HISD announces changes to 2020-21 academic year calendar

The Houston Independent School District announced that it will not move forward with a proposal to adopt the Year-Round Designation with the Texas Education Agency, which would have allowed for an amended 11-month academic calendar for the 2020-21 school year.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and recent increase in cases, the district will keep the existing 2020-21 academic year calendar, which provides for a later start date, with the addition of 10 targeted remediation days, or Academic Boot Camps for students who may have fallen behind academically due to COVID-19.

The later start date provides the district the opportunity to monitor the pattern of COVID-19 cases and make necessary adjustments as it relates to in-person, a virtual learning, or a combination of the two.

The district also wants to be responsive to feedback received regarding week-long intersessional breaks during the school year being a difficult option for many parents.

The district shared a proposed 11-month academic calendar for the 2020-21 school year and a survey to gather community input earlier this month.

“I want to thank all students, parents, and stakeholders who participated in the decision-making process by providing their feedback,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We find ourselves in the midst of unprecedented uncertainty, and the diverse voices in our communities are important to us as we make critical decisions regarding the 2020-21 school year.”

Academic Boot Camps will be offered in August and during the Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring breaks. The camps will provide additional instructional hours for students identified as requiring further instruction in one or more content areas.

The first day of school for students not identified as requiring additional instructional hours will be Monday, August 24. The updated 2020-21 academic calendar, which includes the 10 optional Academic Boot Camp Days, can be viewed here.

The district is seeking further community feedback and input for the 2020-21 school year from parents and teachers. To guide decision-making, align academic and social/emotional supports, and increase equity, the district launched a COVID-19 Response Parent Survey, which will run through July 2. Parents are asked to fill out the survey online at HoustonISD.org/ParentSurvey. The survey for teachers can be found at HoustonISD.org/TeacherSurvey.