Short notice, but HISD board to consider next year’s academic calendar at 5 p.m. today

By Charlotte Aguilar

Houston ISD’s academic calendar has been controversial in the past, with quibbles over religious holidays, length of vacations, and “emergency” weather days that created havoc toward the end of the school year when they had to be used to compensate for missed school.

Still, HISD didn’t issue a news release by email until just before 3 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 9) to say that the board would be considering the 2018-19 calendar at its meeting just two hours later at the district headquarters, 4400 W. 18th St.

The meeting is live-streamed on the hisdtv.org website and on Comcast Channel 18 or AT&T Uverse Channel 99 — and if you’re in Bellaire or West U, you can email your trustee, Mike Lunceford, at mluncefo@houstonisd.org, to make your opinion known.

Here is wording in the district’s news release, as well as information about a measure to pay employees for the day off they were given last Friday due to the Houston Astros World Series victory celebration:

The proposed calendar was drafted with input from a committee made up of principals, union representatives, and departments across the district, as well as the District Advisory Committee. The first day of school for students would be Aug. 27, and the final day of classes would be May 31. It would give students and staff a full week off for Thanksgiving. The Fall Holiday would be Monday Sept. 10, a date that coincides with the first day of the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashana.

The HISD Board of Education also is expected to consider a resolution to pay employees for the workday missed as a result of the district closing due to the Houston Astros parade. According to the resolution: “The closure, in addition to supporting the efforts of city officials to uplift the community, anticipated significant street and highway traffic problems, which would affect buses throughout the district, and reflected concerns about staffing and student absenteeism.”

If the resolution is approved by the board, district employees, including hourly and those required to work to maintain emergency operations and/or facilitate assessment of facilities, will be paid for the lost day.

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