How Many Weeks Are in A Typical School Year in 2023?

This article offers a robust and comprehensive explanation of how many weeks a typical school year is in the UK and USA.

For the USA, we offered information on a breakdown of the school year in different states.

We also enjoyed including those from a few countries that may catch your fancy.

There are 52 weeks in a calendar year, but how many weeks are there in a school year?

It may come as a surprise that the response differs based on the hemisphere, nation, region, and even the state you reside in.

For instance, some countries in the south have summer vacations from December to March, which is a long time. If vacation lasts three (3) weeks, how long do the students get to study?

Without keeping you in suspense, completing a school year takes 36 weeks in the US and 39 weeks in the UK.

We will discuss all that in this article.

Are there Differences in the American Education System in the past years?

Over the last twenty (20) years in education, there have been few variations in the number of weeks in a school year.

 In California, a school year consists of one hundred eighty (180) days of instruction. This number equals 36 weeks when multiplied by the number of weeks, which is five (5) days. There were a few years with tight budgets where a district might lower the number of days by taking board action to less than one hundred eighty (180). 

Districts were subsequently compelled to increase the number of days quickly.  

In California, districts were still compelled to hold classes for 35 weeks out of the year, or 175 days, even when they were having financial difficulties. The data is consistent across the nation. 

How Many Weeks Are in A Typical School Year in Different Countries?

Many countries have varying school duration. We will list a few of them in this article.

China245 days/ 35 weeks; Students typically start in September and end in July
Italy200 days/ 28 weeks; Students begin in mid-September and end in mid-June
India280-294 days/ 40-42 weeks; Students typically start in May or June and end in March
England190 days/ 27 weeks; Students attend from September to July
South Africa200 days/ 28 weeks; Students attend from January to December in four terms

How many weeks is the school year in the USA by the state?

In the United States, a school year consists of an average of 35.65 weeks of instruction. Additionally, 36 weeks are required on average.  

For this statistic, we used only 40 states because ten (10) states do not have a required minimum number of days, weeks, or hours.

Since there are weeks of breaks, 3-day weekends, and other days when school is not in session, these 36 weeks are not consecutive.  

If school had begun after Labor Day, the second week of May would be 36 weeks away without days off. About 42 weeks have passed from the first day of class to the concluding day. During a regular school year, there are usually six (6) weeks off for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas (winter), Easter (spring), Presidents’ Day, Veterans Day, etc.

See also: What Are The Different Types of Academic Qualifications in 2023? 

How Many Weeks Are in A Typical School Year In the USA by State?

StateMinimum Required Weeks of School
Alabama (AL) 36
Alaska (AK)36
Arizona (AZ)36
Arkansas (AR)35.6
California (CA)36
Colorado (CO)32
Connecticut (CT)36
Delaware (DE)N/A – Required hours only
Florida (FL)36
Georgia (GA)36
Hawaii (HI)36
Idaho (ID)N/A – No required days and no required hours
Illinois (IL)36
Indiana (IN)36
Iowa (IA)36
Kansas (KS)36.2 (K-11th)
Kentucky (KY)34
Louisiana (LA)35.4
Maine (ME)35
Maryland (MD)36
Massachusetts (MA)36
Michigan (MI)36
Minnesota (MN)33
Mississippi (MS)36
Missouri (MO)34.8 (5-day week)
Montana (MT)N/A – Required hours only
Nebraska (NE)N/A – Required hours only
Nevada (NV)36
New Hampshire (NH)36
New Jersey (NJ)36
New Mexico (NM)N/A – Required hours only
New York (NY)36
North Carolina (NC)37
North Dakota (ND)35
Ohio (OH)N/A – No required days and no required hours
Oklahoma (OK)36
Oregon (OR)N/A – Required hours only
Pennsylvania (PA)36
Rhode Island (RI)36
South Carolina (SC)36
South Dakota (SD)N/A – No required days and no required hours
Tennessee (TN)36
Texas (TX)N/A – Required hours only
Utah (UT)36
Vermont (VT)35
Virginia (VA)36
Washington (WA)36
West Virginia (WV)36
Wisconsin (WI)N/A – Required hours only
Wyoming (WY)35
Average (mean)35.65
Median (middle when sorted)36
Mode (most common)36

What are the Common US School Holidays?

