By Rachel Hall
One of the most-asked questions during Facebook Live held by Superintendent Chris Trotter on May 13 focused on what will happen in August for students returning to a new academic year.
“We are currently planning to have school in August. We are making adjustments and plans to have school in session, but we will also have a backup plan in place if we are not able to open,” said Trotter.
The concern about what the next school year may look like for students and staff is due in part to recent guidelines released by TEA encouraging districts to add 30 days to the academic calendar, plan for extended breaks throughout the school year, or consider a revamp to a year-round calendar after receiving community, staff, and school-board support for the change.
“Remember this is Cleveland Independent School District – independent means we get to make those decisions for ourselves. We will do what is best for our students, our community, and our staff,” said Trotter.
There will be 16 weeks of non-classroom instruction between the closing of campuses in March and the potential for reopening in August, which could mean a significant regression in skills for some students – one of the reasons behind TEA’s suggestion for an altered school calendar in 2020-2021.
However, CISD is still focused on the remaining weeks of the current school year making plans for graduation, prom, pre-K and kindergarten registration, end-of-year elementary school wave parades, meal distribution, curriculum and instruction packets pick-up and grading, and keeping up with frequently changing orders and guidelines being issued at the federal, state, and local levels.
The plan is to return to school in August with the current calendar at this moment in time, but further discussion and updates to the community will happen in the future.
“We will be listening to the direction of TEA and surrounding school districts and discussing how we may adjust the calendar. It will be a data-driven decision based on the country, state, and local recommendations for the start of a new school year. If we do make a calendar adjustment – know it is for the betterment of our children,” said Trotter.
For the most current updates from CISD, join the district’s Facebook Live on Wednesdays or visit clevelandisd.org.