Dear THES Community,
Two years ago, our school community discussed changing our school calendar. The decision was made to move slowly in order to determine the best possible schedule for our teachers and students. After being an In-District Charter school for one year and beginning our work with both Project-Based Learning and Expeditionary Learning, our staff sees the need for additional time to plan the lessons modeled by both groups. In addition, our staff needs to make time to regularly examine current student data so that we can design lessons based on information gathered from the data.
This proposed annual calendar for the 2015-2016 school year reflects the need for this time. While the calendar we propose is similar to the AISD calendar, there are some key elements that are different. Critical differences are:
- Thanksgiving break would include the entire week of Thanksgiving.
- Weekly early release on Fridays at 12:45 to provide time for staff to plan.
- Last day is one day earlier than AISD’s proposed calendar.
- Nov 11 (Veterans Day), March 25 (Good Friday), and May 27 would be normal school days for THES (student holidays for AISD).
The Early Release days would be supported by Extend-A-Care, Creativity Club, and Boys and Girls club. We are still finalizing accommodations for afternoon bus riders. Early release days, while different from a traditional AISD calendar, are typical to many charter schools and essential to our professional collaboration as it relates to student achievement and quality instructional delivery for our diverse student population.
Please review the attached calendar, and we will discuss this proposal at our November School-Wide meeting this Thursday Nov. 20th at 6pm and at our November coffee chat, Friday November 21st at 8:00 a.m. We will send a survey home on Friday November 21st to determine the level of support for this change. Please return your survey by Tuesday November 25th.
Due to AISD decision-making timelines, we will need to decide on this change by December 1 since it needs to be presented to AISD leadership and the AISD school board. Our district leaders are aware of this request and are supportive of it.
Please attend the meeting(s) and return the survey. This is a big decision, and as it is a school community decision, we want to make sure your voice is heard. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us or come by. Our goal is to develop the best school and individualized instructional program for each and every student.
Lisa Robertson & Carrie Turner