April 18, 2017 District of Innovation…What Does this Mean for Anna ISD? This past November, The AISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution for our district to become a District of Innovation (DOI). The DOI concept, passed by the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842, exempts traditional independent school districts from certain provisions of the Texas Education Code. DOI status gives more local control to our school district and our stakeholders. A DOI committee consisting of community members, teachers, parents, and administrators was formed and met several times throughout this school year to determine the provisions Anna ISD will implement. My next few blog posts will address these different areas the committee chose to focus on to become a District of Innovation. One of the provisions the committee chose to address was to take control of our school start date and is the focus of this post. Discussions on adjusting the uniform school start date focused on four areas. The first being the benefits of adding more professional development days throughout the school year. In previous years, district-wide staff development was completed at the beginning of each school year. This did not allow for staff development follow up or the opportunity to address other areas of need throughout the year. The second area of interest was to balance the number of instructional days between the semesters, as much as possible, creating equal grading periods. This led to the discussion about AISD campuses moving to a nine week grading period. Beginning the 17-18 school year, all campuses will be on a nine week grading period. Parents with multiple children in our district will now find it easier to monitor their children’s grades with consistent grading periods. Next, the Committee recognized a need for closing the summer gap in order to increase the achievement of our at-risk students. Although next year’s school calendar reflects this change, ideas were generated on ways to close this gap even further in the future. The last area dealing with the uniform start date, was to review this area annually and seek input from students, staff, parents, and community members. In order to provide the best possible educational opportunities for our students, Anna ISD may be adjusting the district calendar over the next few years. I appreciate the community’s flexibility and support through this process.
The 2017-18 school calendar can be found here and on the Anna ISD Website.