In April, the State Education Department posted an advisory stating half days would no longer count toward the state's required 180 days of session, causing great confusion in the field. SED called it a "clarification memo," however, NYSUT noted this would be a clear change in policy — and difficult for school districts to implement so late in the school year.
After NYSUT raised objections, SED posted a new memo May 30 stating school districts should "report their session days as planned" for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.
This should assure districts they do not need to alter school calendars for either 2016-17 or 2017-18 to comply with the 180-day requirement.
In addition, SED will convene an advisory committee starting this fall to further review existing laws, regulations and guidance concerning the 180-day requirement, including superintendent conference days, staff training days, parent-teacher conference days, assessment scheduling and other calendar topics. The advisory committee will provide a series of recommendations to the commissioner.