While Houston ISD says it is still looking at all options to make adjustments for the upcoming school year in response to COVID-19, they recently released their proposed 2020-2021 academic calendar.

In May, the school district said it was considering a year-round calendar after COVID-19 cut in-person classes short.

“An option we are exploring is adopting the Year-Round Designation with the Texas Education Agency (TEA), which would allow for more flexibility on school start date and allow for additional instructional days for our students to reduce any instructional gaps due to COVID-19,” the district wrote.

According to the proposed calendar, the first day of school would be August 13, 2020 and the last day of the school year would be June 16, 2021. It also includes the following:

  • 182 instructional days for all students (an increase of 10 total instructional days)
  • 17 possible intersession dates for targeted remediation and instruction
  • 187 teacher contract days
  • An addition of 5 minutes per school day, which would result in 5,390 minutes above the state requirement.

The proposed calendar still needs approval from the HISD Board of Education before going into effect.

“As a reminder, we are forming a committee working group as the state establishes new guidelines around how businesses and organizations can safely resume operations,” the district wrote.

Classes at HISD schools could also be held online for at least the first semester of the new school year, thanks to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, according to district leaders.
“We are prepared to continue the HISD at-home platform if required for the 2020-21 school year, or if future school interruptions occur,” interim superintendent Grenita Lathan said in early May.

Lathan also outlined recommendations to district leaders including the option of hiring non-certified career and education teachers and waiving minimal attendance for class credit.

Distance learning went into full effect with school closures earlier this year. Since March, 95 percent of the 240,000 HISD students have been contacted by the district, according to Latham.