MIDLAND, Texas — Midland ISD students may have noticed an earlier start to the school year this year. One major reason for that is the school district planned to have two intersessions, one extra week of learning and enrichment in the fall and spring, for the students who may need it.
The first intersession will run from Oct. 18 to Oct. 21. Students attending will have Friday, Oct. 22 off.
According to MISD, the reason it has implemented the intersessions is to allow students with gaps in their learning to catch up.
"The sole purpose behind this is to accelerate the learning of our students, especially in the areas that they fell a little bit behind due to the pandemic and due to the loss of learning that we’ve had the last few years," Charlie Garcia, MISD's associate superintendent, said. "It is our number one priority to ensure that all students excel."
Not all students need to attend. Only about 40% of the students in the district will be asked to attend the intersession. The district also plans to send out more information about one month before the intersessions take place.
"Schools are reaching out to parents and students this week, letting them know about the expectations for that intersessional week," Garcia said. "We wanted to be very intentional about giving our parents and our students an afforded amount of time, and we’re looking at about four weeks out, giving them time to prepare to understand the components of it."
The curriculum will likely be a combination of information from previous years and what's needed for the current year.
"We need to not only recover what they lost from previous years, but we’re also responsible for covering all the academic needs that they need this year," Garcia said. "So we’re gonna be very strategic about how we align our efforts, and in a lot of ways, we are recovering some of those learning gaps that they have."
Depending on how well the first intersessions go, the district may consider implementing them in future school years.
"We are working hard for these intersessions so that people can say 'we need another one,'" Garcia said. "If we do that, we’re doing our kids justice, our community justice, our stakeholders justice, and ultimately that’s our number one priority: to get the job done and execute like only Midland ISD can."
Students who are not asked to attend the intersessions may take that time to stay home, attend a community-based enrichment program or camp, or select an enrichment opportunity offered by the district.