On Monday, March 20, 2023, the Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees approved the 2023-24 Learning Calendar. After carefully considering stakeholder input given in a four-day calendar survey, the district learned a great deal about the needs of families and staff. This feedback inspired a new calendar born from a combination of the four-day week that was surveyed for and our traditional calendar. The district presented this hybrid calendar to the Board on Monday night, and the Board passed it in a six to one vote.
Based on unprecedented survey participation, the MISD administration felt compelled to give due diligence and study the potential impact of a four-day calendar model. District leaders consulted with Region 10 and other districts with successful implementation plans to learn from the best practices of others. Campus and district leaders looked deeper at the feasibility of this type of calendar option and the district's capacity to plan for the details associated with this type of change. Ultimately, more time, data, and legislative updates are needed to prepare to implement this model successfully in Midlothian ISD.
However, Midlothian ISD listened and considered the feedback from families and staff as they created calendar options for the 2023-24 school year. Ultimately, the district made the input given by staff and families a priority to ensure that the learning calendar will positively impact academic outcomes, school/family balance for students and staﬀ, teacher planning and preparation time, and staff recruitment and retention.
The 2023-24 Learning Calendar allows for a student holiday approximately every three weeks aligned to grading periods. This was intentional to allow teachers more planning and collaboration time on these days while also allowing students extended weekends with their families. The calendar adds 15 minutes of instructional time each day but does not add to staff work hours. Staff will have ten days less with students, allowing for more teacher preparation time, but the instructional time is increasing overall due to added minutes in each day where students are in attendance.
We anticipate the new calendar will positively impact students, providing them with extended weekends with their families every three weeks while extending their school day by 15 minutes. Homecoming for both Midlothian High School and Heritage High School is on regular Fridays when students are in attendance. Traditional breaks for students and staﬀ are maintained. There are no early release school days, and school will release for the year before Memorial Day. There will be an additional review of this plan with transportation, but the district expects elementary hours from 7:30 am to 3:15 pm and secondary hours from 8:30 am to 4:15 pm. The district is actively working on revising the agreement with the YMCA to provide low-cost childcare for students on the ten additional student holidays on the calendar to support families.
We anticipate the new calendar benefits district staff as well. Teachers will continue to have an eight-hour workday with a 30-minute duty-free lunch. MISD educators voiced their need for a healthy work-life balance where their workdays can accommodate appropriate planning time and professional development. They will now have more time than ever before built into their calendar to plan and prepare to best meet the needs of MISD students. Teachers can expect:
70 hours of self-directed planning time, an increase from 16 hours in the current school year. Self-directed planning is intentionally placed and protected from interruption throughout the academic year.
83 hours of professional learning, an increase from 64 hours in the current school year.
Credit for annual compliance training with an Exchange Day.
MISD is also exploring an expansion of MISD childcare services for faculty children up to the age of 12 on the ten additional student holidays in the calendar to support staff.
Visit https://www.misd.gs/about/districtcalendar, to see the 2023-24 district calendar. Click here to view the slide deck presented to the Board Monday evening.