Spring ISD's revised 2020-21 instructional calendar includes intersessional breaks, runs Aug. 17-June 25

The Spring ISD board of trustees unanimously approved a revised 2020-21 instructional calendar during a special meeting May 28, which features intersessional breaks and runs Aug. 17, 2020-June 25, 2021. (Screenshot via Zoom)
The Spring ISD board of trustees unanimously approved a revised 2020-21 instructional calendar during a special meeting May 28, which features intersessional breaks and runs Aug. 17, 2020-June 25, 2021. (Screenshot via Zoom)

The Spring ISD board of trustees unanimously approved a revised 2020-21 instructional calendar during a special meeting May 28, which features intersessional breaks and runs Aug. 17, 2020-June 25, 2021. (Screenshot via Zoom)

Editor's note: The story has been corrected to add the Jan. 4-8 intersessional break and to clarify that Jan. 18 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Spring ISD board of trustees unanimously approved a revised 2020-21 instructional calendar during a special meeting May 28, which features intersessional breaks and runs Aug. 17, 2020-June 25, 2021.

According to district officials, the new calendar aligns with guidance released by the Texas Education Agency earlier this month, which seeks to minimize anticipated disruptions from COVID-19 in the upcoming school year.

"The administration believes that our proposed 2020-2021 calendar will give us the flexibility to deal with whatever unknown scenarios we may have to face in this coming school year," Chief of School Leadership Lupita Hinojosa said during the meeting. "Based on what TEA and the [Centers for Disease Control] are telling us, the upcoming school year is likely to be disrupted and we believe this proposed calendar will give us a way to maximize instruction even if we're forced into another COVID-19-realted school closure."

During the intersessional breaks planned throughout the 2020-21 school year, Hinojosa said students in grades pre-K-11 will not have classes, however, identified students in those grade levels may receive targeted instruction so they can stay on track with grade level requirements or take part in enrichment activities.


"Not all students are required to take part in those extra learning opportunities; some families may choose just to use this time as a break," Hinojosa said.

By contrast, seniors will participate in remote learning during the intersessional breaks, which will allow them to finish the school year in late May and give those students the entire month of June to participate in college orientations or begin their college or work career.

Dates of note included on the revised 2020-21 instructional calendar are as follows:

  • Aug. 10-13, 2020: Teachers professional development days

  • Aug. 14: Teacher preparation day

  • Aug. 17: First day of school

  • Sept. 7: Labor Day (no classes)

  • Oct. 5-9: Intersession/senior remote learning

  • Nov. 16-20: Intersession/senior remote learning

  • Nov. 23-27: Thanksgiving break

  • Dec. 21-Jan. 1, 2021: Winter break

  • Jan. 4-8: Intersession/senior remote learning

  • Jan. 11: Teacher professional development days

  • Jan. 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (no classes)

  • March 8-12: Intersession/senior remote learning

  • March 15-19: Spring Break

  • April 2: Good Friday (no classes)

  • April 5-9 and 12-16 and May 3-21: STAAR Testing

  • May 28: Last day of school for seniors

  • May 31: Memorial Day (no classes)

  • June 21-24: STAAR Testing

  • June 25: Last day of school for grades pre-K-11

  • June 28: Teacher preparation day


Board President Rhonda Newhouse said based on Texas Association of School Boards webinars she had attended, the revised calendar seemed to align with plans of other Texas school districts.

"It's clear that many districts will be extending their calendar year into June—now, how far into June, nobody is saying at this time—but it is evident that yes, they are planning to go into June and I see we are too," Newhouse said. "I think we're right on target with other districts in terms of our innovation calendar here."

Likewise, Superintendent Rodney Watson said in a survey of school districts in Harris County and TEA Region 4, about 30% of school districts said they were planning to make changes to their respective 2020-21 instructional calendars, based on the new TEA guidance.

"It is important to note that every school district sees their own unique situation differently. So for example ... there are a few districts that say very straightforward 'We don't have a [COVID-19] slide. Our kids are fine, they will be well, we don't have to plan for that.' But their socioeconomic status, level of the needs of their kids and their community is totally different from ours," Watson said.

In addition to approving a revised 2020-21 instructional calendar, district officials also presented the board with information on how they are planning to address logistical issues such as class configurations, school schedules and transportation, among others, which could pose problems in the coming school year due to COVID-19.

While nothing is set in stone, throughout the month of June district officials will plan for the following four scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: Schools open with minimum need for social distancing

  • Scenario 2: Schools open with significant need for social distancing

  • Scenario 3: Schools open, but with rolling closures, and significant need for social distancing

  • Scenario 4: Schools do not open; remote learning continues


"We could potentially start the year in one scenario, like with minimum social distancing or social distancing of a certain level, and then need to have more significant social distancing so that ability to move between the scenarios is very important," SISD Chief of Communications Tiffany Dunne-Oldfield said.

