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Students on their first day of school.

The first day of school is the first day of an academic year. This is usually in August or September in the Northern Hemisphere and January or February in the Southern Hemisphere, but differs from country to country.



Costa RicaEdit

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

United StatesEdit

In the United States, educational policy is determined primarily at the state level and at the level of individual school districts. Therefore, there is no one particular day on which all schools start. During much of the 20th century, it was common for schools to start shortly after Labor Day, and in some areas of the United States, this is still the norm. However, it has become increasingly common for schools to start earlier in August or even late July. In 2018, the summer holidays started on July 7, 2018 and ended on September 2, 2018.[2] For example, in San Diego Unified School District, San Diego, California, the first day of school for the 2017-18 school year was set to August 28.[3]



In India the schools re-open in June after summer holidays. This applies to whole of K-12 including elementary, secondary and higher secondary schools. Schools are closed for summer holidays after annual examinations in the month of March. Thus the students receive two months of holidays from the end of March to the beginning of June.


The first day of elementary school in Israel is on September 1, or the following day if September 1 is a Saturday. Many secondary schools begin the same day.


The government school calendar in the Philippines usually begins in June every year. However, private schools have the exception to deviate from the calendar as regulated by Republic Act No. 7797. Some colleges or universities may start the school year in August. The school year must consist of 200 but not more than 220 days.[4]


The first day of school in Qatar is on September 15, along with some of the Arab World countries.[5]


The school year for all Singapore primary and secondary schools starts 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 the year for teachers and students.[6]


The first day of school in Japan (for all schools) is on either April 7th or 8th. School usually ends on the 24th of March, giving the students one week between the years. School starts in April because that is the time Sakura, or Cherry Blossoms, bloom, making for a perfect start-of-the-year and end-of-the-year photo.



The first day of school in Greece is September 11, or the first Monday following if September 11 is a Saturday or Sunday.[7]


According to a 2010 decree of Polish Minister of Public Education, the first day of school for regular compulsory education schools in Poland is on September 1 or the first following Monday if September 1 falls on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The last day is the last Friday after the 18th of June. [8] Previously, according to a similar 2002 decree, the above exception was only for Saturday and Sunday, and the last day was the first Friday after June 18.[9]


Schools in Russia (and formerly Soviet Union) historically begin on September 1. This exact date for the country has been fixed by the Decree of the Council of the People's Commissars in 1935[10] and was established officially by the Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union No. 3018-X in 1980. In 1984, September 1 was officially declared to be the Knowledge Day.[11] 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 students bring flowers to the teachers.

United KingdomEdit

England and WalesEdit

The first day of school for state schools in England and Wales varies by local authority and sometimes by school, but it is nearly always during the first week of September, or occasionally in the second week.[12]


The school term in Scotland begins in mid- to late-August, more than a week earlier than in the rest of the UK. The precise date varies by local authority and sometimes by school.[13]


The first day of school in Slovenia is on September 1, or the first Monday following if September 1 falls on Saturday or Sunday


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


The school year in France doesn't have a fixed date, but it starts at the beginning of September, in the first 2 weeks. It ends at the beginning of July, leaving approximately 2 months of summer break.



In Morocco, the academic year commences in September and ends in June/beginning July Semester 1: From September – January Semester 2 (Spring): From February - June/ beginning July


  1. ^ "Calendario Escolar 2012" (PDF). Ministerio de Educación Pública. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  2. ^ (retrieved September 5, 2018)
  3. ^ (retrieved September 15, 2017)
  4. ^
  5. ^ "New policy sparks confusion over school start dates in Qatar - Doha News". 4 September 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  6. ^ "School Terms and Holidays". Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  7. ^ "School Holidays in Athens". Angloinfo Athens. Angloinfo. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  8. ^ Dz.U. 2010 nr 186 poz. 1245 Rozporządzenie Ministra Edukacji Narodowej z dnia 5 października 2010 r. zmieniające rozporządzenie w sprawie organizacji roku szkolnego
  9. ^ Dz.U. 2002 nr 46 poz. 432 Rozporządzenie Ministra Edukacji Narodowej i Sportu z dnia 18 kwietnia 2002 r. w sprawie organizacji roku szkolnego
  10. ^ "День знаний в России: история праздника". Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  11. ^ "Праздник 1 сентября - День знаний: история и традиции. Значение праздника 1 сентября "День знаний". Женский сайт". Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  12. ^ "When are the school Christmas holidays and term dates 2016/2017?". The Telegraph: Education. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Scottish School Term dates". Scottish Government website. Retrieved 7 September 2017.