COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

 

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 29

February 21, 2003

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

School Calendars and Make-up Days

 

We have received numerous inquiries concerning the requirements for making up time missed due to inclement weather and other emergencies. The Code of Virginia, in Section 22.1-98, states (in part):

 

In any case in which severe weather conditions, and other emergency situations presenting a threat to the health or safety of the students, including, but not limited to, energy shortages or power failures have required the closing of such school or the schools in the school division for more than ten days, but less than fifteen days, five days plus each day in excess of ten days up to fifteen days shall be made up. In any case in which severe weather conditions, and other emergency situations presenting a threat to the health or safety of the students, including, but not limited to, energy shortages or power failures have required the closing of such school or the schools in the school division for more than fifteen days, at least ten days shall be made up. The local appropriations for educational purposes necessary to fund 180 teaching days shall not be proportionally reduced by any local governing body because of authorization by the Superintendent of Public Instruction of any reduction in the length of the term of any school or school division.

 

A complete copy of the statute can be found on the Division of Legislative Services website at: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+22.1-98.

 

The statute does not address making up time in relation to the 990 instructional hour option. If you have surplus hours above the minimum 990 instructional hours, you may use the excess hours or day equivalents to offset the time missed without having to actually schedule make-up days/hours.
 
The issue of making up days lost due to bad weather, or other emergencies, is a local matter that comes under state jurisdiction only when state minimum time standards are violated.  Board of Education regulations stipulate that school divisions that are forced to close more than 15 days may be eligible for a waiver. They also stipulate that the waiver of days is not automatic. When requesting a waiver of state minimum requirements, assurance must be provided that all reasonable efforts to comply have been exhausted. The regulations in their entirety can be found at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+reg+8VAC20-520-10. Should you find that you are unable to meet the 180-day/990 instructional hour requirements, the attached form may be used to apply for a waiver.
 

This memorandum supersedes previous guidance given on this matter. If you have questions, please contact Mr. Charles W. Finley, assistant superintendent for educational accountability, by phone at (804) 786-9421 or by e-mail to cfinley@pen.k12.va.us.

 

JLD/cwf

 

Attachment

 

/administrators/superintendents_memos/2003/inf029a.pdf