What happens when a district experiences weather- or disaster- related closures of many days?
(Effective through the End of the 2017-18 School Year)

Due to  unusual weather, or natural or manmade disasters,  districts may use up their scheduled snow emergency days in the first part of the school year.  The following is a reminder regarding the 180 days of session requirement in Education Law section 3604 (7) as it relates to State Aid:

  1. Districts need to provide 180 days of session to receive full Foundation Aid.  Foundation Aid will be reduced by 1/180th for each day below 180 days. Absent special legislation, this aid deduction cannot be waived, except per item #8 below.

  2. Included in the 180 days are days on which attendance is taken, days on which Regents examinations (including "rating" days), State Assessments or local examinations are given and up to four days on which superintendent's conference days are held.

  3. Since superintendent’s conference days already count toward the 180 days, changing a scheduled superintendent’s conference day to a day of instruction does not increase the number of session days.

  4. If a district falls below 180 days of session, upcoming scheduled vacation days must be used to make up the shortfall.

  5. Session days, including superintendent’s conference days, should not be scheduled on Saturdays, legal holidays or after the June Regents Examination period, except that Districts may schedule a single Superintendent’s Conference Day on Monday, June 25, 2018, if doing so is necessary to avoid falling below the 180 days of session required to receive the full allocation of Foundation Aid.  A total of no more than four Superintendent’s Conference Days per year may be counted toward the 180 day session requirement.  As always, districts may not schedule instruction days after the Regents Rating Day.

  6. A declaration of a State of Emergency by the Governor due to adverse weather conditions does not authorize the school districts affected to operate an annual session of less than 180 days.

  7. Pursuant to the current § 175.5 of the commissioner's regulations, to count toward the 180 days required to receive full Foundation Aid allocation, a session day must be 5 hours for elementary students and 5.5 hours for secondary students. However, the same regulation states that those minimum length of school day requirements "shall not apply to school days during which a session of less than the minimum number of hours is conducted because of extraordinary adverse weather conditions..." This means that if school opens in a good faith effort to hold instruction, but students are dismissed early or brought in late due to extreme weather, the day still counts toward the 180 required days. Other than the 'good faith effort' criterion, and careful consideration of the costs/benefits, there is no guidance on exactly how many hours school needs to be open on such days for the day to count toward the 180.

  8. If a district falls below 180 days of session after all available scheduled vacation days have been used as session days, the district may apply to the State Aid Office via SAMS Schedule A8 to have the Foundation Aid penalty waived for up to five days. Click below to view more information regarding a request for an extraordinary condition day.

  9. If a district falls below 180 days of session, and cannot obtain a waiver, the district must report the actual session day information on the SAMS Form A Schedules A1 through A5 the following fall.  The State Aid Office will then make the required deduction from General Aid during that State Aid claim year.  This aid deduction will be displayed on the General Aids (GEN) output report.

State Aid Contact: Dianne Bittermann
Phone # (518) 474-2977
E-mail dianne.bittermann@nysed.gov

Last Updated: February 13, 2019