FAQs: Required Days to Required Hours

FAQs: Required Days to Hours


FAQs: Required Days to Hours

    If I have questions about coding or other EMIS questions, whom should I contact?

    The first contact for your questions should be your district EMIS coordinator.  If the coordinator is unsure of the answer, he or she should send the question to the EMIS support contact at your district’s Information Technology Center (ITC).  If the ITC does not have the answer, they will enter the question into the statewide EMIS helpdesk system where ODE staff will provide an answer in writing.  The answer provided by ODE will be visible to all ITC EMIS staff, helping ensure consistent answers for all districts statewide.

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    When does the change from days to hours begin?

    The change will be effective for the 2014-2015 school year.

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    What is an “equivalent day”?

    The number of hours in an “equivalent day” for a district is the average hours the district meets per day. This is calculated by the total number of hours met divided by the total number of days the district was open. For example, a district that is open for 1,090 hours and was open for 175 days would have an equivalent day equal to 6.23 hours (this excludes lunch and breakfast periods and extracurricular activities).

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    What is the current interpretation of the time required for the student day since HB 367 passed?

    Schools must have school schedules that meet minimum hourly time requirements for Kindergarten, grades one through six, and grades seven through twelve students as identified in state law.  However, the new legislation (HB367) provides a full FTE of funding for students in grades 9 and above who take 5 or more approved graduation credits.  Now instead of being paid based on the student’s hours of attendance, payment will be made based on the percentage of 5 approved credits a student takes.

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    Our district closed for a few days due to weather last year. When figuring out the number of instructional hours from the previous year, should we use the number of hours scheduled or number of hours the district was actually open?

    The district should consider the hours scheduled.

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    Will we need to request waiver days when we change from days to hours?

    Waiver days will no longer be needed for weather cancellations, delays or for scheduling professional development time because you will control and be responsible for meeting established time requirements for Grades K-6 and 7-12.

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    Are students required to be in attendance all five days of the week?

    The intent of the law is for schools to be in session five days a week as they are now. It is understood that even current calendars do not follow this guideline in special circumstances such as weeks with holidays, calamity days, breaks, and the beginning and ending of the school year. A week with less than five days will continue to be acceptable in these circumstances.

    If districts want to go to some form of alternative schedule that regularly does not follow the typical five-day school format, they would need to submit a waiver request to the state superintendent and approval would be required before a shortened school week would be allowed. The request would have to demonstrate a need for wanting to implement such a change or how the change would benefit students.

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    If our school offers a period before or after the normal day that some but not all students attend, does that time count in the school hours calculation?

    The length of the school day is based on the time students are scheduled to be in attendance.  If a period is added before or after the normal school day, as long as the student attends the same amount of time as other students, the time would count, but could never be more than 1 FTE.

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    Does time between classes count as open for instruction?

    Yes.

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    Does lunch count toward meeting the hourly requirement?

    No.

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    Does the time a student spends in study hall count?

    Yes. Study hall is considered a supervised activity, so the time a student spends in study hall is allowed to count.

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    Does the time our students spend in religious services count given they are tied to the curriculum of our religious education courses?

    Yes, that time counts.

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    What are the requirements for pre-school related to changing from days to hours?

    Students are expected to follow the timelines established in law just like other grade levels in a school district.  These times established for attendance are the same as they were last year.

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    Do non-chartered schools, non-tax supported schools have to change to the days to hours minimum requirements?

    Yes, these schools must meet the minimum hour requirement instead of the minimum day requirement.

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    Can we still be approved to use blizzard bags?

    Yes, but only for three days as is current practice.

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    How are data to be reported to ODE?

    Data will be collected through EMIS as it has been in the past. Data is reported by districts to their Information Technology Centers.

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    How is FTE calculated when a student is concurrently enrolled in more than one district?

    The change in law changes the basis for calculating FTE from time to credits, but other sections of law still require that ODE not fund a student for more than 1.0 FTE statewide.  Therefore, when 2 or more districts enroll a student for instruction at the same time (most typically between a home district and a CTE program), the FTE must be divided appropriately.

