Plano ISD prepares for back to school with changes to calendar, buildings

Plano ISD administration building, April 2020 // photo Jennifer Shertzer
Plano ISD administration building, April 2020 // photo Jennifer Shertzer
Plano ISD comes into the 2023-24 school year with calendar, teacher pay, building upgrades and mascot changes.

As Plano ISD starts school this week there have been several changes to several different items within the district, including the academic calendar and school start times, safety and security updates, continued secondary school identity alignment and pay raises for faculty.

Changes to the district’s 2023-24 academic calendar include revised school times for all campuses. This year, all campuses will get out in the afternoon 10 minutes later than last year. Exact times can be seen on the district website. The additional minutes will allow for up to three days of banked minutes in case of school closure for inclement weather, as well as an additional student/teacher holiday.

Other calendar changes include a full week fall break for students, which will be October 9-13, with faculty returning for staff days on Thursday and Friday, a revised winter break that will aim to balance out the two semesters and align with neighboring school districts and a spring break that will align with neighboring districts occurring during the second full week of March. 

During the summer, Plano ISD worked on several building upgrades in relation to the 2022 bond election. These upgrades include the addition of doors to elementary classrooms and the installation of entry-resistant film to all entries and windows. The district is also working on several other safety related items including coordination and collaboration between itself and the city, training for students, faculty, parents and principals, enhanced campus protocols, intruder detection audits and weekly door checks. 

The pay raise that the school board approved back in May is to take effect this school year. All district employees will get a 3% pay increase that will be calculated using the percentage of the employee’s salary. Additional pay adjustments include raising the starting salary for new teachers with a bachelor’s degree to $60,000, increasing the starting salary for new teachers with a master’s degree to $62,000, and increasing the starting hourly pay for campus support staff, cafeteria specialists, PASAR after school care, employee child care, bus assistants and other support staff to $15.

Plano ISD is also continuing to work on unifying mascots and school colors between feeder high schools and senior high schools. As progress continues, Vines, Clark and Plano Senior High School’s colors will be maroon and white and be presented as the Wildcats. Williams, McMillen and Plano East Senior High School’s will have the colors of black and gold and be presented as the Panthers. Shepton, Jasper and Plano West Senior High School’s will have the colors of blue, white and black and will be presented as the Wolves.

The alignment changes will happen in phases over the next three years in accordance with the existing annual budgets. Athletic team uniforms will start to be aligned starting this year and facility changes will also be made during this time in phases.

For more information on updates throughout the school year, follow the district website.

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