School District Awaits State Guidance Regarding Make-Up Days

State requires a minimum of 180 school days in a given school year.

There is no word yet on the changes to the school calendar for the Three Village Central School District, which missed six planned school days due to power outages related to "superstorm" Sandy.

A school district spokeswoman said Thursday the district is "awaiting directives from the Governor and State Education Commissioner."

State education law requires a minimum of 180 school days per school year, though the state education commissioner is authorized to excuse at most five days for extraordinary circumstances if those days could not be made up by using scheduled vacation days as make-up days. According to a memo published on the state education department's website:

The following are circumstances that may be approved by the Commissioner as extraordinary conditions:  extraordinarily adverse weather conditions, an impairment of heating facilities, an insufficient water supply, a fuel shortage, a lack of electricity, a natural gas leak, unacceptable levels of chemical substances, or the destruction of a school building.

According to the state education department, a declaration of a state of emergency by the governor does not automatically mean school districts can hold fewer than 180 school days. School districts must meet the 180-day requirement in order to be eligible for state funding.

In 2011, the state legislature passed a resolution allowing school districts to be considered for an exception to the 180-day rule of up to 10 days instead of five due to extreme weather conditions such as tropical storm Irene in August of last year.

A state education department representative said Friday that a similar bill has been filed in the state legislature for this school year.

"We can't predict whether the Legislature will act to provide relief from the 180 day requirement again this year," said Antonia Valentine of the state education department. "However, a bill has been filed in the Legislature that would allow the Commissioner to excuse up to 10 days instead of 5 days this school year. The Legislature would have to act on that when they are back in session in order for it to become law."

Moe Szyslak November 09, 2012 at 09:12 PM
How about the kids going to school on Veteran's Day? I don't think my comment is unpatriotic, for those naysayers...in fact I'm confident veterans wouldn't find my suggestion disrespectful. if we're that concerned about the kids' education and all the missed days, we should start with Monday.
justme November 09, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Unbelievable!!! - How does less than 180 days of school benefit the kids? According to the school calendar three of the days should be used on March 25, May 24, May 28. The other day(s) could certainly come from one of the many vacations. Dump the unions and keep our kids in school!
Moe Szyslak November 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM
I'm appalled that my kids get another day off today. They were just home for over a week...I love my children to the end of the earth, but the school district and the overall teachers' union should get their priorities straight.
Pro Teacher! November 12, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Unions don't make the calendar! Know your facts! The school board approves how many days and what days the kids go to school. I am so sick of this teacher/union bashing! Let me ask a ? If Lipa was graded on an appr system would they be highly ineffective? Maybe we should start grading parents too. What do we do with the child who comes in with no homework, no class projects on time, or forgets his lunch money 2 days in row. Should that parent be labeled as ineffective?
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