Last week, the Texas Education Agency released an HB 3 in 30 webinar focusing on the Additional Days School Year (ADSY) section of the bill, which you can access at tea.texas.gov/hb3.
The Additional Days School Year incentive adds half-day formula funding for school districts and open-enrollment charters that want to add up to 30 instructional days to any of their elementary schools (grades PK-5). Districts and charters are eligible after they reach 180 instructional days and meet the minimum 75,600 minutes requirement, not including waivers, starting in the 2020-2021 school year.
Funding support provided by HB 3, 86th Legislative Session, for districts choosing to add days to the school year is designed to address the issue of summer slide, where student achievement levels drop during the summer months due to the long break. Research indicates student achievement results decline the most for low-income students in summer months and can create a gap of up to three grade levels by 5th grade. Additionally, adding days gives schools and districts the opportunity to improve a teacher’s workday with more job-embedded planning, increase student brain break time, and provide additional time for academic improvement.
The agency provides three options for school systems to consider when utilizing the HB 3 Additional Days School Year initiative funding.
- Optional Summer Programming: Use the funding to sustain, improve, expand, or launch voluntary summer learning programs for some or all students.
- Intersessional Calendar: Create an intersessional calendar with additional days placed strategically throughout the year for targeted remediation for a subset of students.
- Full Year Redesign: Use the additional days and associated funding to re-engineer each day of the school calendar. This option can be used to support increases in teacher planning and support as well as enhanced student engagement by increasing free play and brain breaks. Research indicates the third option will lead to greater student achievement outcomes.
To support local planning and implementation, TEA is initiating the Additional Days Planning Grant. TEA will award planning grants of $125,000 in the spring of 2020. Participants successfully completing key metrics will be eligible for execution grants of up to $25,000 in the fall of 2020. More information about Additional Days Planning Grants will be available in early spring of 2020.