Students attending Bullard Independent School District schools during the 2017-2018 school year will hear the familiar sounds of campus bells ringing in just 28 short days, as the district recently released its official school calendar for next school year.
“We’re really excited about the upcoming school year at Bullard ISD,” said Todd Schneider, Bullard ISD Superintendent. “There are a lot of new things coming this year, including a lot of new people in new positions that we’ve added to the district to help us better support our teachers and students. We’re also embracing being a District of Innovation, which we hope will open doors for us to become a lighthouse district in East Texas.”
Additionally, Schneider said the 2017-2018 school year will include several new undertakings to the district, with the largest amount of eyes focused on the district’s newest education and athletic programs.
“We also have new programs including soccer for both genders at the high school and a new alternative education program that will be starting this year,” said Schneider. “We’re really looking forward to seeing the impart they will have on our district, as well as the other programs and activities already going on at Bullard ISD.”
To begin the new school year, Bullard ISD administrators will start by hosting a substitute teacher orientation training on Tuesday, Aug. 8, while also welcoming the district’s newest teachers at the New Teacher Orientation, scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 10.
According to the 2017-2018 Bullard ISD School Calendar, teachers will begin to report back to work on Monday, Aug. 14, with a district-wide potato luncheon to be served on Monday, Aug. 14 at the First United Methodist Church Family Life Center, as well as the district’s Convocation event to be held on Monday, Aug. 21, at Bullard ISD.
The first official day of school of the new school year for students slated for Wednesday, Aug. 23.
A new change for Bullard ISD administrators, teachers, students, and parents during the 2017-2018 school district will be the change from six-week grading periods to nine-week grading periods, a change Schneider described as a benefit for everyone involved.
“During my experience in education, I’ve worked under both the six-weeks and the nine-weeks grading systems,” said Schneider. “I’ve found quite a benefit for the students, parents, and teachers in the nine-weeks system, which is why it ended up being proposed to the District of Innovation committee and decided from that point on. The nine-weeks period really gives us a read on what a student has been able to accomplish in the classroom over an ample amount of time. Sometimes, our six-weeks are shortened down, with some cut to just 22 days, during which time there could be a paper or test that a student did not perform well on and it becomes impossible for them to recover in the short amount of time. With the nine-weeks grading period, there are two progress reports sent out, allowing the student to hopefully improve and get an overall reading of what their academic measurement was for that timeframe.”
For student athletes participating in UIL athletic programs, students must be passing by the first six weeks of school to have eligibility established at the beginning of the school year, according to Schneider. Afterwards, students will be able to regain eligibility based on progress reports, as well as lose eligibility if grades are not above passing at the nine-week grading mark.
“Under a nine-week grading system, there’s actually fewer opportunities for our student athletes to lose their eligibility,” said Schneider. “At the beginning of the year, it’s a little more intense because they have to be passing their classes after the sixth week of school, but the new system allows for students to revaluate their grades and take them seriously if they didn’t before. Eligibility is there for encouragement and motivation to keep students on track.”
The new Bullard ISD nine-week grading periods will be from Wednesday, Aug. 23 to Friday, Oct. 20 (First Nine-Weeks), Tuesday, Oct. 24 to Thursday, Dec. 21 (Second Nine-Weeks), Monday, Jan. 9 to Friday, March 9 (Third Nine-Weeks), and Tuesday, March 20 to Thursday, May 31 (Fourth Nine-Weeks).
Students will have several breaks from classes throughout the new school year thanks to holidays, including Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 4), Thanksgiving break (Monday through Friday, Nov. 20-24), Christmas break (Friday, Dec. 22 through Monday, Jan. 8), Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, Jan. 15), Presidents Day (Monday, Feb. 19), Spring Break (Monday through Friday, March 12-16), Good Friday (Friday, March 30), and Memorial Day (Monday, May 28).
Additionally, the calendar included a number of teacher in-service days in which students will not attend classes, including Monday, Oct. 23, Monday, Jan. 8, Monday, March 19, and Friday, June 1.
Bullard ISD teachers are also scheduled for a total of three comp days during the school year, including Friday, Dec. 22, Monday, Jan. 15, and Monday, Feb. 19.
Currently, there is only one bad weather day listed in the 2017-2018 school year, which, if not used during the year, Bullard ISD student will also receive the day off from school on Friday, March 30. A “teachers-only” bad weather day is also on the calendar, slated for Saturday, June 2.
The Bullard High School Class of 2018 will participate in Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 26, while students from Pre-K to 11th grade will be required to return to classes until the official last day of school on Thursday, May 31.
For students who were not registered for the 2017-2018 school year at Bullard ISD through the district’s recent online registration drive, Schneider said parents need to get in touch with their child’s school campus or the district administration office.
“At this time, the best thing to do in order to register students would be for the parents to call or stop by their child’s school or the administration office,” said Schneider. “There, we can tell them the times and dates that they’re available to come back to the campus and get that process completed. We did do online registration during the spring semester last school year and even extended it some in the summer, and we got a lot of registrations submitted. It was our first year to have that process available, and it was very beneficial, not just to us, but also to our parents. We hope to move to full online registration in the upcoming years, but we don’t have that available right now; parents will have to go to their child’s campus to register if they aren’t registered yet.”
For more information about the 2017-2018 school year, call Bullard Early Childhood at 9903) 894-6389, Bullard Primary School at (903) 894-2890, Bullard Elementary School at (903) 894-2390, Bullard Intermediate School at (903) 894-6793, Bullard Middle School at (903) 894-6533, Bullard High School at (903) 894-3272, or the Bullard ISD Administration Office at (903) 894-6639. Helpful information can also be found at www.bullardisd.net.