Frisco ISD sets first and last day of 2021-22 school year

Frisco ISD approved its 2021-22 academic year calendar, but with some objections from high school students regarding a desired name change for Columbus Day. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)
Frisco ISD approved its 2021-22 academic year calendar, but with some objections from high school students regarding a desired name change for Columbus Day. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)

Frisco ISD approved its 2021-22 academic year calendar, but with some objections from high school students regarding a desired name change for Columbus Day. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)

At a Jan. 12 board meeting, Frisco ISD’s school board approved the 2021-22 academic year calendar.

There are no major changes compared to the current 2020-21 school year, which ends May 21.

The upcoming year will have school begin Aug. 12 for students and end May 20.

Scheduled breaks are:

  • Nov. 22-26 (for students)

  • Dec. 20-Jan. 3 (for students)

  • March 7-11

The calendar also includes the following holidays:

  • Sept. 6

  • Oct. 11

  • Jan. 17

  • Feb. 21

  • April 15

  • May 30

April 18 and April 25 were set aside as bad weather make-up days.

While the district does not formally name each holiday on its calendar, a group of students spoke during public comment asking the district to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which falls on Oct. 11.

Oct. 11 is also federally recognized as Columbus Day, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Frisco ISD student Kashish Bastola spoke on behalf of Students for Equity through Education, an activism group of roughly 60 students across Frisco ISD high schools. Bastola said some district students feel honoring Christopher Columbus with a holiday is not educationally useful.

“As many of you may know, Christopher Columbus strongly encouraged and furthered Indigenous American genocide,” Bastola said. “While it is important to remember Christopher Columbus and his contributions in history, we already learned that from both our primary and secondary education in grades [kindergarten] through 12.”

On Jan. 14, the district stated that it does not have any acknowledgment or celebration of Columbus Day in its curriculums.

“We only focus on providing guidance to social studies teachers on days we have to legally acknowledge either because they are part of our TEKS or state/federal law such as American Indian Heritage Day, Constitution Day, Celebrate Freedom Week, and Holocaust Remembrance Week,” the statement read.

As a policy, the board is unable to respond directly to public comments. Following the group's comments, the board unanimously approved the calendar as part of its consent agenda. Board members did not pull the calendar out for further discussion.

Interested families can view the tentative academic year calendar on the Frisco ISD Boardbook.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify the district’s holiday calendar and public comment process and to include a statement from the district.

By Francesca D' Annunzio
Francesca D'Annunzio covers K-12 and higher education, development, planning and zoning, and transportation in Frisco and McKinney. She attended college at the University of Texas at Austin, where she reported for the Daily Texan and interned for the Austin Chronicle. When she's not reporting, she enjoys spending time outdoors and experimenting in the kitchen.


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