Last week, the Hays Consolidated Independent School District’s board of trustees approved the academic calendar for the 2019-2020 school years.
The calendar has a few differences from previous years; the changes are due to the district’s designation as a district of innovation. The DOI designation allows public schools to operate by 18-week semesters versus a 36-week school year; it also provides public schools with some of the flexibility Charter Schools have under the state law.
The district of innovation was created in 2015 by the Texas Legislature and allows for “numerous” exemptions to curriculum and logistics requirements.
One of the most noted exemptions is the ability for public schools to start earlier in the fall.
State law currently dictates that public schools can start classes no earlier than the fourth Monday of August, which does not allow for a full 18-week semester in the fall.
Hays CISD held public hearings for the designation in October 2018. The 2019-2020 school year, according to the new academic calendar approved by Hays CISD trustees, will begin on August 15, 2019, and end on May 22, 2020.
The full academic calendar is available for viewing here.
Superintendent Eric Wright, in October 2018 when he proposed the DOI designation, said the district’s high school students will have fewer classes to focus on with the 18-week semester schedule, which will allow them to take more advanced classes in a given year.