instructional time law. This year's "A" hour begins at 6:30 a.m., and the first hour starts at 7:30 a.m.
The Gilbert district expects to grow by an estimated 500 students, with 39,108 students projected, said Dianne Bowers, a district spokeswoman.
The Higley district expects to see an even higher increase from last school year. About 10,222 students have enrolled in the Higley district, an increase of 791 students, said Sara Bresnahan, a district spokeswoman.
There are no new schools opening this year in either district. However, next year two schools are planned to open.
The Gilbert district is building its fifth high school at Germann Road and Val Vista Drive, planned to open in the 2009-10 school year.
The Higley district is building Centennial Elementary School in the Power Ranch community, which is also planned to open next school year.