First day of school

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Students on their first day of school.

The first day of school is the first day that school opens after the summer vacation. It varies in different areas around the world because of the differences in weather, climate, season, and culture, but the normal pattern is for school to begin in late August or early September in the northern hemisphere and in late January or early February in most Southern Hemisphere countries.

The Americas[edit]

Argentina[edit]

The first day of school in Argentina is on the last Monday of February or the first Monday of March, depending on the year. High school usually begins one week later than elementary school.

Barbados[edit]

The first day of school is on the second week of September.

Brazil[edit]

The school year usually begins during the first week of February. In the northernmost tropical areas of Brazil, the school year starts the first week of September following the practice of countries further north.

Canada[edit]

The first day of school, in most provinces, is on the Tuesday after the first Monday in September (the day after Labour Day), but varies based on the individual school boards. For instance, the French Catholic school board in Ottawa, Ontario, the first day of school is the first Tuesday before Labour Day (the last Tuesday in August). In some areas, including Newfoundland and Labrador, school begins for faculty and staff on the first Tuesday in September, but students are not required to attend class until the day after.

Chile[edit]

The first day of school in Chile is on March 1, or the first Monday following if March 1 is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Costa Rica[edit]

The first day of school in 2012 in Costa Rica was February 8. The Education Ministry changes the date every year to ensure 200 effective days are in the school calendar.[1]

Guatemala[edit]

The first day of school in Guatemala begins on the second Monday in January.

Honduras[edit]

The first day of school in Honduras is August 1, or the first Monday following if August 1 is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Mexico[edit]

The first day of school in Mexico begins on the second to last Monday in August.

Originally, the school cycle began on September 2, one day after the beginning of the Legislative activities, but this changed in order to allow more time for academics, therefore extending the school year to begin two weeks before September 2 and to end two weeks after June 30.

United States[edit]

The first day of school for many school districts in various states is on the day after Labor Day (first Monday in September). On that day, public transportation services increase and start the rush hour earlier. In some other school districts, school begins in mid- to late August. For instance, the Denver, Colorado metro area schools go back in mid-August and schools in the Cleveland, Ohio metro area start back usually one week before Labor Day. The Boston, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Diego school districts start back the Tuesday or Wednesday after Labor Day.

Schools in Cleveland, Ohio used to start the school year the day after Labor Day, but in the 1976-77 and 1977-78 academic years, the school year was affected by several bad blizzards, brutal cold, and an energy crisis. In the 1977-78 school year, many school districts had to extend the school year almost to June 20. In the 1978-79 school year, the Ohio General Assembly and the Ohio Department of Education moved the start of the year to late August, one week before Labor Day. This went into effect beginning in the 1980-81 academic year.

Most school districts in Utah usually starts on August 25 to August 30 and goes until about the last week of May or the first week in June. By doing this, teachers usually manage to finish their program by the end of the year.

Usually the first day of school in the U.S. is a short day. In American high schools, the freshmen class usually goes back one or two days before the rest of the school body for an orientation period. An orientation session helps the freshmen students get acquainted with their new school, its rules, and surroundings. Also during this time, many incoming freshmen may take a small study-skills like class to help them orient themselves to high school. In some schools, the freshmen class have their photographs taken for identification purposes. Some high schools have attempted to made the first week of school fun for incoming freshmen, like by having luncheons and/or letting freshmen pick their lockers. Freshmen athletes and band members may have camps or barbecues to meet new classmates or teammates; some sports coaches may require all freshmen players to train early for fall sports season. In recent years, many high school sports associations have started fall sports before the official first day of school. In elementary schools, the first day of school usually is one week of a staggered schedule, i.e. instead of leaving school at 2:45PM, the student may be dismissed at 12:00PM. Also many schools do not start school lunch until the following week. Also school busing can be limited.

Some high schools have students come in for "schedule night" where students can check their classes.

Some high schools require summer reading; reading-related projects or tests that must be submitted or taken during the first week of school.

In recent years, many districts and schools have invited parents to meet the teachers one week before school opens on events called "meet the teachers night". Usually this event is held in the evenings for parental convenience.

On the first Thursday in September, some or most states celebrate the first day of school.

Uruguay[edit]

The first day of school usually begins between the two first Mondays of March, depending on the year, with high school beginning a week later.

Africa[edit]

Egypt[edit]

The first day of school in Egypt usually falls in the Saturday which falls between 15 and 24 of September. Some schools have weekend on Saturday so they begin in Sunday.

Algeria[edit]

The first day of school in Algeria is usually on the first Sunday of September, or the second if the first Sunday of September is Eid.

Ethiopia[edit]

The first day of school in Ethiopia is on September 1, or the first Monday following if September 1 is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Kenya[edit]

The first day of school in southern Kenya is usually on the second Monday after New Year's Day in early January. In northern Kenya, the first day of school is on September 1, or the first Monday following if September 1 is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, for those schools not following the Kenyan system of education .

Nigeria[edit]

The first day of school in Nigeria is on September 1, or the first Monday following if September 1 is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Somalia[edit]

The first day of school in Somalia is September 1, or the first Monday following if September 1 is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

South Africa[edit]

School begins in mid-January.

Tanzania[edit]

The first day of school in Tanzania is March 1, or the first Monday following if March 1 is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Asia[edit]

Malaysia[edit]

The first day of school in Malaysia falls on or soon after 3 January, almost always on a Monday.

Hong Kong SAR[edit]

The first day of school in Hong Kong falls on 1 September or the first Monday following if 1 September is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

On that day, public transportation service companies increase the frequency and start the rush hour earlier.

