Staff considered several factors when putting together the calendars, Executive Director of Communications Lesley Range-Stanton said. They included community preferences, the 75,600 instructional minutes required by the state, balanced semesters, testing calendars, alignment with Collin College dual credit courses, spring break dates for surrounding districts, placement and duration of breaks, student activities and graduation.
A committee made up of school staff, district executives and members of student and faculty advisory councils gave feedback on the drafts before they were brought to the board, Range-Stanton said. A midweek start to the school year as well as two full weeks and three weekends for winter break were some of the suggestions to come out of that input.
“Tonight, we are bringing you some versions of the calendar that have been slightly fine-tuned as a result of that feedback,” she said.
Staff and students on the committee expressed a desire for more breaks, such as 4-day weekends, throughout the school year. Everyone in the group preferred a spring break that is later than the March 7-11 break used by surrounding districts, Collin College and the University of North Texas. Schools in Dallas County have later spring breaks, according to Range-Stanton.
Calendar Draft A has 86 instructional days in the first semester and 91 instructional days in the second semester, while calendar drafts B and C both have 86 instructional days in the first semester and 89 instructional days in the second semester. Calendar drafts A and B start on a Wednesday and Draft C starts on a Monday.
Trustees Jeri Chambers and Angela Powell both spoke in favor of the school year starting in the middle of the week.
Feedback from trustees will be incorporated into a final draft calendar, which is scheduled for adoption in December.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story has been amended to reflect the correct school year.