    Therefore, in concurrent enrollment situations, a student could be enrolled in one of the districts for 5 or more credits but still be required to be reported with less than a full FTE by that district.

    Currently, common practice has been for the two districts involved to mutually agree on how to divide the FTE between the entities based on the student’s overall daily (or weekly) schedule, instead of each district reporting what percent of their individual schedules in which the student participates.

    Conceptually, this does not change.  The two entities should mutually agree on how to divide the FTE, but now based on the students overall completed and scheduled courses for the school year and the credits assigned to those courses.  As long as the total credits between the entities involved is 5 or greater, then the full FTE would be split between the districts based on the relative number of credits enrolled at each.  If the total number of credits is less than 5, then the reduced FTE would be split starting from the total credits enrolled divided by 5.

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    How is FTE calculated when a student participates in College Credit Plus?

    A full-time student must attend both fall and spring semesters in a college and earn five high school credits in one school year.

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    If a student is enrolled full-time but drops a course, how is he or she funded?

    Students are considered part-time for funding once they are no longer enrolled in 5 credits.  They will be funded from that point on as part time based on the percentage of credit they continue to be take.

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    If a service provided to a student does not specifically carry graduation credit, how should that service be included in the calculation of full time equivalency?

    As indicated elsewhere in this FAQ, services on an IEP, district-supported work connected to an area of vocational training, and additional supports in alternative and credit recovery schools can count towards the calculation of full time equivalency.  If credits are not specifically awarded to these experiences, then the experience should be included based either on the typical schedule of the school (a service/experience meets for one period, and one period for the year typically earns one graduation unit) or based on the minimum number of hours (150) required for a Carnegie unit in a laboratory course.

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    Do the Carnegie unit requirements change?

    No. Carnegie unit requirements remain the same. Law defines "one unit" as a minimum of 120 hours of course instruction, except for a laboratory course, which is a minimum of 150 hours of course instruction.

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    How are graduation units for transfer students determined for the full time student calculation?

    The calculation of full time equivalency is based on graduation credits taken for the entire school year.  When a student joins the district after the start of the school year, the following applies:

     If a course term has already completed in your district:  Transfer students will only register for course terms that are still underway or yet to begin for this school year.  If the transfer student completed a similar type of course term in a prior district (your district and the prior district both completed the first semester), then the graduation units attempted at the prior district may be included in the full time equivalency calculation.  If the completed terms are not equivalent or if transcript information is not available, the number of graduation units attempted by a typical student in your district in that grade level for the completed term may be used instead.

    For course terms that have begun but are not yet complete: For the full time equivalency calculation, the district should count the full graduation credit value for the course as if the student had started the course at the beginning of the term, even if the district has a policy that students who start a course late only receive partial credit for units towards graduation.

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    How will release time for seniors at the end of the year be interpreted?

    The minimum number of hours for which pupils must be in attendance for Grades 7-12 is 1001 hours. Grade 12 students can be excused from attendance for up to the equivalent of three school days, the same as in the past. For example, let’s say your school day is seven hours long, excluding lunch; a twelfth-grade student could be released for 21 hours.

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    How does this change affect credits received in a summer course for credit?

    There is no change from past practice.

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    How do the hours for students enrolled in a Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program taking courses at a college or university count?

    These hours are counted just like as in the past. PSEO counts as an education option, so it is allowed to count.

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    In the past, districts have been allowed to apply for an IPP waiver to be exempted from the state minimum school day requirement. Can districts still apply for these waivers?

    The IPP waiver is meant for school districts that wish to pilot innovative education programs. The waiver allows district to get exceptions to some rules and laws so they may implement their program.

    In the past, some districts have used this waiver to hold more professional development days for their educators.  However, many of these districts did not actually need a waiver as they were above the minimum school year.  If a district wants to shorten a calendar that is well above the minimum requirement, it does not need to apply for a waiver as long as the district stays above the minimum.

