Keller students likely will start the school year in mid-August next year under the Keller school district’s innovation plan.
At the Dec. 8 board meeting, officials tabled a vote on the District of Innovation plan until January because two trustees were absent, but Superintendent Randy Reid said they wanted to begin discussions on the academic calendar so parents would be aware of the probable change as soon as possible.
Under the Texas Education Code, districts are not allowed to begin school until the fourth Monday of August, which will be Aug. 28 in 2017.
Hundreds of school districts are taking advantage of the provisions of HB 1842, which allow school districts to adopt some of the freedoms of charter schools. School districts can be exempt from that law if they develop an innovation plan and put an alternative policy in place.
According to the Texas Association of School Boards, most every district that has adopted an innovation plan has stated an intention to change the academic calendar.
Keller officials are considering an Aug. 15 or 16 start, which would mean students could complete the first semester prior to winter break.
Jennifer John, a teacher at Whitley Road Elementary and District of Innovation committee member, told trustees that the earlier start would allow for more class days before state testing and would align better with college and summer school schedules.
Before Keller schools can start early, officials must have a new policy in place. In their report to trustees, DOI committee members recommended that school not start before Aug. 15.
The academic year could end as early as May 31, which administrators said would help educators have more time to get ready for summer school.