The US school system has numerous holidays and vacations, from Spring Break to Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

We will discuss them below and the duration of these holidays.

Spring Break

Most schools have a full week (five days) off in March to honour Spring Break. It’s usually the last full break for students and teachers before the summer break.

Fall Break

Similar to Spring Break, some schools have a full week off in the fall, either the week of Thanksgiving or October.

Winter Break

Winter Break traditionally provides students the final two weeks of December off to observe holidays, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve/Day. For others, this may be one of their favourite vacations. The first semester, or the first two quarters, ends with this break.

Labor Day

For both students and instructors, this holiday marks the first big day off during the academic year. It takes place on September’s first Monday. Some schools might hold their first regular class session after this holiday to officially finish the summer break.

Thanksgiving Break

For Thanksgiving week, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday may be off for both students and instructors to spend time with friends and family. Thanksgiving week is designated by certain colleges, universities, and schools as their official fall break.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

This holiday falls on the third Monday of January every year. It honours the life and contributions of civil rights activist and pastor Martin Luther King Jr. Some colleges and institutions designate this day as the final day of winter break, with the start of the spring semester set for the following Tuesday.

Presidents Day

President’s Day is observed on the third Monday in February.

See also: What Is The Difference Between A Certificate Of Completion And A High School Diploma?

Snow Days

All school districts in snowy states hold internal discussions to decide whether to open or close their facilities on these days.

The top five states with an average of 89 to 64 inches of snowfall are Alaska, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Colorado.

Schools typically close when there is six inches to a foot or more of snow. Because some schools don’t use snow days, parents, teachers, and staff are free to make decisions based on the state of the roads.

Teacher Workdays

Teachers can use teacher workdays in several districts and states, including Colorado, to submit final grades for a quarter or semester. 

Schools set up teacher workdays so that pupils can stay at home while teachers deliver final marks for report cards to focus.

What is the academic school year in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland?

Most schools in England and Wales have similar school terms.

However, the dates may vary for schools in Scotland and Northern Ireland.


Each local council in Scotland determines its own terms and school breaks.

Three terms lasting 38 weeks, or 190 days, make up the normal length of the academic year.

Their bank holidays, often known as national holidays, are different from those in England, and in some regions, schools take a vacation in February.


Wale’s academic calendar is organized similarly to that of England’s.

Meanwhile, Wales schools have merely 190 days cutting across 39 weeks in any given school year, similar to Scotland.

In Wales, the academic year is divided into three terms of six weeks, with school breaks in between.

Northern Ireland

Each school year in Northern Ireland includes an additional five days, for 200 days and 40 weeks of term time.

Additionally, they take several vacations that are decided upon annually by school sectors.

An average academic year lasts from the beginning of September to the end of June.

How many inset days are there in the UK?

Scotland, Wales, and England all mandate five inset days for students each year.

The 200 school days in Northern Ireland also include inset days.

“In-Service Training” is referred to as “Inset.”

On these days, students are not required to attend class, and no lessons are held, but staff members are still expected to be present for administrative or further training needs.

Since the introduction of inset days in 1988 by MP Kenneth Baker, teachers have utilized them to acquire new skills, complete administrative work, or catch up on marking.

How many weeks off do kids receive from the school year in the UK for the holidays, Christmas and Easter?

In addition to the week-long half-term break, students have a two-week Christmas vacation, two more weeks off for Easter in the spring, and six weeks off in the summer.

Depending on the school and days of the week your child attends, the Christmas break often starts around December 20 and lasts until approximately January 6.

Easter, often known as spring vacation, typically starts around March 27 and lasts until April 14.

Additionally, the summer break normally lasts six weeks, from around July 23 to around September 4.

We advise you to check the government website or contact your child’s school for actual term dates.

How many weeks are in a typical school year in England?

There are 195 days in each school year or 39 weeks.

Three primary terms, divided into half terms, make up these weeks.

Term durations and school breaks change depending on when Easter falls, but normally students get no more than a seven-week break from learning.

Typically, the autumn semester lasts from September until the end of December.

What makes learning enjoyable for students? The Best Use of Your Classroom

It is a lot of time to stay in school for 180 days. But that time decreases when you factor in vacations, breaks, snow days, extracurricular activities, and days for exams. 

You should use a few teaching strategies to make classroom time fun and interesting for students. These resources also aid in improving subject retention for your students.

