How Many Weeks in a School Year in the US? Find Out Here!

Written By Wise Healthy n Wealthy

Attention, class!

We all know there are 52 weeks in a calendar year, but what about the number of weeks in a school year?

Did you know that the answer varies depending on the hemisphere, country, region, and even the state you live in?

For example, students in Chile enjoy the longest summer vacation in any country — over three months!

But here’s the wildest part:

Their summer break runs from December to March because they’re located in the southern hemisphere.

What about the United States? Have you ever wondered how many weeks in a school year in the US?

What else should you know about the US education system – especially in comparison to other locales?

Keep reading for answers!

How many weeks are in a school year?Here we go, then. How many weeks are in a school year? Let’s dive in!

Interested in the number of weeks in a school year? You might also like these posts:

How Many Weeks Are in a School Year?

Let’s start with the short answer to how many weeks in a school year in the US.

The national average is 25-26 weeks, including weekends and holidays.

The school year itself is spread out over 32-36 weeks if you don’t include weekends and holidays.

However, the exact number of weeks depends on the requirements in each state and other factors, such as grade levels.

Public schools may be required to start and end by a particular date, while private schools often have greater freedom to set their own schedules.

How Many Days Are in a US School Year?

Again, the answer varies depending on the state you live in!

The national average is between 175-180 days of school per year.

However, lucky kids in one state enjoy a minimum requirement of just 160 days of school per year.

Which state is that? Keep reading to find out!

How many days are in a school year in each state? And how many weeks does that equate to? Read this section for answers.

How Many Weeks of School Are There in Each State?

Now that you have an overview of the number of weeks in a school year, let’s dig deeper. Here’s a list of how many days are in a school year, state by state.

  • Alabama: 180 days minimum
  • Alaska: 180 days minimum
  • Arizona: 180 days minimum
  • Arkansas: 178 days minimum
  • California: 175-180 days minimum (varies by district)
  • Colorado: 160 days minimum
  • Connecticut: 180 days minimum
  • Delaware: Hourly requirement only
  • District of Columbia (Washington, DC): 180 days minimum
  • Florida: 180 days minimum
  • Georgia: 180 days minimum
  • Hawaii: 180 days minimum
  • Idaho: Determined by individual school districts
  • Illinois: 176-185 days minimum
  • Indiana: 180 days minimum
  • Iowa: 180 days minimum
  • Kansas: 186 days minimum (grades K-11), 181 days minimum (grade 12)
  • Kentucky: 170 days minimum
  • Louisiana: 177 days minimum
  • Maine: 180 days minimum
  • Maryland: 180 days minimum
  • Massachusetts: 180 days minimum
  • Michigan: 180 days minimum
  • Minnesota: 165 days minimum
  • Mississippi: 180 days minimum
  • Missouri: Hourly requirement only
  • Montana: Determined by individual school districts
  • Nebraska: Hourly requirement only
  • Nevada: 180 days minimum
  • New Hampshire: 180 days minimum
  • New Jersey: 180 days minimum
  • New Mexico: Hourly requirement only
  • New York: 180 days minimum
  • North Carolina: 185 days minimum
  • North Dakota: Hourly requirement only
  • Ohio: Determined by individual school districts
  • Oklahoma: 180 days minimum
  • Oregon: Hourly requirement only
  • Pennsylvania: 180 days minimum
  • Rhode Island: 180 days minimum
  • South Carolina: 180 days minimum
  • South Dakota: Determined by individual school districts
  • Tennessee: 180 days minimum
  • Texas: Hourly requirement only
  • Utah: 180 days minimum
  • Vermont: 175 days minimum
  • Virginia: 180 days minimum
  • Washington: 180 days minimum
  • West Virginia: 180 days minimum
  • Wisconsin: Hourly requirement only
  • Wyoming: 175 days minimum

In summary, 29 states and the District of Columbia require at least 180 school days per year, which averages out to about 36 weeks (at five days a week). The other 21 states vary according to each city, county, or school district.

