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Required School Days By State 2021

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 2021

State Required School Days Required School Hours
South DakotaDistrict optionVaries by year
OhioDistrict optionVaries by year
West Virginia180
South Carolina180
Rhode Island1801,080
Pennsylvania180Varies by year
Missouri5-Day Week: 174 4-Day Week: 1421044
Minnesota1-11: 165Varies by year
KansasK-11: 186 12: 1811116
IdahoDistrict optionVaries by year
North Carolina1851,025
Washington180Varies by year
Virginia180Varies by year
Utah180Varies by year
New York180
New Jersey180
New Hampshire180Varies by year
Massachusetts180Varies by year
Georgia180Equivalent hours
Florida180Varies by year
Connecticut180Varies by year
California180Varies by year
Arizona180Varies by year
Alaska180Varies by year
Wyoming175Varies by year
North Dakota175
Colorado160Varies by year
WisconsinVaries by year
OregonVaries by year
New MexicoVaries by year
NebraskaVaries by year
MontanaVaries by year

Required School Days By State 2021