Mass.gov
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
Massachusetts State Seal
News School/District Profiles School/District Administration Educator Services Assessment/Accountability Family & Community  
> Administration Finance/Grants PK-16 Program Support Information Services  
>
>
 
 
 
>
>
 
>

School Redesign

Student Learning Time Waiver Process

Overview

In April 2013 the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education granted the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education authority to approve waivers for innovative programs that are expecting to operate less than the hour and day requirements established in the Massachusetts Student Learning Time Regulations (603 CMR 27.00).

Under the regulations, school committees are required to schedule a school year that includes at least 185 days at each school, and must operate the schools for at least 180 school days in a school year. In addition, schools must ensure that students are scheduled to receive a minimum of 900 hours of structured learning time per school year for elementary school students and a minimum of 990 hours of structured learning time per school year for secondary school students. Kindergarten students must receive a minimum of 425 hours of structured learning time per school year.

About the Waiver Process

The intent of this waiver process is to enable innovative programs and schedules that will benefit students educationally and improve student learning. This waiver process is not intended for emergency cases or extraordinary circumstances (e.g., natural disaster) that force the closing of one or more of the district's schools. The innovative programs under this waiver application should be focused on addressing an unmet student need in the district. Waivers may be granted for innovative schedules that focus on quality programming that is supported by a sound educational rationale and accountability for results. Waivers will be granted for a three-year time period, subject to annual review by the Department that indicates constructive results.

Programs approved for the waiver will be reviewed on an annual basis to determine whether they are providing a quality, innovative education for students that justifies maintaining the waiver. The annual review will include the district's evaluation plan of the school (detailed information is included in the waiver application) results, as well as additional data determined by the Department. The Department reserves the right to rescind a waiver application approval based on this review.

2016-2017 Student Learning Time Waiver Application and Review Process Timeline — Suggested Timeline

October 31, 2016District deadline for submitting a non-binding letter of intent to apply that includes a short (less than one page) summary of proposed waiver request to redesign@doe.mass.edu (please include "SLT Waiver" in the subject line)
November 15, 2016Department anticipates responding to letters of intent, indicating whether or not a waiver application is needed to implement proposed innovative programming
December 5, 2016District deadline for submission* of an optional draft waiver application to receive Department feedback
December 19, 2016Department anticipates providing feedback to districts that submitted draft waiver applications
January 25, 2017District deadline for submission of final waiver application
March 8, 2017Department anticipates providing waiver application authorization

2016-2017 Student Learning Time Waiver Application and Review Process Timeline — No Dates

District submits a non-binding letter of intent to apply that includes a short (less than one page) summary of proposed waiver request to redesign@doe.mass.edu (please include "SLT Waiver" in the subject line)Submission Date
Department anticipates responding to letters of intent, indicating whether or not a waiver application is needed to implement proposed innovative programming2 weeks from letter of intent submission date
District submits an optional draft waiver application to receive Department feedbackWithin 3 weeks from letter of intent submission date
Department anticipates providing feedback to districts that submitted draft waiver applicationsWithin 2 weeks from draft waiver submission date
District submits final waiver applicationWithin 5 to 6 weeks from Department feedback date
Department anticipates providing waiver application authorizationWithin 5 to 6 weeks from final waiver application submission date

*A complete waiver application that includes a signed assurances page must be submitted in order to have the waiver application reviewed. Please submit an electronic version of the completed waiver applications to the Department's Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign at: redesign@doe.mass.edu (please include "SLT Waiver" in the subject line). The signed assurances page may be either scanned and sent electronically or faxed to (781) 338-3220.

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
2016-2017 Student Learning Time Waiver Application
View HTML Page
Current Flexibilities under the Student Learning Time Regulations
View HTML Page
Evaluation Plan Guidance

For questions related to the Student Learning Time Waiver Process, please email redesign@doe.mass.edu.



Last Updated: July 28, 2016
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search · Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact ESE