Planning and Preparation Periods
By law, how much time am I given for planning and preparation?
Section 21.404 of the Texas Education Code states that each classroom teacher is entitled to at least 450 minutes within each two-week period for instructional preparation, including parent/teacher conferences, evaluating students’ work, and planning. A planning and preparation period may not be less than 45 minutes within the instructional day.
No. The law is clear that planning and preparation time is only for instructional preparation, individual planning, meeting with parents and grading students’ work. However, if you are provided with more than 450 minutes for planning within a 10-day period, the time over the minimum requirement can be used by the principal for other activities.
Yes, that is one of the purposes of this time. The time is also for reviewing students’ homework and for YOUR planning and preparation.
What if my preparation time goes past the STUDENTS’ regular school day?
Preparation and planning periods must be scheduled within the time that students are being instructed in regularly-scheduled classes. (There are a few exceptions for alternative schools.) A district may not extend the school day solely to provide time for the required 45-minute planning and preparation period.
Please note that some districts have exempted themselves from the planning and preparation law using the District of Innovation process. This is not to say that teachers in those districts are not receiving planning time, but the rules that govern that can be found in the district’s Innovation plan. You can check all District of Innovation plans approved by the state here: https://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Schools/District_Initiatives/Districts_of_Innovation/
Yes, as long as the teacher still receives a 30-minute duty-free lunch every day.
Yes. According to an Attorney General opinion, employees can leave the campus during lunch. However, the administration has the right to ask employees to sign out when they are leaving and sign in when they return.