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Table 5.14. Number of instructional days and hours in the school year, by state: 2018

State Minimum amount of instructional times
per school year (by grade, if applicable)
  Minimum number of hours per school day   School start/finish
In days 1 In hours    
Alabama 180 2 1,080   6.0 (excludes lunch and recess)   District option
Alaska 180 2 Grades kindergarten-3=740; grades 4-12=900 3 Grades 1-3=4.0; grades 4-12=5.0 (excludes intermissions)   District option
Arizona 180   Half-day kindergarten=356; grades 1-3=712; grades 4-6=890; grades 7-8=1,000; grades 9-12=720 (excludes lunch and recess for grades kindergarten-8) 4   District option
Arkansas 178 5   6.0 per day, 30.0 per week   Start on or after the Monday of the week in which 8/19 falls; no earlier than 8/14 and no later than 8/26
California 180 6 Kindergarten=600; grades 1-3=840; grades 4-8=900; grades 9-12=1,080 7 Kindergarten=3.0; grades 1-3=3.8; grades 4-12=4.0 7 District option
Colorado 160   Half-day kindergarten=435; full-day kindergarten=870; grades 1-5=968; grades 6-12=1,056 8   District option
Connecticut 180   Half-day kindergarten=450; full-day kindergarten=900; grades 1-12=900   9 District option
Delaware   Grades kindergarten-11=1,060; grade 12=1,032   3.5 (excludes lunch)   District option
District of Columbia 180     Grades 1-12=6.0 (includes lunch and recess)   District option (single district)
Florida 180 2 Grades kindergarten-3=720; grades 4-12=900     District option
Georgia 180 or equivalent hours     Grades kindergarten-3=4.5; grades 4-5=5.0; grades 6-12=5.5   District option
Hawaii 180 8, 10 1,080 10   District option (single district)
Idaho District option   Kindergarten=450; grades 1-3=810; grades 4-8=900; grades 9-12=990 (excludes recess, lunch, and passing periods) 5 District option   District option
Illinois 180 5   Half-day kindergarten=2.0; full-day kindergarten-1=4.0; grades 2-12=5.0   District option
Indiana 180     Grades 1-6=5.0; grades 7-12=6.0   District option
Iowa 180 2 1,080   Grades 1-12=6.0 per day or 30.0 per week (excludes lunch, includes passing periods) 5 Start no sooner than August 23 and no later than the first Monday in December
Kansas Grades kindergarten-11=186; grade 12=181 2 Kindergarten=465; grades 1-11=1,116; grade 12=1,086   5.0   District option
Kentucky 170 11 1,062   6.0   District option
Louisiana 177 2, 12 1,062 7 Grades 1-12=6.0 (excludes lunch, recess, passing periods, and parent-teacher conferences) 7 District option
Maine 175 13   Kindergarten=2.5; grades 1-12=5.0 14 District option
Maryland 180   1,080; 1,170 for public high schools   15 District option
Massachusetts 180   Kindergarten=425; grades 1-5=900; grades 6-12=990 (excludes lunch, recess, passing periods, homeroom, non-directed study periods and time spent receiving school services or participating in optional school programs)     District option
Michigan 180 16 1,098     Start no earlier than Labor Day
Minnesota Grades 1-11=165   Kindergarten=425; full-day kindergarten=850; grades 1-6=935; grades 7-12=1,020     Start no earlier than Labor Day
Mississippi 180     5.5   District option
Missouri 5-day week=174; 4-day week=142   Kindergarten=522; grades 1-12=1,044   5-day week=3.0; 4-day week=4.0   Start no earlier than 10 days prior to the first Monday in September
Montana   Half-day kindergarten=360; full-day kindergarten=720; grades 1-3=720; grades 4-11=1,080; grade 12=1,050 5   District option
Nebraska   Kindergarten=400; grades 1-8=1,032; grades 9-12=1,080     District option
Nevada 180 5   Kindergarten=2.0; grades 1-2=4.0; grades 3-6=5.0; grades 7-12=5.5 (includes recess and time between lessons; excludes lunch)   District option
New Hampshire 180 2,17 Kindergarten=450; grades 1-5=945; grades 6-12=990 17 Grades 1-5=5.8; grades 6-12=6.0 (may include up to 30 minutes of recess for grades 1-5)   District option
New Jersey 180     Full-day kindergarten=2.5; grades 1-12=4.0   District option
New Mexico   Half-day kindergarten=450; full-day kindergarten=990; grades 1-6=990; grades 7-12=1,080 18 Half-day kindergarten=2.5; full-day kindergarten=5.5; grades 1-6=5.5; grades 7-12=6.0   District option
New York 180     Half-day kindergarten=2.5; full-day kindergarten=5.0; grades 1-6=5.0; grades 7-12=5.5   District option
North Carolina 185 2 1,025     Start no earlier than Monday closest to 8/19 with approval, otherwise Monday closest to 8/26. Finish no later than Friday closest to 6/11.
