Hays CISD board approves 2019-20 calendar, first as district of innovation

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The Hays CISD board of trustees voted Jan. 28 to approve the 2019-20 school year academic calendar, which has a few significant differences from previous years due to HCISD’s new status as a district of innovation, or DOI.

The DOI designation was created by the Texas Legislature in 2015 as a way to give independent school districts some of the flexibility charter schools have under state law. While becoming a district of innovation can allow for numerous exemptions to curriculum or logistics requirements, the most-used exemption is the one that allows schools to start earlier in August.

The earlier start, Superintendent Eric Wright said when he presented the idea of becoming a DOI, will allow the district to have two 18-week semesters instead of one 36-week school year. Wright said it will allow high school students to take more advanced classes in a given year because they will have fewer classes to focus on at one time.

Because the the 2019-20 school year will start earlier than usual on Aug. 15, it will end earlier, with no class days in June 2020, an aspect of the schedule Hays CISD Chief Communications Officer Tim Savoy said received wide praise during a districtwide survey taken after the draft schedule was released.

Major dates are listed below; for details, see the draft calendar approved by the board.

2019
August
15 First day of school

September
2
Student holiday

October
14-15 Student holiday

November
25-29 Thanksgiving break

December
23-31 Winter break

2020
January

1-6 Winter break
20 Student holiday

February
17 Student holiday/weather makeup day (if needed)

March
16-20 Spring break

April
10 Good Friday
13 Student holiday/weather makeup day (if needed)

May
22 Last day of school

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Katharine Jose has written about politics, infrastructure, environment, development, natural disasters and other subjects for The New York Observer, Capital New York, and The New York Times, among other publications. She was an editor for several publications in New York City before she moved to Texas, and has a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Texas-Austin.
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