Texas Schools Considering Early Start, Year-Round Model
Measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 also resulted in students having the weirdest and toughest spring semester in recent memory. With the usual school schedule obliterated, educators fear that the usual "summer slide" could be worse this year, and they're considering making major changes to school schedules to compensate and try to keep students on track.
KTRK reports that the Texas Education Agency is asking to schools to consider extending the 2020-2021 school year. According to their report, there are three options they'd like schools to look into:
- Holding school year-round
- Adding 30 days to the usual 180-day school calendar
- Spreading the school year out with intermittent breaks
It seems most likely to me that schools here in Central Texas would choose the second option with an earlier start date and later end date for the school year, but larger cities feeling a greater impact from COVID-19 and related health mandates may have to make tougher decisions.
While most districts were able to adapt to school closures by conducting online classes and issuing students in need devices to access them, it's unclear how long that could continue, especially if school budgets aren't capable of sustaining that model. I get the feeling local students will be back in classrooms this fall, but will that change if there's a new surge in COVID-19 cases?
There's also the fact that it's difficult enough to get kids to pay attention and keep up with school work in normal conditions. With distractions and obligations at home, I know it's probably difficult for many students to meet their obligations. I've heard from friends who are educators that some students seem to have fallen off the face of the earth.
It's not going to be easy for students, educators, or parents, but making sure kids get the education they're entitled to is of great importance for their future and ours.
What do you think? Should schools consider adding more days to next year's school schedule, or should they consider one of the other two models? Should they alter anything at all?
Let us know in the comments.