PA schools: Longer days rather than more days?

It's another option to make up for this winter's snow days off

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Rather than students spending much of June attending classes to make up for snow days, schools in Pennsylvania have the option of kids putting in longer days in classrooms during the next few months.

So explained Timothy Eller, spokesman for the state Department of Education.

Eller said the department is reminding school districts that they can request state approval to calculate by instructional hours instead of the 180-day requirement.

He said schools would need to submit a request to the department demonstrating that:

* Students in kindergarten will be offered 450 hours of instruction;
* Students in grades 1-6 (elementary) will be offered 900 hours of instruction;
* Students in grades 7-12 (secondary) will be offered 990 hours of instruction.

He said those hours are the equivalent of 180 days.

Eller said whether a district continues to offer 180 days of instruction or 450/900/990 hours of instruction, the school year must be completed no later than June 30.

"No districts have submitted a request to calculate by the hour," said Eller.  "I anticipate requests to start coming in in the next few weeks."

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