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2024-25 Calendar FAQ

Highland Park Independent School District

A:  The committee includes these considerations when developing the annual school calendar:
State requirements
  • A minimum of 75,600 instructional minutes
  • 187 work days for teachers
  • Professional Development waiver approved by the Board and submitted to TEA allowing up to 2,100 minutes for documented professional development between the first and last days of the school year
Community preferences
  • Semesters are kept as even as possible
  • Final exams prior to Winter Break
  • Ending the school year before June and if possible, before Memorial Day
  • Full week holiday during Thanksgiving week

District considerations

  • District of Innovation (DOI) commitment to start the first day of instruction around the third week in August but not before the second Monday in August
  • Maximization of student instructional time
  • Testing dates
  • Impact on ADA
  • Professional development early enough in the school year to impact instruction

A:  The process included five steps:        

  1. The Calendar Committee met to review possible calendar options and developed three calendar drafts. They proposed start date and end dates, breaks and staff development days.
  2. Staff and parents were sent the calendar drafts for their review and input via an online survey.
  3. All survey recommendations were then brought back to the Calendar Committee for review.
  4. The Calendar Committee developed a final proposed calendar for Board consideration.
  5. The District Leadership Committee recommended the proposed calendar to the Board for approval.
  6. The Board of Trustees voted on the proposed calendar at the December board meeting.
A:  Based on the District of Innovation (DOI) designation, the district can determine its own start date. However, the DOI plan states “Preference will be given to starting instruction around the third week in August with assurances to the community that it will not begin prior to the second Monday in August.”
In addition, consideration is given to activities occurring before school starts (such as summer camps, athletic practices, teacher professional development, Back to School Sign Up) as well as balancing the semesters with fall exams concluding before Winter Break.
Family and staff input recommendations that the first day of school should be scheduled mid-week were also taken into account.
A:  Although efforts are made to balance the number of days between semesters, a start date as late in August as possible, and conducting exams before Winter Break results in fewer days available in the fall term. This is countered by a number of assessment days that reduce the amount of instructional time available during the longer spring term.

A:  With its commitment to continuous growth, HPISD has included two professional exchange days in the calendar. This permits staff to participate in relevant learning at times that work for them. Staff members who have documented completion of the required professional learning hours outside their contract days can exchange the hours for a holiday on the same day that students are on break.

A:  HPISD has inserted bad weather make-up during the spring semester when inclement weather events are more likely to occur. However, additional instructional minutes have also been built into the calendar. If a need to make up days occurs, those instructional minutes will be considered prior to the use of the Bad Weather days remaining on the calendar. The result is that the Bad Weather Days could become holidays for both students and staff.

A: The committee reviews the planned Spring Break dates for Dallas ISD, Dallas Community Colleges, the Region 10 Education Service Center and other neighboring districts where many employees reside. Typically, the choice aligns with the Dallas Community Colleges and DISD.



A:  In election years, HPISD anticipates making Election Day in November a student holiday. On the 2024-25 approved HPISD calendar, Election Day is a Professional Development Day for staff.

A:  The District has historically offered a State Fair Day student holiday on a Monday in October. Staff who complete outside professional development hours are also allowed to enjoy Fair Day as an Exchange Day holiday.

In the 2024-25 calendar, a Professional Development Day for staff is scheduled for Oct. 15, so families are able to enjoy a four-day fall break.

A:  The District Calendar Committee was comprised of the following representatives:

  • School Board Trustee
  • Deputy Superintendent. Chair
  • Armstrong Elementary Principal
  • Boone Elementary Principal
  • HPHS Principal
  • MIS Principal
  • HPMS Principal
  • Lead Counselor
  • Assistant Superintendent for Education Services
  • Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Professional Learning
  • Executive Director of HR
  • HPHS Associate Principal
  • Fine Arts Representative
  • Director of Accountability & Assessment
  • Interim Director of Communications
  • Assistant Superintendent for Business Services
  • Athletic Director
  • Director of Student and Administrative Services
  • Director of Special Programs
  • Elementary Teacher of the Year
  • Secondary Teacher of the Year
  • PTA/PTO representatives