Image with Owl that asks number of school weeks in a year

How Many School Weeks Are In A Year?

In the United States, there are typically 35 to 36 weeks in a school year (this is based on a 5-day school week) and 175 to 180 days/ year. However, the requirement varies by state, district, grade level, and type of school (ex. charter vs public).

Actual weeks in a school year

Due to classes only being held a few days out of some weeks (and school closures), the actual number of weeks in a year that the school term covers is different. 

For example, a district in South Florida has a 20/21 school year from Aug 19th to June 9th which covers 43 weeks out of the 52 weeks in a full year. However, 4 full weeks and a total of 31 days are closed due to holidays and teacher planning days. In total, there are 39 weeks the schools are open for a total to 180 instruction days.

How many school days are in a year?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there are typically about 160 to 185 school days in a year with an average of 175-180 days. Again, this number fluctuates per state, district, etc. Some schools also have the option to meet a minimum number of instructional hours per school term instead of days.

Using the South Florida school as an example again, the school term covered 211 weekdays from Aug. 19th 2020 to June 9th 2021. Of those days, the school is closed on 31 of them leaving 180 instructional days. 

On the other hand, Houston, Texas has a school term that covers 40 weeks out of the year and is open for 36 of them. It starts on Sept. 8th 2020 and ends on June 11th 2020 for a total of 199 weekdays. After accounting for 28 days of holidays and teacher planning, the school term in Houston is only 171 days of instructional time. 

Required School Days by State

This chart shows the 2020 school day requirements of different states based on data from the Education Commission of the States.

StateMinimum Amount of Days In School Year
Alabama180 days
Alaska180 days
Arizona180 days
Arkansas178 days
California175-180 days
Colorado160 days
Connecticut180 days
DelawareOnly a requirement for hours
District of Columbia180 days
Florida180 days
Georgia180 days
Hawaii180 days
IdahoVaries by district
Illinois176-185 days
Indiana180 days
Iowa180 days
KansasGrades 1-11: 186 days
Grade 12: 181 days
Kentucky170 days
Louisiana177 days
Maine180 days
Maryland180 days
Massachusetts180 days
Michigan180 days
MinnesotaGrades 1-11: 165 days
Mississippi180 days
MissouriOnly a requirement for hours
MontanaVaries by district
NebraskaOnly a requirement for hours
Nevada180 days
New Hampshire180 days
New Jersey180 days
New MexicoOnly a requirement for hours
New York180 days
North Carolina185 days
North DakotaOnly a requirement for hours
OhioVaries by district
Oklahoma180 days
OregonOnly a requirement for hours
Pennsylvania180 days
Rhode Island180 days
South Carolina180 days
South DakotaVaries by district
Tennessee180 days
TexasOnly a requirement for hours
Utah180 days
Vermont175 days
Virginia180 days
Washington180 days
West Virginia180 days
WisconsinOnly a requirement for hours
Wyoming175 days

Conclusion

In summation, there is an average of 35-36 weeks, 175-180 days, and about 9 months in a school year.

Based on that average of 180 days, we spend 2,340 days in school in our lifetime of grades K-12; that’s 6.4 years!

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