When do US students go back to school 2024: the most popular dates and plans

when do we go Back to School 2020 students classroom teacher raising hands
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Back to school 2023 season for the US is finally here and one of the biggest questions on the minds of both students and parents is 'when do we go back to school?' There's no one easy answer, either, with varying dates for each country, region, and even school district. 

Depending on the area, some students may be returning in mid-August, while other areas wait until after Labor Day in early September. Only a few years ago when the Covid-19 pandemic started, it was unpredictable, with many schools deciding to postpone in-person learning until 2021. A few schools went back in August 2020 only to shut down again.

And just in time for this season are the Back to school sales that parents should take advantage of in order to get students outfitted with the best supplies at great prices. Here are the most popular back to school dates in Pennsylvania, California, and New York.

Kid's backpacks: from $19.99 at Amazon

Kid's backpacks: from $19.99 at Amazon
Amazon's back to school sale includes a huge selection of backpacks for all ages from brands like Adidas, Jansport, and The North Face, with prices starting at just $19.99.You'll find character backpacks for younger kids and laptop backpacks for college students with a range of patterns, colors, and fabrics.

HP ENVY 6065e Wireless All-in-One Inkjet Printer: $129.99 $79.99 at Best Buy

HP ENVY 6065e Wireless All-in-One Inkjet Printer: was $129.99 now $79.99 at Best Buy
A great option if you're looking for a budget printer, Best Buy has this HP Envy wireless printer on sale for just $79.99. The HP Envy can print, scan and copy, including automatic 2-sided printing, and includes three months of free ink when you activate HP Plus.

Between August and September

According to statistics, one-third of students in the US return to school between August 12 and August 16 in 2023, which is a significant number. However, in a typical year, a majority of colleges, high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools won't return until after Labor Day, which is Monday, September 8, 2023.

In Pennsylvania, it depends on the school district, with some schools returning post-Labor Day while others are returning on August 29. In New York, the start date is on September 8 which is after Labor Day. And in California, many students will be starting school on or around August 14, with private schools having more flexibility in start dates than public schools. 

There are a wide variety of dates for returning to classes even among three areas in the US, let alone in other parts of the US. This means that parents need to research the right one depending on where they live.

When do we go back to Back to school 2020 student with mask boarding a yellow bus

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

In-person school days

Unlike in 2020, in 2023 schools have been returning to in-person classes, treating the back to school event as a pre-Covid one. This means that it'll be more difficult for students to remain six feet apart. If students want to be cautious concerning Covid, parents will have to take those measures on an individual basis.

Back in 2020 and even 2021, some schools split up the number of students who can enter the school building at any one time. Districts aid out a plan to have half of their normal amount of students go back to school in-person on alternating days based on their names (last names, so that families can go into classes at the same time). 

Then there would be cleaning days in some districts, which allowed school officials to decontaminate classrooms over the course of a little over 24 hours.

When do we go back to school 2020 teacher with students

(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Jacob Lund)

Final thoughts

Right now, schools have returned to a state of normalcy in regards to back to school dates. For school districts across the country, students have been returning to classes either in mid to late August or in early September, depending on their pre-Covid traditions.

While this means that parents are able to send their children to school without worrying about the difficulties of distance learning, if parents want to safeguard their children they must do so on an individual basis.

This also means that retailers have returned to a state of normalcy, offering many Back to school sales that make it easier for parents to buy supplies and tech that students need for schooling.

Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.

With contributions from