2017-2018 Calendar Background
The Board of Trustees approved the 2017-18 school calendar on February 13. A draft calendar was proposed in November and public comment was solicited. Based on those comments, several changes were made. The calendar was adjusted to include a full two weeks of winter vacation. Friday, December 22 was also included as a holiday to allow an extra day for holidy travel. Other aspects of the 2017-18 calendar include:
Creating an academic calendar with 175 instructional days
Providing teachers two additional days prior to the start of school for collaborative planning and/or professional learning
Providing staff with a Parent/Teacher Conference Day on October 23
Maintaining a full week at Thanksgiving
Extending the length of the First Semester from 78 instructional days to 81 days of instruction
Providing two full weeks for Winter Break with three full weekends
Shifting Winter Break to December 22 – January 5 aligns with proposed calendars for some neighboring districts
Maintaining Teacher Work Day following the First Semester on January 8
Providing staff with a holiday on the MLK federal holiday on January 15
Beginning next year, the State will count a school district's number of instructional minutes (75,600 minutes) instead of instructional days (previously 180 days). This change, along with Allen ISD’s designation as a District of Innovation, allows Allen ISD to begin school a week earlier in August. In order to provide staff development days and the proper number of minutes, the elementary and middle school school days will be extended by ten minutes. The Lowery Center school day will be five minutes longer.
School Times For 2017-2018
Elementary School 7:50 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Middle School 8:25 a.m. – 3:35 p.m.
Lowery Freshman Center 8:15 a.m. - 3:35 p.m.
Allen High School 8:15 a.m. - 3:35 p.m. (no change from 2016-17)
Questions and Answers
Why doesn’t AISD give a shorter Thanksgiving and/or Winter Break to better balance the number of days per semester, end school earlier in the spring, and help parents with child care concerns?
Over the last several years, AISD has asked for feedback from the community on the possibility of shorter Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks. Overwhelmingly, the community has responded negatively to shorter Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks. Parents have commented that they need the longer Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks to travel to distant family members, to better divide joint custody time, and to plan events with their students. Therefore, AISD has respected the requests of the majority of the community and gone with longer Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks.
How does AISD decide on the placement of the Bad Weather Days? Why not make Memorial Day a Bad Weather Day?
When AISD looks at the Bad Weather make-up days, we first have to plan any days in late spring after the possibility of inclement weather. We also look at dates that will least disrupt plans for holidays and summer break. AISD has considered making Memorial Day a Bad Weather make-up day, but we believe that attendance on that day would be considerably lower than a regular school day. Lower attendance is a factor in our state funding, so we do not want to jeopardize any funding for our students. AISD has traditionally scheduled the Bad Weather make-up days around a weekend in the spring to allow parents and students to make plans if the day is not used. We have also made the day after the last day of school a Bad Weather make-up day (traditionally a Friday) so that there will be the least disruption to families that have made summer travel plans immediately after school ends.
Why doesn’t AISD have other breaks in the Spring Semester in addition to Spring Break?
Considering community response in favor of longer Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks, any additional days off in the Spring Semester would force the school year to end even later in June. We have also gotten community feedback that many people like the earliest dismissal as possible, in late May or early June.
Why can’t AISD have a week for Fall Break like in the past?
Years ago, the school year started at the beginning of August, which allowed for a Fall Break week. With the change in state law, the District may not begin instruction for students for a school year before the fourth Monday in August. Therefore, the district no longer has the flexibility or time to schedule a Fall Break. AISD has sought input from the community on the idea of a short Fall Break that would be offset with a shorter Thanksgiving Break. The public response to this suggestion was decidedly in favor of a full week for Thanksgiving, rather than 2 shortened holiday breaks in the fall.
Why doesn’t AISD do Early Release Days for Staff Development?
AISD has found that Early Release Days put an undue burden on parents because many are forced to find and pay for child care when the students are not in school. Early Release Days also create logistical problems for bus transportation routes.