Massachusetts requires elementary and middle school students to attend school for 900 hours per school year and high school students 990 hours per school year. These hours take place over 180 days. State regulations require that a school district create a 185 day school-year calendar and are required to operate each school for 180 days. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has not allowed any exceptions to the 180 requirement in prior years.
If this school year contains no snow days, the final day of school will be June 12. If we have snow days, a day will be added beyond June 12 for every snow day. This past year, the final day of school was June 21.
You are receiving this email because our district is exploring using a model called Alternative Learning Days as a means of providing students with meaningful, relative, school work during these called snow days. The practice of assigning work to students to make up snow days is already happening in states like Minnesota, Ohio, and New Hampshire. Many communities in Massachusetts are also using this concept and have been for the past three years.
Our district is exploring this model where lessons/projects will be developed and assigned to equal the amount of instructional time, not the length of the school day, students would have received had they been in school. The assignments would not introduce new material and would be due three days after the called snow day in order for students to receive support and extra help. Teachers would be available during the snow day via email should they need support. Assignments could involve a fun activity that can be associated with playing outdoors or interacting with friends and family in order to tie in a concept related to the school curriculum.
As we explore this possibility, we want to be sure to include all stakeholders in making this decision. We are surveying families seeking their interest in pursuing this concept. I would ask that you complete a three-question survey to assist us in making this decision. The link to the survey is:
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