Nederland ISD discusses school year options, including Aug. 3-June 23 run
Published 12:18 am Thursday, May 21, 2020
NEDERLAND — The Texas Education Agency wants school districts to be prepared for a second wave of COVID-19 during the next school year, which could mean a different and longer school year.
Nederland Independent School District leaders discussed the options brought forth by TEA and Education Commissioner Mike Morath at this week’s school board meeting.
Among the most popular options discussed is an Intersessional Calendar with Additional Days School Year or ADSY.
Assistant Superintendent Stuart Kieschnick said Morath is pushing hard for this option.
“It’s got pros and cons,” Kieschnick said. “A lot of Region V superintendents I called (Monday morning) are not in favor of this, but this is going to be a topic of conversation in the near future.”
An inside look at an Intersessional Calendar includes 180 days of regular instruction, 87 in the fall semester and 93 in the spring semester with 30 days of ADSY.
The 30 days fuse with current school breaks, adding an additional week to Thanksgiving and two additional weeks during Christmas and Spring break.
This model indicates approximate dates of August 3 to June 23.
Kieschnick said the calendar builds up intervention days to be utilized or saved for additional learning instruction.
“The drawback of that is how are parents who work going to plan for daycare and childcare?” Kieschnick said. “That’s taking a system that works and turning it completely upside down.”
Other options include a virtual or blended model with variants and tweaks of each.
An alternative decision keeps a regular school calendar and builds intervention days in during the school day, in the evening time or on Saturdays.
There is also a chance that school can be 50 percent virtual learning, 50 percent in-person or on an A/B alternative schedule, Kieschnick noted.
“We do not know at this time which model will be best for Nederland ISD,” Board President Micah Mosley said. “As always, administrators have to seek guidance from TEA, local and state governments. All school districts are in the same position and planning for a very unknown future.”
Currently, Mosley said all options are on the table.
“I hope that our community understands how much time and effort the NISD staff puts into things like this,” he said. “The school district serves approximately 5,200 students, and they are working with extreme unknowns and ever-changing guidance.
“There are many concerns, issues and unknowns at this time when entertaining an intersessional or virtual calendar that were brought up during the meeting. Issues such as reaching our most at-risk kids, utilizing targeted interventions to catch students up, childcare throughout the year with a fluctuating schedule, school budgets, UIL activities and fine arts programs, just to name a few.”
The NISD Board of Trustees encourages feedback from students and parents regarding the best decision for the district and community.
For more information and to view all options visit tea.texas.gov under Texas Schools, COVID-19 support.
At this time, all Nederland ISD school summer courses will continue virtually online.