Required School Days by State 2023

In the United States, children typically start school as kindergarteners and stay until they graduate high school. During each school year, all states must have required school days for public schools to allow teachers plenty of time to teach their students the required curriculum.

States with Required Days

Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia have 180 school days throughout the school year. Some of these regions are also flexible with how to account for these days based on certain criteria decided by the board of education in each state. For example, 9 out of the 29 states and regions allow school districts to choose how they would like to operate the school year. They can operate the year either by meeting the minimum hours per school year or the 180 days. If the districts choose to meet the requirements based on the minimum hours, then the required hours could vary based on the amount of instructional time needed for each grade. Those states that have this choice are:

Seven states require schools to have between 170 and 178 school days in the school year. These states and their required days are:

Four states impose their own criteria for the number of required school days. The number can either fall above 180 days or below 170 days:

  • Colorado: 160 days
  • Kansas:
    • 186 days (Kindergarten-11th Grade)
    • 181 days (12th Grade)
  • Minnesota:
    • 165 days (Kindergarten-11th Grade)
  • Missouri:
    • 174 days (5-day weeks)
    • 142 days (4-day weeks)

States without Required Days

Other states run the school year based on the minimum number of instructional hours required by the district. These hours are set for each grade based on the amount of time the students need to completely cover the learning curriculum. Seven states have required school hours instead of required school days. Those states and their required hours are:

  • Delaware:
    • 1,060 hours (Kindergarten-11th Grade)
    • 1,032 hours (12th Grade)
  • Montana:
    • 360 hours (Half-Day Kindergarten)
    • 720 hours (Full-Day Kindergarten and 1st-3rd Grade)
    • 1,080 hours (4th-11th Grade)
    • 1,050 hours (12th Grade)
  • Nebraska:
    • 400 hours (Kindergarten)
    • 1,032 hours (1st-8th Grade)
    • 1,080 hours (9th-12th Grade)
  • New Mexico:
    • 450 hours (Half-Day Kindergarten)
    • 990 hours (Full-Day Kindergarten and 1st-6th Grade)
    • 1,080 hours (7th-12th Grade)
  • Oregon:
    • 450 hours (Half-Day Kindergarten)
    • 900 hours (Full-Day Kindergarten and 1st-8th Grade)
    • 990 hours (9th-11th Grade)
    • 966 hours (12th Grade)
  • Texas:
    • 1,260 hours (all grades)
  • Wisconsin:
    • 437 hours (Kindergarten)
    • 1,050 hours (1st-6th Grade)
    • 1,137 hours (7th-12th Grade)

Three states have neither required school days nor required school hours. Instead, the school district helps them decide how many days or hours each school must use for instructional time. What happens is the district decides what date that schools will start and end on. They then will determine the daily school hours accordingly. The only restriction is that they have to start school in August at the earliest and end school in June at the latest. These three states are:

