Communications

School Closings

Published: 5/23/2018 12:41 PM
 
Although the Kentucky Department of Education does not have a direct role in determining when your school starts later than usual, dismisses early, or closes for an NTI (Non Traditional Instruction) day, a "snow day," or for other reasons, but we are responsible for ensuring that schools and districts adhere to minimum legal requirements for school calendars. The superintendent and local district experts in your district make the daily decisions regarding pupil transportation and the safety of your child based on direct observation of the roads in the county and the weather forecast, and other information available at that time.
 
It may seem odd to you that schools are sometimes closed when an expected winter storm doesn't develop as predicted or that schools are sometimes open when it looks like the worst of conditions exist. It's helpful to remember that the overriding concern of the superintendent is the safety of the students and staff. That is why superintendents sometimes choose to err on the side of safety and close school. The superintendent has to consider students who ride the bus, students who drive to school or other locations in the district for courses, and the safety of staff. Often, there are a few roads in the county that school buses cannot safely drive on and the superintendent may determine that the risk is too great to have school until those roads are clear.
 
Kentucky law in KRS 158.070 requires that students be in school a minimum of 1,062 instructional hours each school year, with a minimum of 170 student days. School districts are required to include have "make- up" in their school calendars in case they are needed. School districts must miss and make up 20 student attendance days before they can receive approval for district-wide “disaster” days from the Commissioner of Education.  
 
Finally, you may check with your school district about any social media, e-mail or telephone notifications that go out when schools are closed. Some districts allow you to sign up for this service on their Web sites. 

Heidi Stamper
Office of Legal, Legislative and Communication Services
Division of Communications
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-2000
Fax (502) 564-3049
 
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