Dear FBISD Parents and Guardians,
I am writing to provide an update on the 2017-18 District Calendar. At Monday’s Board Meeting, we shared our recommendation to postpone adoption of the calendar until late March. I know the adopted calendar will impact our entire FBISD community, but we made this recommendation because the especially restrictive constraints involved in this year’s calendar creation, as well as the tremendous response from our stakeholders, caused us to rethink our approach to preparing the calendar. Because the District’s Local Innovation Committee is hard at work developing our Local Innovation Plan, we determined it would be in the best interest of students and teachers to prepare a more innovative calendar that would enable us to start school a little earlier and incorporate other strategies that cannot be included in the “traditional” calendar previously shared for your feedback.
Listening to You: An alternate plan
In December, we asked our students, parents, and staff members to weigh in on a calendar option that included shorter Thanksgiving and Winter breaks – due to the state-mandated late start date. In all, we received over 18,000 completed surveys. The calendar committee, comprised of District, campus and community members, then reconvened to consider this feedback. You will recall that the survey asked participants to rank additional scenarios, and the feedback that we received led the calendar committee to modify the calendar to lengthen the Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks – while complying with the August 28 start date – by extending the school year into the first week of June. Overwhelmingly, this proved to be the most popular scenario in the survey, ranked at the top by 11,000 respondents.
In the coming weeks, a sub-committee of the original calendar committee will be working on an additional calendar option that would include more flexibility, providing an earlier start than the current mandate of the fourth Monday in August. In this way, if the Local Innovation Committee decides to include this innovation in their Local Innovation Plan, a calendar with more flexibility would be ready to present to the Board of Trustees upon the completion of the District of Innovation process. In our discussion with the Board of Trustees Monday, we shared that in either circumstance, we do not intend to start any earlier than August 21.
The working timeline for the Local Innovation Committee can be found on the District’s webpage
. On February 8, the Local Innovation Committee will present its plan to the District’s Academic Advisory Council (AAC), and upon approval by the AAC, the plan will be posted online for community input. More details about the February 8 meeting will be shared in the coming days, so be on the lookout for more information.
Although it is customary to have our calendars approved in January, upon further consideration, we believe delaying the decision until March will allow for the possibility of greater opportunities to serve our students, staff members and parents, giving Fort Bend ISD more local control in creating a calendar that is right for our community.
In short, please know that we are listening, and continue to work on a calendar that will best serve the needs of our students and District as a whole. We will continue to share updates as the process continues.
P.S. Monday marked National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day – but it’s never too late to tell our police officers how much we appreciate them. We are our proud of our Fort Bend ISD Police Department, which was recently named a “Recognized Law Enforcement Agency” from the Texas Police Chiefs Association Law Enforcement Recognition Program! Please join me in thanking local law enforcement officers for all they do to keep our communities and schools safe.