Required School Days by State 2023

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Minimum Number of Days
Minimum Hours or Minutes
State Code
Additional Details
Kansas186 days (Grades 1-11), | 181 days (Grade 12)Kindergarten: 465 hours, | Grades 1-11: 1,116 hours, | Grade 12: 1,086 hoursKan. Stat. Ann. § 72-3115 | School Year RequirementPassing periods, organized recesses, activity periods, time between opening and closing bells can be considered part of a school day. | Lunch and passing periods are not considered to be a part of the school day.
Illinois185 daysNot specified in state policy105 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/10-19Designed to insure 176 days of student attendance.
North Carolina185 days1,025 hoursN.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-84.2Days or hours.
Washington180 half-days (Kindergarten), | 180 days (Grades 1-12)Kindergarten: 450 hours, | Grades 1-8: 1,000 hours, | Grades 9-12: 1,080 hoursWash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.150.220
Alabama180 days1,080 hoursAla. Code § 16-13-231Days or hours. | In extreme circumstances involving natural occurrences, health-related occurrences, or other extenuating circumstances that result in the cancellation of an instructional day, a local board of education may submit a plan for the approval of the State Superintendent of Education to replace cancelled instructional days by adjusting the school calendar to extend the hours of actual teaching time on specified instructional days.
Alaska180 daysGrades K-3: 740 hours, | Grades 4-12: 900 hoursAlaska Stat. Ann. § 14.03.030Days or hours. | A day of in-service training of teachers can substitute for a day in session, up to a maximum of 10 days.
Arizona180 daysGrades 1-3: 712 hours, | Grades 4-8: 890 hours, | Grades 9-12: 720 hoursAriz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-901 | Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-341.01Days or hours. | Instructional hour requirement includes lunch.
California180 daysKindergarten: 36,000 minutes, | Grades 1-3: 50,400 minutes, | Grades 4-8: 54,000 minutes, | Grades 9-12: 64,800 minutes,Cal. Educ. Code § 46200 | Cal. Educ. Code § 46201 | LCFF & Instructional Time FAQsInstructional minutes are equivalent to: | Kindergarten: 600 hours | Grades 1-3: 840 hours | Grades 4-8: 900 hours | Grades 9-12: 1,080 hours | Select districts are required 175 days
Connecticut180 daysHalf-day Kindergarten: 450 hours, | Full-day K-12: 900 hoursConn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 10-16
District of Columbia180 daysNot specified in state policyD.C. Code Ann. § 38-2901
Florida180 daysGrades K-3: 720 hours, | Grades 4-12: 900 hours,Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1011.61 | Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1001.42Days or hours.
Georgia180 daysNot specified in state policyGa. Code Ann. § 20-2-168 | Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 160-5-1-.02Or equivalent. | Up to 10 hours of parent-teacher conferences can count towards instructional time. | Recess and lunch are not considered instructional time. | Testing, counseling, and health screenings are considered instructional time.
Hawaii180 daysGrade 1-12: 1,080 hoursHaw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 302A-251 | 2022-23 School YearExcludes professional development and other non-instructional days. Does not apply to charter and multi-track schools. | All times that students are on campus, including recess and lunch, count toward the 1,080 hour requirement.
Indiana180 daysNot specified in state policyInd. Code Ann. § 20-30-2-3
Iowa180 days1,080 hoursIowa Code Ann. § 279.10
Maine180 daysNot specified in state policyMe. Rev. Stat. tit. 20-A, § 4801May include 5 days for in service education of teachers, administrative meetings, parent-teacher conferences, records' days and similar activities. | Seniors may be allowed up to graduate five days prior to the end of the regular school year.
Maryland180 days1,080 hours, | 1,170 hours for public high schoolsMd. Code Ann., Educ. § 7-103 | Md. Code Regs. 13A.03.02.121,080 hours during a 10-month period in each school year. | Maryland public high schools shall be open for at least 180 school days and a minimum of 1,170 school hours during a 10-month period in each school year.
Massachusetts180 daysKindergarten: 425 hours, | Grades 1-5: 900 hours, | Grades 6-12: 990 hours603 Mass. Code Regs. 27.03 | 603 Mass. Code Regs. 27.04 | 603 Mass. Code Regs. 27.05 | 603 Mass. Code Regs. 27.07Schools must schedule at least 185 days (expecting some to be canceled due to weather). | Seniors may graduate up to 12 days early. | Breakfast and lunch, passing between classes, homeroom, recess, non-directed study periods, school services, and optional school programs do not count towards instructional time.
