KISD trustees approve 2018-2019 calendar, eliminate early dismissal

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Kilgore ISD board members approved the 2018-2019 district calendar – it eliminates early dismissal days for students.

During the discussion Monday night, KISD Superintendent Cara Cooke told the board members early release days are not considered “family friendly” because working parents have to take off part of the day to pick up their student or arrange for someone to get their child from school and in some cases line up child care.

“There really wasn’t a real benefit to that,” she said. “I think it’s one of those things we’ve just done it a long time, and a lot of other schools do it.”

The half-days also place burdens on KISD employees to fit a full day’s worth of material into a shorter time period.

“Basically on those days we get them here, we feed them, and we get them back home, so it’s a loss of instructional time just to say we were here. We removed that, and hopefully our parents will find that it’s better for them also,” Cooke told the board before the item was approved unanimously.

Other than the removal of the early dismissal days, though, the majority of next year’s district calendar looks similar to the 2017-2018 version with the year divided into quarters.

The first quarter will have eight weeks in it, quarters two and three will each be nine weeks long and the fourth quarter will have 10 weeks. The second quarter will end before students are released for winter break, meaning finals will be out of the way before Christmas.

The first day of school will be Aug. 20 and graduation will be May 24, 2019.

Teachers will receive an extra planning day in October for this year to allow time for principals to work with their campus employees using data points and then for the teachers to work with each other in their teams.

With student instructional time counted in minutes, the upcoming year will have extra minutes – beyond the 75,600 required minutes – to use if needed, such as this year when students were able to make up snow and ice days without an extra day of school. Two bad weather days are still integrated into the 2018-2019 calendar just in case, Cooke said. Those bad weather days are Feb. 18 and April 22, 2019.

With a motion from Board Secretary Trey Hattaway and a second from trustee Cindy Edmonds, the board approved the 2018-2019 calendar unanimously.

“There’s never a perfect calendar for anyone, but we feel pretty good about this one,” Cooke said.

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