School calendar voting open until Feb. 6


Erin Sheffield

The community can vote on two proposed calendars for the 2017-18 school year until Feb. 6.

Community members may vote on a new 2017-18 school calendar until noon Feb. 6 following Canyon ISD‘s recent designation as a District of Innovation.

According to House Bill 1842, which was passed in 2016, school districts can elect to become Districts of Innovation by meeting several guidelines and creating their own altered instructional plans. In early October, Canyon ISD began exploring the option of becoming a District of Innovation, and the status was approved several months later. Under the current plan, the district may start school on Aug. 16, three school days earlier than Texas law normally allows.

“This change is really providing more local control and decision-making to the district,” associate principal Jennifer Boren said. “It gives the district permission to start school before when the state has mandated. By starting school earlier in August, we’ll be able to keep semesters more equal in length.”

The District of Innovation status must be renewed every three years.

“Obviously, when it’s in its new stage, if Canyon ISD discovered this is not working for us, we wouldn’t renew at the end of it,” Boren said. “If we stay a District of Innovation, but we decide not to start school that early in August, that’s okay. We just have the freedom to choose our own calendar.”

Schools can also hire instructors who are not certified teachers, but professionals in their fields.

It’s going to be an adjustment, but I think it’s going to be a very positive adjustment.”

— Jennifer Boren

“What if we decided to offer manufacturing classes?” Boren said. “If we started offering manufacturing courses, it would be amazing to be able to have someone come in and teach our students who was a professional in that field. We’re excited to be able to look for instructors, especially in those technology areas, who are not certified teachers, but who are certified professionals in their area.”

Because of the earlier start to the year, students may notice extra days off in the fall semester.

“It’s going to be an adjustment for people,” Boren said. “Once they get accustomed to the change of starting school earlier in August, they’ll really enjoy the days off in the fall or the length of the semester. It’s going to be an adjustment, but I think it’s going to be a very positive adjustment.”