Staff considered several factors when putting together the calendars, including considerations for November Election Day holidays, Senior Executive Director for Communications Lesley Range-Stanton said. Other calendar planning considerations included student activities, community preferences, graduation, alignment with Collin College dual credit courses, flexible instructional minutes, placement and duration of breaks, the 75,600 instructional minutes required by the state, and teacher recruitment and retention efforts.
Both calendar drafts have 174 instructional days. Draft A has 85 instructional days in the first semester and 91 instructional days in the second semester, while Draft B features 86 instructional days in the first semester and 89 instructional days in the second semester.
In both calendar options, the school year is scheduled to begin Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, and end on Friday, May 24, 2024. Winter break will take place from Dec. 22, 2023, to Jan. 8, 2024. Other holidays and student breaks include fall break, which takes place from Oct. 9-13; Thanksgiving break, which will be from Nov. 20-24, 2023; and spring break, which is slated to be held the week of March 11-15, 2024.
The only significant difference in the calendars is adding additional time to the school day. Calendar Draft A would add five minutes to the current day, while Calendar Draft B would add 10 more minutes. The five extra instruction minutes would allow April 1, 2024, which is scheduled in Draft A as a weather makeup day, to serve as a student and teacher holiday in Draft B.
“With an additional five minutes, we gain enough time there to gain one student teacher holiday,” Range-Stanton said. “That's a day less for students and teachers across the board and we are also able to think of bad weather makeup days.”
Range-Stanton said feedback was collected from district officials and community leadership throughout October, including campus principals, the Plano Leadership Executive Committee, the superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, the PTA Council and the Teacher Leader Council.
Feedback from PISD trustees will be incorporated into a final draft calendar, which is scheduled to be considered during a Dec. 6 meeting.