Flexible Learning Year

Flexible learning year program means any district plan approved by the commissioner that utilizes buildings and facilities during the entire year or that provides forms of optional scheduling of pupils and personnel during the learning year in elementary and secondary schools or residential facilities for children with a disability.

Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.12 to 124D.127 authorizes districts to evaluate, plan and employ the use of flexible learning year programs. It is anticipated that the open selection of the type of flexible learning year operation from a variety of alternatives will allow each district seeking to utilize this concept to suitably fulfill the educational needs of its pupils. These alternatives must include, but not be limited to, various 45-15 plans, four-quarter plans, quinmester plans, extended learning year plans and flexible all-year plans. A school district with an approved four-day week plan in the 2014-15 school year may continue under a four-day week plan through the end of the 2019-20 school year. Future approvals are contingent upon meeting the school district’s performance goals established in the district’s plan under section 120B.11.

Minnesota Rules, part 3500.1000 indicates flexible learning year programs shall be designed to accomplish at least one of the following:

  •  Improve instructional quality.
  •  Increase cost-effectiveness.
  •  Make better use of community resources or available technology.
  •  Establish an alternative eligibility criteria intended to identify pupils in need of special education services.
     

Types of flexible learning year programs identified in Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.12:

  • Flexible All-Year              
  • Extended Learning Year          
  • Four-Quarters               
  • Quinmester
  • Other (Note: MDE will not approve new four-day week proposals)