Tomball, Magnolia ISDs to approve 2017-18 academic calendars

Magnolia and Tomball ISDs are gearing up for the next school year as staff finalize start dates and holidays for the 2017-18 school year. The MISD board of trustees approved their academic calendar during a meeting Monday, Feb. 13 and the TISD board of trustees are expected to approve their calendar during tonight's Feb. 14 meeting. Here are some changes coming next year:

Tomball ISD
Since obtaining their District of Innovation designation, TISD will have increased flexibility with the academic calendar, Director of Administrative Services Karen Chlebo said.

Tomball ISD will begin the school year on the third Tuesday in August, which falls on Aug. 22, a week before the state requirement.

"There were a lot of parts to the District of Innovation other than how it affected the calendar, but one immediate advantage was event with starting a week earlier," Chlebo said. "Any district that is not a District of Innovation is having to go right up until Christmas because you have a very short first semester so that allowed us to not be quite so crunch and keep it much more balanced."

The calendar will include three days for staff development throughout the school year, as well as a full week for Thanksgiving and Spring Break and two full weeks for Christmas break. It will also allow the district to create more balanced semesters, with 82 days in the fall semester and 91 days in the spring semester.

However, some holidays will be changing, Chlebo said.. Because the state requires teachers to work 187 days during the school year, Columbus Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be a student holidays and teacher work days.

"Teachers cannot have Martin Luther King Day...and still get in 187 contract days," Chlebo said.

The spring semester for students and teachers will end after Memorial Day.

Magnolia ISD
MISD will begin its 2017-18 school year on Aug. 28, which is a later start date than usual, Assistant Superintendent of Administration Jason Bullock said.

"School in August cannot start until the fourth Monday in August for us," Bullock said. "With the first [of August] falling on a Tuesday, it puts the first day of school on [August] 28, which is later than we're traditionally used to."

However, classes will wrap up before Memorial Day, Bullock said. The final day of instruction—pending bad weather days—is May 25, 2018.

"The way the law works in determining how long a school year has to be, we're required to have 75,600 minutes in a school year," he said.

The calendar is created by the District Educational Improvement Committee, which is composed of a teacher from each campus in the district, two community members, two business representatives and two parents.

The adopted calendar includes three days for teacher work days—a new feature to the academic calendar. Bullock said Aug. 22-24 are dedicated as days during which teachers can prepare their classrooms, free of meetings or other obligations.

As in previous years, students will receive one week off for Thanksgiving and spring breaks, respectively, as well as two weeks off for Christmas break. Time off will also be given for Labor Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Good Friday.

"It matters to people a lot that we have a week off at Thanksgiving," Bullock said. "It matters to people a lot that we have the final day of instruction for kids end before the Memorial Day holiday."
By Anna Lotz

Editor, Tomball/Magnolia & Conroe/Montgomery

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor for the Tomball/Magnolia edition. She began covering the communities of Conroe and Montgomery as well in 2020. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.