Section 175.5. Minimum instructional hours and use of superintendents’
conference days for State aid purposes

(a) Purpose. The provisions of this section are intended to provide school districts with flexibility in meeting the 180-day requirement in order to receive State aid pursuant to Education Law §§1704(2) and 3604(7) for actual instructional time provided to students. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude school districts from lengthening the school day and/or school year beyond the annual minimum instructional requirement for both instructional and non-instructional activities, including but not limited to, homeroom periods, lunch, recess, staff development activities, parent-teacher conferences, or any other purpose the school district has determined is necessary for the development of the whole child and/or to improve student achievement.

(b) Definition. "Instructional hours" shall mean an hour or a fraction of an hour, during which students are receiving instruction from a certified teacher pursuant to Part 80 of this Title in an academic subject and/or periods of time during which students are engaged in supervised study activities, including completing homework and/or the review of homework. Instructional hours shall not include periods of time where instruction and/or supervised study time is not provided to students, such as lunch or recess.

(c) Annual Hourly Requirement. Commencing with the 2018-2019 school year, for the purpose of apportionment of State aid, any school district must be in session for at least 180 school days, and during such 180 days the school district must meet the following minimum annual instructional hour requirement:

  • (1) For pupils in half-day kindergarten, a minimum of 450 instructional hours.
  • (2) For pupils in full-day kindergarten and grades one through six, a minimum of 900 instructional hours.
  • (3) For pupils in grades seven through twelve, a minimum of 990 instructional hours.

(d) School calendar development. To ensure that school districts meet the annual instructional requirement in order to receive State aid, it is recommended that school districts establish school year calendars that exceed the minimum requirements as provided herein by at least the average number of emergency days that such district has taken over the previous five school years.

(e) Unscheduled school delays and early releases. Instructional hours that a school district scheduled but did not execute, either because of a delay to the start of a school day or an early release, due to extraordinarily adverse weather conditions, impairment of heating facilities, insufficiency of water supply, shortage of fuel, destruction of a school building, or such other cause as may be found satisfactory by the Commissioner, may still be considered as instructional hours for State aid purposes for up to two instructional hours per session day, provided, however, that the superintendent shall certify to the Department, on a form prescribed by the Commissioner, that an extraordinary condition existed on a previously scheduled session day and that school was in session on that day.

(f) Double or overlapping sessions. The provisions of subdivision (c) of this section shall not apply to schools which operate on double or overlapping sessions, provided the written approval of the Commissioner to operate such sessions has been obtained prior to the scheduling of such sessions for any school year.

(g) The provisions of subdivision (c) of this section shall not apply where the prior written approval of the Commissioner has been obtained to conduct, in a given school year, an experimental or alternative program involving daily sessions consisting of fewer hours than would otherwise be required by the provisions of subdivision (c) of this section.

(h) Use of superintendents’ conferences.

  • (1) Superintendents’ conferences to provide staff development activities that are related to implementation of the new high learning standards and assessments, general staff orientation, curriculum development, in service education, or parent-teacher conferences may be credited toward the annual instructional requirement. Provided, however, that the average scheduled hours for a school day based on the school calendar (e.g., 5 hours for elementary, 5.5 for secondary) shall be considered one superintendents’ conference day authorized pursuant to Education Law §3604(8) and a district may use up to the product of four such hour amounts in a given school year, and provided that such conferences occur on days when the regular day schools of the school district may legally be in session, and provided further that such conference days may not be scheduled for routine school administrative matters such as the grading of assignments, the preparation of pupil assignments, record-keeping, or the preparation of lesson plans. Such superintendents’ conferences authorized pursuant Education Law §3604(8), may be held, if the school district so elects, in the last two weeks of August, subject to collective bargaining requirements pursuant to article fourteen of the Civil Service Law.

(i) Regents examinations and other state assessments.

