Because the United States is located in the northern hemisphere, summer begins in June, at the conclusion of the school year. Summer vacation lasts from June until the end of August. Depending on the school, the school year is divided into four terms or two semesters. Students often take vacations in December, February, and April. Some schools do not have a formal spring break but instead provide an extended weekend for students to have off from class.
The school year is generally thought of as beginning in September and ending in July, but because the United States uses a quarter system for grading school exams and papers, some universities begin classes earlier or later than others. For example, many community colleges start classes in January or February to be able to offer more classes per year. This allows them to avoid loss of revenue due to students taking time away from the classroom to work or travel.
Some public schools in the United States have longer school years than private schools. This is usually because private schools can choose what time they start and end classes while public schools must follow a standard schedule set by local governments.
For example, most private elementary schools in the United States start classes in the fall after Labor Day and end them in the summer before Labor Day. These are called "summer schools." Most private middle schools and all private high schools start classes in the fall after Labor Day and end them before Labor Day. These are called "fall schools."
Summer is still a popular period for family holidays, with most people taking a two or three-month break. The academic year normally lasts from late August or early September to May or June, depending on the length of the year and the amount of holidays, vacations, and snow days. Some schools begin as early as January and some as late as June.
The end of the summer term is called "the end of school year" or "school graduation." It means that students have reached the age of 18 and no longer need to go to school. However, many countries have school systems that continue beyond young adulthood; in these cases, students may choose to stay in school until they are done learning everything there is to know about their chosen field of study.
Most countries have several different terms for the end of the school year. These include:
In the United States, the end of the school year is called "graduation." Students who have completed all the requirements for their high school diploma can apply to graduate. Those who have not yet graduated can submit applications in certain cases/states where graduates are given special status such as being able to work without a license.
In Canada, the end of the school year is called "the end of the school season". It can be described as the last day of class for students attending secondary schools.
During the school year, there are two major holidays: summer break and winter vacation. Winter break cuts the school year in half and lasts about a month, including the spring festival, which lasts 15 days. Summer vacation begins at the beginning of July and lasts around two months. This gives students time to enjoy the weather and travel before going back to school in the fall.
Both summer break and winter vacation start on the first day of the lunar month. This means that they can change from year to year. For example, if the summer holiday starts on the 20th day of the current year instead, it would be called "20th Day of the Lunar Month Holiday".
The school year ends on the last day of the lunar month, so the summer holiday always ends on a Sunday. The winter vacation always ends on a weekday, except for one case where it ends on a Saturday.
In addition to these major holidays, some smaller festivals are also held during the year. These include Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day, and Autumn Moon Festival.
Schools in China usually open between early September and late August, depending on when the government announces the opening of exams. Exams are held throughout the year at fixed times and dates, with the exception of the summer break when they are cancelled.
Summer schools in the United States are often held between May and August and can run anywhere from two to twelve weeks. They are usually free of charge for participants.
These short programs offer high-quality instruction in a supportive environment designed to help students achieve their academic goals. The length of the program varies depending on the content and level of participation desired by the student. Students can extend their participation past the end of the summer session if they continue to make progress toward their academic objectives.
Almost all summer schools include classroom work, laboratory exercises, and field trips to cultural sites. Some also include off-campus work experiences such as community service or internship opportunities. Pre-college programs may focus more on preparing students for the college entrance exam by providing training in reading, writing, mathematics, and science. College credit can be awarded for some summer school courses that meet regular admissions requirements at participating institutions.
Students may be able to receive federal financial aid to attend summer school. The amount of funding available depends on many factors, such as the student's family income, the amount of other money being received by the family during the summer months, the number of children in the family seeking assistance, and the type of aid being sought.