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FAQs

SBISD Proposed Length of School Day Exemption

  1. Is the purpose of the proposed exemption to have longer school days?
  2. Why is the District considering the proposed exemption?
  3. Would faculty/staff have to work longer hours in some school schedules?
  4. How will SBISD assure schools create schedules aligned to the best interests of students, staff, and the community?

SBISD Proposed School Start Date Exemption

  1. Why would a district want to start school earlier than the state mandated “fourth Monday in August?”
  2. If the District were to adopt a calendar with an earlier start date, would it require more work days for staff?

SBISD Proposed Length of School Day Exemption

1. Is the purpose of the proposed exemption to have longer school days?

No. This proposed exemption has to do with providing opportunities for teachers to talk with parents and for teachers to have professional learning opportunities. These opportunities are supported through early release and late start opportunities.

2. Why is the District considering the proposed exemption?

There may be times when a Campus Improvement Team recommends that it is in the best interest of students and staff to have a school schedule that includes some student school days that are shorter than the required 7 hours.

SBISD is considering this exemption to continue our current practice and provide increased flexibility. Going forward, TEA will only grant six early release/late start days which SBISD has used for secondary final exam schedules and elementary parent conference days.

TEA has traditionally allowed districts to apply for additional early release days in order to provide professional development time for teachers. TEA, however, will no longer grant such waivers, and is requiring districts to leverage District of Innovation for more than six waived early release/late start days. Thus, without the exemption, SBISD schools cannot continue their current practice, or have flexibility for the future. Click here to see the current early release/late arrival day schedule for the 2016-17 school year by campus.

Example: A secondary school wants to have one early release day each six weeks to provide professional development for teachers. Because the school already has six early release days in the District calendar (i.e., secondary schools have three final exam early release days each semester), it would not be allowed to do this without exempting the law.

3. Would faculty/staff have to work longer hours in some school schedules?

This proposed exemption is around student hours, and is not intended to change staff work hours and/or contract days.

4. How will SBISD assure schools create schedules aligned to the best interests of students, staff, and the community?

First, the school has to follow the Board approved District academic calendar. Second, the principal and Campus Improvement Team must work together to create a schedule that is in the best interests of their students, staff, and the community. They are required to get input from students, staff, and parents when considering a change. Third, any schedule change must be reviewed and approved by the Community Superintendent, who will consider the impact of the change on student learning, families, and on other schools in the District. Finally, the schedule change must be approved by the Superintendent and senior staff.


SBISD Proposed School Start Date Exemption

5. Why would a district want to start school earlier than the state mandated “fourth Monday in August?”

Flexibility and student needs. Forcing a late start date in August creates lopsided semesters and makes it almost impossible for schools to complete the school year before Memorial Day. It also forces students to have fewer instructional days before SAT/ACT, AP, IB, and STAAR testing in the spring.

The District has not stated an intention to start the school year early. Rather, the District is responding to a request by the District Improvement Team which serves as our calendar committee, to give them the flexibility to review all calendar options, not just options that start school on the fourth Monday in August. This is particularly of interest as the 4th Monday in August next year is August 28, vs August 22 this year.

6. If the District were to adopt a calendar with an earlier start date, would it require more work days for staff?

No. The number of work days on the academic calendar would not change. If the District started the year earlier, it would either end earlier or have additional holidays.