    School districts can still apply for the waiver if they can demonstrate how the professional development time contributes to the implementation of an innovative education program.  Districts may only apply for a maximum of four days if they are on a day based calendar or a maximum of four equivalent days if the district has transitioned to an hours based calendar.

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    If the district’s collective bargaining agreement conflicts with the change and it operates under days for the next year or two, will the district have problems with EMIS reporting?

    No. There are a number of districts across the state that may elect this option and it will not affect their reporting.  Data will be reported through EMIS and any changes from previous years have been communicated to districts.

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    What should my district do if our collective bargaining agreement is in place for another year/s?

    The change from days to hours does not apply to a collective bargaining agreement executed prior to July 1, 2014.  If the district continues a collective bargaining agreement past this date, the district would remain subject to the current requirements on the numbers of days in a school year, including calamity days. Any collective bargaining agreement or renewal executed after July 1, 2014, must comply with the days to hours changes.

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    Can schools change from days to hours even if they still have a contract in place beyond the July 1, 2014 switch date?

    Yes.  Districts can switch, even mid-year.  We do recommend that they do an MOU with their bargaining units before making such a switch.

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    What counts as a change in district calendar that will force a new public hearing, board resolution or written agreement with other schools?

    A “change” in calendar is any change in the scheduled time a school district will be open for instruction after the original calendar has been adopted. Unscheduled changes, such as snow days, are not considered changes in the calendar. If snow days cause a district to fall below the minimum hours requirement and more time needs to be scheduled, the new scheduled time is considered a calendar change.

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    Does time in religious instruction or worship for a chartered nonpublic school (like a Catholic school) count toward the minimum hours?

    Time spent in religious instruction or worship does count toward the minimum school hours for chartered nonpublic schools. Along with assemblies, these are considered supervised activities.

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    How are students in Alternative Schools or Credit Recovery Schools to be funded?

    Students enrolled in 5 course credits annually, work-placement programs that are part of the school program, or mentorships that are part of the school programs may all be considered toward a student being full time.

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    Can Career Centers allow seniors to work in their area of vocational training and count those students as full time for funding purposes?

    Vocational job placement is an important component of vocational training.  As long as career centers are providing follow up services, mentorship support, etc. to these students or students are acquiring an industry credential, students can be counted as a full-time FTE.  Work should be tied directly to the student’s area of vocational training.  If a student quits working or there is no follow-up service provided, the student must be withdrawn

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    How are students whose IEPs place them on home instruction funded?

    HB 367 did not change current law in relation to students whose IEPs place them on home instruction.  If home instruction is on the IEP, then 1 hour counts as the equivalent of one day.  The student would be considered full time, assuming the hour per day includes a combination of credits and IEP services that would make the student full time if they were receiving services at school instead of at home.

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    Can special needs students who attend school beyond the typical 4 years of high school be funded as full-time students?

    Yes.   Additionally, any service time identified in a student’s IEP (OT, PT, etc.) may be counted as part of the instructional day for these students.

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    Do schools run by county boards of developmental disabilities have to meet the minimum hours requirement?

    Schools run by county boards of developmental disabilities are required to be open for instruction with pupils in attendance for the minimum hours required by law (ORC 3313.48) each year, beginning in 2014-2015. These schools do not have to follow the advanced notice, hearing or written agreement requirements in law. However, your schools should continue to work with other schools on scheduling issues.
     
    In addition to the minimum hours per year, schools run by county boards of developmental disabilities must also meet the minimum school day requirements in rule (OAC 3301-53-01). Each school day must have at least five hours for Grades 1-6 and 5.5 hours for Grades 7-12. The Ohio Department of Education is working to update this rule to better match the new law. Any school run by county boards of developmental disabilities that encounters an issue with the minimum school days rule is encouraged to contact the department to receive a waiver from the minimum school day requirement in the rule.

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    Can DD schools count lunch as part of their school day?

    DD schools can count student lunch time only if that time is instructional time and included in the student’s IEP.  Because of federal requirements that special needs students must attend schools the same amount of time as similar students in home schools, DD students must comply with the same time requirements specified in law.

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Last Modified: 6/15/2015 4:47:25 PM