Keller students will begin school Aug. 15 and get out before Memorial Day for the 2017-18 school year.
Trustees approved the calendar at the Feb. 9 board meeting
Because the Keller school district has adopted an innovation plan, officials also approved a local policy to start school before the state’s mandated day of the fourth Monday in August, which will be Aug. 28 in 2017. The policy stated that school could start on or after Aug. 15.
Several parents spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting to complain that they hadn’t heard about the shorter summer and had made plans for expensive vacations or camps that conflict with the start of school.
Superintendent Randy Reid said school officials would work with students who miss the first few days of school to ensure they get needed instruction.
Tonya Fuqua said her daughter, a student at Keller High School, has a chronic health condition and has made plans to attend a camp in mid-August for young people dealing with that condition.
“My daughter would be stressed to miss the whole first week of school,” Fuqua said. “I don’t want her to have to choose between camp and school.”
Aside from the early start and finish, the calendar has an extra long winter break, from Dec. 18 through Jan. 3.
In addition to winter break, the proposed calendar has a week for Thanksgiving, spring break March 12-16, holidays for Labor Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day and teacher work days Oct. 9, Nov. 6, Jan. 3, Feb. 19 and April 16. March 30 would be a bad weather make up day.
All students would have early release Dec. 15 and May 24. High school students also would have half days Dec. 14 and May 23 for semester finals. Graduation day would be May 26.
One of the biggest advantages to starting the school year early, officials said, was to end the fall semester before winter break. This year, the first semester ended Jan. 12.
Under the new calendar, students have 81 days in the first semester and 92 in the second. At the high school level, students have a lot of testing days for Advanced Placement and the state assessments in the spring, making the two semesters fairly equal for the amount of instruction.
For more information on the calendar, visit kellerisd.net.