School Start Date
Proposed Action: Enact a DoI exemption for 25.0811(a), which says a district cannot begin school until the fourth Monday in August.
The SBISD District Improvement Team serves as the calendar committee for the district. The DIT unanimously passed a resolution at its October 6, 2016, meeting to request the Board give them more flexibility by enacting a DoI exemption for TEC 25.0811(a). Arguments from the DIT include:
- Late August start dates, when combined with the District’s long standing preference for ending the fall semester in December, result in unbalanced semesters. In 2017-2018, the state required start date of August 28 will likely result in a significant difference in instructional days between the fall and spring semesters.
- Unbalanced semesters are particularly challenging for teachers and students in single semester classes during the fall semester, which include Government, Economics, and many high school electives.
- Allowing more time earlier in the school year provides students additional instructional days prior to taking STAAR, SAT, ACT, AP and IB exams.
- Allowing the District more flexibility on the school start date provides additional flexibility for the DIT to recommend academic calendars that meet the needs of students, provide professional development opportunities for teachers, and best serve SBISD families.
Considerations and Safeguards:
- The process for development of the District academic calendar is inclusive and has multiple layers of review and approval:
- The District Improvement Team (DIT) develops calendar options, solicits stakeholder feedback, and makes recommendation(s) to the Superintendent.
- The Superintendent considers the DIT recommendation(s) and stakeholder feedback, and makes a final recommendation to the Board that is in the best interest of students, staff and the community.
- The Board has final authority to approve the academic calendar.
- The DIT has not recommended a calendar yet, but desires the flexibility to consider a calendar with a somewhat earlier start date.
- Once the District academic calendar is approved, campus schedules and/or calendars must be in alignment.