Based on feedback from a districtwide survey, Houston ISD announced Thursday that it will not move forward with a proposal to adopt a Year-Round Designation with the Texas Education Agency for the 2020-21 school year. The proposal would have allowed for an 11-month academic calendar.
Instead, HISD said the first of school will be Monday, Aug. 24, with the school year ending May 28, 2021.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and a recent spike in cases in the Houston area, HISD said its start date will allow for the opportunity to monitor the pattern of COVID-19 cases and make adjustments regarding in-person instruction, virtual online learning or a combination of the two. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath released a statement Thursday saying it will be safe for public-school students and teachers to return to campuses in the fall, although the state’s guidance also will allow flexibility for families who prefer their children to be educated remotely.
HISD also has added 10 targeted remediation days, or Academic Boot Camps, for students who have fallen behind academically during the pandemic. Those extra instruction days, for students identified as needing them, are scheduled for Aug. 18-20, Nov. 23-24, Dec. 21-22 and March 15-17.
“I want to thank all students, parents, and stakeholders who participated in the decision-making process by providing their feedback,” HISD interim superintendent Grenita Lathan said in a news release. “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.”
HISD’s complete academic year calendar for 2020-21 can be found here.
HISD is still seeking feedback through its COVID-19 Response Parent Survey, which runs through July 2 and can be accessed at HoustonISD.org/ParentSurvey. The teacher survey can be accessed at HoustonISD.org/TeacherSurvey.