The Oklahoma State Board of Education on Thursday voted to give districts another year before they must seek a waiver to go on four-day school weeks.
Under state law, districts wanting to have fewer than the minimum 165 days of instruction would have to seek a waiver from the state department of education starting with the 2021–22 school year. The board’s decision postpones the waiver requirement until 2022–23. At all grade levels, the most recent Oklahoma School Report Card was part of the eligibility requirements.
"The rule, then, depends on various points of data that we do not have. Part of that we do not have because last spring we were unable to give spring assessments," said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.
About 20% of Oklahoma districts are on four-day weeks. Many of them would not qualify for a waiver under the new rules. Board member Jennifer Monies said didstricts now have more time to sort out their plans.
"For this specifically, giving a waiver for a year but also urging districts over the next year to really look at their calendar and say, 'How can we find a way to make sure that students are in school, in meaningful instruction for at least 165 days?'" Monies said.
State law also requires a minimum of one-thousand 80 hours of instruction.