HISD

Houston ISD to vote on extended school year calendar for 2024-2025 on Thursday

District officials announced that they want to have a calendar that “puts kids first and provides the learning time students need.”

Houston ISD Headquarters
Wikipedia

Houston ISD will decide Thursday on an extended school year that would begin on August 12, 2024, and end on June 4, 2025.

In a statement, district officials announced that they want to have a calendar that “puts kids first and provides the learning time students need."

The proposed extended year comes following the school board's approval in December to make HISD a District of Innovation. The extended year is one of several proposed exemptions to be decided this week.

Houston Federation of Teachers President Jackie Anderson disagrees with the extended calendar year.

"First of all, there was not enough input from all the stakeholders. I don't think that a lot of consideration was put into it for our families,” Anderson said. “Some of our senior students work during the summer. This is going to cut into the work time that they use to provide for their families."

In addition, Anderson says there has been no discussion to compensate the teachers for the extra workdays. But HISD said as stated in the District of Innovation plan, "When planning student calendars, the District will implement a competitive compensation package for instructional staff that reflects the value of its educators and reflects the additional time and responsibilities of an expanded academic year." Currently, the teachers earn a salary for a certain number of calendar school days. Anderson said she would be reaching out to the district for further clarification.

The District Advisory Committee (DAC), Principal Advisory Committee (PAC), and the Teacher Advisory Committee (TAC) previewed four potential academic calendars and narrowed them down to two final proposed calendars for the HISD community to weigh in on. In a statement, HISD announced they had more than 4,000 community members who provided feedback on the two final proposed calendars.

"They've taken field trips away from them, they have taken most of the elective type classes away from them, so 10 extra days of sitting in a seat with the type of curriculum that Mr. Miles is using is not helping them," Anderson said. But HISD said in an emailed statement to Houston Public Media that the district has not taken field trips away.

The Houston Federation of Teachers President added that under the District of Innovation, the board is going to propose to eliminate signing waivers for class size limits and uncertified teachers would no longer have to notify parents as they had in the past.

"We are making bold changes to improve instruction and help students develop the competencies they will need to succeed in the future,” Superintendent Mike Miles said in a statement. “Having the District of Innovation is long overdue and will allow us to accelerate our work in important ways."

The HISD school board will meet Thursday night joined by community residents. The board will look to approve the 2024-2025 school calendar year at that time. The decision will be announced Friday.

This story was updated on February 8 at 1:37 p.m. with HISD’s statements on Anderson’s claims.