Final day of school tentatively set; graduation dates announced

Local school districts bogged down by snow days will get some welcome relief.

On Monday, Gov. Steve Beshear signed into law legislation that will now allow the tentative setting of the final day of school.

In Knox County, that day is June 6, pending approval of both the Knox School Board and the Kentucky Department of Education.  

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House Bill 211, which contacts legislation that would suspend state requirements that school districts have at least 170 instructional days as long as they could reach the benchmark of 1,062 hours of classroom time.

The bill also mandates that no school district can hold classes beyond June 6.

With 26 missed days so far, Knox County is one of 40 school districts statewide that have missed more than 20 days of school.

Gov. Steve Beshear signed the bill on Monday.

Passage of the bill came as welcome news for Knox school administrators, who must now amend their school calendar to reflect the changes and plan how they are going to meet the 1,062 classroom hour requirement.

“In House Bill 211,  June 6 was established as the relief point for districts that are challenged to meet the 1,062 instructional hour requirement.  Luckily for Knox, we will have met that requirement and are setting our last day for that Friday,” said Shelton.

Currently all Knox County schools document a minimum of 390 instructional minutes per day, which already has allowed for extended time to be banked for use.  Knox County has already amended the school calendar once this year to remove the tentative spring break and a professional development day that was scheduled for March 21.

HB 211 does not offer relief to teachers and school staff however.  All employees must fulfill their contractual days with the school district.

“Our leadership team is allowing building level principals and supervisors to develop a plan for staff as they work towards completing their required time for this year,” said Shelton.

Passage of the legislation also allowed school officials to set graduation dates.  Lynn Camp will hold commencement exercises on at 7 p.m. Friday, June 6, and Knox Central will hold commencement exercises at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 7, at 2pm.