American back to school

While the question of how children will be starting off the school year on September 1st is a hot topic…

Amerykański szkolny autobus

While the question of how children will be starting off the school year on September 1st is a hot topic at the moment in Poland, some American children have already hit the books. Surprising? It is for most Europeans.

The majority of European schools have a fixed date when school starts that is uniform for the entire country. But the U.S. is different since it’s made up of 50 states and so you might be thinking that back-to-school dates are just regulated by each state. Nope. Though American school start dates can be regulated by the state, they can also be chosen by a given region or school district. As a result, American children start school from as early as the end of July to as late as the second week of September. 

But there are some similarities to be found. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, school children in the south and southwestern U.S. usually start school earlier than their peers on the northeastern and northwestern seaboards.

If this isn’t enough of a culture shock, keep in mind that American children also have a different school day than most of their European peers. While most elementary schools start at around 9 am, most high schools start at 7 am! It looks like high schools really took “the early bird gets the worm” seriously!

 

Glossary:

  • hit the books– to start to study intensively.
  • to be uniform– to stay the same at all times and places and for everyone.
  • to regulate– to make laws or rules that control something.
  • nope– (informal) no.
  • to conduct– to plan or do an activity (e.g. conduct a study, investigation, etc).
  • seaboard– part of a country that touches or is near the sea or ocean.
  • culture shock– a feeling of confusion or worry because you are experiencing a culture different than the one you are used to.
  • The early bird gets the worm– an expression that means that people who start earlier are more likely to be successful.

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