1,044 hours, 174 days of education time

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

DESE requirements, local districts 19-20 calendar schedules

The Southwest Board of Education approved a motion to approve changing the 2019-2020 calendar make-up days, for students to be forgiven 10 weather days and staff to be forgiven up to five days for inclement weather.

Although the state requires that students have 1,044 hours of instruction time, the Southwest school district’s 2019-2020 calendar offers students 1,131 hours of instruction time, which is 87 more hours than Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requires.

During the January board of education meeting, a discussion of whether the students should be forgiven the two snow days they had, or make them up, was brought up.

With Southwest running a school day at 6.25 hours, students would have to miss 14 days to fall below the DESE required hours of instruction.

DESE does not require any make-up days on anything over the 1,044 hours, so that decision is left up to the district and board of education.

Additionally, Southwest teachers are in contract for a 180-day calendar year, and were also forgiven the two snow days.

Anything over five days of teacher-missed days due to inclement weather, teachers have to make-up with professional development days.

According to the Dec. 6, 2019, Missouri DESE school calendar requirements, in order to be eligible to receive state aid for its education program a school district and charter school must adopt a calendar that meets minimum standards that provides at least 1,044 hours of instruction.

Additionally, a half-day kindergarten or pre-kindergarten program must provide a minimum of 522 hours of actual pupil attendance.

However, planning more than the 1,044-hour requirement will not generate additional ADA.

For example, a student with perfect attendance is a 1.0 ADA. If a district or charter school plans 1,044 hours of instruction that same student will be a 1.0 ADA. If a district or charter school plans 1,104 hours of instruction, that same student will be a 1.0 ADA.

A student can never be more than a 1.0 ADA and the amount of hours planned will not change this outcome.

The article does clarify that an approved alternative method of instruction can be used for any hours of school lost or cancelled due to exceptional or emergency circumstances during a school year, and the alternative method of instruction, provided for in a DESE-approved plan, can be used for up to 36 hours during the school year.

The change for the calendar requirements was made and put into effect for the 2019-2020 school year.

According to the July 1, 2018, Missouri DESE school calendar requirements, school districts may operate under one of three possible calendar scenarios:

• A traditional calendar may be adopted which requires the school board to provide a minimum term of at least 174 days

• A calendar of less than 174 days may be adopted

• A calendar of 142 days (four days per week) may be adopted

All as long as it provides a minimum of at least 1,044 hours of instruction.

The 174 days at 1,044 hours is equal to a six-hour school day.

The article states that districts must establish which type of calendar they will be operating under as well as the number of days they plan to attend school prior to the opening of a new school year.

Additionally, once the type of calendar has been established by the district the number of days of planned attendance cannot be amended or changed after the August 15 reporting date.

Also, school districts that provide a minimum term of at least 174 days and 1,044 hours of instruction must have at least three hours of class time to count per day as an attendance day.

And, school districts that provide a minimum term of less than 174 days, and with a minimum of 1,044 hours, must have at least four hours of class time to count per day as an attendance day.

Finally the article directs that a district may set an opening date that is more than ten calendar days prior to the first Monday in September, only, if the local school board first gives public notice of a public meeting to discuss the proposal and the majority of the board votes to allow an earlier opening date.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: