Adoption of three school year calendars means Dallas ISD can invest up to $100 million to support students who need the most help

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The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees Thursday night adopted three calendars for the next two school years, with the majority of schools set to have a traditional calendar. The calendars represent a bold investment, of up to $100 million, to support the Dallas ISD students who need it the most.

Schools that get buy-in from families, teachers and campus staff now have the option to rethink the school year. Research shows the pandemic could seriously impact students academically, and an extended school year calendar helps make sure students get the extra support needed to stay on a path to success.  Meanwhile, teachers and campus staff who work at a school with an extended year can make a considerably higher annual compensation that counts toward retirement.

The district is engaging in an extensive outreach process to finalize the list of schools with an extended school year calendar.

“We want this to be a choice that is supported by parents, teachers and staff,” Deputy Chief of Academics Derek Little said.

Intersession calendar

The intersession calendar starts the school year earlier and ends later, allowing for more learning and enrichment time for certain students on the additional days.

Any school in one of 11 high priority feeder patterns–which were chosen due to initial interest and need–have the ability to adopt an intersession calendar if there is sufficient interest from parents, teachers and campus staff. Meanwhile, at least one school from 13 other feeder patterns has the option to adopt the intersession calendar, based on interest from parents, teachers and campus staff.

Teachers at a school with an intersession calendar may earn supplemental compensation ranging from $7,000 to $11,000, based on the teachers current daily rate of pay.  Additional campus positions that are needed for the program may earn up to an additional 11% by working the extra instructional days.  The extra compensation will be TRS eligible.

School Day Redesign

The school day redesign calendar adds a total of 23 additional days for all students and teachers at participating schools.  School Day Redesign schools will be able to reimagine the learning experience for students and build in more time for social-emotional learning and enrichment.

Two schools–Daniel Webster and H.I Holland elementary schools–are strongly considering adopting this calendar. Four other campuses–Lee A. McShan Jr. Elementary School, Edna Rowe Elementary School, Thomas J. Rusk Middle School and Boude Storey Middle School–are still in the process of engaging community and staff on whether to adopt this calendar.

Teachers at a school that adopts this calendar will earn, on average, an additional $9,000 per year that will also be TRS eligible.

Looking forward

The extensive feedback process will continue through late February, when the final list of schools is expected to be identified for the alternate calendars. An open transfer window will be extended until early April so teachers and campus staff who work at a school that overall opts into an extended year calendar–but they personally want to work a traditional year–have the ability to work at another campus.

A community outreach process that included two Teletown halls with 30,000 participants, community survey with 10,000 responses, and series of virtual campus staff and community meetings guided the proposal of the three calendar options.

“We thank our many teachers, parents, campus staff and administrators who have worked with us to figure out how we can provide extra learning time for the students who need it the most,” Little said. “And we look forward to engaging with our stakeholders in the month ahead to finalize the plan.”

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