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Hard to believe, but back-to-school time is nearly upon us. In Massachusetts, 603 CMR 27 covers student learning time, and this is where we get the 180-day requirement for schools. In particular,  603 CMR 27.03 details School Year Requirements:

27.03: School Year Requirements

(1) Prior to the beginning of each school year, every school committee shall establish school year schedules for each of the public schools under its supervision and control, based on the particular learning needs of students within each school. In determining the school year schedule for each school, the school committee shall be guided by the student learning time plan recommended by the school council for each school, and shall attempt to maximize high quality teaching, learning, and professional development opportunities.

(2) Every school committee shall schedule a school year which includes at least 185 school days at each elementary, middle, and secondary school within the school district.

(3) Every school committee shall operate the schools within its district at least 180 school days in a school year.

(4) School committees are encouraged to exceed the minimum number of school days wherever possible, and to offer extended day and extended year programs that expand student learning opportunities.

(5) A school committee may establish a separate school year and school day schedule for kindergarten programs which it maintains pursuant to the Board of Education Regulations for Kindergarten (603 CMR 8.00), so long as it provides a minimum of 425 annual hours of structured learning time. In those school districts which schedule two sessions of kindergarten daily, the school committee shall adopt a schedule for its kindergarten programs which ensures equal instructional time for all kindergarten students.

High school seniors, however, get a little break. 803 CMR 27.05(2) says, in part, “the scheduled school year for the graduating senior class of a high school or vocational/technical school may conclude, and the school graduation may be held, up to twelve school days before the regular scheduled closing date of that school.”

You can find more information on Massachusetts education laws at our Mass. Law About Education.

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