Stephanie Williams, FBISD’s executive director of organizational transformation, said pushing back the first day of school will give teachers more time to plan ahead of the fully remote start to the year.
“This shift would allow us to front-load six days of teacher professional learning,” Williams said. “As the district rolls out more of the expectations related to launching online learning, a dedicated need has arisen to ensure teachers have the time to prepare, and this calendar allows for that.”
Under the revised calendar, teachers will begin professional learning Aug. 6 instead of Aug. 5. Furthermore, teachers will have six days of professional learning and one workday prior to the first day of school.
The changes approved July 20 also modify a couple of district holidays.
Sept. 25, previously scheduled as Fort Bend County Fair Day, will now be a regular school day on which students will be engaged in asynchronous learning activities.
Additionally, Oct. 9 will also be a regular school day, whereas previously, the day was a planned professional learning day and student holiday.
Teachers will have two “floating” professional learning days scheduled for Nov. 23-24. According to district documents, teachers who have already completed their required professional learning will be off on these days as part of Thanksgiving break.
Superintendent Charles Dupre said there is flexibility in the calendar if the need arises to modify it. Because of the long-term uncertainty posed by the coronavirus pandemic, he said, the changes adopted will only affect the first semester.
“Depending on how conditions develop, we could be back in September or October, maybe even modifying some calendar dates in October and beyond,” Dupre said, "because we do want to make sure we're meeting the needs of our teachers and students to provide breaks, and we're going to have to look seriously at the intervention schedule that was provided in the intercession parts of the calendar.”
View the approved calendar here.