  • (1) Regents examinations. For only the grade levels sitting for a Regents examination, a district may schedule the average number of instructional hours it provides on non-examination days for days on which Regents examinations or Rating Day(s) are held, and have such hours count toward the annual minimum hourly requirement. On such days, attendance need not be taken, and attendance may not be assumed and claimed for State aid purposes under any circumstances. If grades seven through twelve are housed in the same building, school district officials may excuse the students from any grade level for which an examination is not being offered if their class schedules are disrupted by the Regents examination schedule and if staff are needed to properly administer such examinations.
  • (2) New York State Assessments. Session days during which New York State Assessments, including but not limited to the Grades 3-8 English language arts and mathematics assessments, are administered are days on which attendance must be taken and which instructional hours count toward the annual minimum hourly requirement.
  • (3) Other state assessments. On session days during which alternative and/or pathway assessments, as defined in section 100.2(f) and (mm) of this Title, are administered, attendance must be taken and only actual instructional hours for pupils in attendance, including the examination time, may be included within the instructional hour requirement. Grade levels that are excused from instruction on those days may not have hours count toward the requirement.

(j) Short session aid deduction. For the purposes of reducing State aid pursuant to Education Law §3604(7), "one day” shall mean:

  • (1) For pupils in half-day kindergarten, two and one-half hours.
  • (2) For pupils in full-day kindergarten and grades one through six, five hours.
  • (3) For pupils in grades seven through twelve, five and one-half hours.
In the event that a school district has a total deficiency in hours that equals a fraction of hours per day pursuant to this paragraph, such deficiency shall be rounded up to the next whole day.

(k) Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate any conflicting provisions of any collective bargaining agreement in effect on June 30, 2018 during the term of such agreement and until the entry into a successor collective bargaining agreement to the extent required under article 14 of the Civil Service Law.

(l) All claims submitted by school districts in accordance with section 175.10 of this Part for the payment of State aid for the 2019-2020 school year and thereafter shall include the total number of instructional hours, non-instructional hours, and session days for each grade level in each school within the school district, and a completed calendar worksheet in a format prescribed by the commissioner for each such school within the school district.

(m) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, certain school districts that have demonstrated a safety issue and/or other scheduling challenges that prevented them from complying with the annual instructional hour requirement set forth in subdivision (c) of this section in the 2018-2019 school year may apply to the commissioner by November 15, 2019 for a single waiver for up to four school years from such requirement for the 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021 and/or 2021-2022 school years; provided that such school district meets the following requirements:
(i) the school district must be in session for at least 180 school days in each school year, which shall include superintendent’s conference days authorized under this section;
(ii) the school district must attest that the annual instructional hours for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years will be at least equal to the annual instructional hours provided in the 2017-2018 school year and that for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years the school district will demonstrate that the total number of its schools that are in compliance with the instructional hour requirements will increase annually by increments of no less than one-third, resulting in full compliance in the 2022-2023 school year;
(iii) the school district must describe the safety and/or scheduling challenges that prevented the school district from complying with such requirements; and
(iv) the school district must provide a plan to the commissioner as to how it will comply with the instructional hour requirement in the 2022-2023 school year for all schools in the district.
(2) The commissioner will post a list of school districts with approved waivers for the 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021 and/or 2021-2022 school years on the department’s website.

(n) COVID-19 Executive Order(s) and Waivers. (1) Any day that a school is closed in the 2019-20 school year and the 180-day requirement set forth in subdivision (c) of this section is waived pursuant to an Executive Order(s) of the Governor pursuant to the State of emergency for the COVID-19 crisis or pursuant to Education Law §3604(7), as amended by Chapter 107 of the Laws of 2020, will satisfy the requirements for a waiver of the usually required reduction in monies payable to school districts under Education Law §3604 in accordance with the terms of such Executive Order(s).
(2) For the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years, notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, any school district may be eligible for a waiver from the annual instructional hour requirement set forth in subdivision (c) of this section if the district is unable to meet such requirement as a result of an Executive Order(s) of the Governor pursuant to the State of emergency declared for the COVID-19 crisis, or pursuant to Education Law § 3604(7), as amended by Chapter 107 of the Laws of 2020, or reopening procedures implemented as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, provided that such district meets the requirements outlined in subparagraphs (i) and (iii) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (m) of this section.

Last Updated: September 30, 2021