In a unanimous vote, the Aledo ISD 2020-21 calendar was amended Thursday night to include additional teacher workdays.
“We are making changes with this new grading cycle that are impacting some teachers because we have so many students coming back to in-person learning, so we have some teachers whose assignments have changed from remote to in-person,” AISD Superintendent Susan Bohn said. “That has impacted some students as well and so we are just very grateful for how gracious our teachers have been in taking on a different role or an adjusted role or something different as we’re just constantly working through the challenges. Also for our parents and students who have had to be flexible as well with these changes that will start early next week.”
AISD Deputy Superintendent Lynn McKinney said the district felt the staff needs an opportunity for more workdays to be able to focus and prepare students, as teachers are teaching remote and in-person learning right now.
“We have two and a half days that we’re looking at: We’re asking that Friday, Oct. 30 become a teacher workday; Friday, Nov. 13 to become a teacher workday; and then Friday, Dec. 18 — that previously was a half-day, an early release day for semester exams but we’re going to rework our semester exam schedule and let the 18th be a full teacher workday, which will really be helpful for our secondary staff to be able to work on grading and getting feedback to students,” she said. “When we deduct from those days banked, we are still in good shape, we’ll still have 3.53 days if needed and that’s in addition to our two bad weather days that are scheduled during the spring semester.”
AISD board member Jessica Brown thanked McKinney and staff for listening to teachers.
“I know we talked about a ton of different ideas and y’all analyzed a ton of different ideas and there were so many different details just like we did starting the school year so thank you,” Brown said. “Having two sisters who teach, having that extra time is huge and especially having that extra half-day going into the Christmas break, nobody wants to be working all hours of the night leading into that and so that’s huge.”
McKinney added that Camp Fire First Texas, an afterschool program, will be available to provide daycare for employees and all AISD families during the teacher workdays.
“Camp Fire has been wonderful partners with us because there was concern expressed in the past from some of our parents needing to work and needing daycare,” McKinney said. “Camp Fire has always offered that to our employees’ children on workdays, but they’re going to offer that to all of our families. So if we have families that are in need of daycare, Camp Fire will provide services to those children in addition to our employees’ children on these three days now.”
Bohn said the district is still seeing a limited impact on the number of positive COVID-19 cases.
“All of our positive cases at the student level right now are at the secondary level and so we will continue to monitor that daily,” she said. “It changes daily as you know, and it’s all available on our website. We’ll continue to be ready to be flexible as we need to be.”