Days/Hours/Waivers - Questions and Answers

1. What constitutes a school day?

Any day in which pupil instruction occurs is considered one of the 180 days. A school day that contains fewer instructional hours than a full schedule is considered a school day; however, only those hours in which instruction is provided may be counted toward meeting the required hours of instruction (half-day kindergarten - 437; full day kindergarten-grade 6 - 1050; grades 7-12 - 1137). (Return to menu and click on "worksheet" to calculate the hours of instruction).

2. How are the hours of a school day computed?

A school day is determined from the start to the close of each student's daily instructional schedule.

3. The first bell for a particular school rings at 8:15 a.m. The next bell rings at 8:25, at which time all students are expected to be in the building and on their way to classes. The last bell rings at 8:30 and all students are required to be in a classroom. When does instructional begin?

Instructional time is counted from 8:30 a.m.

4. The last bell prior to the lunch period rings five minutes prior to the time the students are eating lunch. Because passing time between classes can count as instructional time, can the five minutes prior to the beginning of the lunch period be counted as passing time?

Yes, but the passing time between lunch and the following hour may not be counted.

5. Can the lunch break be considered recess?

Time for lunch cannot be added into the total number of hours of instruction. Time scheduled in addition to lunch may count as recess time if all students participate in the activity. If the period of time scheduled is only for students to take a mid-day meal, it may not be added to the total minutes of recess. The maximum recess time counted as instructional time may not exceed 30 minutes per day.

6. Some districts have staggered starting and ending daily schedules for students. Is this permissible?

Yes, so long as each student's instructional schedule meets the required number of hours for that level.

7. Some students are dismissed two periods prior to the end of the day to participate in practice for sports or other activities. Can this time be included in their instructional schedule?

No, because sports or other extracurricular activities are not considered a part of the instructional day, these students would not be provided the mandated time allocation.

8. In some districts, students in lower grade levels may be picked up ten minutes earlier than the usual dismissal time so that they can be moved to another location for transportation purposes. Would these ten minutes count as instructional time in meeting the standard?

No, the minutes do not qualify as instructional time.

9. Do I need to subtract a passing time at lunch (secondary level)?

If there is a passing time before lunch starts and after lunch ends, then you need to subtract a passing time. If you do not have passing times before and after lunch, you do not need to subtract one as you are rolling it into the lunch hour which is already subtracted from the instructional time. 

For questions about this information, contact Beverly Kniess (608) 266-3706