As part of that planning, Dunne-Oldfield said the district will also be surveying parents, students and staff to gauge their thoughts on what will be needed for next year including what technological gaps still exist and whether students prefer remote learning to in-person learning.

"We do want to gauge our parents [if] they'd want to return [to school] in light of COVID-19," Dunne-Oldfield said. "In all school districts in our area and across the state and across the nation, we are hearing that some parents do want the remote option for their students for a multitude of different reasons."

Dunne-Oldfield also said that by planning for a scenario in which schools do not open, the district will be equipped to accommodate families who would prefer to continue remote learning instead of returning to in-person classes.

After plans are solidified throughout the month of June, Dunne-Oldfield said June and August will be spent ironing out the details and communicating those plans with SISD families.
By Hannah Zedaker
Born and raised in Cypress, Texas, Hannah Zedaker graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a minor in political science. She began as an intern with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 and was hired upon graduation as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in May 2016. In January 2019, she was promoted to serve as the editor of the Spring/Klein edition where she covers Spring ISD and Harris County Commissioners Court, in addition to business, development and transportation news.


MOST RECENT

Imperio Wine & Spirits sells a variety of liquor, beer, wine and spirits. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Imperio Wine & Spirits opens in Katy; Montgomery Chick-fil-A to open dining room and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Greater Houston area.

SISD officials announced May 13 that for the 2021-22 school year, the district would be setting aside some pre-K class spots at nearly every elementary campus for students who would not normally qualify for the program under state eligibility requirements. (Courtesy Spring ISD)
Spring ISD expands full-day pre-K access to families ahead of 2021-22 school year

SISD officials announced May 13 that for the 2021-22 school year, the district would be setting aside some pre-K class spots at nearly every elementary campus for students who would not normally qualify for the program under state eligibility requirements.

In addition to constructing a new 43-acre campus, Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 will be buying a fleet of 40 new ambulances and hiring 150 new staff. (Courtesy Cypress Creek EMS)
Executive director gives preview of ESD 11 Mobile Health Services

In addition to constructing a new 43-acre campus, Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 will be buying a fleet of 40 new ambulances and hiring 150 new staff.

See how some Greater Houston area school districts are planning to go back to school for the 2021-22 academic year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
See how some Greater Houston area school districts are planning to go back to school for the 2021-22 academic year

While some school districts in the Greater Houston area are doing away with face mask requirements and virtual schooling completely, others are pivoting to continue offering online learning options for students and plan to require face masks.

masks
CDC ends all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people

The guidance states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

Houston Scanning digitizes video tapes, printed photographs, film reels and more. (Courtesy Houston Scanning)
Houston Scanning relocates from Willowbrook to Louetta Road in Cypress

Houston Scanning digitizes video tapes, printed photographs, film reels and more.

Single-family home sales were up 47.4% compared to last April with 9,105 units sold versus 6,175 a year earlier. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
HAR: Houston-area home sales in April up 47% compared to last year

Single-family home sales were up 47.4% compared to April 2020.

The results of a study conducted by Cambridge Education, an education consulting firm, showed both progress and areas in need of improvement throughout Spring ISD in the pursuit of equity. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Equity study shows progress, reveals shortcomings in Spring ISD

The results of a study conducted by Cambridge Education, an education consulting firm, showed both progress and areas in need of improvement throughout Spring ISD in the pursuit of equity.

House Bill 1024, signed into law May 12, allows restaurants and bars to permanently sell alcoholic beverages to-go. (Courtesy Pexels)
Cocktails to-go are here to stay in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott signs change into law May 12

Supporters say the change will help restaurants continue to recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

New details could emerge soon on the potential use of underground tunnels to carry flood water in Harris County, and officials voted May 11 to dedicate an additional $3.26 million to study efforts along Buffalo Bayou. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
County commissioners expand scope of flood tunnel study as next phase nears completion

New details could emerge soon on the potential use of underground tunnels to carry flood water in Harris County, and officials voted May 11 to dedicate an additional $3.26 million to study efforts along Buffalo Bayou.

Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services provides a variety of services to assist eligible people with disabilities in preparing for, obtaining, retaining or advancing in competitive integrated employment. Similarly, Workforce Solutions Gulf Coast is a public workforce system in the 13-county Houston-Galveston region of Texas that helps employers meet their human resources needs and individuals build careers. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services to relocate from Tomball to Willowbrook

Six vocational rehabilitation staff with the Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services will move May 18 from 444 Holderrieth Blvd., Ste. 3, Tomball to the Workforce Solutions Gulf Coast office located at 17725 Hwy. 249, Houston, according to a May 11 news release.

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
US Department of Homeland Security extends Real ID deadline until 2023

Drivers will have until May 2023 to get the Real ID, which will be required for adults boarding a U.S. commercial flight.