(Exira) A measure on what constitutes a school day in Iowa appears to have some school administrators considering a switch from the180-day-to-1080 hours.
The goal of the Education Reform bill that passed a year ago was to give districts a choice: Have students go to school for 180 days, or 1,080 hours. If you do the math, it shouldn’t change much for school districts. But a change in how many hours actually constitute a school day is going to change.
Exira/EHK Schools Superintendent Dean Schnoes says the guideline used to be that you had to be in school 5 ½ hours in day or 27 ½ hours in a five day cycle to count as a school day. The legislature has changed it so now a six hour day which does not include lunch time constitutes a full day of school. So two-hour delays or two-hour early outs would make it hard for districts to count them as a full day.
“I understand that and I think we need to push that we need to be with our students as much as possible,” said Schnoes. “But it is a good thing; we will just have to do a little more tracking of hours under this system.”
Schnoes say most schools operate under a seven hour school day anyway so they would develop a cushion in case of late starts or early outs.
Schnoes says he is leaning towards encouraging both boards to change to hours rather than days. He will meet with the Elk-Horn-Kimballton school board next week.
February 11, 2014