During its Jan. 10 meeting, the Highland Park ISD School Board approved the the 2017-18 school calendar.
In addition, the board approved a plan for the district to explore an option that would allow for greater local control over school functions, including the opportunity for flexibility in scheduling the first day of school in the future.
Please read below for more information on the 2017-18 calendar and the District of Innovation designation.
In this calendar, K-8 students will have four grading periods, and students in grades 9-12 will have six grading periods, with students finishing midterm exams before the winter holiday.
Please note that HPISD's bad weather makeup days, which are required by state law, will be held, if necessary, on June 4 and 5. If one or both bad weather days are used, final exams and early release days will be moved to those days, and the staff work day will be moved to the day following the last day of school.
Five professional development days and six early release days have been included in HPISD's calendar utilizing a waiver granted by the Texas Education Agency.
In addition, the TEA frequently makes changes to its testing dates, so HPISD and other districts across Texas have drafted their calendars based on the preliminary testing schedule. If we have to make adjustments based on changes to the state's testing schedule, we will let you know.
District of Innovation designation
Highland Park ISD is exploring the possibility of gaining greater local control by acquiring designation as a District of Innovation. Under a law (HB 1842) passed by the 2015 Texas Legislature, school districts can earn the District of Innovation designation and thereby access many of the same options that are currently available to charter schools, including flexibility in scheduling the first day of school. Current law calls for public schools without the designation to begin school no earlier than the fourth Monday in August. Beginning earlier could allow HPISD to have greater flexibility with its school calendar.
More than 60 public school districts in Texas have earned the designation, and many more are going through the process, including districts such as Coppell, Frisco, Richardson, Plano, Alamo Heights, Eanes, Katy and Lake Travis.