Non-Traditional Instruction Program Overview
The Non-Traditional Instruction Program (NTI) is a program that encourages the continuation of learning on days when school would otherwise be canceled. School districts create plans to deliver instruction to every student in the district and provide for student and teacher interaction on NTI days, with the ultimate goal of continuing instruction. The Commissioner of Education can waive up to 10 NTI days to count towards student attendance days in the school districts’ calendars.
History of NTI
Prior to the inception of NTI, Kentucky school districts lost many days of instructional time due to weather-related closures. The NTI program is codified in KRS 158.070 (9): Notwithstanding any other statute, each school term shall include no less than the equivalent of the student instructional year in subsection (1)(f) of this section, or a variable student instructional year in subsection (1)(h) of this section, except that the commissioner of education may grant up to the equivalent of ten (10) student attendance days for school districts that have a nontraditional instruction plan approved by the commissioner of education on days when the school district is closed for health or safety reasons. The district's plan shall indicate how the nontraditional instruction process shall be a continuation of learning that is occurring on regular student attendance days. Instructional delivery methods, including the use of technology, shall be clearly delineated in the plan. Average daily attendance for purposes of Support Education Excellence in Kentucky program funding during the student attendance days granted shall be calculated in compliance with administrative regulations promulgated by the Kentucky Board of Education.
The Non-Traditional Instruction program began as a pilot in 2011, then as a statewide program in the 2014-2015 school year. The program grew each year and in 2019-2020, 83 districts participated. In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was determined that the NTI program would expand to all school districts. The program operated on a full-time, emergency status with unlimited days throughout the spring of 2020 and almost all of the 2020-2021 school year. In the fall of 2021, the NTI program will revert to its stated statutory guidelines.
How the Program Works
School districts wishing to participate in the Non-Traditional Instruction program complete a diagnostic called the “Continuation of Learning Plan” (CLP) within their Comprehensive District Improvement Plan (CDIP) each year prior to May 1. A review committee uses a rubric to evaluate the CLP and districts with quality CLPs are accepted into the NTI program. School districts implement their CLP in the following school year and submit documentation of the NTI days to the Kentucky Department of Education. Based on the documentation submitted, the Commissioner of Education can grant waivers to school districts for up to 10 NTI days to be included in the district calendar as student attendance days.