MDE Weekly Superintendent Mail

MEMORANDUM

To: Superintendents and Charter School Directors

From: Tom Melcher, Director of School Finance

Dear Superintendents and Charter School Directors,

Thank you for your efforts to provide an excellent education to Minnesota students. As you are aware, Governor Dayton has canceled all K – 12 public schools on Monday, January 6, 2014 due to dangerously cold weather under Minnesota Statutes, Section 12.21, Subdivision 3(11). This closure impacts instructional classes only. Other business that is scheduled for January 6 is subject to local policy, e.g., school board meetings, athletic practice, extra-curricular activities, after school child care, etc.

Minnesota Statutes, Section 120A.41 requires public schools to provide, at a minimum, the following annual instructional hours:

425 hours for kindergarten
935 hours for grades 1 – 6
1,020 hours for grades 7 – 12

Independent school districts are required to provide a minimum of 165 instructional days for grades 1 – 11.

However, there is no direct financial penalty for providing fewer instructional hours or days than required in statute. The local school board is responsible for determining whether or not any canceled school day is made up at a later date.

For MARSS reporting purposes January 6 should be marked in your student software system as a non- school day. It will not be reported as an instructional day for the school or as a membership day for students.

This will have no impact on most students’ average daily membership (ADM) as ADM is computed for most students by dividing the student’s membership days by the number of instructional days. When the school cancels one instructional day, both the membership days and instructional days are reduced by one and a student enrolled for the entire school year will still generate 1.0 ADM.

The only ADM that could be impacted by canceling a school day and not making it up is that for students whose ADM is computed by using a statute-defined divisor.

• Early childhood special education: student membership hours divided by 825 hours

• Kindergarten students with an IEP: student membership hours divided by 875 hours

• Area learning center targeted services:

o Kindergarten student membership hours divided by 425 hours

o Grades 1 – 6 student membership hours divided by 935 hours

o Grades 7 – 8 student membership hours divided by 1,020 hours

• Other area learning center programs:

o Grades 5 – 6 student membership hours divided by the greater of the instructional hours in the program or 935 hours

o Grades 7 – 12 student membership hours divided by the greater of the instructional hours in the program or 1,020 hours

Districts should consult their local school board policy and/or labor contracts for work rules and/or pay for licensed and non-licensed employees.

Questions on MARSS reporting can be emailed to marss@state.mn.us.

Please watch for updated information from the Department of Education regarding weather related issues that may arise next week.