The School Year May Start Earlier
With the winter weather so unpredictable and the snow days allotted not always enough, New York state is considering adjusting the length of the school calendar. There is a law in New York that the school year is 180 days. But that may be changing. There is a push for a more flexible school calendar. It may start earlier than September and hours would be counted instead of days according to the Times Union article.
The law right now says that New York state schools can't start classes before September 1st. They are also hoping to change days required to hours instead. Both of these changes will help school districts be more flexible in meeting the state requirements.
Right now half days don't count toward the 180 days. There is a rule on the books that says that there needs to be 900 instructional hours for elementary schools and 990 for middle and high schools. If the days go away, the half days would count toward instructional hours and meet the requirements. It would also help schedule longer lunches and recess periods for students.
The next step is for a state committee to be formed to take a harder look at the issue. The earlier start to the school year will most likely be decided at the local level.