For many schools in the US, the last day of the school will be June 20th 2020. There is some variation across the country and from school to school. Almost all US schools end their school year sometime in May or June. To find out the number of days of school remaining for you, create a countdown clock by clicking the button below and enter the date that your school year ends.


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A Crash Course on the North American Grade School Year

No matter where you live or how old you are, learning happens every day of the year. And while the best learning sometimes occurs outside the classroom, formal education is an integral part of any student’s instruction.

For students in grades K-12 living in North America, this formal education follows a predictable rhythm year after year. As summer comes to an end, families across the continent shift their focus from sports camps and beach vacations to the new school year welcoming the next grade, teacher, and classroom.

A somewhat recent and commercialized phenomenon, parents spend the first few weeks of August scrambling to gather school supplies, find the perfect backpack, and assemble an on-trend wardrobe for their school-aged children. With the average household spending $685 on back-to-school supplies, many states in America host tax-free weekends in early August giving financially-stretched families a small reprieve.

Since individual states primarily govern education, each district within the state sets the yearly calendar with start and end dates. While there is variation from state-to-state, it usually only differs by several weeks. Public, private, and charter schools begin in August and end in May. The year is divided into two semesters: fall and spring. The fall semester runs from August to December and the spring semester operates from January to May.

Within each semester, there are two nine-week quarters. At the end of each quarter, teachers issue report cards to students who either excitedly or begrudgingly carry them home to parents. However, with the onset of technology in the classroom, many parents rely less on quarterly report cards and instead, daily track their child’s academic progress.

While most schools follow the August-May schedule, year-round schooling is gaining traction in some North American public and private schools. There are 3,181 year-round schools in the U.S. accounting for 10 percent of public school students. The most common model of year-round schooling has students attending school for 45 days followed by a 15-day break. Homeschooling is another growing trend in North America. With 1.7 million students homeschooled in the U.S. and another 95,000 in Canada, home education is another increasing trend in North American education.

The Canadian school year is very similar to the U.S., but there are some notable differences. With no Federal Department of Education like the U.S., provinces and local school boards solely govern Canadian schools. In addition, most states in the U.S. require students to complete 180 days of instruction while in Canada, the requirement is closer to 195, giving Canada a slightly longer school year. Another noteworthy difference surrounds standardized test scores. Canada has no standardized test requirements for college admissions. Canadian college admissions requirements are province-specific. The University of Toronto, for example, lists their admission requirements for high schoolers here. In contrast, American colleges require several standardized scores such as the ACT and the SAT, making admissions for American high school students highly stressful and competitive.

To offset the normal stressors of school and to give teachers time for continuing education, states and provinces scatter much-needed breaks during the year. Centered around national holidays, the most common school holidays in North America are:

Besides the long summer vacation, children highly anticipate the annual holiday break in December. Not only is it a lengthened rest from school, but the winter holidays celebrated during this break also mean extra treats and gifts for children to enjoy.

The North American grade school calendar is engrained into the rhythms and routines of families all over the continent. While initially established to keep children out of stiflingly hot buildings during the heat of the summer, the predictable August to May school calendar makes the grade the U.S. and Canada and appears to be a steady fixture in the educational system for years to come.

For more information on U.S. and Canadian schools, visit:



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