§ 16-2-2. City and town schools required — School year — Location — Kindergartens.
(a)(1) Except as specifically provided in this section, every city or town shall establish and maintain for at least one hundred eighty (180) days annually or the equivalent thereof, exclusive of holidays, a sufficient number of schools in convenient places under the control and management of the school committee and under the supervision of the Rhode Island Board of Education. In lieu of a convenient location, the school committee may provide transportation for pupils to and from school in accordance with the provisions of chapter 21 of this title. Provided, that a school district may establish a school year that is the equivalent of one hundred eighty (180) days through the use of longer school days in terms of hours or pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and that may total less than one hundred eighty (180) separate days, so long as through the use of the longer school day, the school district annually provides a minimum of one thousand eighty (1,080) school hours in a single school year. This figure is based on a minimum of six (6) hours per school day. For purposes of clarification, the intent herein is to permit school districts to amend their school year to provide for longer school days while reducing the actual number of days in which the school facilities must be fully staffed and maintained, but to insure that in doing so, school districts shall still provide the minimum amount of instruction time contemplated by this section. Nothing herein shall be deemed to limit a school district from exceeding the minimum amounts of days and hours set forth herein.
(2) School districts intending to make use of the option provided herein to lengthen school days and shorten the school year shall submit a detailed school day plan and a proposed school calendar to the commissioner of elementary and secondary education for approval. The commissioner shall review the submitted school day plan and the submitted calendar to determine whether the plan and calendar are academically sound and fiscally efficient. The commissioner may grant or deny approval of the plan and/or the calendar.
(b) School facilities shall include a sufficient number of kindergartens.
(c) On or before December 1, 2017, the department of elementary and secondary education shall establish a policy that allows a school district to submit a detailed plan, at any time, to the commissioner of elementary and secondary education that would allow the schools to conduct instruction through virtual education when the schools have been closed due to inclement weather or other emergency. The plan for virtual education would be subject to, and require approval by, the council on elementary and secondary education in order to count as a school day.
History of Section.
G.L. 1896, ch. 54, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 66, § 1; P.L. 1914, ch. 1097, § 1; G.L. 1923, ch. 69, § 1; P.L. 1927, ch. 970, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 179, § 1; P.L. 1956, ch. 3642, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 16-2-2; P.L. 1967, ch. 111, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 86, § 26; P.L. 2013, ch. 434, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 258, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 264, § 1.