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S.224

Introduced by   Senator Collins of Franklin District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Education; statewide school calendar

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to direct the commissioner of education to announce a statewide school calendar each year.

AN ACT RELATING TO STATEWIDE SCHOOL CALENDAR

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. § 1071 is amended to read:

§ 1071.  SCHOOL YEAR AND SCHOOL DAY SCHOOL CALENDAR

(a)  Minimum number of days Statewide school calendar.  Except as provided in this section, each public school shall be maintained and operated for:  Annually, on or before September 1, the commissioner shall announce a uniform statewide calendar which, except as provided in subsections (c) and (g) of this section, shall be followed by all Vermont public schools in the school year which begins on the second July following the announcement.  The commissioner shall consult with the education and business communities prior to making the announcement.  The calendar shall include:

(1)  at least one hundred seventy-five 175 student attendance days in each school year.  For purposes of this section, a majority of students enrolled in a school must be recorded on the school roll as in attendance on any day counted as a student attendance day.

(2)  at least five teacher in-service education days, during which time activities shall be conducted without students present in order to increase the competency of the staff, improve the curriculum of the school, enable teachers to attend state educational meetings or disseminate student progress information to parents or the community.

(3)  a sufficient number of makeup days to compensate for unanticipated closings.  

(4)  periods of vacation and holidays.

(b)  Hours of operation.  Within the minimum set by the state board, the school board shall fix the number of hours that shall constitute a school day, subject to change upon the order of the state board.

(c)  Unanticipated closings.  When a public school is closed for cause beyond the control of the school board it may petition the state board for a waiver of the requirements of this section.  The petition shall be filed with the state board within 10 days of each occurrence and not later than June 15 of the school year involved; and the state board shall act on the petition at its next meeting.  Action may include approval of the request, disapproval of the request, or postponement of a decision for a definite period in order to enable the district to schedule makeup days.  If the petition is approved and a waiver granted, the school district shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of this section.  If the state board fails to act at that meeting, the petition shall be deemed to have been approved and the waiver granted.

(d)  [Repealed.]

(e)  Regional calendar.  Before April 1 of each year, the superintendents of schools and the headmasters of public schools not managed by school boards in an area shall meet, and by majority vote, establish a uniform calendar within that area for the following school year.  The calendar shall include student attendance days, periods of vacation, holidays and teacher in-service education days and shall comply with subsection (a) of this section.  Unless permitted by the commissioner, no area served by a regional technical center shall be divided into two or more calendar regions.

(f)  Additional days.  Nothing in this section prohibits a school from scheduling additional days for student attendance or teacher in-service education.  However, those days shall not conflict with any applicable school calendar.

(g)  Upon application of one or more school districts, after approval by the voters of each such district, the state board may grant a waiver of the requirements of subsection (a) if it is satisfied that equivalent educational programming will be maintained or improved.  The waiver may be granted for any purpose, including the conservation of energy.

Sec. 2.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect for school year 2008-2009.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us