The Lytle ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved pushing the district’s start date back to August 26 during the School Board meeting held on Monday, July 27.
House Bill 3 created the Additional Days School Year (ADSY) program, which adds funding for school systems with additional instructional days for elementary schools. The previous 2020-2021 academic calendar approved by the Board on June 15 included intercession days in October, February, and June that were intended to help soften the blow of potential shut-downs due to COVID-19, as well as to help students who have fallen behind thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We put all those extended year days, ADSY days in, knowing that we didn’t get funded until the 180-day mark…well, we found out this summer that’s changed,” Superintendent Michelle Carroll Smith said. “You cannot get any ADSY funding unless you have 180 days in the calendar. If we were to put 180 days in the calendar, the teachers would have seven days left for planning, because teachers are 187-day [contracts]. So if teachers have seven days left, we have one at the end of the school year, sometimes one at Christmas, then you’re back to five days before school starts.”
Smith recommended changing the calendar to allow teachers more time to plan and be trained on remote instruction procedures prior to the beginning of school.
Assistant Superintendent Harry Piles presented different options to the Board, which ultimately chose a calendar with a student start date of Aug. 26 and end date of May 28. Three early release days were eliminated, and eight minutes of instructional time were added to each day in order to free up 19 additional workdays for teachers.
Most of those workdays are set for August, prior to the beginning of school. Additional workdays include October 2, November 6, February 5, January 4, and June 1.
The new calendar will soon be available on the district website at www.lytleisd.org.
By Marly Davis