Depending on what school a student goes to, there will be three different varieties of calendars for Dallas ISD next year: a base calendar, an intersession calendar, and a “School Day Redesign” calendar.
The latter two were crafted after meeting with teachers, staff, and parents as the district began to attempt to address the learning disruptions that happened after the pandemic shut schools down entirely last Spring.
The district said that among the schools opting for the intersession calendar are Stephen C. Foster Elementary in Midway Hollow, Medrano Middle School (where many students who had been zoned to attend Cary Middle School prior to the 2019 tornado that decimated the building now attend), and KB Polk Center for Academically Talented and Gifted (located between Lemmon Avenue and the Bluffview and Greenway Parks neighborhoods).
In total, 41 schools will have an intersession calendar, and their school year will begin on Aug. 9 and will end on June 23.
An intersession calendar would add 21 days of instruction to the school year with five one-week sessions. Students that need assistance would be invited to participate in those weeks, which would be offered in August, September, November, February, and June. Both students and teachers could opt-in or out.
The intersession calendar, deputy chief of academics Derek Little said at a February school board meeting, is exciting because it allows the district to intercede throughout the school year, looking for learning gaps and addressing them in near real-time, as opposed to summer school, where a student doesn’t get a chance to catch up or remediate until after the school year is done.
“If you’re running a marathon, you don’t wait until the end of the marathon to drink your water – you have water stations all along the route,” he said. “And that’s what intersession is.”
Five schools – Maple Lawn Elementary, H.I. Holland Elementary School at Lisbon, Edna Rowe Elementary School, Thomas J. Rusk Middle School and Boude Storey Middle School – have confirmed a “School Day Redesign” calendar, where school starts Aug. 2 and ends June 23 for all students.
With the base calendar, which all other schools will use, the school year starts Aug. 16 and ends May 27.