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Texas Schools Are Starting Early This Year: Districts of Innovation

You are currently viewing Texas Schools Are Starting Early This Year: Districts of Innovation
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Central Texas school start early this year. This year the first bell rings early for almost all Central Texas public school students. School start dates are from July 24 to Aug.27.

Most Austin-area districts are taking advantage of another law to start school early.

The majority of Austin-area traditional school districts have become ‘’districts of innovation’’.

Districts say starting school earlier allows them to better balance the number of days in the fall and spring.

Two Austin charter schools opened at the end of July. A charter school in Round Rock will open on Wednesday.

Traditional schools will follow this and open their doors to students on August 15.

In 2007 the state-mandated school start dates no earlier than the end of August.

Most districts in Central Texas are taking advantage of a 3-year-old law that gives traditional public school districts autonomy to start earlier along with charter schools.

The so-called district of innovation designation gives districts the autonomy to hire noncertified teachers. The goal is to develop a n system which will differ from a state-designed system.

The new system will offer larger student-to-teacher classroom ratios.

The freedom to start schools early is beneficial for schools to better balance the number of days between the fall and spring semesters. It also allows taking a week off during Thanksgiving.

The majority of Texas school districts are now districts of innovation. Becoming a district of innovation requires months of planning, public meetings, and an innovation plan.

One of the benefits of the innovated schools is that high school students enroll in summer college courses for dual credit. Starting school early allows students to enroll in college courses at the end of May. Before they didn’t get a chance to do it, because the school year often ended too late for students.

Early start dates of school allow to extend the length of school days and make up for missing days, most probably happened because of weather.

Round Rock District Superintendent Steve Flores said that assessment of the designation will give the best opportunities for students and will expand their flexibility.

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