With ISD Dallas students now back in classrooms and some still learning at home, the effort continues to find ways to ensure students don’t fall behind.
The district is now considering possibly changing the school calendar with a few different models, including summer learning, intersession, and full year redesign.
Summer learning would mean the least change if adopted and will focus on students who need extra help.
Intersession would mean an earlier start date for everyone with 180 standard base days. Targeted students would attend intersessional learning days for specialized instruction.
The full year overhaul would mean a whole new schedule for all students with up to 210 standard base days.
This week, Dallas ISD launched a series of focus groups designed to find a schedule that works best for students, parents, and teachers.
“We have launched this week what is going to be a very intensive and wide-ranging effort to involve as many stakeholders and community members as possible around the conversation about whether we are considering extending the school year. as a way to support or students, “said Derek Little, Deputy Academic Director of DISD.” We ask them to think about what types of possible experiences they would like for students and teachers.
There will be over 30 focus groups. The former were intended for principals and supervisors.
“The group was really positive about the idea overall and felt that the intersession and even the overhaul model might be of some benefit to us in the district,” Little said. “Parents and students will be invited to focus groups. We will also reach out to members of the community at large. “
For those who are not in a focus group, the district will also send out a survey.
“We don’t want people to think of it as a school all year round. We’re not going to have school every week, 12 months of the year, ”Little said. “Everyone would still have a summer break, no matter which model we choose. It may be a different kind of summer vacation than we’ve experienced in the past.
The recommendations will likely be presented to the school board in January.
“It should be treated as a way to engage students in innovative and passionate projects that advance their learning, but which really take ownership of what teachers and students want to do but may not have the time to do. to do during the normal school year, ”Little said.