why we created term dates

Trying to find the school calendars for our children was never easy. We found ourselves checking the websites of the State Department of Education or our local school district. We soon got fed up having to crawl through different pages to find the dates and wanted to create a simple solution to help other parents find the school calendars. All the dates, including the first day and last day of school, the Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, Spring Break and any additional holidays can be found for more than 100,000 schools and every school district across the USA.

school holiday ideas

Having all the dates available in a simple, easy to follow table will help with planning days out, family vacations or arranging childcare as well as help schools maximise pupil attendance. Rather than having to search the internet to find a reliable resource, you just need to remember one website, something that will be of even greater benefit to parents with more than one child at different schools that have different calendars. Schoolscalendar.org will also be an invaluable resource for foreign visitors and those people working in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

reliable term dates

To ensure we provide accurate and reliable information our verification team check all the district calendars with the dates provided by the State Departments of Education or the local school district. Dates are only published on our website once they have been checked by our verification team. Unless stated otherwise, the dates displayed for the individual Schools are the Calendars of the local school district. Because schools can change the dates we recommend all parents always check the dates with the school before making any holiday arrangements.

School Districts


Federal Holidays


State Holidays


In the United States, school openings and the school holidays are based around a traditional school year but schools have a large degree of control on when they set breaks. This can mean that schools within a short distance of one another can have different school holidays. The system works across three tiers of schools – Elementary, Middle and High schools. After this, the further education system of colleges and universities take over and these have the autonomy to set their own vacation dates.

School Openings

Around 70% of the schools in the USA follow a traditional school calendar with three terms with three main vacations. The first day of School for these schools tends to be on the same day, however school opening dates may be different to the district calendar if the school has opted for a modified calendar, also known as year-round schools. The vacations are shorter and different parts of the school can have breaks at different times.

Thanksgiving Break

The Thanksgiving Break is taken around the Thanksgiving holiday, celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November. Originally a harvest festival, Thanksgiving has been a national holiday in the USA since 1789. The Thanksgiving Break now includes ‘Black Friday’, the famous shopping day that is immediately after Thanksgiving. The Wednesday before the break is often either a holiday or a half-day depending on the school. Some schools have a break for the entire last week of November.

Winter Break

Winter Break or Winter Recess is a vacation not taken by all schools, depending on their calendar. If it is taken, it is normally scheduled around President’s Day, the federal holiday celebrating the 3rd Monday of February. This honours the birthday of George Washington, first President of the USA who was born on the 22nd February. The federal holiday can be anywhere from 15th to 21st of the month and any school vacation would normally be around those dates.

Spring Break

The Spring Break or Spring Recess is the vacation that normally falls around the Easter period, lasting for one week in March or April. This vacation isn’t always scheduled for schools but for the majority of schools it is the second holiday break of the school year. Otherwise known as the Easter Break for some schools, some school district and school calendars will schedule the Spring Break to coincide with Patriots’ Day which is the third Monday in April.

School Closings

Generally, school closings for the summer break last for around 10-11 week from either May until August, from June until Mid-August or from the end of June until early September. Most of the time this break will incorporate the federal holiday for Independence Day on 4th July. After the summer break, the new school calendar year will start.

Other reasons for school closings can be for religious holidays including Islamic and Jewish holidays and for Easter dates such as Good Friday, depending on the demographics of the school. State holidays also vary between different states.

The other reason for school closings can be weather related – these are unscheduled days off and depend on the conditions in different states. For example, in northern states, snow can cause schools to open and close at different times while in other areas, hurricane related closures happen at different times of the year. Schools anticipate a certain number of lost days each year and can adjust the length of the summer break if this number is exceeded.