Wednesday, December 2, 2020

District Seeks Input On Modified COVID-19 Response Calendar

Carroll school officials are seeking input on a COVID-19 Response Calendar before voting to consider altering the originally-adopted 2020-2021 school calendar. The proposed modified calendar does not include a change to the start date of August 17, but it does take the long breaks in October and February, as well as one bad weather day in April and makes them COVID-19 exchange days.

The exchange days are like bad weather days; if the district has to close due to COVID-19, the exchange days would become school days as needed.  If the district doesn’t need them, they remain school holidays or breaks. The modified calendar also has two weeks of COVID-19 exchange days added in June.

CISD will be accepting comments and questions about the proposed calendar until noon on June 15. Trustees hope to vote on the COVID-19 calendar at their June 15 meeting. A copy of the COVID-19 Response Calendar can be reviewed by clicking on CISD’s DRAFT COVID RESPONSE 2020-2021 Calendar.

The Administration and School Board started discussing options for the 2020-2021 school calendar following prompts from Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath for public schools to consider earlier start dates, periodic breaks in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak and intersessions for remediation. School officials discussed the challenges of changing the already-adopted start date as it relates to family vacations/plans, teacher contracts and preparation time for in-person instruction. There were also concerns that CISD would use the COVID-19 exchange weeks/breaks to take vacations or trips.

In visiting with other districts, CISD staff learned that neighboring districts did not intend to adopt a revised calendar, but instead may look at simply adding weeks in June should they be needed.

Dr. Janet McDade, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, reviewed calendars shown as examples by the Commissioner and discussed 2-3 options with the School Board in May. There did not seem to be a strong sentiment among the Board or Administration to change the start date and add long breaks, but there was some interest in considering time in June to make up for COVID-19 closures should it be necessary.

Dr. McDade said TEA has been extremely cooperative and lenient in granting waivers due to COVID-19 and is not requiring districts to alter their calendar. In turn, school officials believe if a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus happens, the district is now in a better position to pivot to online learning. Still, it seems prudent to plan for potential closures by looking at the Board-adopted calendar and making possible revisions.

McDade said the COVID-19 exchange days/weeks in June give local officials greater flexibility to respond to potential outbreaks during the 2020-2021 school year. The district is also proposing adding five minutes to the end of the school day for all elementary, intermediate and middle schools. This gives CISD some additional flexibility when it comes to managing unforeseen closures for either bad weather days or COVID-19.

Elementary schools would end at 3 p.m.; intermediate and middle schools would end at 3:45 p.m., if the COVID-19 Response Calendar is approved by Trustees. Schools are required to provide 75,600 minutes of instruction each year. The instructional minutes for secondary students in CISD already well exceeds the required amount, but school officials believe adding the five minutes at the end of each day for grades PK-8 is a good move to ensure greater flexibility. The additional five minutes per day gives CISD as many as three additional instructional days that would not have to be made up due to a COVID-19 outbreak/closure.

To submit a question or comment about the proposed calendar to CISD by the noon, June 15 deadline, please visit our Let’s Talk COVID-19 Response Calendar link.

With March comes Spring at the Senior Activity Center

As we move into the beginning of Spring and the weather starts to get warmer, the Senior Activity Center will be featuring and hosting great events and activities for our members 55 and better. Here are some highlights for the month of March:

Thursday, March 3: 6:30 – 10:00 PM – Preview Night: Big Fish at the Artisan Theatre

Monday, March 14: 12:00 PM – St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Saturday, March 19: 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM – Cops and Rodders Car Show at the Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex

Wednesday, March 23: 6:00 PM – Potluck Bingo Night!

Thursday, March 24: 1:00 PM – Movie: Bridge of Spies

Thursday, March 31: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Texas Tulips Trip

These are just some highlights, but there are plenty more activities and classes to participate in at the Southlake Senior Activity Center, click here for the full calendar of events and for more information visit: www.SouthlakeSeniorCenter.com or call 817.748.8315.

Stay busy with the Senior Activity Center this October

As always, the Senior Activity Center has plenty to do during the month of October as the weather cools down and we jump into fall. It’s going to be a great month for those in the community who are 55 or better, be sure to join in all the fun!

Below are some event highlights for October:

Friday, October 2: 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM – Empowering Seniors Expo

Friday, October 9: 11:45 AM – 2:00 PM – Fine Dining at Bonefish Grill

Monday, October 19: 6:00 – 8:00 PM – Bingo Night

Thursday, October 22: 1:00 PM – Movie Night, I’ll See You In My Dreams

Friday, October 30: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – 6th Annual Harvest Festival

For more details on these and other events, activities and classes available at the Southlake Senior Activity Center, visit: www.SouthlakeSeniorCenter.com or call 817.748.8315.

Trustees Adopt 2012-2013 School Calendar

It’s official; the Carroll School Board voted Monday evening to adopt a 2012-2013 school calendar that includes an August 27 start date and semester finals before winter break. The calendar was recommended by the District Advisory Committee following weeks of public input by school employees and parents.

One of the biggest changes in the final calendar from its original draft version is the move to end the first semester in December. Since 2004, CISD students had been taking finals after winter break to better balance out the number of days in the fall and spring semesters. But with additional STAAR and End of Course tests slated in the spring semester, members of the DAC realized that the difference in the number of teaching days each semester was no longer significant. Input from parents supported exams before break and ultimately the Administration and School Board agreed.

The later start date in the calendar will also help CISD officials save $250,000 during the 2012-2013 school year. Official copies will be laminated, printed with magnetic backing and distributed to staff and Dragon families before the last day of school. The cost of the calendar printing is covered through an advertising and sponsorship agreement with Roxann Taylor & Associates, Realtors. Bad weather days are slated March 29 and June 6. The last day of classes is scheduled for June 5. Graduation for the class of 2013 will be on Friday, June 7.

Click here to view the 2012-2013 Board-Approved School Calendar

Carroll ISD Accepting Calendar Feedback

Carroll Independent School District is accepting written comments on a DRAFT version of the 2012-2013 school calendar. To participate, review the DRAFT 2012-2013 Calendar and then send your comments and suggestions to calendarfeedback@southlakecarroll.edu.

Dr. JJ Villarreal, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, is leading the process with assistance from a subcommittee of the District Advisory Committee (DAC). Members of the DAC reviewed the DRAFT version of a calendar similar to the current Carroll calendar. Comments from the public will be accepted up until January 13, 2012.

The DRAFT calendar calls for the first day of school for students to be Monday, August 27, 2012. This is five days later than the current calendar due to a law that restricts the start of public schools on or after the fourth Monday of August. Also noted on the DRAFT calendar are tentative STAAR testing dates released by the Texas Education Agency. CISD officials say the test dates could be subject to change, but provide districts with guidance as they plan their school calendars for the coming year.

Parents and staff can access the calendar link by clicking on the appropriate icon on the front page of the CISD website. Or, click here to view the DRAFT 2012-2013 Calendar.