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Austin Public Schools

Policy 602 - Organization of School Calendar and School Day

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I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide for a timely determination of the school calendar and school day.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

The school calendar and schedule of the school day are important to parents, students, employees, and the general public for advance, effective planning of the school year.

III. CALENDAR RESPONSIBILITY

  • The school calendar shall be adopted annually by the school board. It shall meet all provisions of Minnesota statutes pertaining to minimum number of school days and other provisions of law. The school calendar shall establish student days, workshop days for staff, provide for emergency closings and other information related to students, staff, and parents.

    [Note: The annual school calendar must include at least 425 hours of instruction for a kindergarten student without a disability, 935 hours of instruction for a student in grades 1 through 6, and 1,020 hours of instruction for a student in grades 7 through 12, not including summer school. The school calendar for all-day kindergarten must include at least 850 hours of instruction for the school year. If a voluntary prekindergarten program is offered by the school district, a prekindergarten student must receive at least 350 hours of instruction for the school year. A school board’s annual calendar must include at least 165 days of instruction for a student in grades 1 through 11 unless a four-day week schedule has been approved by the Commissioner of Education under Minn. Stat. § 124D.126. A school board’s annual school calendar may include plans for up to five days of instruction provided through online instruction due to inclement weather. The inclement weather plans must be developed according to Section V., below.]

    [Note: To the extent the school board offers K-12 teachers the opportunity for more staff development training under Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subds. 7 and 7a, or Minn. Stat. § 122A.41, Subds. 4 and 4a, the school district shall adopt as its school calendar a total of 240 days of student instruction and staff development, of which the total number of staff development days equals the difference between the total number of days of student instruction and 240 days. The school board may schedule additional staff development days throughout the calendar year.]

     
  • Except for learning programs during summer and flexible learning year programs, the school district will not commence an elementary or secondary school year before Labor Day, except as provided in Section III.B.1., III.B.2., or III.B.3. Days devoted to teacher’s workshops may be held before Labor Day.
    • The school district may begin the school year on any day before Labor Day to accommodate a construction or remodeling project of $400,000 or more affecting a school district school facility.
    • The school district may begin the school year on any day before Labor Day if the school district has agreement under Minn. Stat. § 123A.30, § 123A.32, or § 123A.35 with a school district that qualifies under Section III.B.1.
    • The school district may begin the school year on any day before Labor Day if the school district agrees to the same schedule with a school district in an adjoining state.
  • Employee and advisory groups shall be provided an opportunity to participate in school calendar considerations through a meet and confer process.

    [Note: The provisions of the prior law requiring the school board to adopt the calendar for the next school year by April 1 have been repealed. The school board should still attempt to establish the calendar as early as possible so proper planning can take place by all members of the school community.]

IV. SCHOOL DAY RESPONSIBILITY

  • The superintendent shall be responsible for developing a schedule for the student day, subject to review by the school board. All requirements and provisions of Minnesota Statutes and Minnesota Department of Education Rules shall be met.
  • In developing the student day schedule, the superintendent shall consider such factors as school bus schedules, cooperative programs, differences in time requirements at various grade levels, effective utilization of facilities, cost effectiveness, and other concerns deserving of attention.
  • Proposed changes in the school day shall be subject to review and approval by the school board.

V. E-LEARNING DAYS

  • An “e-learning day” is a school day where a school offers full access to online instruction provided by students’ individual teachers due to inclement weather.
  • A school district may designate up to five e-learning days in one school year.
  • An e-learning day is counted as a day of instruction and included in the hours of instruction pursuant to Section III.A., above.
  • The e-learning day plan developed by the school district will include accommodations for students without Internet access at home and for digital device access for families without the technology or with an insufficient amount of technology for the number of children in the household. The plan must also provide accessible options for students with disabilities.
  • The school district must notify parents and students of its e-learning day plan at the beginning of each school year.
  • When an e-learning day is declared by the school district, notice must be provided to parents and students at least two hours prior to the normal school start time that students will need to follow the e-learning day plan for that day.
  • On an e-learning day, each student’s teacher must be accessible both online and by telephone during normal school hours to assist students and parents.

Legal References:

  • Minn. Stat. § 120A.40 (School Calendar)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120A.41 (Length of School Year; Days of Instruction)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120A.414 (E-Learning Days)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120A.415 (Extended School Calendar)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120A.42 (Holidays)
  • Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subds. 7 and 7a (Employment; Contracts; Termination)
  • Minn. Stat. § 122A.41, Subds. 4 and 4a (Teacher Tenure Act; Cities of the First Class; Definitions)
  • Minn. Stat. § 123A.30 (Agreements for Secondary Education)
  • Minn. Stat. § 123A.32 (Interdistrict Cooperation)
  • Minn. Stat. § 123A.35 (Cooperation and Combination)
  • Minn. Stat. § 124D.11, Subd. 9 (Revenue for Results-Oriented Charter School)
  • Minn. Stat. § 124D.126 (Powers and Duties of Commissioner; Flexible Learning Year Programs)
  • Minn. Stat. § 124D.151 (Voluntary Prekindergarten Program)
  • Minn. Stat. § 127A.41, Subd. 7 (Distribution of School Aids; Appropriation)

Cross References:

  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 425 (Staff Development)

Policy Adopted: 3/08/04
Policy Revised: 04/04/06
Policy Revised: 10/8/12
Policy Reviewed: 2/10/14
Policy Reviewed: 11/11/16
Policy Revised: 2/11/19

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