Next year’s academic calendar for Keller schools will include more minutes in class but fewer days.
Thanks to House Bill 2610 passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015, public schools are measured in minutes of instruction rather than days. Students must have at least 75,600 minutes in the academic year rather than 180 days.
The Keller school district is adding 15 minutes to every school day for elementary and intermediate students and 5 minutes to the secondary schedule. All campuses will have 435 minutes a day. With waivers for teacher work days and early release days, students will be at school 173 days instead of 176.
“The change in the law has proved very helpful in that it has allowed us to create a calendar that has both more instructional time while also allowing more professional development time for our teachers,” said Dustin Blank, the executive director of leadership who oversees the calendar process.
Trustees approved the calendar at the March board meeting.
The change in the law has proved very helpful in that it has allowed us to create a calendar that has both more instructional time while also allowing more professional development time for our teachers.
Dustin Blank, executive director of leadership
The school year starts Aug. 23 and ends June 2. In addition to the usual holidays for Labor Day, Thanksgiving week, two weeks for winter break, Martin Luther King Day, spring break and Memorial Day, students are off while teachers have professional development on Columbus Day, Veterans Day, the last day of the fall semester, President’s Day and the Friday before spring break.
Bad weather makeup days are on the Friday before and the Monday after Easter, but it is unlikely that they will be needed.
Because the Keller calendar includes 885 more minutes than the state requires, officials can count those minutes for two bad weather days. The designated days would be used if bad weather closed schools for three or four days.
Superintendent Randy Reid said, “It will be easier for me to make that call knowing we’ll still be able to meet instructional minutes.”
Reid also noted that the calendar has fewer half days. This year, students in elementary schools had five half, or early release, days and older students had four. Next year, there are only two for all levels: Dec. 16 and June 2.
“Half days can be very difficult, especially on working parents,” Reid said. “Also, they’re not as productive academically as we would like.”
For more information on the calendar, go to www.kellerisd.net, click on “Students & Families” and look for “Calendars.”