FAQs: Required Days to Required Hours

FAQs: Required Days to Hours


FAQs: Required Days to Hours

    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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    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?

    No.  The length of the school day is based on the time all students are in attendance.  If you add a period before or after the normal school day, that time would not count.

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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?

    A decision on this is currently being finalized.  Schools will be notified once a decision is made.

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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 likely be collected through EMIS as it has been in the past.  How districts will report that data is currently being determined.  Districts will be notified once data collection procedures are finalized.

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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 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. Districts will be able to report their data under an hours schedule or a days schedule; however, the specific changes to the reporting system are not yet finalized.

    Districts will be informed about their reporting requirements once the system is complete.

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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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    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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    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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Last Modified: 2/28/2014 1:39:09 PM