‘Educators are feeling overwhelmed’
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Students of Aldine ISD will be given an unexpected break the next three weeks. The district’s superintendent announced that Aldine ISD’s board has approved an adjustment to the 2021-22 academic calendar.
Starting Jan. 28, and for three straight Fridays, the district will transition from their regular schedule to Student Holidays/ Staff Planning Days. With the updated academic calendar, the three Student Holidays/Staff Planning Days will be Friday, Jan. 28, Feb. 4 and Feb. 11.
All campus-based staff will report to their school, while students will not be required to make up the three days.
The district’s move comes centered around the desire to give students a better learning experience amid issues with staff shortages and the pandemic. In an online message spelling out the change, the superintendent noted increased workloads for staff and teacher shortages due to COVID-19.
“Our teachers and staff have met challenges head-on, experiencing increased workloads, teacher shortages due to COVID and more,” the superintendent wrote. “During these challenging times, we want to ensure that our teachers have the necessary time to be fully prepared so they can provide our students with the best learning experience possible.”
Parents and teachers had mixed reactions to the schedule change on such short notice. “I think it’s a good idea because, with all the overload that the teachers are having to deal with right now due to the COVID situation, I think it’ll get the teachers a little more organized,” said parent Erica Herrera.
Some people took issue with the timing. The school board approved the change on Monday.
“It’s kind of short notice for everybody to now find out and be able to figure out what we’re going to do as far as with our kids and stuff, especially the parents who work,” said parent Mariah Butcher.
The union that represents teachers said the planning time is needed.
The superintendent is also asking the community to take two surveys that will be used to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees.
One survey involves how to use funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, while the other survey gives the community a chance to choose the 2022- 23 academic calendar.