UPDATED: Your make-up day questions answered

The district’s 2013-2014 academic calendar adopted by the HISD Board of Education, designates the Spring Holiday (April 18, 2014) and Memorial Day (May 26, 2014) as makeup days. To make up the days lost due to wintry weather on Friday, January 24, and Tuesday, January 28, HISD schools will now be open April 18 and May 26 for students, faculty and support staff.

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What will happen if I keep my child out of school on the day you’ve decided will be the make-up day?

A: HISD will follow the current policies in determining whether a student’s absence is excused or unexcused. You can find more information on the district’s attendance policies here and here. Attendance-related articles are here and here.

Q: HISD has two early dismissal days (Jan. 29 and Feb. 19) scheduled before those holidays even get here. Why can’t HISD make up some of the lost time by having kids stay all day on those days?

A: When school is closed, a day of instruction is missed. Early dismissal days already count as days of instruction. The state requires HISD to make up any day that is currently not included in the count of instructional days.

In addition, early dismissal days are used by campus administrators to schedule professional development sessions and to review student progress. These half-days also offer critical planning time for teachers and staff to ensure that instruction proceeds smoothly through the remainder of the year.

Q: What happens if we have more snow days this year? Only two designated make-up days have been approved.

There are actually a couple of options available. If HISD uses up all of its designated make-up days for legitimate reasons, it can petition the Texas Education Agency for a waiver of any additional days missed. That’s what happened after Hurricane Ike.

HISD may also opt to revise the calendar by extending the school year. Any changes made to the current school calendar would have to be approved by the HISD Board of Education before going into effect.

Q: If the school year had to be extended into June for some reason, would graduation ceremonies have to be rescheduled?

A: No, they would not be rescheduled. Planning for graduation is a year-long process, and it is not possible to change the graduation schedule at this time.