Throughout most of the US, the school year typically begins in August and goes on until June of the following year.

Did you notice which state has the lowest minimum requirement for school days?

Kids lucky enough to live in Colorado may only go to school for 160 days each year, which is four entire weeks shorter than the rest of the nation!

How many weeks of school are there in a year?Now we know how many weeks of school there are in a year, here are the average start times for each school day…

What Times of Day Do American Students Attend School?

Compared to other developed nations, schools in the US generally have earlier (and, according to experts, highly illogical) start and end times.

Let’s take a look at the average start time for middle school and high school students in each state.

  • Alabama: 7:49 AM
  • Alaska: 8:33 AM
  • Arizona: 8:03 AM
  • Arkansas: 8:01 AM
  • California: 8:07 AM
  • Colorado: 7:54 AM
  • Connecticut: 7:46 AM
  • Delaware: 7:42 AM
  • District of Columbia: 7:58 AM
  • Florida: 8:17 AM
  • Georgia : 8:09 AM
  • Hawaii: 8:03 AM
  • Idaho: 8:13 AM
  • Illinois: 8:13 AM
  • Indiana: 7:58 AM
  • Iowa: 8:23 AM
  • Kansas: 8:00 AM
  • Kentucky: 8:03 AM
  • Louisiana: 7:40 AM
  • Maine: 7:53 AM
  • Maryland: 7:55 AM
  • Massachusetts: 7:53 AM
  • Michigan: 7:54 AM
  • Minnesota: 8:18 AM
  • Mississippi: 7:47 AM
  • Missouri: 7:54 AM
  • Montana: 8:13 AM
  • Nebraska: 8:07 AM
  • Nevada: 7:51 AM
  • New Hampshire: 7:46 AM
  • New Jersey: 8:00 AM
  • New Mexico: 8:10 AM
  • New York: 7:59 AM
  • North Carolina: 8:03 AM
  • North Dakota: 8:31 AM
  • Ohio: 7:52 AM
  • Oklahoma: 8:10 AM
  • Oregon: 8:14 AM
  • Pennsylvania: 7:48 AM
  • Rhode Island: 7:50 AM
  • South Carolina: 8:03 AM
  • South Dakota: 8:13 AM
  • Tennessee: 7:57 AM
  • Texas: 8:05 AM
  • Utah: 8:05 AM
  • Vermont: 8:05 AM
  • Virginia: 8:04 AM
  • Washington: 8:08 AM
  • West Virginia: 7:54 AM
  • Wisconsin: 7:59 AM
  • Wyoming: 7:59 AM

Nationwide, the average start time is before 8 AM, which often disrupts the natural sleep cycle for children and teenagers.

It’s also problematic for parents who work a traditional nine-to-five job, especially considering most school days end between 2 PM and 3 PM.

Fun fact:

Did you notice that schools in Alaska start much later than in other US states? There’s a reason for that! Because of Alaska’s extreme northern latitude, there are very limited hours of daylight during the school year. During December in the city of Fairbanks, for example, the sun doesn’t rise until almost 11 AM and it sets again just after 2:30 PM! On the flip side, students in Alaska really enjoy their summer vacations. In June, the sun doesn’t set until almost 1 AM and it rises again before 3 AM. Talk about plenty of daylight to maximize your school holidays!

Weeks in a school year USNext up: with so many weeks in a school year, what are the main holidays you have to look forward to?

What Are the Major School Holidays in the US?

Speaking of school holidays, what does a typical calendar look like? Here’s a list of national holidays that equal a day off for American students, beginning in September.

  • Labor Day (the first Monday in September)
  • Columbus Day (the second Monday in October)
  • Veterans Day (11 November)
  • Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday in November, as well as the Friday after)
  • Winter break (usually the last two weeks of December into the first week of January to include Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and New Year’s Day)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (the third Monday in January)
  • Presidents Day (the third Monday in February)
  • Spring break (typically a week that falls anytime between late February and early April; timing varies by district and state)
  • Memorial Day (the last Monday in May)

Independence Day is one of the biggest national holidays in the US, falling on the 4th of July each year. However, since it’s in the middle of the summertime, it rarely affects the academic year (with the exception of summer school).

