Summer learning loss is a huge contributor to the achievement gap and high school dropout rate. There are many reasons why summer learning is important: it has a positive impact on both academic and social-emotional development, it provides a safe, optimal learning environment with smaller, more relaxed classrooms, it helps students become more proficient in written and verbal language skills, it encourages physical activity and routines, it allows students to raise their GPA, and it provides an opportunity for students to earn credits towards graduation and college enrollment.
In the past, several schools began their summer school driver’s education program (classroom and behind-the-wheel) without being approved by the NDDPI. As you can imagine, the consequences of not being approved could be catastrophic. One accident can end an entire driver’s education program for a school because of an inevitable lawsuit. In addition, technically, an unapproved school/course is not legal and cannot be added to a high school transcript. It is vital that summer school driver’s education courses are submitted to STARS prior to the program's start so the NDDPI staff can approve it. If a school does not do this, the NDDPI will not reimburse the school for these courses.
Grades K-8 Remedial Summer School
The sixty-seventh legislative assembly has approved HB 1436. , which removes the word “remedial” will be removed from subsection 1 of section 15.1-21.16 of the North Dakota Century Code. Starting June 1, 2021, all K-12 students are eligible for state-funded summer school regardless of their academic status.
Q. How many hours of instruction are required for driver education?
A. Driver education must follow requirements within two sections of state law governing two different state departments. Classroom instruction for driver education must consist of a minimum of 30 clock hours for students to receive one-quarter credit. NDAC 37-03-04 of the Department of Transportation requires driver education programs to include six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction AND six hours of observational instruction while in the vehicle. The behind-the-wheel and observation are in addition to 30 hours of classroom instruction. (NDAC 67-20-01-08)
All instructional hours (30 hours classroom + 6 hours behind-the-wheel + 6 hours observation) must be fulfilled for a school to be eligible to receive state aid payment.
Most schools should use course code 21014 which includes classroom and behind-the-wheel.
Please note: When using course code 21014, the classroom hours of instruction are 30 and the behind-the-wheel hours of instruction are 12 for a total of 42. Do not enter 42 under the classroom hours.
Q. How are student grade levels determined for driver education?
A. Students participating in driver education are to be reported in the grade they have been promoted to in the fall (NDAC 67-20-01-05). Outlined below are examples to help clarify this:
If a student was in grade 8 during the current school year and has successfully completed that grade, the student has been promoted to grade 9 and must be enrolled in the high school summer school program for driver education. Additionally, this student must be at least 14 years of age before taking the behind-the-wheel portion of the course.
Please note: State aid payments for driver education are made only if students are:
In grade 9 (minimum)
Complete both Driver Education Classroom instruction AND Behind-the-Wheel/Observation instruction
Q. When can credit be issued for driver education?
A. To issue credit for driver education, students must have successfully completed:
Grade 8 (be promoted to grade 9)
Complete both Driver Education Classroom instruction (30 hours minimum) AND Behind-the-Wheel (6 hours minimum)/Observation (6 hours minimum) instruction.
Q. Are there age requirements for participation in Driver Education Classroom instruction or Behind-the-Wheel/Observation instruction?
A. Student can take the classroom portion of the driver and traffic safety education class as early as eighth grade. However, the behind-the-wheel portion can be given only to students who are at least 14 years of age. It is strongly recommended that students have completed a minimum of 4 hours of classroom instruction in rules of the road prior to any behind-the-wheel instruction.
Q. Can a student who loses their driver's license retake a driver's education?
A. A student who loses their license for traffic violations must retake the driver education course (NDCC 39-06-01.1); however, the school may not claim state aid for that student when the course is retaken. A fee for the course is allowed under NDCC 15.1-09-36.
Q. How can driver education completion certificates be obtained?
A. The certificate of completion confirms that the student has successfully completed the driver and traffic safety education program course. This is an official document that must be presented to the driver examiner at the time of the road test.
