P. O. BOX 2120

January 28, 2000


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: JoLynne DeMary
Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: School Calendars and Make-Up Days

Each year, school divisions throughout the state adopt school calendars. The calendars
typically reflect opening and closing dates, teacher staff development days, holidays,
bad weather or emergency makeup days, and daily beginning and ending of school times.
We have begun to receive calls about school make-up procedures due to the recent bad 
weather. There seems to be some confusion concerning when to begin computing the 
amount of time or days to be made up and whether or not Governor Gilmore's declaration
of a state of emergency during Hurricane Floyd affects the requirements. 

Section 22.1-98 of the Code of Virginia sets out the procedures for making up time 
missed due to severe weather or other situations.  A copy of the statute is attached.
In summary, the law requires that:

1. When more than ten days (but fewer than 15 days) are missed, at least five days, 
   plus one day for each day missed up to fifteen must be made up.
2. When more than fifteen days have been missed, at least ten days must be made up.

The law is silent on the issue of actions to be taken if schools are closed for less
than ten days except that the Superintendent of Public Instruction may, with the 
approval of the Board of Education, authorize a reduction in the number of days/
instructional hours (grant a waiver of the above requirements) if the division has 
made up at least five of those days.  In addition, the Superintendent, with the 
approval of the Board of Education, may authorize a reduction in the number of days/
instructional hours when a school division has missed more than 15 days.  The law 
also requires the Board of Education to approve for each school division the closing 
date for the school year beyond which days/instructional hours would not be required
to be made up.  Requests from local school boards for waivers should be sent to the 

The Governor's emergency declaration does not affect the provisions of the law. If 
local school boards choose to exceed state minimum time standards of 180 days or 
total of 990 instructional hours per year, they also may determine whether or not to 
make up hours or days when bad weather or other emergencies force cancellations.  The
excess days/instructional hours may be used to offset the days/hours missed.  Counting
make up time would begin when the surplus hours/excess days have been exhausted.

Questions regarding this matter should be directed to the Division of Accountability
at 804.786-9421.