News Article

April 23, 2021

Planning for Next Year: School Day, Schedule, and Calendar for 2021-2022

April 23, 2021

Dear KIPP Texas Families,

This has been an emotional week as we process what is going on outside our walls and care for our KIPPsters inside our classrooms. The Chauvin verdict and the on-going loss of Black men and women at the hands of the police, including Daunte Wright and Ma’Khia Bryant in just the last few days, is just so much to process, and there is so much work to be done to build a more just world. I hope that through this week and this weekend, you find time to pause and make time for self care. 

In my note this past Monday, I mentioned there was the possibility that I would communicate important decisions regarding how the school day and academic calendar would be structured for next year. Although there are many important issues going on in and outside our schools, I’d like to honor our commitments to pass along information that is now available by providing you with three updates on decisions for next year:

Decision # 1 | Restructured School Day

Decision # 2 | Alignment of High School (HS) Weekly Class Schedules

Decision # 3 | 2021-22 Academic Calendars

For each of the three decisions, as we considered the different options, we were guided first and foremost, by our commitment to fulfill our mission – to provide joyful and academically excellent schools that prepare our KIPPsters with the skills and confidence they need to pursue the paths they choose – college, career, and beyond. We feel that the changes you will read about below give us the best chance to live up to that sacred promise, while also meeting Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) requirements.

Please allow for 5-8 minutes to read and process the decisions detailed below. 

Additional details will be communicated by your KIPPster’s school; these changes are effective at the start of the 2021-22 school year.

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Decision # 1 | Restructured School Day

Little and Big KIPPsters worked so hard this year and as we plan for next year, the first lesson from last year we are incorporating is to restructure the school day to make our learning and teaching even stronger.

For the 2021-22 school year, the school day will be eight hour and 15-minutes with Fridays being a student early release day (approximately 2 pm). This means that your KIPPster will have a longer school day for next school year.

We are so excited that this change will allow us more time to go deeper into the full KIPP Texas curriculum with our KIPPsters and allow more planning time and consistent professional development time for our teachers so they can better support our students.

Your School Leader will communicate the school-specific schedule as we get closer to the start of the school year.

 

Decision # 2 | Alignment of High School (HS) Weekly Class Schedules

We have decided that for the 2021-22 school year, all KIPP Texas high schools will follow the same weekly class schedule structure as follows:

 

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

Friday

Traditional

Periods 1-8

Traditional

Periods 1-8

Block

Periods 1-4

Block

Periods 5-8

Traditional

Periods 1-8

A combination of block and traditional (“hybrid”) scheduling brings together the best of both options to ensure that our KIPPsters have the strongest possible schedule. This means that if your KIPPster was in a KIPP Texas high school last year, they will have a different schedule structure for the 2021-22 school year.

Transitioning to this aligned hybrid weekly class schedule for all KIPP Texas High Schools will allow us to:

  1. Create a bridge between the power of more frequent, but shorter, weekly touchpoints and the opportunity to provide deep, rigorous learning experiences through extended class periods once a week.
  2. Increase instructional minutes – an average of 345 more minutes per class over the course of the school year.
  3. Increase sustainability for Little and Big KIPPsters. Students will experience less cognitive overload by having more frequent, shorter classes three days a week, and teachers will only have to plan four lessons a week, while enjoying longer planning periods on block days. 

Putting the finishing touches on our Little KIPPsters’ college and career readiness is a big emphasis of our work in high school and aligning our schedules across Texas school will help us continue to get your children ready for college, career, and beyond!

 

Decision # 3 | SY 2021-22 Academic Calendars

The KIPP Texas Board of Directors will vote to approve the 2021-22 Academic Calendars next week.  These are the key decisions and dates you need to be aware of:

  • First day of school: August 9
  • Last day of school: June 2 (San Antonio schools’ will be June 3)
  • Early release on Fridays: Approximately 2:00 pm
  • Instructional days: 180
  • Three parent conferences that will keep parents informed throughout the year by sharing academic progress and growth.
  • We will maintain a week for the Fall/Thanksgiving break, two weeks for the Winter Break, and one week for Spring Break.

Although TEA continues to release academic calendar guidelines for public schools, we feel sure that our calendar takes into consideration the most important and restrictive guidelines so there is a low possibility that this calendar will have to shift.

The final academic calendars will be communicated to you once they are approved by the KIPP Texas Board of Directors.

___________

I am so proud of the hard work that has gone on for months so we can have an almost completely aligned state-wide academic calendar across our 59 schools! This is a win we dreamed about when we first decided to integrate all four KIPP regions in Texas because it will allow us to deliver on our promise to provide joyful, equitable, and academically excellent schools for Little and Big KIPPsters.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your KIPPster’s school if you have any questions or concerns.

With Gratitude,

Sehba