Driver education completion certificates are sent to the school administrators in the spring of every year or can be obtained by contacting the Safety Division at the ND Department of Transportation at (701) 328-4354
Q. Where can I find information regarding the summer school program?
A. Visit the NDDPI website for reporting guidance, driver's education information, and laws and regulations. You can find course code information here.
If you have specific questions regarding summer school programs, please contact School Approval & Opportunity at (701) 328-2597.
Q. How does a program qualify for state aid?
A. For a district to qualify to receive state aid for summer school, the Summer School Application, and the Summer School Licensed Personnel (MIS03) reports on STARS must be completed and approved before the program start date. Applications must be submitted for review 15 days prior to the start of the program. (NDAC 67-20-01-01)
Q. Who can teach in a school summer school program?
A. Individuals must hold an ND educator's professional license for the grade level and content area of instruction in accordance with North Dakota Century Code (NDCC) section 15.1-06-06 and 15.1-13-17. (NDAC 67-20-01-03)
Q. Is an aide/paraprofessional allowed to teach summer school?
A. No. An aide may assist in the classroom when the instructor is present; however, aides/paraprofessionals cannot teach in a summer school program.
Q. When can summer school courses be held?
A. Summer school programs must be conducted between the end date of the regular school year and the start date of the following regular school year. (NDAC 67-20-01-04)
Q. What courses may be taught in a summer school program?
A. For elementary and middle school summer school programs, only reading, mathematics, science, and social studies courses can be taught. If the course is not part of the regular school curriculum, it must be adopted by the school board and made available to all elementary and middle school students.
For high school summer school programs, each course must be a part of the regular school curriculum as adopted by the school board and must be offered and made available to all high school students. Each course must be selected from courses listed in the NDDPI's course codes document. Each summer course must satisfy graduation requirements and consist of at least the same number of hours as the same course offered during the regular school year. (NDAC 67-20-01-03)
Q. How many students can participate in a summer school program course?
A. Elementary and middle school summer school courses can have no more than 25 students being served by one licensed teacher in a class. (NDAC 67-24-01-05)
As a best practice, it is recommended that no more than 30 students should be enrolled in each high school class. The anticipated enrollment is reported on the STARS Summer School Licensed Personnel (MIS03) report and can be verified by a class roster if necessary.
Please note: If enrollment is only one or two students above the required limit (e.g., 27 students), you would not need to hire additional staff and add an additional course. If enrollment is five or more above the required limit, you need to add an additional teacher.
Q. How are student grade levels determined?
A. All students participating in summer school programs are to be reported in the grade they have been promoted to in the fall (NDAC 67-24-01-05).
Students participating in high school summer school programs must have completed grade eight and not have graduated from high school (NDAC 67-20-01-05). Outlined below are examples to help clarify this:
- If a student was in grade 8 during the current school year and has successfully completed that grade, the student has been promoted to grade 9 and must be enrolled in the high school summer school program.
- If a student was in grade 9 during the current school year, but the school requires the student's participation and successful completion of a summer course for the student to be promoted to grade 10, that student is still considered to be in grade 9.
Please note: To receive state aid payments, districts must report ALL summer school students, grades 1-12, under the grade level to which they have been promoted in the fall.
Q. What action should be taken when a student misses' days of a summer school program?
A. Each summer school program must have a policy regarding attendance, including consequences for a student missing days of the program. Students must be in attendance to receive state aid payments.
Q. May a student take a summer school course from another school district?
A. Yes, school districts may develop cooperative programs with other school districts. Documentation of tuition agreements must be completed and approved by the districts involved prior to the start of the summer program and must be available for review by department monitors. (NDAC 67-24-01-07 and NDAC 67-20-01-07)
Q. Can students from private schools attend the district's state-funded summer school program? If so, who would receive summer school state aid for their attendance?