Lesson Plans

Consider lesson plans as recipes for the subjects and ideas you want your students to understand and retain daily. The learning experience will be better the more organized your lesson plan is.

Remember that certain lessons must be shortened, or you may need to spend a few extra days or weeks ensuring the pupils understand the material.

According to the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning & Teaching, these are some useful lesson-planning advice:

  • Defining Learning Goals
  • Creating a Strong Introduction
  • Scheduling Useful Learning Activities

Diversity of Culture

The Globe Day for Cultural Diversity for Discussion and Development was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on May 21 to showcase the globe’s diverse cultures and promote constructive intercultural discussion for peace and positive development.

You can encourage children to learn about and celebrate this day in the classroom for one day or a week because May is normally at the end of the year. Students can learn about different countries’ attire, cuisine, music, and traditions. If your class has students of various cultures, ask the students to prepare their family’s favourite cuisine and bring it to class to share.

People skills such as understanding and appreciating various cultures and heritages are crucial. Early exposure to many cultures helps pupils develop empathy and awareness of others.

Field trips

Bringing your students on at least one or two field trips to nearby museums, theatres, and other locations related to your lesson plans could engage them in new experiences.

Through field trips, students can develop a passion for exploring and learning outside of the classroom.

This makes the school year and how many weeks are in a school year easier.

Interactive Learning

Some people learn better through theory, while others learn better through visual aids or practical instruction. Use hands-on learning strategies in several areas to appeal to different learning preferences.

For instance, if you teach addition and subtraction in arithmetic, you could give the children little number blocks to practice addition and subtraction.

If you’re a high school chemistry teacher, let your students combine chemicals and materials in beakers, test tubes, and microscopes for lab projects. To prevent fires or other hazards, you might also conduct challenging experiments in front of the students as they take notes.

Live demonstrations or practical activities help students completely participate in what they are learning and can improve their retention.

Guest Speakers

The addition of guest speakers who are relevant to your classes might also enhance the learning opportunities for your pupils. When discussing occupations, for instance, you may ask a few acquaintances who work in various professions to chat with your kids about what they do.

Additionally, if you know other artists or art teachers and teach art in a high school or college, you could invite them to deliver a guest lecture in your class. Thanks to guest speakers, students can better understand what they want from their professional pathways.


Lastly, using technology in the classroom encourages discussion and helps students understand what it does. Schools may provide pupils with tablets and tiny laptops to learn how to type, navigate websites, and more. You can project visual aids, films, and more in your class if it has smartboards. Kahoot can also be used to design surveys, tests, and other educational games.

Teaching your students not to rely too heavily on technology is also crucial. Addiction to social media and smartphones is real. Avoid abusing technology.

Summer term begins in late April and lasts until the middle or end of July. Spring term lasts from late March or early April.

How Does Education Quality Compare between the US and other countries?

Generally, the US invests more time in teaching its pupils than other nations, including those with the highest academic performance, such as South Korea, Japan, and Finland.

This comparison is based on the least amount of instruction time. One caveat is that some schools in particular states or nations may demand additional instruction time, which would change the overall number of hours kids spend in those areas.

Another factor to consider is the prevalence of non-formal schooling techniques in nations like Japan, Korea, India, and China. In these countries, the students receive additional lessons outside the school walls. This could have a measurable impact on student attendance that needs to be reflected in the straightforward analysis of instructional hours.

FAQS on How Many Weeks Are in A Typical School Year in 2023?

How long is the Canada school year?

In Ontario, there must be a minimum of 194 school days.

In the UK, how many weeks make up a school year?

39 weeksThe English school year comprises 39 weeks, or 195 days, spread over three terms and six half terms with school breaks in between.

How long is a summer break in the USA?

Two to three months.
Depending on the location, summer vacation lasts two to three months in the United States, with students often finishing their academic year in late May or early June and beginning the next in mid-late August or early September.

Why do UK schools have a 6-week break?

One common notion is to give school kids a lengthy summer break (six weeks for the majority of students in the UK) so they can assist with summertime fieldwork.

In Conclusion

Knowing how many weeks there are in a school year in the US and UK is helpful since parents purchase supplies and teachers prepare for a new group of pupils to enter their classroom.

We hope this information will better explain how many weeks are in a typical school year for the US, UK and other countries, typical vacation days, and strategies for teachers to make the most of those 180 days.


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