School Approval Waivers

Waivers for Snow Days 2018 Frequently Asked Questions

(supportive information for Reminder and updated guidance for rescheduling and requesting waivers for storm days on March 21, 2018)

 

 

Q: How many instructional days are minimally required for the school year?

 

A: 175 days for students in grades K-11 and 170 days for seniors.

 

 

Q: How is a school day calculated?

 

A: Per Maine Chapter 125 Section 6.02, School Week and Instructional Days:

  1. School Week - A school week is the five days Monday through Friday. Exceptions occur when schools are closed because of holidays, inclement weather, or other extenuating circumstances.
  2. Instructional Day - An average instructional day is five hours in length, and each instructional day is a minimum of three hours in length. A school need not be in session the same number of hours each day provided that the total amount of instructional time in any two consecutive school weeks is an average of five hours per day. Plans to use school days of varying numbers of hours shall be reflected in the Comprehensive Education Plan. The instructional day may be extended for students who need more than the minimum day to meet the content standards of the system of Learning Results, or additional standards established by the school board.

 

Q: If I use the option to extend five school days by one hour, may one or more of the days be a planned early release day?

 

A: Yes, provided that in any two-week period, the average school day is at five hours before the extended hours are added.

 

 

Q: May I extend a regular full-length school day for more than one hour, and count multiple hours toward the five hours required for a make-up day?

 

A: No.

 

 

Q: May I add an afternoon schedule to an early release school day and make it count as two (2) early release days?

 

A: No.

 

Q: May I extend a scheduled early release school day for more than one hour, and count multiple hours toward the five hours required for a make-up day?

A: Yes, in one-hour increments only, provided that in any two-week period, the average school day is at five hours before the extended hours are added, per Chapter 125.

 

 

Q: If I have an emergency closure that is not weather-related and applies to only part of the schools in my district, may I apply for a waiver for just that population of students?

 

A: Yes. Provided the district has made every effort to make up lost school days through reasonable avenues.

 

 

Q: Seniors are required to attend school for at least 170 days. May I request a waiver for just the senior population if necessary?

 

A: Yes. Provided the district has made every effort to make up lost school days through reasonable avenues.

 

 

Q: What is the process for submitting a request for waiver?

 

A: The School Board should submit a written request to the Commissioner. The School Board or designee should notify Pamela Ford-Taylor of the intent to file a waiver request as soon as possible.

 

 

Contact

Pamela Ford-Taylor
School Enrollment/Approval
Maine Department of Education 
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME  04333-0023
207-624-6617

Pamela.Ford-Taylor@maine.gov