Academic calendar for the next two school years taking shape

Academic calendar for the next two school years taking shape

 dan troxell

Creating academic calendars is one of the most challenging tasks for a school district. With so many factors to consider – holidays, beginning and end of school, professional development days for teachers, testing windows, etc. – it is almost impossible to create a calendar that pleases everyone.

That’s why our Board of Trustees stresses the importance of collecting community feedback. Surveys were sent to district staff, campus principals and community members in December. Nearly 5,000 survey responses later, we have a pretty good idea of where our calendar priorities should lie.

First, it is important to know that certain calendar parameters are stipulated by state law, which:

Requires teachers to work a minimum of 187 days;

Requires school districts to provide at least 75,600 minutes of instruction;

Allows districts to create a plan for flexibility with school start date;

Mandates no school on Memorial Day.

The drafts of the LISD academic calendar for 2019–20 and 2020–21 include priorities made clear by our community:

a mid-August start date with a short first week;
a last day at the end of May;
more balanced semesters;
professional learning during the school year; and
a Spring Break aligned with the University of Texas at Austin.

LISD is fortunate to have a Board that values an academic calendar that gives students the best chance to succeed, as well as supporting our teachers with a sensible schedule and professional development opportunities. We look forward to continuing the conversation with our community to make sure that happens every year.