North Dakota 175 5 Grades kindergarten-8=952; grades 9-12=1,038   Half-day kindergarten=2.8; full-day kindergarten=5.5; grades 1-6=5.5; grades 7-12=6.0   District option
Ohio District option   Half-day kindergarten=455; full-day kindergarten=910; grades 1-6=910; grades 7-12=1,001     District option
Oklahoma 180 2 1,080 5 6.0   District option
Oregon   Half-day kindergarten=450; full-day kindergarten=900; grades 1-8=900; grades 9-11=990; grade 12=966 (includes recess for grades kindergarten-3) 5 19 District option, but no fewer than 265 consecutive calendar days between first and last instructional day
Pennsylvania 180 2 Kindergarten=450; grades 1-8=900; grades 9-12=990   Kindergarten=2.5; grades 1-8=5.0; grades 9-12=5.5   District option
Rhode Island 180 2 1,080   Kindergarten=5.5; grades 1-12=6   District option
South Carolina 180 8   6.0 (elementary includes lunch)   Start no earlier than third Monday in August
South Dakota District option   Kindergarten=438; grades 1-5=875; grades 6-12=963 (includes intermission for elementary school) 20   District option
Tennessee 180 8   Kindergarten=4.0; grades 1-12=6.5   Start no earlier than 8/1
Texas   1,260 (includes intermissions and recesses) 7 7.0   Start no earlier than the fourth Monday in August
Utah 180 5 Kindergarten=450; grade 1=810; grades 2-12=990   Kindergarten=2.0; grades 1-12=4.0   District option
Vermont 175 8   Kindergarten=2.0 per day or 10 per week; grades 1-2=4.0 per day or 20 per week; grades 3-12=5.5 per day or 27.5 per week (includes recess for grades 1-8 and excludes lunch)   Determined regionally
Virginia 180 2 Kindergarten=540; grades 1-12=990   Kindergarten=3.0; grades 1-12=5.5 (excludes lunch and recess)   Start after Labor Day
Washington 180   Kindergarten=1,000; grades 1-8=1,000; grades 9-12=1,080     District option
West Virginia 180     Grades kindergarten-5=5.3; grades 6-8=5.5; grades 9-12=5.8   District option
Wisconsin   Kindergarten=437; grades 1-6=1,050; grades 7-12=1,137     Start no earlier than 9/1
Wyoming 175   Kindergarten=450; elementary=900; middle/junior high=1,050; secondary=1,100     District option
† Not applicable. State does not have a requirement in this category.
1 For more detailed information on state-level instructional time in days and hours, please refer to the table referenced in the SOURCE portion of this table. The table may be accessed at: https://www.ecs.org/50-state-comparison-instructional-time-policies/.
2 District option to meet either minimum hours per school year or days per school year.
3 For all grades, hours only apply if board submits an acceptable plan under which students will receive the educational equivalent of 180 days.
4 Students in grades 9-12 must enroll in at least 4 subjects, in addition to the hour requirement.
5 May include in-service professional development days, staff development, parent-teacher conferences, planning, or similar activities.
6 Charter schools and select districts are required 175 days. More details may be found at: https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/aa/pa/lcffitfaq.asp.
7 State specifies instructional time in minutes.
8 May exclude professional development days, in-service education, planning, parent-teacher conferences, and similar activities.
9 Districts may count up to 7 hours/day toward the total required for the year.
10 Does not apply to charter and multi-track schools.
11 185-day calendar that includes 170 instructional days, plus 4 days for professional development.
12 Early dismissal of seniors allowed up to 10 instructional days.
13 Students in grade 12 may have their year reduced to 170 days.
14 Minimum length of a day is 3 hours, but the average over a 2-week period must be at least 5 hours.
15 Schools must be open for pupil attendance for at least 3 hours.
16 If a collective bargaining agreement that provides a complete school calendar was in effect, then this does not apply until after the expiration of that collective bargaining agreement.
17 High school seniors’ school year may be reduced by up to 5 days or 30 hours.
18 Thirty-three hours of the full-day kindergarten program and twenty-two hours of grades 1-6 may be used for home visits by the teacher or for parent-teacher conferences. Twelve hours of grades 7-12 may be used to consult with parents or for parent-teacher conferences.
19 Oregon sets maximum, rather than minimum, hours/day: grades kindergarten-8=8.0 hours; grades 9-12=8.5 hours.
20 School boards may release graduating seniors prior to the end of the school year.
SOURCE: Education Commission of the States, 50 State Comparison: Instructional Time Policies, retrieved June 6, 2018 from https://www.ecs.org/50-state-comparison-instructional-time-policies/. Data Source.