Michigan180 days1,098 hoursMich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 388.1701 | Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 380.1284Time during which there is no pupil instruction because of strikes or teachers' conferences shall not be counted as pupil instruction.
Mississippi180 daysNot specified in state policyMiss. Code. Ann. § 37-13-63
Nevada180 daysNot specified in state policyNev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 388.090 | Nev. Admin. Code 387.120May include up to 5 days for teachers' conferences. | Alternative schedules can be approved in certain circumstances so long as they provide equal to or greater than the number of minutes of instruction that would be provided on a 180 day schedule.
New Hampshire180 daysKindergarten: 450 hours, | Elementary schools: 945 hours, | Middle and High schools: 990 hoursN.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 189:1 | N.H. Code Admin. R. § 18Days or hours. | High school seniors may graduate up to 5 days early. | An additional 60 hours must be scheduled to provide for instructional time lost due to inclement weather or unexpected circumstances, staff development, and parent-teacher conferences. At least 30 of the 60 additional hours shall be available for rescheduling hours lost due to inclement weather or other emergencies.
New Jersey180 daysNot specified in state policyN.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:7F-9
New York180 daysHalf-day Kindergarten: 450 hours, | Full-day K-6: 900 hours, | Grades 7-12: 990 hoursN.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 8, § 175.5
Oklahoma180 days1,080 hoursOkla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 1-109 | Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 4516Days or hours. | Beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, the minimum hours must be met within 165 days of instruction. | A school district must not count more than 30 hours of professional development towards the hourly requirement.
Pennsylvania180 daysKindergarten: 450 hours, | Grades 1-6: 900 hours, | Grades 7-12: 990 hours22 Pa. Code § 11.1 | 22 Pa. Code § 11.3 | 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 15-1501Can meet days or hours with approval from the Secretary of Education.
Rhode Island180 days1,080 hours200 R.I. Code R. 20-05-1.7 | 200 R.I. Code R. 20-05-1.8 | 200 R.I. Code R. 20-05-1.10 | 16 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 16-2-2Days or hours. | In case of an emergency, the school committee of any city or town with the approval of the board of regents for elementary and secondary education may reduce the number of school days to not less than one hundred seventy (170) days. | High School Seniors shall have a minimum of 171 school days.
South Carolina180 daysNot specified in state policyS.C. Code Ann. § 59-1-425School districts must designate 3 days for make-up days, 3 days for professional development, no more than 2 days for preparation of opening of schools, and up to 5 days for teacher planning and parent conferences.
Tennessee180 daysNot specified in state policyTenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3004Must also schedule 5 days for in-service and 1 day for teacher-parent conferences.
Utah180 days990 hoursUtah Admin. Code r. R277-419-5 | Utah Admin. Code r. R277-419-8
Virginia180 daysKindergarten-12: 990 hoursVa. Code Ann. § 22.1-79.1 | Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-98
West Virginia180 daysNot specified in state policyW. Va. Code Ann. § 18-5-45
Louisiana177 days63,720 minutesLa. Stat. Ann. § 17:154.1 | 28 La. Admin. Code Pt CXV, 333Days or minutes. | For comparison, the instructional minutes are equivalent to: 1,062 hours.
Vermont175 daysNot specified in state policyVt. Stat. Ann. tit. 16, § 1071
Wyoming175 daysKindergarten: 450 hours, | Elementary: 900 hours, | Middle School/Junior High: 950 hours, | High School: 1,000 hoursWyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-4-301 | Wyo. Admin. Code 206.0002.22 §3
Kentucky170 days1,062 hoursKy. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 158.070Must also include 4 professional development days.
Minnesota165 days (Grades 1-11)Kindergarten: 425 hours, | All-day Kindergarten: 850 hours, | Grades 1-6: 935 hours, | Grades 7-12: 1,020 hours,Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120A.41