China[edit]

The first day of school in the People's Republic of China falls on 1 September, or the first Monday following if September 1 is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. In northeastern China, schools open on Monday in mid-August after summer vacation.

India[edit]

The first day of school in India for the State board following schools falls in mid-June. CBSE Board schools begin the new academic year in March/April, and have school till April ending, after which they have summer vacation till mid-June. CBSE board schools continue with their academic year in mid-June while non-CBSE board schools begin their new academic year in mid-June, after vacation. In some States of the India, school starts on May 31 (Karnataka State).

Lebanon[edit]

Normally, the first day of school in Lebanon falls on the first Monday of October.

Israel[edit]

The first day of school in Israel falls on September 1, or a day later if it's on Saturday. Some schools in Israel don't teach on Friday or Sunday as well which also affects the date. In 2012 and 2013 the first day of school was on August 27 due to the variable Jewish holidays which fell on the beginning of September.

Iran[edit]

The first day of school in Iran falls on September 23 but in ..., 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017, 2021, 2025, ... (i.e. every 4 years), it falls on September 22.

Japan and South Korea[edit]

Normally the first day of school is some time in Spring.

In Japan, the start date for the school year falls on April 1, or the first Monday following if April 1 is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

In South Korea, the start date for the school year falls on March 3, or the first Monday following if March 3 is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Mongolia[edit]

In Mongolia, the first day of school falls on September 1, or the first Monday following if September 1 is a Saturday or Sunday.

Myanmar[edit]

The first day of school in Myanmar falls on the 2nd Wednesday in September.

Oman[edit]

The first day of school in Oman is in the beginning of September.

Philippines[edit]

The first day of school in the Philippines is usually on any of the first or second Monday in June. Private schools may begin a day or two later, while international schools follow the Western custom.

Qatar[edit]

The first day of school in Qatar starts on September 15, with some of the Arab World countries.[2]

Saudi Arabia[edit]

The first day of school in Saudi Arabia is in the beginning of September.

Singapore[edit]

The school year for all Singapore primary and secondary schools will start from early January and end sometime in November. This takes into account 40 weeks of curriculum time for teaching and learning before the start of the national examinations, and six weeks of school vacation at end of year for teachers and students. [3]

Taiwan[edit]

The first day of school in Taiwan falls on September 1, or the first Monday following if September 1 is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Thailand[edit]

The school year generally starts in early May for public schools, whilst international schools normally follow an international school calendar which commences in early August or September.

U.A.E[edit]

The first day of school in the U.A.E are different because of the festivals like Eid and Ramadan. Otherwise the first day of school is in the first 15 days of September or for CBSE syllabus schools, they open on the early days of April for the new academic year.

Europe[edit]

Belgium[edit]

The first day of school in Belgium starts on September 1, or the first Monday following if September 1 is a Saturday or Sunday.

Bulgaria[edit]

The first day of school in Bulgaria is September 15 or the first Monday after it. Usually students bring flowers to the teachers.

Croatia[edit]

The first day of school in Croatia is the first Monday in September.

Denmark[edit]

The first day of school in Denmark is usually Monday in week 33 (around August 13).

England and Wales[edit]

The first day of school in England and Wales varies by Local Authority and sometimes by school, but it is nearly always during the first week of September. In 2014, it falls on September 3 with Scotland; in London, it's September the 9th.

Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia[edit]

The first day of school is on Knowledge Day, September 1.

Finland[edit]

The first day of school in the first half August.

France[edit]

The first day of school may change but is almost always around the 3rd of September.

Germany[edit]

The first day of school in Germany varies in a coordinated fashion between the individual states to avoid excessive traffic volume due to vacation traveling. Usually, it is in August or early September.

Greece[edit]

The first day of school in Greece is September 11, or the first Monday following if September 11 is a Saturday or Sunday.[4]

Ireland[edit]

The first day of school in Republic of Ireland is usually on September 1, unless it is a Friday or the weekend. When September 1 falls on a Tuesday, some schools start on August 31, though most schools still start on September 1. In 2014, it falls on September 2 in some schools and September 3rd in most schools.

Italy[edit]

The first day of school in Italy is usually on the 2nd or 3rd week of September. The best schools often require the students attend the week before the official start date to improve their education.

Moldova[edit]

The first day of school in Moldova is on the 3rd Tuesday in September.

Poland[edit]

The first day of school in Poland always starts on September 1, or the first Monday following if September 1 is a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Romania[edit]

The first day of school in Romania is usually on September 15, or the first Monday following if September 15 is a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Russian Federation[edit]

Schools in Russia historically begin on Knowledge Day, September 1. This exact date for the country has been fixed by the Decree of the Council of the People's Commissars in 1935[5] and was established officially by the Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union No. 3018-X in 1980.[6] If it falls on Sunday, most schools opt to hold on Sunday a traditional ceremonial line-up, which symbolically commences the school year, and begin actual lessons on Monday. Traditionally Knowledge Day'

Scotland[edit]

The first day back to school in Scotland is usually round about the 22nd of August, more than a week earlier than in the rest of the UK. In 2014, it falls on September 3 with England and Wales.

Slovenia[edit]

The first day of school in Slovenia is usually on September 1, unless it is a Friday or the weekend.

Oceania[edit]

Australia[edit]

The school year starts in late-January, but the dates vary depending on the type of school (public, private, etc.) and the region (New south Wales, Victoria, etc.) Most schools start on the first Monday after Australia Day, the 26th of January. When Australia Day falls on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, school usually goes back the day after (on the 27th). If Australia Day falls on a Wednesday or Thursday, school return it usually postponed to the next Monday. Many private schools choose to start a few days to a week later than public schools.

New Zealand[edit]

The school year starts between 27 January and early February.

References[edit]