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School Calendar and Instructional Day

School Calendar
It is the responsibility of the Superintendent/designee to develop the school calendar for recommendation, approval, and adoption by the Board according to Iowa Code Section 281.12.  The calendar shall include, not less than 180 days or 1,080 hours of instruction during the calendar year.  Additional days may be scheduled for professional learning, clerical, and parent-teacher conferences.   The Board may amend the official school calendar when the Board considers the change to be in the best interests of the District’s education program.  When appropriate, the Superintendent/designee may appoint a committee that includes administrative, certified, and classified staff, along with a parent representative to develop a calendar with options for public input.

The academic school year for students is for a minimum of 180 days or 1,080 hours in the school calendar and may not begin prior to August 23. Employees may be required to report to work at the District prior to this date.

In addition, the Board of Education reserves the right to apply to the Iowa Department of Education for authorization to maintain an innovative school calendar at an attendance center or school for students in prekindergarten through grade eight according to Iowa Code Section 279.10.  The Board shall hold a public hearing on any proposal relating to authorization for an innovative school calendar prior to submitting an application.  The initial application shall be submitted to the Iowa Department of Education not later than November 1 of the preceding school year.    

Special education students may attend school on a school calendar different from that of the regular education program consistent with their Individualized Education Program (IEP).

If all schools in the District are closed due to emergency, health, and/or safety factors, days or hours missed may be made up at some other point during the school calendar so as to meet the minimum 180 days or 1,080 hours of student instruction.  The District may excuse graduating seniors who have met district graduation requirements from attendance during the extended school calendar. Graduating seniors may be released for up to 30 hours towards the 1,080 hours or five days towards the 180 days of instruction after school District requirements for graduation have been met.

Instructional Day
A school day will routinely consist of a minimum of six hours of instructional time for all grades one through twelve.  The minimum hours shall be exclusive of the lunch period.  Passing time between classes may be included as part of the sixhour requirement.   Time during which students are released from school for parent/teacher conferences may be counted as part of student instructional time.

The District may also record a day of school with less than the minimum instructional hours if the total hours of instructional time for grades one through twelve in any five consecutive school days equals a minimum of thirty hours, even though any one day of school is less than the minimum instructional hours because of a professional learning opportunity provided for the instructional staff or parent-teacher conferences have been scheduled beyond the regular school day.  If the total hours of instructional time for the first four consecutive days equal at least thirty hours because parent-teacher conferences have been scheduled beyond the regular school day, the District may record zero hours of instructional time on the fifth consecutive school day as a school day.  Schedule revisions and changes in time allotments will be made by the Superintendent.

If emergencies, safety factors, or professional learning activities require the late arrival or early dismissal of students on a specific day, the day may be counted towards 180 days of instruction and the hours may be counted towards 1,080 hours of instruction.   The normal student day, as well as the specific beginning and dismissal times for individual buildings, shall be established by the Board of Directors upon recommendation of the administration.  School hours at each organizational level shall be kept as consistent as possible throughout the District.

Legal Reference:                 Iowa Code §§ 20.9, 279.10, 280.3
281 I.A.C. 12.1(7), 12.2(1)

  • Approved: 12-12-77
  • Reviewed: 11-13-89
  • Revised: 12-11-89, 02-08-93
  • Reviewed: 03-25-96, 09-28-98
  • Revised: 05-24-04, 03-24-08, 07-19-10, 09-28-15, 08-27-18, 03-28-2022
  • Documents: 400.1

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