For Immediate Release
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
BISMARCK, N.D., Nov. 21, 2018 – State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler has approved a request from the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders to designate Oct. 17-18, 2019, as days during the 2019-20 school year when classes, athletic events and other school activities may not be held.
The NDCEL represents school superintendents, principals and other administrators. The organization asked the Department of Public Instruction to set aside those days for its annual October conference in Bismarck. Baesler agreed to designate those days as "Administrator Convention Days."
North Dakota law gives the superintendent authority to set aside up to two days during a school year for professional development, as long as the training is "hosted by an educational organization in this state." Classes may not be held during those days, and school activities are prohibited, including athletics games and practices.
The text of the law is below:
15.1-06-04.1. School district calendar - Limitation.
- A school district may not schedule school-sponsored, school-directed, or school-related activities, including instructional time, during any day that the superintendent of public instruction declares is in conflict with a professional development conference directed toward all teachers or all administrators and hosted by an educational organization in this state.
- The declaration permitted by subsection 1 is limited to two days during a school year.
"School boards are starting to make decisions about their instructional calendars for the 2019-20 school year," Baesler said Monday. "This information will guide local school officials in making those scheduling decisions."
Baesler has issued a memo to explain the context of setting aside two "conference days" during the North Dakota school year. The Legislature once designated those days for a state teachers’ convention. Those days are now being set aside for members of North Dakota’s principals’ and superintendents’ associations to meet in Bismarck.
This year, more than 650 educators registered to attend the Department of Public Instruction’s Fall Educators Conference in Bismarck Oct. 10-12. About 450 school administrators attended the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders’ fall conference the following week.