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Office of The Commissioner

Heat Days

To:Superintendents and Charter School Leaders
From:Jeffrey C. Riley, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
Date:June 4, 2021

We have been receiving many questions from districts regarding strategies for managing possible "heat days" early next week.

As a reminder, every year districts and schools are required to create a school calendar with five inclement weather days built in. In typical years, districts and schools are required to provide a minimum of 180 school days and a minimum of 900 student learning time (SLT) hours at the elementary level and 990 SLT hours at the secondary level. This year, due to training days provided to educators in the fall, districts are required to hold a minimum of 170 school days and a minimum of 850 elementary SLT hours and 935 secondary SLT hours.

Districts may consider holding half days due to heat, so long as they will still meet the SLT requirement of 850/935 hours. Otherwise, districts should cancel school in the event of a heat day and plan to extend their school year by one day to make up the day and the hours.

Please note: Districts and schools cannot shift all students to remote learning on these days and have those days and hours count towards a districts' SLT requirements of 170 days and 850/935 hours.

When school is in session on hot days, we recommend that districts increase learning time outdoors and offer students more frequent mask breaks, if feasible.

Last Updated: June 4, 2021

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

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