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When Do Kids Go Back to School?

when do kids go back to school

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Summer is in full swing, with plenty of picnics in the park, affordable family vacations, and outdoor adventures with friends and family. As you try to make the most of all this summer fun, you may find yourself wondering: When do the kids go back to school? This question unfolds differently across the country, where each region and state runs on its own academic calendar based on factors such as cultural traditions, weather patterns, and school priorities.

Whether you’re soaking up the urban energy of New York City, savoring the laid-back vibes of Southern California, embracing the heartland charm of the Midwest, or exploring the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest, the timing of school openings can impact everything from summer travel ideas to local event schedules. Understanding these nuances will help you plan better, enjoy these last summer moments to the fullest, and get ready before the school bells start ringing again!

So, When Do Kids Go Back to School?

According to Pew Research Center, “back to school” can mean anytime from late July to after Labor Day, depending on where in the United States you live. Let’s break it down by region!

In the Northeast

  • New England states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut): School typically starts around the week of August 28. 
  • Middle Atlantic states (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania): About 75% of students start after Labor Day, which falls on September 4 this year.

In the South

  • South Atlantic (Delaware, Maryland, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida): The majority of students start between early August and mid-August.
  • East South Central (Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama): Most schools start around the week of August 7.
  • West South Central (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas): About 94% of students start between August 7 and August 18.

In the Midwest

  • West North Central (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri): Schools generally start between mid-August and late August.
  • East North Central (Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio): East North Central has similar start dates to West North Central, typically in mid to late August.

On the West Coast

  • Mountain (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico): Generally, schools start between mid-August and late August.
  • Pacific (Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Hawaii): Schools typically start between late August and early September.

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