Colorado160 daysHalf-day Kindergarten: 450 hours, | Full-day Kindergarten: 900 hours, | Grades 1-5: 990 hours, | Grades 6-12: 1,080 hoursColo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 22-32-109Required hours may include time for parent-teacher conferences, staff in-service programs, and closing due to health, safety, or welfare concerns.
IdahoVaries by districtKindergarten: 450 hours, | Grades 1-3: 810 hours, | Grades 4-8: 900 hours, | Grades 9-11: 990 hours, | Grade 12: 979 hoursIdaho Code Ann. § 33-512Up to 22 hours for staff development activities. | Transportation to and from school, passing time between classes, recess and lunch periods are not included. | School assemblies, testing, and other instructionally related activities directly involving students may be included as instructional hours.
MontanaVaries by districtHalf-day Kindergarten: 360 hours, | Full-day K-3: 720 hours, | Grades 4-12: 1,080 hoursMont. Code Ann. § 20-1-301 | Mont. Code Ann. § 20-1-302 | Mont. Code Ann. § 20-1-304Pupil-instruction-related days and in-service training may not be included as part of the required minimum aggregate hours. | Graduating seniors are only required to attend 1,050 hours.
ArkansasSet by Standards for Accreditation1,068 hoursArk. Code Ann. § 6-10-108 | Ark. Code Ann. § 6-10-106ADE Rules Governing the Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools and School Districts
South DakotaSet by local school boardKindergarten: 437.5 hours, | Grades 1-5: 875 hours, | Grades 6-12: 962.5 hoursS.D. Codified Laws § 13-26-1 | S.D. Codified Laws § 13-26-2 | S.D. Codified Laws § 13-26-4 | S.D. Codified Laws § 13-26-4.1Excludes intermissions for grades 1-12, such as recess, lunch or passing time between classes. | School boards may release seniors prior to the end of the school year. | May include 16.5 hours for teacher-parent conference, and 5.5 of those hours may be used for teacher training.
OhioSet by local board of educationKindergarten: 450 hours, | Full-day K-6: 910 hours, | Grades 7-12: 1,001 hoursOhio Rev. Code Ann. § 3313.48Up to 2 days equivalent may be used for parent-teacher conferences and reporting, and up to 2 days equivalent may be used for professional development. | Excludes lunch and breakfast periods and extracurricular activities. | Includes morning and afternoon recess periods of not more than 15 minutes for pupils in kindergarten through 6th grade.
DelawareNot specifiedGrades K-11: 1,060 hours, | Grade 12: 1,032 hoursDel. Code Ann. tit. 14, § 1049The number of hours in a school day for grades K-12 shall be at least 3.5 hours exclusive of lunch.
NebraskaNot specifiedKindergarten: 400 hours, | Grades 1-8: 1,032 hours, | Grades 9-12: 1,080Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 79-211 | Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 79-212For all grades except pre-kindergarten, exclude lunchtime for instructional time. Recess and passing time may be counted, if so indicated in local Board policy.
New MexicoNot specifiedHalf-day Kindergarten: 450 hours, | Full-day K-6: 990 hours, | Grades 7-12: 1,080 hoursN.M. Stat. Ann. § 22-2-8.1Excludes lunch. | Some hours may be used for home visits or for parent-teacher conferences, depending on grade level.
North DakotaNot specifiedHalf-day Kindergarten: 481.25 hours, | Grades K-5: 962.5 hours, | Grades 6-12: 1,050 hoursN.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 15.1-22-02 | N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 15.1-06-04For a kindergarten instructional calendar equal to at least fifty percent of the full-time instructional days which would result in 481.25 hours. | No more than 2 days may be scheduled for parent-teacher conferences. | At least 3 days of professional development must be scheduled, not including meals or breaks.
OregonNot specifiedHalf-day Kindergarten: 450 hours, | Grades K-8: 900 hours, | Grades 9-11: 990 hours, | Grade 12: 966 hoursOr. Admin. R. 581-022-2320Recess may count towards instructional time for a certain number of hours through grade 3. | 30 hours may be used for parent teacher conferences.
TexasNot specified75,600 minutesTex. Educ. Code Ann. § 25.081Includes time for instruction, intermission and recess.
WisconsinNot specifiedKindergarten: 437 hours, | Grades 1-6: 1,050 hours, | Grades 7-12: 1,137 hoursWis. Stat. Ann. § 121.02Includes recess and passage time between classes but does not include the lunch period.
MissouriNo minimumKindergarten: 522 hours, | Other Grades: 1,044 hoursMo. Ann. Stat. § 171.031 | Mo. Ann. Stat. § 160.041 | Mo. Ann. Stat. § 163.021
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Required School Days by State 2023