Late last year, there was talk of extending the school year to make up for pandemic-related learning losses according to a Dallas Morning News article from October 9, 2020. In it they say:
“Concerned with the learning loss incurred by students during the coronavirus pandemic, Dallas ISD is contemplating how it might add optional days of instruction for the upcoming school year. The changes could be as minor as adding a few more weeks of summer enrichment and as drastic as stretching the school calendar by nearly two months. District administrators discussed three possible school calendar redesigns to Dallas’ board of trustees Thursday during a monthly briefing. The models mirrored those proposed by the Texas Education Agency to the state’s school systems in May, when it became clear that the 2020-21 school year would be fraught with disruptions from COVID-19 outbreaks.”
Now, it looks like that idea is coming closer to fruition as the Dallas ISD has revisited it according to an ABC 8 article published on January 14th. In it they say:
“While you can’t make up for lost time, Dallas Independent School District hopes by adding optional instructional time, it can make up for learning losses exacerbated by COVID-19. On Thursday, district administration pitched its plan to the school board to approve three academic calendars for the next two school years. Two of those calendars, would add 23 days of instructional time, pushing the start of school back to early August with an end date in late June. Derek Little is the chief deputy chief academic officer for Dallas ISD. He has seen the data on learning loss. From pre-COVID spring 2020 to the fall, 30% of Dallas ISD students lost progress in reading and over half slipped in math. “
Not everyone seems keen on the idea. When the article was posted on Reddit, people were quick to chime in.
“If they’re also remote learning, does this really accomplish anything?” said one doubtful redditor.
Nothing is entirely set in stone for now, but what is undeniable, is that there is a noticeable gap in learning in remote learning, and something must be done to fix it.