Calendar Parameters and Considerations
Texas Education Code
- 75,600 minutes of instruction (changed from 180 days of instruction by the 85th Legislature).
- 75,600 minutes was derived by multiplying 420 minutes (7-hour day) by 180 as there used to be a requirement that a school day lasted at least 7 hours.
- A school district may not begin instruction for students before the fourth Monday in August (GISD is exempt from this through District of Innovation).
- A district may not schedule the last day of instruction before May 15.
Texas Education Agency
- For the 2019-20 school year, the Texas Education Agency will accept a staff development waiver that reduces the number of instructional minutes by 2,100 minutes.
- When the minimum days of instruction was 180 days, GISD filed a staff development waiver to reduce student days to 175 in lieu of five additional staff development days.
- Students must be in class 4 hours to get a full day of funding, students must be in class 2 hours to get a half day of funding.
- Teacher and many professional staff contract calendars consist of 187 days.
- Policy EB (Legal) is aligned with state statutes.
- The calendar is vetted through the District Performance Council.
- Calendar recommendations are presented to the school board for approval.
District of Innovation
- Exempts GISD from state start date requirements within certain parameters as outlined in the District of Innovation Plan.
- The district will design and adopt a calendar with a start date that begins on or after the second Wednesday of August and ends no later than the first week in June.
- Through the recommendation of the District Performance Council, the district shall determine locally, on an annual basis, the upcoming school year calendar.
Past Expectations from Community and Staff
- Graduation as early a possible, preferred before June
- Labor Day off
- Full week off at Thanksgiving
- Two consecutive weeks off at Christmas
- Full week off for Spring Break
- Martin Luther King Day off
- Good Friday off
- Memorial Day off
- School ends as close to the end of May as possible
- First semester ends at Christmas break
- First and second semester are as balanced as possible
- Staff development days are important and should spaced appropriately, and
- School doesn’t start before 7:45 a.m. and ends before or as close to 4:00 p.m. as possible at all levels.
Things to Consider
- When we add or subtract student days from the calendar we have to adjust contract days, which impacts salary for some of our employees (food services staff, custodial staff, transportation staff, etc.)
- When bell times change, the city has to change school zone signs in town (this gets expensive).
- The capacity of our transportation department depends on start and end time gaps between elementary, middle school, and high school.
- The state recommends that we build at least two bad weather days into our minutes.
- We must balance the needs of the community for childcare with needs of our staff for professional time and professional learning. We believe that quality learning of students is dependent upon the quality learning of adults.
- We chose to have our fall break aligned to Columbus Day.
- Georgetown has traditionally had Spring Break the second week in March. However, UT moved their spring break to the third week to account for South by Southwest two years ago. Many of the surrounding districts scheduled their Spring Break on the third week as a result. This is the first year GISD has moved to the third week in March.
New to the 18-19 Calendar
- Fall Break in October included Friday and Monday off for students and staff aligned with Columbus Day.
- Two half-day professional days for staff at the end of the grading period for planning, teaming, conferences, grading, etc.
- Planning day for staff after Christmas Break.
- Thursday and Friday off around Easter weekend. Last year we were off Thurs-Mon. This year state testing prevented us from being off on Thursday.
- We hold graduation at the HEB Center in Cedar Park. It is air-conditioned, accommodates for large crowds, and allows us to hold ceremonies as planned regardless of weather. The HEB Center gives larger districts priority as they generate more revenue. Unfortunately, this makes the weekend of Memorial Day a non-option for GISD Graduations.