Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Calendar
There are many questions that come up in regards to the school calendar. Every district in Kentucky is unique and can have various numbers of days in their calendar. I hope to clear up some of the confusion about the school calendar with the following questions and answers. If you have other questions you may always e-mail me and I will try to answer them. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 606-663-3300.
1. How many instructional days must be in a school calendar?
A- The current law for the 2018-2019 school year says that a school calendar must have 1062 instructional hours with a minimum of 170 instructional days unless an alternative innovative calendar is approved by the commissioner. KDE equates this number of instructional hours to 177 days with 6 hours of instruction in each day. Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year if a district starts school on the Monday closest to August 26 we can go fewer than 170 school days as long as we extend the time in our days. However, we can't have instruction days greater than 7 hours.
2. How many instructional days are in the Powell County calendar?
A- Powell County has 170 student instructional days. Therefore, we have more than 6 hours of instructional minutes in our day.
3. What is the deal with “banking time?” Why can’t we “bank” any longer?
A- The calendar laws and regulations change every so often. Sometimes the legislature steps in and creates modifications of the law during a school year because of weather or disaster events. We also have to work with the “expectations” of the commissioner of KDE in addition to the law. We are essentially “banking time” already in Powell County because we are only going to school 170 instructional days instead of 177. The “banked time” is built in throughout the year. Current law tells us that we must have a minimum of 170 school days but as long as we go 1062 hours we can go any amount of time during those 170 days.
4. Why do we not want to take the option of starting the Monday closest to the 26th of August?
A- Powell County has a lot of make-up days to include in our calendar due to the amount of snow we typically get. If we started this late in the year, we could potentially go to school until the last day of June and we would have to put make-up days in places that we normally do not go to school such as the day before Thanksgiing. If we reduce the number of days to less than 170 for students, many things are affected. Number one, we believe that a day of instruction is better than adding an additional 2-3 minutes to a class period for the year. We already go the minimum required days because of our weather and we don't want to hurt instruction. Additionally, we want to make sure we are feeding our children as much as possible throughout the year, and taking away days means taking away meals. The financial cost to the employees and the district is also a factor. There are some jobs that would lose pay if we cut days, such as cooks and bus drivers and other classified staff. This not only would hurt their monthly income but it would also hurt their retirement. We also would lose funding in the district to the lunch program and the transportation program.
5. Why did we have so many make-up days in our original calendar?
A- The law says that you must put the largest number of days your district has missed over the past five years in your calendar as make-up days. During the 2013-2014 school year Powell County missed 29 days because of weather so we must have 29 days listed for making up missed school. Our normal protocol for using make-up days is to add days to the end of the calendar year until we use the last day we have before Memorial Day and then we begin to use the days in spring break as instructional days.
6. Why can’t we use Martin Luther King Day for a make-up day?
A- Kentucky law says we can’t use this day for a school day. There are a few other days that the law says we can’t come to school. Labor Day and a Presidential election day are two of them.
7. Why don’t we go to school on election days other than Presidential elections?
A- Currently, some of our schools are used as polling places. The law also states we can't go to school on a regular or primary election if schools are used as polling places.
8. Why don’t we use a 2 hour delay more often?
A- On a normal day, our buses start on the road approximately at 6:15- 6:20 a.m.to reach all the students on the various routes. In order for us to utilize a two hour delay, the roads would have to be cleared up by 8:15-8:20 a.m. to get students to schools two hours after a normal start time. In Powell County, if the roads are not good enough to travel on at 6:15 a.m. it is hard for them to clear up even by 8:15 a.m. most of the time because the sun hasn’t had time to come out and hit the areas that are filled with trees, shade, gravel, and snow.
9. What is the last day of school for students?
A- The last day of school is ever changing. As we miss days, we have to make them up. Please check the updated calendar on the parent link of the Powell County Web Page to determine the last day of school.
12. What are disaster days?
A- Disaster days are days that don’t have to be made up by students. Staff, however, have a certain number of work days in their contract and they must work those days. Kentucky regulation states that once a district has missed and made up 20 days they may ask the commissioner for days that don’t have to be made up by students. Again, the expectation of the Commissioner is that disaster days won't be granted unless we have used all the days that are listed as make-up days on our calendar. We believe that instruction is important and prefer not to ask for disaster days unless the year gets extended a great deal.
13. What is the absolute last day we can go to school for any particular school year?
A- The Powell County fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. Because of contracts and funding, we can’t extend a school year past June 30 of that school year.
14. Where can I find the most current Powell County School Calendar?
A- The most current version is always posted to the “Parent” link on the school web page. This calendar is not always updated on the first day of a snow event. However, it is likely to be updated on the day we return back to school.
15. What about Saturdays? Can we go to school on Saturdays?
A- New calendar law states that we can not go to school on Saturdays.