On April 9, 2018, the Board of Regents has taken a stance on the proposed changes to regulations concerning how instructional time is being counted – days or hours.
The amendment to Section 175.2 and 175.5 of the Commissioner’s Regulations are effective July, 1 2018. What does that mean for your District? Let’s take a look:
- The daily minimum instructional hours will be replaced with an aggregate yearly requirement. Such requirements are as follows:
- a.) Half-day Kindergarten pupils, a minimum of 450 instructional hours over 180 days
- b.) Full-day kindergarten through grade 6, 900 instructional hours over 180 days
- c.) Grades 7 through 12, for and 990 instructional hours over 180 days
- In addition, the amendments are meant to provide clarity surrounding existing procedures that relate to the scheduling of examinations, superintendent conference days, and extraordinary weather conditions. Such changes include:
- a.) Removing any references to BOCES
- b.) Removing the limitations on how many Superintendent Conference Days may be taken in the last two weeks of August
- c.) Clarifying that Parent-Teacher Conferences are a valid use of Superintendent Conference Days
- School districts may omit records of attendance on days on which Regents examinations (including the Regents Scholarship examination) are administered in January, April, and June for pupil in the grade levels in which such examinations are given.
- In addition, attendance for grades located in the same buildings in which examinations are administered may also be omitted, should it be necessary to suspend instruction for those grade levels in order to provide adequate staff and space to administer the examinations.
- Hours used on these examination days will be counted towards satisfying the minimum instructional hours
Districts and applicable unions are expected to set their calendars for fiscal 2019 and complete any collective bargaining negotiations necessary to comply with the new requirements of the proposed amendment. However, it should be noted that the amendment states that “nothing…shall be construed to abrogate any conflicting provisions of a collective bargaining agreement in effect on June 30, 2018 during the term of such agreement and until the entry into a successor…agreement to the extent required under. Civil Service Law.” The Board of Regents directed the Commissioner to work with individual districts to address any concerns as the transition to implement the regulation ensues. In addition, the SED is expected to be publishing guidance and model calendars in the near future, and will be offering webinars for those who are interested in learning more about the new requirements.
Written by Nicholle Mezier, CPA, MBA. If you would like to learn more about this topic, please contact:
Shari Diamond, CIA
Shari has been with Cerini & Associates, LLP since 2008 where she works primarily with the firm’s school district clients providing internal audit and claims audit services. She has over twenty years’ experience performing internal audits, risk assessments, and compliance reviews, as well as recommending processes to strengthen the internal controls environment while increasing efficiencies. Her prior experience at PWC and Northrop Grumman included performing Information Technology audits.