Teachers and principals share input on how Dallas ISD can mitigate student learning loss caused by the pandemic

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After holding a series of focus groups with teachers and campus leaders to get valuable input, Dallas ISD this week is getting feedback from central staff on how the district can combat serious student learning loss caused by the pandemic.

Dallas ISD is exploring three different potential options for the 2021–2022 school year that would add learning and enrichment time for some or all students. The exploration comes after data shows a potentially devastating impact the pandemic is having on the academic progress of students.

An initial round of focus groups got input and feedback from more than 85 teachers from 65 schools and 81 principals and executive directors representing 63 schools. Additionally, a survey solicited feedback from nearly 4,000 teachers and 340 principals and assistant principals.

Dallas ISD will then launch an extensive outreach effort later this month and in December to families and community members to get their guidance.

Exploring the options

Dallas ISD is currently examining these three below options for extended learning time. Depending on the stakeholder feedback and trustee approval, an option could be open to some or all students and campuses. High level, the district is exploring more TIME to LEARN.

  • For students, there would be increased opportunities for: lifelong learning, enrichment, acceleration, recovery, and new experiences
  • For teachers, there would be more time for: teamwork, innovation, mentorship, and exploration

Option 1: Enhanced Summer Learning

Under this option, there would be no change to the base school calendar, but an additional longer summer session for targeted students. This option would expand summer school offerings, increase targeted learning efforts prior to the start of the following school year, and potentially reduce the summer learning loss for some students.

Option 2: An intersession calendar

Under this option, the school year would start earlier and end later, but only targeted students would attend additional days. This would increase learning opportunities throughout the school year, increase planning time for teachers throughout the year, and potentially reduce summer learning loss for all students through a shorter summer.

Option 3: A school-day redesign

Under this option, there would be a longer school year for all students at the participating school. This would increase learning time for students and planning time for teachers.  In this option, the school day could also look differently.  More time can built in for exploration, cross-disciplinary learning, enrichment, and core content support.  School-day redesign would  also potentially reducing summer learning loss for all students through a shorter summer break.

The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees is scheduled to approve the 2021–2022 school year calendar(s) in January.

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