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Flexible Instructional Day Program

A Flexible Instructional Day (FID) Program is a tool available to public school entities to be used as an alternate approach to delivering instruction if a circumstance arises that prevents instruction in customary manner.

With the passage of Act 64 of 2019, section 1506 was added to the Public School Code. Public school entities now have the opportunity to develop a Flexible Instructional Day program, enabling the public school entities to meet the 180 instructional day requirement of section 1501. The FID program may be online, offline, or a combination of the two. Act 64 defines a school entity as a school district, intermediate unit, area vocational-technical school, or charter school or regional charter school, as defined under section 1703-A.

While public school entities are expected to build make-up days into their local school calendars, FIDs can support the public school entities in cases when circumstances (e.g., a disease epidemic, a hazardous weather condition, a law enforcement emergency, the inoperability of school buses or other equipment necessary to the public school entity’s operation, damage to a school building, or a temporary circumstance rendering any portion of a school building unfit or unsafe for use) prevent the delivery of instruction in its customary manner or location. If the public school entity chooses to implement a FID program, the number of flexible instructional days may not exceed five (5) days per school year.

A public school entity electing to participate must develop a local FID program that meets the assurances outlined in the application. The FID program must be approved by the local School Board of Directors prior to acceptance by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

For the 2019-2020 school year, applications and instructional exemplars are due to PDE no later than September 1, 2019. A copy of the official minutes evidencing Board approval of the local FID program or a copy of the resolution presented to the Board for approval with a signed letter from the Board president verifying the date the resolution was presented and detailing the results of the vote are due by September 30, 2019. If submitting a letter and copy of the resolution, the official minutes must be submitted as soon as possible after Board approval and no later than October 31, 2019.

Find information on applications, deadlines, required documentation, and guidance in the Resources box on this page.

A public school entity will receive notification from PDE that its application has been accepted or denied no later than November 1, 2019. If accepted by PDE, the FID program is in place for a three-year period and may be renewed thereafter.

Pursuant to section 1506, PDE shall conduct an annual study on the efficacy of FIDs. A survey will be sent on or before April 30 of each year to each public school entity with an accepted application. Each public school entity shall return the survey to PDE by June 30 of the same year. The survey results will be used to track FID day usage, gauge overall effectiveness, and gather feedback on the need for additional guidance.

For additional information, all public school entities and nonpublic schools should contact the PDE School Services Office at 717-787-4860 or ra-fid@pa.gov