INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz announced local options for schools seeking to make up time due to weather cancellations. Superintendent Ritz made the announcement after consulting with local superintendents and teachers throughout the state about difficulties they have faced in response to this year’s extreme weather. The announcement provides much needed local flexibility for schools as winter weather will cause many schools to re-arrange their calendars.
“As Hoosiers, we always expect harsh winter weather,” said Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. “However, this year’s storms have been extreme and have interrupted instruction for schools throughout the state. I have spoken with countless superintendents throughout the state and they have all asked for more flexibility for scheduling instructional time. I have heard their concerns, and I am happy to make these options available to our schools.”
The options announced today include both waiver and non-waiver options for schools attempting to re-schedule instructional time. Schools have the flexibility to change their calendar by re-scheduling holidays, pre-established snow flex days or professional development days without requesting a waiver from the Department of Education. In addition, they are free to host school on Saturdays or add days to the end of their calendar.
Schools also have the ability to request conditional waivers from the Department. They can do this by adding instructional time to each instructional day that is in addition to time already provided in their calendar. When they have re-scheduled enough instructional time to meet the minimum definition of an instructional day, they may apply for a conditional waiver for one school day. An instructional day consists of five hours of instructional time for grades 1-6 and six hours of instructional time for grades 7-12. For example, using this approach, an elementary school would be eligible for a conditional waiver of one day if it added one hour of instructional time to each day for one week.
Districts may apply for as many conditional waivers as are needed. Waivers are allowed under IC-20-30-2-5. Conditional waiver requests are due by June 1, 2014.
A copy of the memo outlining local options can be found here.