Bonus fact: Schools in northern parts of the US may receive additional days off due to inclement winter weather, AKA “snow days.” Interestingly, Kentucky, Ohio, and Oklahoma lead the nation for weather-related school closures, even though many other states receive more snow and ice.

Meanwhile, in states along the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, schools may close if there’s the threat of a landfalling hurricane. This most often occurs at the beginning of the school year, which coincides with the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season (the months of September and October).

How many weeks of school are there?How many weeks of school are there in China? Or India? Or England? Let’s find out…

How Many Weeks in a School Year in Other Countries?

There’s a lot of variation in the number of weeks in a school year throughout the US, but how does it compare to other countries?

Here’s a quick overview of how the US academic year stacks up against other nations:

  • China: 245 days/35 weeks
  • England: 190 days/27 weeks
  • France: 160 days/24 weeks
  • India: 294 days/40 weeks
  • Italy: 200 days/28 weeks
  • Japan: 230 days/33 weeks
  • South Africa: 200 days/28 weeks
  • South Korea: 220 days/31 weeks

What do you think? Would you rather have shorter school days but longer breaks, or longer school days with shorter breaks?

Number of weeks in a school yearHaving covered the number of weeks in a school year US, let’s finish with some fun facts about the school system there.

Interesting Facts About the US School System

Can’t get enough fascinating insight into the American school system? Let’s finish our discussion with some more bite-sized facts!

1. The oldest public school in the United States is Boston Latin School, which opened in 1635 and is still in operation today.

2. The first public schools in the US focused more on religion, family, and community values than academics like reading, science, or maths.

3. In colonial America, girls were taught how to read but not how to write.

4. “Common schools” that educated children of all ages in the same classroom (with the same teacher) emerged during the 1700s.

5. Public schooling in the American south was rare until after the Civil War ended in 1865.

6. There was no legal requirement for students to complete elementary school until after World War ended in 1918.

7. John Dewey first popularised the idea of progressive education in the late 1800s, with the goal of helping students to reach their fullest potential and become active members of society.

8. Both public and private schools were segregated by race until the late 1970s.

9. In the 1990s, the US ranked #1 in the world in the quantity and quality of high school diplomas. Today, it has dropped to #36.

10. At least 40 million American students don’t have access to high-speed internet at their school.

11. Most teachers don’t last long in the US school system; 14% resign after their first year and nearly half of all teachers resign within five years.

12. There’s enough graphite in one No. 2 pencil to draw a line 35 miles long.

13. Every day, 25 million American students ride to school in over 480,000 yellow school buses.

14. The US government provides free public schooling for students in all 50 states.

15. Students graduating from a US high school can expect to earn at least $41,000 per year.

16. In the 19th century, students often gifted apples to their teachers due to the popular belief that the Biblical “Tree of Knowledge” was, in fact, an apple tree.

17. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, President Roosevelt started an initiative to keep teens in school by creating paid jobs around campuses.

18. Every year, US parents spend an astounding $75 billion on back-to-school shopping.

19. A graduating high school student in Japan has roughly the same education level as a second-year university student in America.

20. California is the most diverse state in the nation; 45% of students speak a language other than English in their homes.

How Many Weeks of School Are There Where You Live?

So, there you have it. The number of weeks in a school year in the US varies from region to region and even state to state.

And, as we’ve discussed, the school year in America may look very different than the school year in the UK, Europe, and other parts of the world.

No matter where you or your kids attend school, it’s important to be familiar with the yearly schedule so there are no surprises!

How many weeks in a school year isn’t the only topic up for discussion today. After all, school is just one (albeit very important) part of becoming wise, healthy, and wealthy.

Keep browsing the site for more fascinating facts, tips, and advice – like this article on how to live cheaply!

Leave a Comment