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IC/ICA, School Year/School Calendar/Instruction Time

IC/ICA, School Year/School Calendar/Instruction Time

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The Board of Education is responsible for adopting the district calendar. Prior to the end of the year, the Board shall determine the length of time during which schools in the district shall be in session during the next school year. The number of hours/days of planned teacher-student instruction and of teacher-student contact shall be consistent with the Board’s definition of “actively engaged in the educational process,” meet or exceed the requirements of state law, and - include a sufficient number of days to allow the Superintendent flexibility in preparing a calendar that supports the district’s educational objectives.

The Board defines “actively engaged in the educational process” as time when students are covering academic content, demonstrating learning and working toward achieving educational objectives under the supervision of a licensed teacher, including:

  • Classroom instruction time
  • Instruction time delivered through remote learning, either synchronously or asynchronously
  • Independent or group student work time while at school including study hall
  • Individual student (and group) work time through an online learning environment
  • Independent or group remote work time that is directed, controlled or monitored remotely by educators
  • School-related field trips
  • Assemblies
  • Assessment days, including finals, and state assessments
  • Transition days, including days when the entire student body may or may not be present
  • Passing periods between two classes and between classes and lunch period if supervised

“Actively engaged in the educational process” shall not include:

  • Lunch
  • Time students spend before school waiting for classes to begin and time after the last class of the day, including waiting for the bus
  • Recess time
  • Teacher preparation time
  • Graduation ceremonies
  • Parent-teacher conferences

Supervision by a licensed teacher shall not require that the teacher be in the student’s physical presence at all times, but that the teacher is exercising direction, control or monitoring over the nature of the student’s activities.

In a remote learning environment, teacher-student contact time may be tracked and counted for attendance purposes in the following ways:

  • Presence during in-person instruction;
  • Completion of assignments (hardcopy or online) at home;
  • Access the online learning platform;
  • Completion of an online form attesting to work completed at home;
  • Demonstration of learning;
  • Response to teacher emails or communication.

Attendance will be recorded at least once daily for days when instructional hours are provided, meaning a student is “actively engaged in the educational process.”

It shall be the responsibility of the building administrator to maximize instructional time and calendar issues in the context of supporting the district’s educational objectives.

The Board has authorized a district calendar committee, which shall consist of volunteer representatives of parents, classified, licensed and administrative staff members, and one Board member (ex-officio member). The superintendent shall appoint an administrator to chair this committee. By December of the year of the previous calendar, the committee shall present one or more school calendar proposals for Board adoption. The calendar may be for one or more school years. Any requests for variances will be reviewed by the calendar committee. Approved requests will be included in the committee’s recommendations to the Board.

The calendar shall include the dates for all staff in-service programs scheduled for the coming school year. The administration shall allow public input from parents and teachers prior to scheduling the dates for staff in-service programs.

A copy of the calendar shall be provided to all parents/guardians of students enrolled in district schools. Any change in the calendar, other than closings for emergencies or other unforeseen circumstances shall be preceded by adequate and timely notice of no less than 30 days.

State law requires each school year to include the following minimum number of hours of planned teacher-student instruction: 1080 hours for secondary school students (high school grades 9-12, middle school grades 6-8); 990 hours for elementary school students other than kindergartners (grades 1-5); 900 hours for a full-day kindergarten program; 450 hours for a half-day kindergarten program; and 360 hours for the Colorado Preschool Program. The minimum hours of teacher-student instruction may be reduced by up to 24 hours for parent/teacher conferences, staff in- service programs and closings deemed by the Board to be necessary for student health, safety or welfare thereby reducing the number of hours of planned teacher-student instruction during the school year to 1056 hours for secondary students; 968 hours for elementary students other than kindergartners; 870 hours for full-day kindergarten students; 435 hours for half-day kindergarten students; and 351 hours for pupils enrolled in the Colorado Preschool Program. In no case shall a school schedule fewer than 160 teacher-student contact days during a school year without specific prior approval of the commissioner of education.

Teacher-Pupil Instruction Minimum Hours/Days

Grade Level Minimum Hours May be Reduced to Hours* Minimum Days
Colorado Preschool Program 360 hours 351 hours  
Half-Day Kindergarten 450 hours 435 hours 160 days
Full-Day Kindergarten 900 hours 870 hours 160 days
Elementary (grades 1-5) 990 hours 968 hours 160 days
Secondary (grades 6-12) 1080 hours 1056 hours 160 days

*May be reduced for parent/teacher conferences, staff in-service and closings necessary for student health, safety or welfare.

Adopted prior to 1985
Revised: March 2, 1994
Revised: June 4, 1997
Revised: September 1, 1999
Revised: November 14, 2001
Revised: April 3, 2002
Revised: April 15, 2008
Revised: June 4, 2008
Revised: January 6, 2010
Revised: March 21, 2012
Revised: November 20, 2014
Revised: September 2, 2020

Revised:  September 20, 2023

Legal References

C.R.S. 22-1-112 (school year and national holidays)
C.R.S. 22-32-109 (1) (n) (duty to determine school year and instruction hours)
C.R.S. 22-33-102 (1) (definition of academic year)
C.R.S. 22-33-104 (1) (compulsory attendance law)
C.R.S. 22-44-115.5 (fiscal emergency)
1 CCR 301-39, Rules 2254-R-2.06 (school year and instruction hours; definition of contact/instruction time)

Cross References

EBCD, Emergency Closures

Contract References

TEA Agreement, Article 16-Working Conditions