Minimum Days & Instructional Hour Requirements
Pursuant to state statute and board rules, the local board of education shall provide for the adoption of a school calendar that meet the following minimum requirements:
- Each school is in session for a minimum of 160 days (“student contact days”), and
- Each school is scheduled a minimum number of hours of planned teacher-pupil instruction and teacher-pupil contact during the school year (“instructional hours”)
Each school must be scheduled for minimum number of hours of planned teacher-pupil instruction and teacher-pupil contact during the school year as listed below:
- Secondary schools: 1,080 hours (middle, junior high or high school)
- Elementary schools: 990 hours
- Half-day Kindergarten: 450 hours
- Full-day Kindergarten: 900 hours
- Colorado Preschool Program (CPP): 360 hours
The minimum actual instructional hours may be reduced, by up to 24 hours once the school year begins, for the following reasons: (1) parent/teacher conferences; (2) staff in-service programs, and (3) closings deemed by the board to be necessary for the health, safety, or welfare of pupils.
Additional guidance regarding the calculation of the 160 day requirement and minimum teacher-pupil contact/instructional hours can be found in the CDE Calendar and Instructional Hours Guidance.
Waivers of Day/Hour Requirements
For the Upcoming School Year
For the upcoming school year, schools with a four day school week or planning to operate on less than 160 days, please follow CSI’s template and timeline to submit a Four Day School Week and <160 School Day Request.
For the Current School Year
For the current school year, schools that may be unable to meet the day and hour requirements due to unexpected closures for reasons such as weather, safety, or closure should implement good faith efforts to reduce lost instructional time.
As indicated on CDE’s webpage, good faith efforts include adjustments to the bell schedule, including reducing the lunch hour by a few minutes per day or adjusting the start or end times or by adding instructional days to the calendar.
Schools nearing the minimum day/hour requirements may want to consider offering Remote Learning Option days in lieu of cancelling scheduled student contact days for inclement weather, safety, etc. (specific rules can be found in the CDE Calendar and Instructional Hours Guidance under the Emergency School Closures section).