Friendswood ISD updates: Curriculum, calendar changes, bond fund allocation

Friendswood ISD's board of trustees meets twice monthly, once for a regular meeting and once for a workshop. (Courtesy of Friendswood ISD)
Friendswood ISD's board of trustees meets twice monthly, once for a regular meeting and once for a workshop. (Courtesy of Friendswood ISD)

Friendswood ISD's board of trustees meets twice monthly, once for a regular meeting and once for a workshop. (Courtesy of Friendswood ISD)

Friendswood ISD’s board of trustees met Jan. 12 and approved changes to the district’s COVID-19 protocols, including a reduction in quarantine time.

Other notable action items from the meeting include the adjustment of asynchronous learning days for this school year, discussion of the academic calendar for next school year and approval of minor secondary curriculum changes for 2021-22. District leaders also gave an update on the allocation of the $1 million in Proposition B bond funds, which voters approved in November.

Here are more major takeaways from the Jan. 12 meeting. For information about protocol changes, click here.

Calendar changes for 2020-21, 2021-22

In accordance with Texas Education Agency guidelines, the district on Jan. 12 presented a revised 2020-21 calendar removing Jan. 25 and March 1 as asynchronous learning days for secondary students. Previously, all secondary students were going to have a total of eight remote asynchronous learning days over the course of the rest of the year, but days were removed based on TEA allowing one asynchronous day per month.



A 2021-22 draft calendar is available for viewing online, and the calendar will be voted on next month after public feedback is collected. The draft calendar proposes an Aug. 17 school start date, a Tuesday—versus the usual Wednesday start date—and also takes into account the need for built-in time to cover inclement weather or COVID-19-related needs.

A five-day cushion will be allotted for this purpose, and the proposed calendar provides three additional make-up days as well. Traditional holiday schedules are proposed with a week of Thanksgiving break, two weeks at Christmas and a spring break. The last day of the school year on the draft calendar is May 26.

2021-22 course changes for juniors, seniors

Board members approved the 2021-22 Friendswood High School and Friendswood Junior High School academic planning guides Jan. 12. No major changes were made at either the junior high or high school, with only minor changes made at the high school level.

All languages offered to 11th and 12th graders, including French, Latin and German courses, will now have a seminar component designed for students to extend cultural and conversational experiences as well as prepare for Advanced Placement exams.

Other additions include the completion of the digital audio instructional pathway through a digital audio technology practicum course; the addition of an emergency medical technician basics course to the law and public service instructional pathway; an extension of career preparatory courses; and a new practicum in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. An advisory committee is being put together to develop community partnerships that can advance the STEM practicum, said Lauren Ambeau, executive director of elementary teaching and learning, Jan. 12.

No new courses or instructional changes were discussed or approved for FJHS students.

Bond funds update

When voters approved $128 million in bond funds in the November election, they approved two propositions: one for about $127.3 million and another for $1 million. The second of the two propositions allocated $1 million for districtwide safety, security and technology improvements. Bond funds should be available for use by early March, officials said.

Erich Kreiter, the district’s executive director of safety and operations, said Jan. 12 the $1 million for these upgrades will be spent on the following projects across campuses: public address system replacements; new fencing, surveillance cameras and ballistic window film; a visual emergency drill alert system; and architectural changes to secure the front vestibule at FJHS.

The 2021-22 budget and tax rate will be approved at the end of August, FISD officials said Jan. 12.



By Colleen Ferguson

Reporter, Bay Area

A native central New Yorker, Colleen worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact Newspaper before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. She covers public education, higher education, business and development news in southeast Houston. Colleen graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she worked for the university's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Her degrees are in journalism and Spanish language and culture. When not chasing a story, Colleen can be found petting cats and dogs, listening to podcasts, swimming or watching true crime documentaries.



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