2018-19 Calendar Options
Also at the Board meeting, staff presented trustees with initial options for the 2018-19 Student Academic Calendar. Two calendar options were prepared after input and reflection from parents, community members and staff on the District Planning Committee. The calendars were prepared with the best academic interests of students in mind, and attempt to balance the many factors and requests that come with a large and diverse district.
The calendar options have been shared with principals and teacher leaders to solicit feedback leading to this initial Board discussion. With the exception of winter break, both calendar options offer a similar holiday structure to the current calendar based on how days fall in 2018 and 2019. Likewise, both calendars would be compliant with changing state requirements and allowances related to instructional minutes, waivers and staff development days.
Because of the way that winter holidays fall in 2018-19, both calendars include a return from the two week winter break on January 8. This was a topic of extensive discussion due to the impact on child care for some families, but no other viable options were identified for early 2019 that would not substantially impact attendance without shortening the length of winter break. Staff are exploring the possibility of offering an RISD child care option to parents during the first week of January to help families facing uncertain child care alternatives.
The major difference between the two calendar options is the start and end dates of the school year. Option A would begin the school year on Wednesday August 15, three instructional days (and five calendar days) earlier than Option B's start date of Monday, August 20. Accordingly, the final day of the school year under Option A would be Friday, May 24, while the final day under Option B would be Wednesday, May 29.
Option B is similar to the current calendar, while Option A would begin and end the school year five calendar days earlier.
Principal feedback has favored an earlier start date to allow for a shortened week to begin the school year. This approach is consistent with a number of other districts, and allows students a better adjustment to the start of school than five straight days after the long summer break. In addition, the earlier end date would allow for more time and preparation to be dedicated to summer programs, including those required by the state of Texas.
Feedback will continue to be solicited from teachers, staff and parents in different ways.
Parents and stakeholders are encouraged to review both options, and input or questions are welcome by emailing email@example.com
. The Board will revisit the 2018-19 Student Academic Calendar at their December meeting, when additional feedback from parents, staff and other stakeholders will be discussed.