- Only weather-related early dismissals are exempt from the 5.5 hours/day requirement. A school that does not record 5.5 hours because it dismissed early for athletics must make up the day.
- Consider this option: Give excused absences (but this is optional…depending on start time of event and distance to venue, it may be unreasonable for a student to leave early, in which case the absence would be unexcused) to students who desire to leave early, but instead of dismissing the entire school early, have study hall for all students who do not leave. Make sure sufficient instructional staff are willing to stay to preside over study hall. Because instructional staff was present to guide and instruct students for 5.5 hours, the school then may record this as a full instructional day. This is not always feasible…sometimes your staff want to leave early, too.
- 300+ high schools would love to have your "problem."
Here's the rule, verbatim:
281—12.1(9) Minimum school day. A school day shall consist of a minimum of 5½ hours of instructional time for all grades 1 through 12. The minimum hours shall be exclusive of the lunch period. Passingntime between classes as well as time spent on parent-teacher conferences may be counted as part of the 5½-hour requirement. The school or school district may record a day of school with less than the minimum instructional hours if emergency health or safety factors require the late arrival or early dismissal of students on a specific day; or if the total hours of instructional time for all grades 1 through 12 in any five consecutive school days equal a minimum of 27½ hours, even though any one day of school is less than the minimum instructional hours because staff development is provided for the instructional professional staff or because parent-teacher conferences have been scheduled beyond the regular school day.