FAQ on 2020-2021 HISD School Calendar
(Last Updated 06.18.2020)
- Why did Harlandale ISD make a change in the school calendar?
As HISD prepares for the 2020-2021 school year, planning was grounded in addressing lost instructional time from an extended COVID-19 closure at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. HISD is preparing for an academic year that may consist of additional disruptions due to COVID-19, including the possibility of further COVID-19 closures. Restructuring the 2020-2021 academic calendar is a key structure that HISD used to address both prior academic loss and the potential of future COVID-19 interruption.
- What does it mean to be a “year-round school”?
In order to move up the school start date and operate during a portion of 11 months of the year, the district had to receive approval from the school board to receive a “Year-Round System” designation (TEC Sec. 25.084)
- What will happen if a campus has to close due to COVID-19?
Plans for closure are currently being developed and will be dictated by county and state guidance. The health and safety of our students and staff will be our priority. Provisions for continued online learning will also be made.
- What does “intercession” mean? What will it look like at HISD?
Intersessional breaks are times during the school year where direct instruction does not take place. These times can be used for remediation, acceleration or enrichment based on the needs of the students. The breaks can also be used by students not mastering content who could be asked to return for the intersession week for remediation.
Schools will be open during intersession times and will be fully staffed by campus administrators, counselors, social workers, and office support staff.
- Are there more school days on this new calendar?
Yes. The school calendar that was originally adopted had 177 days of instructional time. The new calendar has 180 days of instructional time. This was done without the need to add days to the contracts of teachers.
- Have any of the holidays changed on this new calendar?
No. Both the original and the newly adopted calendar have the same holidays including the scheduled Battle of Flowers parade taking place November 13.
- Why are the school days shorter?
Students will be in classrooms for 7 hours and 5 minutes each day. After students are released, teachers will work with their colleagues for a minimum of 40 minutes in order to plan for upcoming classes, receive professional development addressing the needs of our students, and prepare lessons for those students who are receiving instruction online.
- Why is HISD moving from a six-weeks to a nine-weeks grading cycle?
HISD recognizes that there may be interruptions of instruction during the upcoming school year. By extending the length of time for the grading cycles, teachers have more time to allow students to demonstrate mastery of the TEKS before determining a grade for that grading period.
- What is the impact on UIL with the new grading cycles?
Schools on 9-week grading periods must check at the end of the first 6 weeks of the school year and students can lose or regain eligibility. The next grade check for a 9-week grading period will occur at the end of the 9-week grading period.
- What are the dates and locations for graduation for the Class of 2021?
At this time, the dates and locations of the high school graduations have not been determined. As soon as dates and sites are confirmed, they will be shared with and updates will be made to the calendar.
- Will there still be summer school in the summer of 2021?
Summer interventions will continue to take place during the summer of 2021