CCSA Answers: Receiving Credit for Emergency Days When Determining AD

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January 7, 2016 Question: The continued flooding in San Diego may lead to emergency closures at some charter schools. How can charter schools receive credit for emergency days when determining average daily attendance (ADA)?

Answer: The California Education Code allows the State Superintendent of Public School Instruction to authorize ADA credit for the days that schools are closed due to emergencies. Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), including direct-funded charter schools, may also receive ADA credit for all purposes, and instructional time credit for the days and minutes lost due to an emergency closure. Approval of school closures must be obtained by submitting three copies of Form J-13A: Request for Allowance of Attendance Because of Emergency Conditions.

To prevent mandatory school closure from reducing ADA, charter schools should deduct approved emergency days from the days in the reporting period divisor, when calculating ADA. Thus, schools report their ADA only for those days on which they actually operated classes, and do not include the zero attendance days during the closure. As a result, the days on which the school was closed will not reduce the average attendance quotient.

Charter schools and school districts will be credited with the emergency days towards the requirements to maintain school for 175 or 185 days. The regularly scheduled minutes of instruction for those days are counted toward the annual minutes requirement for the "longer day and year." In this way, no school will be penalized for emergencies.

It is important to note that the Form J-13A need only be filed if a school won't meet its minimum instructional day requirement due to an emergency closure.