AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Austin School District is providing new information about the proposed changes to next year’s schedule.
Austin ISD said it took teacher feedback into account and is now proposing a number of changes for next school year. These include two possible new holiday observations, an hourly early release every Wednesday and a minimum of one day off per month.
There may also be some changes to the school schedule.
These include creating a master schedule at the high school level. It will consist of seven lessons per day – six of these will be led by a teacher. This differs from the current “block schedule,” in that there are four different classes on a single day A and B. However, the district said it still intends to maintain some form of a block schedule. Generally speaking.
Austin ISD has also outlined its priorities for the coming year.
Additionally, the district said it is focusing on recommending a balanced budget that assesses salary concerns for all employees (with an additional focus on graded employees). and minimize predictions about teacher placement. AISD also said it is working to identify central office locations that may be affected.
The district said it is working to make planning time available equally to all teachers. The district says extra hours on Wednesdays will also provide additional planning time.
AISD said principals are working to review scheduling options to see what will be best for students. The Board of Trustees does not vote on a scheduled basis, which the district says is routine practice, because it is an administrative decision.
KXAN asked about the potential schedule and impact on teachers and students, and the district said it is working to provide more details. The district said it was looking at a $62 million budget deficit and proposals that would save the district $21 million and help address staffing shortages by requiring fewer teachers.
Parents and community reactions
Shorter instructional times and impact on intensive learning were among the concerns Austin ISD parents expressed to KXAN about the proposed changes to scheduling arrangements.
“I understand that a budget is a budget, but at the same time – you wonder – aren’t there things that have less of a direct impact on students that we can change?” Bart Broz, father of two AISD students, said.
“It is a slap in the face to place the responsibility of this budget crisis on our teachers, and ultimately on our students. They need to do what’s best for the backbone of the district: their teachers, and the heart of the district, their students. Go back to the drawing board,” said Sarah DeVore, an AISD parent and an advocate teacher.
A common “wish” from AISD families includes elective opportunities for students, although shorter schedules may be available. The district said its priority is still to “provide a variety of elective opportunities.”
Meanwhile, AISD mother-of-three Kelly Ruxer hopes the current block schedule will remain in place. For her children, framework is very important, she said.
“Especially at the high school level,” says Ruxer. “At the college level, they’re operating on a block schedule and I think that prepares them.”
Some parents are also concerned about the added stress of students and teachers.
“They are just now beginning to recover from almost two years of trauma – their lives as they know they have been exposed,” DeVore explains. “Our focus should continue to be on the social and emotional well-being of our students. Students need consistency to thrive both emotionally and academically.”
https://www.kxan.com/news/education/austin-isd-changes-scheduling-days-off-and-more-are-being-proposed/ Austin ISD Changes: Scheduling, Holidays, and More on Proposed