The adopted calendar for the 2024-25
school year.

The Brenham School Board unanimously adopted Brenham ISD’s 2024-25 instructional calendar at its meeting Monday.

Executive Director of Leadership and Learning Sara Borchgardt said a survey to develop this year’s calendar had over 300 responses from teachers, faculty, staff and community members.  Two calendars were proposed, with the second option winning by a slim margin.

The new school year will start on a Tuesday, August 13, and include three days, September 18-20, for the fair holiday.  The last day of the first semester is December 19, and class will resume in the new year on Wednesday, January 8.

Spring break will take place between March 10-14.  Graduation day is Friday, May 23. 

In other action on Monday, trustees tabled a proposal to provide an early notification incentive for resignations or retirement.  Executive Director of Administrative Services Christine Johnson said the idea of the proposal was to help the district better plan out staffing in the next budget cycle by giving incentives to contracted or professional employees who notify the district of their plans to leave early, instead of waiting until the end of the fiscal year.  

Johnson said between April and August of 2023, 63 employees resigned, including 20 who left between June and August.  She said by providing the incentive, the district could have more time to recruit high-quality candidates or decide if and how the positions coming open would be absorbed.

The one-time monetary incentive of $2,000 would apply to full-time employees who are in good standing with the district and were employed at the start of the school year.  Only the first 25 employees who provide notification would be eligible, and those employees could not use more than two days of paid leave beginning March 20.  Johnson noted that the district would not have to pay out the outgoing employee’s remaining paid-time-off days.

The board’s thoughts on the proposal were mixed.  Acting Superintendent Clay Gillentine said the district wants to know who it has to work with “yesterday” and that this helps it be as efficient as possible, adding that some of that incentive money could come back in substitute savings.  Trustee Bonnie Brinkmeyer agreed that it could help the district bring in more motivated employees and have better plans for the kids. 

Meanwhile, Trustee Archer Archer said the perception of this is that the district is paying people to leave while it cannot give better pay to the ones still here, and that this is “literally buying time.”  He expressed concern about how this could affect employee morale.  Trustee Kyle Hafner wanted to get more data before making a decision, stating that while he understands the concept, it is hard to say right now that the district should spend money to save money because the savings are not there yet. 

In other business, trustees heard an update on the potential addition of a new video scoreboard at Cub Stadium to bring in more advertising revenue.  Communications Director Brooke Trahan said over 20 businesses have reached out to the district to partner or learn more about the project, with more meetings coming. 

The board also received a financial update.  Interim Chief Financial Officer Robert Lindemann said as of January 31, the district has accrued $31.5 million in revenue and $23.6 million in expenses.  The approved budget accounts for $49.6 million in revenue and $54.2 million in expenditures.  Lindemann said the district continues to try to increase average daily attendance (ADA) in order to receive more revenue from the state.  Year-to-date, the district’s ADA is 91.67 percent, down from a mark of 92.75 percent in August.  Board President Natalie Lange commented that the national ADA rate sits around 90 percent since COVID, but Texas happens to be one of the states that funds schools based on ADA and not enrollment.

Also on Monday, the board:

  • Held a public hearing to receive the 2022-23 Texas Academic Performance Report.  Brenham High School Dean of Instruction Sarah Cook said the report is a collection of data and information previously received by trustees.  The full report is available here.
  • Gave authority to the superintendent to spend up to $126,755 to replace the chiller at Brenham Junior High School.  The unit was one of two bids received by the board, with the other costing $109,403.  Trustee Kyle Hafner said the cheaper unit has aluminum and the more expensive one has copper, adding that from his experience in construction, copper is easier to repair and has more longevity.  The purchase would come from funding the district receives from Washington County’s school land in Tom Green County.
  • Approved a subscription renewal with NetSync for the district’s phone system.  The annual cost will be $28,814 for the next three years.  Information Technology Director Rodney Leer said by securing a three-year agreement, the district will be able to keep the annual cost the same versus having to pay the proposed renewal rate of $33,756.
What’s your Reaction?


  1. No one reads a TAPR report just because, but I did. The TAPR report is very revealing. The district is below the state average in almost every tested area this last year (except 8th science for some reason). Some areas show 2 years below the state average with no growth. Has it always been this way in Brenham? Go look on the last pages, too. Teachers are making below the state salary average, but principals and administration are ABOVE the state average. Food for thought.

  2. There are numerous issues here, starting with the leadership. Firstly, offering a stipend to departing teachers while neglecting those who are staying is unjust. Additionally, there hasn’t been a raise for teachers this year, and there’s no discussion of one for next year either. Providing stipends only to leaving teachers sends a clear message about how Brenham values or devalues its educators. It seems Brenham ISD is inadvertently pushing away talented teachers. Many teachers are dissatisfied with the current management. If the aim is to retain and attract skilled educators, the School Board and interim Superintendent must address these concerns promptly.

    Secondly, it’s concerning when teachers are denied raises due to budget cuts supposedly caused by financial mismanagement, yet the district sends principals to a three-day conference in Austin with all expenses covered. This allocation of resources appears to be mishandled and is only one example of many for the year.

    Lastly, the “internal only” Superintendent position seems opaque. It’s highly likely there are more qualified candidates from outside Brenham than internally. This suggests Brenham isn’t prioritizing the best interests of its teachers, staff, or students. The school district seems to be operating with a lack of transparency, reminiscent of government practices—rife with deception and underhanded dealings. The Board and Superintendent may promise one thing to teachers but act in direct contradiction. If Brenham ISD truly wants to retain top-tier educators, they need to rethink their approach. Other districts offer internal incentives, better compensation, and more comprehensive support systems.

    I would challenge the Board Members and Superintendent to spend one day a week in the classrooms, taking over teaching duties from various instructors. Perhaps then they’ll understand the urgency of adequately compensating and supporting their teachers and staff in light of the daily challenges they face.

  3. I’m a retired teacher. I never received the millennial self obligated perks that this self rewarded generation has given theirselves a prerogative to exploit from the tax payers. Instead, I have the privilege to pay my ever increasing property taxes that fuels another government entitlement welfare program. Stop acting like a kindergarten first day crybaby and toughen up buttercup and go your job.

  4. So there have been two stories now about the school board meeting, one about chaplains and one about calendars, but nothing pertaining to the last two minutes of the meeting following executive session before adjourning (it can be heard on the YouTube video). When the board reconvened, a motion was made by Archer Archer and seconded by Kyle Hafner to post the Superintendent position to internal candidates only. After months of nothing being said by the board about filling the role of superintendent, it is brought up in the last two minutes after executive session??? I think a little more explanation is needed, because it seems to me the interim superintendent is about to become the permanent??? The board speaks about moral from teachers and staff, but more underhanded stuff like this taking place does not show that they care. Maybe someone from the “cabinet” or the board could enlighten the teachers and community.

    1. As was commented by another on the Facebook page, people are looking forward to this year’s Presidential election and the 2025 school board election. Taxpayers are sick of the wasteful spending, parents are sick of the lack of discipline, and teachers are sick of being the whipping boys (or girls) for dropping academic performance.

  5. Thank you Archer for having common sense. Providing an incentive to give a timely notice to quit is one of the most stupidest things I ever heard of. So…..those who stay & serve the district are not being rewarded. This way of thinking is so backwards, which in reality, really explains a lot of the district’s problems.

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