Parents who liked this year’s school calendar will be fans of the new 2018-2019 calendar, too. But parents who have custody arrangements could end up with uneven time during winter break, again.
On Nov. 14, Mansfield trustees approved nearly a carbon copy of this year’s calendar with the first day of school on Aug. 15 and the last day of school on May 23, the week before Memorial Day. The calendar also gives students more than two weeks off for winter break and a four-day weekend for President’s Day.
Typically, the district doesn’t approve next year’s calendar until January but Superintendent Jim Vaszauskas said they wanted to do it sooner this year to give parents more time to plan.
School districts have more flexibility in the calendar since the Texas Legislature eliminated the uniform start date a few years ago.
David Wright, assistant superintendent of student services and support, said they started with five different calendars, including some that carried the school year into June and had different winter breaks. They took the options district-wide, visiting with athletics, career readiness, fine arts, advanced academics, student advisory committees and others.
The district had a 42-member calendar committee that had mostly parents along with teachers and administrators. They narrowed the calendars down to three. Then, the district’s District-wide Educational Improvement Council whittled it down to two.
"A lot of vetting went into that," Wright said. "They looked at all of those calendars and saw what they determined to be the good and the concerns for them."
Then, MISD took the calendars to the people, where 6,000 people voted on the two options with more than 59 percent voting for option A, which is the one trustees adopted. More than two-thirds of the respondents were parents.
Calendar B would have started school on Aug. 20 but there would be fewer days off during the school year.
Two parents sounded off about the calendar on the Mansfield Parents for Reasonable Change Facebook page because Texas requires custody changes on Dec. 28.
The MISD calendar gives one parent seven days while the other gets 10.
"So irritated about the Christmas schedule! Obviously, people who are divorced with children are not in on this planning," Heather Resley-Kerry posted on the Facebook page.