Report Title:

Year-Round (Master) School Calendar; DOE; Education

Description:

Establishes a single, statewide year-round calendar for all public schools in Hawaii, except schools on multi-track year-round schedules and charter schools, beginning with the 2004-2005 school year.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1360

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to the department of education.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that a single, statewide public school calendar offers numerous advantages, including:

(1) Considerable cost savings in personnel management and school support services;

(2) More efficient and effective administration and monitoring of academic programs, assessment, and accountability measures;

(3) Increased coordination possibilities among schools within a single school complex, as well as with other school complexes;

(4) Improved management for families with children attending more than one school; and

(5) Greater coordination of community-based youth services.

The cost savings of a single calendar are estimated to total $         that is not spent above normal expenses to support multiple school schedules. This includes current additional costs in payroll and personnel management, student transportation services, school food services, professional development, and safety and security services. The multiple calendars complicate and increase the workload in every program and function.

With a single calendar, the State can better coordinate and assess student academic programs, administer tests to students who are at the same stage of preparedness, and report results and information required for comprehensive system accountability.

By following a single calendar, schools within a complex can better coordinate instructional activities as well as teacher and staff training activities. Multiple school complexes can combine efforts to conduct joint training activities, making more effective use of time and resources and reducing duplication of activities.

Families with children attending more than one school that follow different schedules have long complained about the difficulty of coordinating family activities and arranging for childcare on various days when their children of differing ages are not in school. A single calendar can save both time and money for affected families.

Community-based youth organizations -- such as the YMCA and YWCA, church groups, sports leagues, and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts -- can benefit from a single calendar by organizing and providing activities for youth and adolescents during uniform vacation periods. With a single calendar, county policy officers, who are responsible for enforcing truancy, can more accurately identify times when students are supposed to be attending school.

The legislature also finds that year-round school calendars have gained in popularity in Hawaii, with nearly sixty per cent of all public schools and public school students following year-round or modified schedules during the 2002-2003 school year.

Year-round calendars include such advantages as:

(1) A fall recess between the two quarters of the first semester;

(2) An extended winter recess dividing the two semesters; and

(3) An extended spring recess between the two quarters of the second semester.

This results in a shorter summer recess, which in turn diminishes summer learning loss and reduces the amount of review needed at the beginning of each school year. The recess periods provide time for relaxation and renewal, possible remediation for students before they fall too far behind, enhancement activities for accelerated students, and opportunities for travel or other family activities during off-peak seasons. The summer recess can remain long enough to accommodate summer school schedules and teacher and staff training programs.

Accordingly, the purpose of the Act is to establish a single, statewide year-round calendar for all public schools in Hawaii, except schools on multi-track year-round schedules and charter schools, beginning with the 2004-2005 school year.

SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"302A- School calendar. (a) Beginning with the 2004-2005 school year, all public schools, except schools on multi-track year-round schedules and charter schools, shall follow a single, year-round school calendar, as proposed by the superintendent and approved during the preceding school year by the board.

(b) The school year shall fall between July 1 and June 30, and include up to one hundred ninety workdays for teachers, ten days of which shall be nonstudent days.

(c) The school year shall have recess periods, which may include state holidays, that are at least one week in the fall, at least two weeks in the winter, and at least one week in the spring.

(d) The nonstudent days shall include four days designated by the department for school-initiated planning and collaboration activities related to standards-based learning and other state and federal education mandates. Schools and school complexes may collaborate on joint activities during the four planning and collaboration days.

(e) The other six nonstudent days shall include:

(1) Two days at the beginning of the school year, one of which shall be used for teacher-initiated activities;

(2) One day for professional development activities organized by the employee's bargaining unit, such as Teacher Institute Day;

(3) One day at the end of the first semester for grading and other teacher-initiated activities;

(4) One day at the end of the school year; and

(5) One day that shall be converted to the equivalent of six hours for use in multiples of one-half hour increments at the discretion of the board to require teachers to participate in in-service training, school program planning and assessment, or teacher evaluation conferences beyond the regular work day of teachers.

(f) No work shall be scheduled on any official state holiday."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2003.

INTRODUCED BY:

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