Regional school calendar requirements

ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER NO: 6
POLICY CODE: IC

School administrative units and private schools approved for tuition purposes are now required by law to establish regional school calendars, in coordination with their local secondary career and technical education school, by July 1, 2013. The Legislature enacted the requirement as part of Public Law 2011, Chapter 686, a law that expands access to career and technical education in Maine and ensures that students completing career and technical education coursework have greater access to postsecondary opportunities.

Specifically, the law addresses scheduling conflicts that pose barriers to students by requiring that those school districts and private schools approved for tuition purposes that share a CTE school adopt a regional school calendar with no more than five dissimilar days. The law became effective Aug. 30, 2012, and establishing the regional calendar is a condition for eligibility for state subsidy.

Section 2-A of Title 20-A M.R.S.A., Section 4801 requires that the regional school calendar feature no more than “5 instructional days on which one or more of the school calendars of the school administrative units affiliated with a career and technical education center or one or more of the school calendars of the school administrative units within a career and technical education region are not aligned.”

Given the extensive coordination required for fulfillment of this law, I recommend that school districts initiate discussions as soon as possible, including representatives from all affected secondary schools and their associated career and technical education center or region. Section 2-A of Title 20-A M.R.S.A., Section 4801 reads: “To be eligible for state subsidy, each school administrative unit and private school approved for tuition purposes shall work with affiliated units, as defined in section 8301-A, subsection 1, in its career and technical education center or school administrative units in its career and technical education region to develop and approve a regional school calendar that aligns the school calendars of sending schools with the school calendars of career and technical education programs in the region.”

Please note that regional school calendars must be submitted to the Maine Department of Education by June 1, 2013. They must be approved by the Department by July 1, 2013. CTE schools will submit the regional calendar. Individual school calendars for all school administrative units, private schools approved for tuition purposes, and career and technical education centers and regions must also be submitted with the regional calendar to enable the Department to review for compliance. Guidance and templates can be accessed electronically at http://www.maine.gov/doe/regionalcalendar/index.html.

Read the relevant section of law, Title 20-A M.R.S.A., Section 4801, sub-section 2-A, here: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/20-A/title20-Asec4801.html.

For questions, please contact Doug Robertson (doug.robertson@maine.gov) at 624-6744 or Margaret Harvey (margaret.harvey@maine.gov) at 624-6739.

2 responses to “Regional school calendar requirements

  1. Is there a reason to go this route, as it might seem to make more sense to just have DOE put out a Calendar and we all just fall in line with that? It would seem that would comply with the law without all the paperwork and manhours this is going to take with everyone working from different angles..
    .

    • Courtney Yeager

      We appreciate your comment. I spoke with David Connerty-Marin, Maine DOE Communications Director, and this is what he said.

      “Thanks for your comment. The Legislature reviewed this extensively and heard from school districts that wanted flexibility in their calendars. This was the compromise they agreed to.”

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