Calendar changes approved for 2017-2018

We wanted to answer different comments or questions we have heard about the 2017-2018 Calendar and the changes from previous years.

First, we have been asked to provide further explanations for the “why” in establishing a different school calendar.  The calendar committee, consisting of parents, local business leaders, teachers and administrators, looked into several different ideas that could impact student learning.

  • The new calendar equalizes both semesters.  In the past, the fall semester was made up of two 8-week sessions totaling 16 weeks.  The spring was made up of two 10-week sessions totaling 20 weeks.  With a year made up of two 18-week semesters, our teachers will be able to consistently follow our curriculum guide and keep our students on track with time for reteaching and innovative instruction.
  • By moving the calendar up to the August 7, 2017 start date, we are adding two weeks of instruction.  Our high school students are required to pass End of Course tests to graduate. Some of these tests are held the first two weeks in May.  The earlier starting date will allow two more weeks of instruction before the tests.
  • The period between the start of school and Thanksgiving break is the longest uninterrupted period of the year.  By placing a break in October, the committee is making a research-based decision.  At this time of the year, students and teachers are starting to experience fatigue.  The October break is designed to reduce stress and burnout, increase attendance and increase student achievement.
  • The exchange days built into the calendar give teachers more control of their learning.  With approval of administrators, teachers are able to plan and attend professional development that meets their specific needs.

Second, we are going to address some of the voiced concerns with Calendar B.

  • What about child care for the off week in October?

    We are contacting the local child care centers to discuss the breaks and how they can provide service during those times.  We have spoken to one director who said they plan to offer child care then to make up for the week lost in the summer.  We also plan to visit with our high school students about babysitting opportunities.

  • What about the high temperatures in August?

    Many of our students do not have air conditioning in their homes.  We hope that we can keep them more comfortable in the schools.

  • Can we make the school year shorter than the 171 days?

    Yes, we could.  The law says that students must be in school for 75,600 minutes.  To significantly shorten the school year, we would have to drastically lengthen the school day.  We are in school for 7 hours and 35 minutes now.  To shorten the year by 10 days, our students would have to go to school for more than 8 hours.

  • What if we already have a vacation planned the first week of school?

We apologize for the inconvenience and will work with you to come to a solution.  If you are going to miss the first week, please contact your child’s principal.  We can provide the material for the first week and determine if there is another way we can accommodate you.

Lastly, we will work with parents and students to ease concerns.  In the next couple of days, we will have a question and answer section on our website to address those concerns.  Please feel free to ask your questions there or call the administration building at (903) 886-3755.

Thank you,

Commerce ISD

Our Mission

In partnership with families and community, CISD will provide all students an exemplary education, preparing them to be successful, productive citizens. 

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