School Board Approves 2016-2017 Calendar

School Board Approves 2016-2017 Calendar
HB 2610

January 27, 2016     The Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees approved the official calendar for the 2016-2017 year with a school start date of Monday, August 22, 2016 and an end date of Friday, May 26, 2017. The calendar incorporates the provisions outlined in a new state law.

“By and large, this new law is positive for our students, parents and the community,” said Sandy Whitlow, an executive director of student performance who worked with a committee comprised of both staff and community members to prepare the calendar. “We looked to develop a calendar which meets both the spirit and letter of the new law while taking advantage of the ability to be more proactive and build some flexibility into the school year.”

House Bill 2610 allows schools districts the opportunity to prepare for large-scale weather events or other unexpected disasters by building a bank of time reserved for students if school must be cancelled. According to the law, students must be in school a set number of minutes each year, rather than a standard number of days as required in the past. While all AISD campuses already meet the minimum amount of instructional minutes for students as required by the state, each school will ensure their daily schedules for students have enough instructional minutes to cover at least four cancelled days during the school year. The end result is that traditional snow days for students have been removed from the 2016-2017 calendar.

“Thanks to the built-in minutes next year, students will no longer have to make up a snow day like in the past,” explained Holly Shelton, communications program director. “It will be different than what we are used to, but I’m sure students will come to appreciate the change.”

While HB 2610 changes the way student instructional time is calculated, it does not change how staff time is measured. The Texas Education Code still requires teachers to work a minimum of 187 days each year. As in previous years, all district employees will have to make up cancelled school days. Provisions for this time are included at the end of an employee’s annual work calendar.

House Bill 2610 was passed by the 84th Texas Legislature. To view AISD’s 2016-2017 school calendar, click here.

HB 2610 Infographic

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