A. Yes, if the private school student is a resident of that district. These private school children essentially become public school children for the summer. Whoever does the district's summer school reporting will need to exit code the private school children as "transferred within the district" at the end of the summer school session. If they are not a district resident, a tuition agreement between the two districts would need to be established.
- Remedial Elementary Grades K-8 and Elementary Grades 5-8 Summer School Programs
- High School Summer School Programs (Grades 9-12)
Q. What are a school's responsibilities if there are changes after the school's application has been submitted or approved?
A. The school must amend the summer school application and the Summer School Licensed Personnel (MIS03) in STARS. The amended application must provide the same type of information as is required on the original application. To amend your summer school application, please call (701) 328-2597 to have the application re-opened.
It is not uncommon for the number of students who enroll in a course to vary somewhat from the number identified on the school's original application. Any increases that result in the employment of additional personnel must be reported as an amendment to the application and must also be reported on the Summer School Licensed Personnel (MIS03) report on STARS. You do not need to amend enrollment if it doesn't result in the hiring of additional personnel.
The program must provide the required hours of actual instructional time to qualify for state aid. If unforeseen circumstances occur (such as the school building being closed for emergency reasons or instructor illness), the instructional time must be made up, and the NDDPI must be notified immediately of the change.
Please note: Only approved courses and programs are eligible to receive state aid payments. If changes are made (e.g., additional staffing, additional courses) and not approved by the NDDPI, state aid payment for the course will not be made.
Q. How many hours of instruction are necessary for a summer school program to qualify for approval?
A. Elementary and middle school summer school programs must provide 60 hours of instructional time to every student (NDAC 67-24-01-04). Program time must be allocated in one of the following ways:
- 60 hours each of reading, mathematics, science, or social studies if the student is only taking each of these courses alone; or
- A minimum of two 30-hour segments in reading, mathematics, science, or social studies courses. The instruction may not be allocated in different proportions (e.g., 40 hours of reading and 20 hours of mathematics).
NDCC 15.1-21-03 outlines the requirements for the receipt of high school credit units, indicating that each full credit must consist of at least 120 clock hours of instruction; 60 clock hours of instruction for one-half credit; and 30 clock hours of instruction for one-quarter credit, with the following exceptions:
- Science and vocational courses require 150 clock hours of instruction for each credit, 75 clock hours of instruction for one-half credit, and 37.5 clock hours of instruction for one-quarter credit.
Q. What fees can schools legally charge for summer school?
A. Only those fees specifically allowed in NDCC 15.1-09-36 can legally be charged for summer school.
Q. Can a summer school program be funded through multiple funding sources?
A. Yes, however, before multiple funding sources are used, school districts must be sure that the program meets all requirements for funding from all funding sources (e.g., courses available, time requirements, identification of students, teacher requirements, etc.).
Q. How or when can a school's summer school data be submitted for state aid payment?
A. To receive state aid payments for grades 1-8 summer school programs, the school must submit the summer school enrollment data in STARS (School Enrollment Report) at the end of the program (NDAC 67-24-01-08). Payments are based on the number of full-time equivalent students enrolled in summer school courses multiplied by the weight for summer education programs in NDCC 15.1-27-03.1. Full-time equivalent students are determined for all courses by dividing the total membership hours by one hundred twenty hours and multiplying by .25.
Summer school payments will be made through the state school aid system (STARS Enrollment Report) based on the number of full-time equivalent students enrolled in summer courses multiplied by the weight for summer education programs in NDCC 15.1-27-03.1. Full-time equivalent students are determined using this formula:
- For science or vocational courses, the total membership hours are divided by one hundred fifty hours multiplied by .25.
- For all other courses, the total membership hours divided by one hundred twenty hours multiplied by .25.
For questions on submitting your enrollment report, please call (701) 328-2236.
Q. Will the summer school program be monitored?
A. Yes, the NDDPI may monitor summer programs by reviewing documentation and may also conduct on-site visits, as necessary. (NDAC 67-20-01-06)