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Education

San Antonio's Northside ISD Adjusts Spring Calendar To Give Teachers More Time To Plan

Student backpacks hanging on hooks in a classroom at Northside ISD's Mireles Elementary in  January 2019.
File Photo | Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio
Student backpacks hanging on hooks in a classroom at Northside ISD's Mireles Elementary in January 2019.

The Northside Independent School District converted six school days this spring to early dismissal days so teachers can use the afternoons to catch up on extra work.

Many Texas teachers — including most Northside teachers — are teaching students both in the classroom and at home this year, increasing their workloads.

“(Our teachers) have shown remarkable flexibility and creativity in approaching this new way of teaching and learning, but it has become clear that we need to provide additional support,” Northside Superintendent Brian Woods said Wednesday in a video posted to social media.

Woods said child care will be provided for elementary students who need to stay until the end of the regular school day, and the district’s normal after school program will still be available on early dismissal days.

Lunch will be served before children are dismissed for the day.

Northside’s teacher union, Northside AFT, requested the district’s help with the additional workload during October’s board meeting after a member survey found that 40% of teachers were working at least 10 hours extra each week.

Teachers told Texas Public Radio they found simultaneously teaching in-person and remotely stressful and unsustainable.

The early dismissal days will be on Wednesdays: Jan. 13, Jan. 27, Feb. 24, March 24, April 28, and May 19.