The Houston Independent School District has made a pivotal decision in response to a statewide plan for the 2020-2021 year.
HISD announced that it will not move forward with a proposal to adopt the Year-Round Designation with the Texas Education Agency. The directive would have created an 11-month academic calendar for 2020-21.
Instead, the district will utilize the existing 2020-21 academic year calendar, which provides for a later start date, with the addition of 10 targeted remediation days, or academic boot camps for students who may have fallen behind academically due to COVID-19, according to an HISD letter sent to parents on June 18.
Earlier this month, the district proposed the 11-month academic calendar to parents and partners. In the letter, HISD states that it “wants to be responsive to feedback received regarding week-long intersessional breaks during the school year being a difficult option for many parents.”
The first day of school for students who do not require additional instructional hours will be Monday, August 24. Students who need additional instruction can expect academic boot camps in August and during the Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks.
The updated 2020-21 academic calendar, which includes the 10 optional academic boot camp dates, can be viewed here.
HISD also announced a task force called the HISD Communicable Disease Plan Committee, which is made up of employees, educators, parents, and health care officials. That group has been charged with gathering, reviewing, and discussing guidance from local, state, and federal health and education officials and providing recommendations for a reopening plan that prioritizes the safety of students, staff, and the community.
Additionally, the district has launched a teacher and parent survey to gather feedback on the reopening of schools. The surveys can be found here and here. Responses will be accepted until July 2.
“I want to thank all students, parents, and stakeholders who participated in the decision-making process by providing their feedback,” interim superintendent Grenita Lathan said in a statement. “We find ourselves in the midst of unprecedented uncertainty, and the diverse voices in our communities are important to us as we make critical decisions regarding the 2020-21 school year.”