August 11, 2011 15:20 ET

Back to School: Public School Calendars Shifting Toward Earlier Opening and Closing Dates

SHELTON, CT--(Marketwire - Aug 11, 2011) - MDR's annual update to its comprehensive national school database shows a consistent national shift toward earlier opening dates and earlier closing dates over the past ten years.

Schools Opening Before September

For the 2011-2012 school year, 75% of schools reported an opening date prior to September 1 (compared with just over an average of 72% in the past ten years).

The most common period for school openings is between August 16 and August 31. There are, however, major regional differences, with nearly 44% of districts in the Southeast opening August 15 or earlier and virtually no districts in the Northeast opening that early.

Closing Date Trends

Closing dates have also continued to shift to earlier in the calendar year. In 2011-2012, 42% of schools closed before June 1, compared with just 24% in the late 1980s.

Regional differences in closing dates are also significant. In the Southwest, 76% of schools close before June 1, while only 2% close during that same time period in the Northeast.

"While opening earlier does not add to the amount of time students spend in school, since early openings are balanced by earlier closing dates," says Anne Wujcik, MDR Education Research Analyst, "it does allow schools to maximize the number of instructional days available before they have to administer accountability tests in early to mid-spring. Schools getting an early start are able to focus a lot of energy mastering essential skills while both students and teachers are relatively fresh."

Learn More

For complete information and infographics showing these trends, visit:

About MDR

For more than 40 years, MDR has been the market's first choice for marketing information and services for the K-12, higher education, library, early childhood, and related education markets. Powered by the most complete, current, and accurate education databases available in the industry, MDR provides email contacts and deployment, direct mail lists, sales contact and lead solutions, along with web and social media marketing services. Through the EdNET suite of products, industry leaders can gain insight and opportunity with comprehensive market intelligence and analytical reports, custom research services, high-profile networking opportunities, and professional events. MDR also publishes a variety of research reports, including Educator Buying Trends: A National Survey, the Enrollment Comparison Report, and Public School Expenditures. Visit to learn more.

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