GISD board to vote on proposed calendar changes

Jan. 14—The Greenville ISD Board of Trustees plans to decide Tuesday if they will approve changes to the district's instructional calendar for 2023-24 to include regularly occurring "teacher planning days/student holidays."

A main reason why GISD administration is considering altering the district's instructional/work weeks is to offer extra planning time to teachers as a potential retention tool. In exit surveys, some teachers leaving the district name insufficient planning time as a reason for their departures.

To get feedback from teachers and parents on the matter, GISD asked them to participate in an online survey regarding their preference among three calendars: the 2023-24 calendar as is (without the teacher planning/student holidays); another with students being off on Fridays every two-three weeks; and another in which the fall semester incorporates the same changes as the second option, but the students' days off during the spring semester are primarily every other Monday.

The survey also asked parents if they can arrange childcare if regularly occurring student holidays are implemented. The survey also asked if parents would require food assistance for their children during those days.

The findings of that survey are to be presented at Tuesday's school board meeting.

The board originally intended to vote on the matter at their previous meeting in December, but multiple trustees expressed concerns about the way the last survey was done.

For example, it asked takers to select their first and second choices among four options, but when the data was presented, all votes in favor of an option were totaled together and not broken down to show how many selected it as their first versus their second choice.

Multiple board members also pointed out that frequent time off for students could put a strain on parents who might have to ask for time off from work, especially in light of the fact that nearly 75% of the district's students are identified as economically disadvantaged.

After these concerns were brought forward, the board chose to postpone its vote and GISD administration created a revised survey.

The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Wesley Martin Administration Building at 4004 Moulton St.