HISD Board of Education to Consider More Elementary School Class Time

The Houston ISD Board of Education today will consider giving preliminary approval to a policy requiring all elementary schools to adopt a minimum 7 hour and 15 minute daily schedule.

 The proposal is intended to provide schools more flexibility to meet their students’ academic and developmental needs.  Earlier this spring, the Board of Education approved a resolution encouraging all elementary principals to offer their students daily recess, and this proposal would further enable them to do so.

Currently, the length of school days at HISD elementary campuses ranges from 7 hours to 7 hours and 40 minutes, meaning no school’s day would be lengthened by more than 15 minutes under this proposal. Schools that already exceed the minimum time requirement would be able to continue doing so.

Other items on the agenda for tonight’s meeting include:

  • Adoption of a resolution calling on the Texas Legislature to “reexamine the public school accountability system in Texas and to develop a system that encompasses multiple assessments, reflects greater validity, reduces the number of instructional days affected by state-mandated standardized tests, and uses more cost efficient sampling techniques and other external evaluation arrangements, and more accurately reflects what students know, appreciate and can do in terms of the rigorous standards essential to their success, enhances the role of teachers as designers, guides to instruction and leaders, and nurtures the sense of inquiry and love of learning in all students.”
  • Expanding newcomer programs at Liberty High School and Las Americas Middle School.  These schools are designed to meet the unique needs of students who have recently immigrated to the United States.
  • Approval of a new set of performance criteria, the HISD School Leadership Framework, to be used in the appraisal instrument for principals, assistant principals, and deans of instruction. For more than a year, leaders from across the district have been working together to make recommendations about the design of this new appraisal system, including the appraisal process and timelines and the performance criteria used to assess school leader performance. With the right supports and standards, principals will be best positioned to improve the quality of instruction within schools and strengthen parent and community engagement.

The board’s regular monthly meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, 2012 in the board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 West 18th St., 77092).

The board is scheduled to receive status updates on a number of projects and vote on several programs, contracts, and grants. For a full copy of the Board meeting agenda, click here.  The board meeting will be carried live on HISD’s website and on the HISD Channel, which can be found on Comcast Channel 18 or AT&T Channel 99.