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Differences between British and Us schools and vacations

Leicester UK
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Differences between British and Us schools and vacations

Ive just worked out that I really don't know very much about the U.S. system so I'll explain ours and hope someone does the same for me.

I work at a Primary school (4-11 year olds) the children will then go on to Secondary School until they are 16, they can then leave if they wish, or go onto "6th Form" (2 years) then University (3+ years depending on the course)

The school hours for pupils at my school are 8.55 - 3.15 with 1 hour for lunch and 15 minutes break mid morning. Other schools can choose their own start or end times but this is fairly general.

Vacations (Holidays to me):

6 weeks in July- August

1 week October

2 weeks Christmas

1 week February

2 weeks Easter

1 week May

The school year begins after the Summer holiday when children move up to their next year and teacher.

I would really love to know about the American system as this obviosly affects crowds in the parks; I also want to know who has the harder life!!

IL
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1. Re: Differences between British and Us schools and vacations

Hello snowwhite,

Our summer vacation is June - August

Not all but some schools are off for 1 week in November for Thanksgiving week.

2 weeks for Christmas

1 week for spring break ours is the last week of March but varies so one of the most busiest times in Disney is the 3rd week of March through 3rd week of April.

President's week is another busy time and is February 19th this year.

Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: Differences between British and Us schools and vacations

Orlando area schools summer vacation begins at the end of May, and school starts back up either the beginning of August or a week later, depending on which county. That makes a difference in the park crowds.

Northeast PA
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3. Re: Differences between British and Us schools and vacations

Each school district has its own set of guidelines. The one my kids are in,

Pre-k to 6th grade (age 5-12) 8:10 to 2:10

7th to 12th grade (age 12-17) 8:20 to 2:35

Both have a 15 minute snack in the morning and a 45 minute lunch.

School year starts the last Monday in Aug. and will end 180 school days from that date, around the 7th to the 10th of June.

Not counting the 6 or 7 single holiday days they don't have school, you got,

5 days off for Thanksgiving

Depending on what day of the week Christmas falls on you got 9-12 days off.

5 days for Easter, BUT we have 5 SNOWDAYS built into the school year, if there are any left over by Easter time these days are added to the Easter days.

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4. Re: Differences between British and Us schools and vacations

In Michigan, the kids start after Labor Day and go until early to mid june, depends on district. Vacations consist of Thanksgiving break, Wed. - Sunday. Christmas break 9-12 days. Mid winter 3rd week in Feb. Easter/Spring break is off for Good Friday and the week after Easter. Some in the south don't have this much time off. Memorial weekend is Friday and Monday off. The only month without a long weekend or holiday is March.

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5. Re: Differences between British and Us schools and vacations

In Kentucky, the county I live in, here is the basic schedule.

Really depends on which school the child is in. Elementary, Middle or High School on the time they start and end school.

My daughter is a senior (grade 12, her last year of school, then off to working or college, her choice)

She starts school at 8:30, has 20 minutes for lunch, then out of school at 3:30.

School starts first week of August, ends last week of May.

Spring break: March 27 to April 7. During this 2 weeks, if students missed any school because of snow during the winter months, they have to make it using their spring break days.

Fall break: October 3 to October 14.

Winter break: December 19 to December 30.

I think 20 minutes for lunch is ridiculous but it's always been that way here.

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6. Re: Differences between British and Us schools and vacations

Oh, I forgot Thanksgiving.

They are off Nov.23- until the next Monday.

QQ2
New York City, New...
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7. Re: Differences between British and Us schools and vacations

As the previous poster said, these matters are determined locally in the US. As far as the spring breaks are concerned, some districts have a week at the end of February and a week at the end of April (instead of one week in March or April). Generally, the further south you go, the earlier the school year ends and begins -- schools in the south are more likely to end in May and resume in August, while those in the north tend to run until June and resume in early September, after Labor Day. As far as I know, no schools in the US have the October mid-term break that you have.

Chickamauga, Georgia
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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8. Re: Differences between British and Us schools and vacations

Snowwhite,

Bottom line is that every school district in the states have a different schedule. There is no set schedule anymore as once there was.

Tradition held that summer break was from Memorial Day at the end of May until Labor Day at the beginning of September, but that is no longer the case.

Many school districts in the states now have a "year around" schedule and get very little time off in the summer months. Others have a staggered schedule where they get more breaks during the school year, but less time in the summer.

Good luck planning your trip.

Chicago
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9. Re: Differences between British and Us schools and vacations

HI Snowwhite,

We have elementary (Kindergarten-5th grade),

middle(6-8th) and high school( 4 years). After that it is usually on to college/university or a trade school.

My kids, 7th and high school, start school at 7:45 and get out at 2:45. Their vacations are usually as follows:

Summer: 10 weeks off June-Mid August.

Thanksgiving: It used to be the whole week;now it is just Thurs/Fri.

Christmas: 2 weeks, the start date depends upon what day Christmas falls on.

Easter: only Good Friday, unless it coincides with Spring Break

Spring Break: last week of March.

They get various single days off such as Martin Luther King day, President's day, Columbus Day.

I like your kids' schedule because it spreads out the breaks. It would be nice to have a week in Feb. or May. This is when crowds at parks and other vacation spots are generally smaller!

Now, who has the harder life?

I think we have to look at how much vacation/holiday time the parents get. Unfortunately, most adults here get maybe 3 weeks vacation. It varies greatly depending upon your job, how long you've been there, your position there, etc. It is very uncommon for someone here to be gone from their jobs for longer than 1 or 2 weeks at a time. My husband is allowed 6 weeks paid time off per year, but he could never be gone for such a stretch or time.

Leicester UK
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10. Re: Differences between British and Us schools and vacations

Thanks all of you for such interesting replies. My 10 year old son now wants to move to America but does not want to go to the school with the 20 minute lunch break (That's minging - the current phrase for not good)

Our pupils do 190 days and teachers do 195 minimum.

My husband and I are both teachers so it's great having the time off with our kids but we are stung by the travel agents.

The early starts were not favoured in my house either - but the early finish was!!