Dallas ISD is proposing three calendar options for the next two academic years in an effort to allow for more flexibility in learning.

The Board of Trustees met with district leaders Jan. 14 to discuss the intersession and school-day redesign calendars, according to a DISD News Hub article. At their Jan. 29 meeting, the trustees will consider the adoption of the calendars.

The proposals indicate DISD’s recognition of learning loss among students, especially as a result of COVID-19. According to a video produced by the district, 50% of students are worse off in math now compared to how they were before the pandemic, and 30% are worse off in reading.

And this drop is not equal across students. Thirty-six percent of Black students were on grade level in math last year, compared to 28% this year. There was also a drop of eight percentage points among non-Black and non-English learners who are on grade level in math, resulting in 57% now on grade level. The percent of English learners who are now on grade level in math dropped to 35%, a loss of 13 percentage points.

“More time to learn can benefit our students, particularly those who need it the most,” says Derek Little, the deputy chief of teaching and learning, in the video.

In the intersession and school-day redesign calendar options, the school year begins earlier in August and ends in June, rather than May.

In the intersession calendar, the extended school year allows for additional learning time for specific students. During five weeks throughout the year, some students would be at school, participating in smaller groups and more individualized instruction, while other students would be on break. This would also give teachers more preparation time.

The intersession calendar would be adopted by all schools in each feeder pattern. DISD would provide up to $90 million over two years to support the change.

Principals and teachers from the following feeder patterns showed support for this calendar:

  • David W. Carter High School
  • Emmett J. Conrad High School (LH)
  • Thomas Jefferson High School
  • Justin F. Kimball High School
  • Lincoln High School
  • James Madison High School
  • G. Pinkston High School
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt High School
  • South Oak Cliff High School
  • Grady Spruce High School
  • Wilmer-Hutchins High School

In the following schools, there was support for the intersession calendar, but the feeder patterns were not as high of a priority:

  • H. Adamson High School
  • Bryan Adams High School
  • North Dallas High School
  • Seagoville High School
  • Skyline High School
  • Sunset High School
  • Transformation & Innovation Schools

The following schools showed no interest in the intersession calendar, and the feeder patterns will not be changed:

  • Hillcrest High School
  • Magnet Schools
  • Moisés E. Molina High School
  • W. Samuell High School
  • Woodrow Wilson High School
  • T. White High School

Another option the board is considering is the school-day redesign calendar. The district has proposed two options of the school-day redesign, which provides an additional 23 days for all students and teachers.

The schools that showed initial support for this option were the following:

  • John Q. Adams Elementary
  • Tom C. Gooch Elementary
  • I. Holland Elementary
  • Maple Lawn Elementary
  • Lee A. McShan Jr. Elementary
  • Edna Rowe Elementary
  • Thomas J. Rusk Middle
  • Boude Storey Middle
  • Daniel Webster Elementary

DISD would invest up to $10 million over two years to facilitate this calendar.

Final decisions about which schools will adopt the intersession and school-day redesign calendars will be made in February. The district anticipates that most schools will use the base calendar, eight to ten feeder patterns will take on the intersession calendar, and eight to ten schools will adopt the school-day redesign.

The district also proposed an updated base calendar, which applies to most schools and any pursuing a longer summer session for specific students. It requires no additional investment.

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