Learning Time Options

Schools across Minnesota and the nation think creatively about when and how student learning time takes place inside and outside of the traditional school day or school year. The effectiveness of any approach is specific to its context and community. One size does not fit all. An innovative learning time model’s usefulness depends on the population of students beings served, the type of calendar or out-of-school time initiative selected, the presence and commitment to other educational reforms, and the particular characteristics, needs and desires of the local community.

Flexible Learning Year
The Flexible Learning Year initiative allows traditional school districts (not charter schools) to apply for a Flexible Learning Year program for their district or a particular school site. The district must complete an extensive planning and application process which must then be approval by the Commissioner of Education. The process includes setting academic goals, formal meetings with community stakeholders, and agreement from any affected bargaining units.

Types of Flexible Learning Year programs designated in Minnesota statutes are:

  • Four-Day Week
  • 45-15
  • Flexible All Year
  • Extended Learning Year
  • Four Quarters
  • Quinmester
  • Other
School districts applying for Flexible Learning Year Programs beginning or renewing in academic year 2015-2016 submit applications no later than April 15, 2015. Effective July 1, 2015, Flexible Learning Year applications are due by February 1 prior to proposed implementation year. Approvals by the commissioner may extend three years, at which time districts must reapply. For more information about the application process for Flexible Learning Year programs, superintendents may contact Cindy Jackson at 651-582-8572.

School Calendar Law
Minnesota’s school calendar law assumes that most regular public schools (excluding charters) do not begin classes until after Labor Day.  Some exceptions exist, such as when significant building construction is underway in the district or when the district or site has been approved as a Flexible Learning Year Program. Read full text of law.
After and Out-of-School Time programs include 21st Century Community Learning Centers and Youth Program Quality. Contact Eric Billet for more information on these programs or visit the page available at left.

See the Enrollment Choices page for information on a variety of options for students, including Alternative Learning Programs, Online Learning and Charter Schools. Contact information for each program is available on the topic webpage.