- Each school board shall prepare a calendar for the school term, providing a minimum term of at least one hundred seventy-four days for schools with a five-day school week or one hundred forty-two days for schools with a four-day school week, or other calendars consisting of less than one hundred seventy-four days (in lieu of a five-day school week) and one thousand forty-four hours of actual pupil attendance. (Sections163.021 and 171.031).
- There are two circumstances under which a legal school term may include fewer than 174 days and 1,044 hours: the "inclement weather forgiveness" rule; and the "inclement weather make-up days" rule. Both are intended to provide relief in the event of weather conditions which pose a threat to the safety and welfare of students including: (1) excessively cold temperatures; (2) snow and ice storms; and (3) under some conditions, excessively heavy rain.
School Start Date
- Section 171.031.2 RSMo states that the local school district may set an opening date no earlier than ten calendar days prior to the first Monday in September, unless the district follows the procedure in Section 171.031.3 to waive that requirement.
- Section 171.031.3 provides that the district may set an earlier opening date, if the local school board gives notice of a public meeting to discuss the proposal more than ten days prior to the first Monday in September, and, at that same meeting, a majority of the board votes to set the earlier opening date. These conditions must be met each year if the board proposes an opening date more than ten days before the first Monday in September.
- The school day for districts establishing a five-day school week must be at least three hours, but not more than seven hours long, except for vocational schools in St. Louis City and St. Louis County which may plan school days up to eight hours long. (Sections 160.041 and 171.031)
- The school day for districts establishing a four-day school week, and districts that adopted a calendar of less than one hundred seventy-four days (in lieu of a five day week), must be at least four hours, but not more than 8 hours long.
- The statutes do not define the minimum or maximum school day for half-day kindergarten programs. The Department believes a logical extension of the minimum three-hour-day requirement to half-day programs would require them to be in session at least one and one-half hours to be counted as a day of school and a minimum of five hundred twenty-two hours for the year unless the "inclement weather forgiveness" rule; and the "inclement weather make-up days" rule effect the hours of attendance.
- Districts may schedule only one day of attendance within a calendar day. For example, it is impermissible to schedule two, three-hour sessions during the same calendar day and claim two days of school. This applies to all programs, including half-day kindergarten.
Statutes Regarding School Term and School Calendar
- Minimum school day, school month, school year, defined--reduction of required number of hours and days, when, 160.041.
- Four-day school week authorized--calendar to be filed with department, 171.029.
- Eligibility for state aid, requirements--evaluation correlation of rates and assessed valuation, report, calculation--further requirements--exception, 163.021.
- Board to prepare calendar--minimum term--hour limitation, 171.031.
- Make-up of days lost or canceled--exemption, when--waiver for schools in session twelve months of year, granted when, 171.033.