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Thread: When do the kids go back to school in Florida?

  1. #1

    When do the kids go back to school in Florida?

    I had been told that Florida kids start the new school year in mid August. We are planning an Aug. trip and wanted to be there after the locals go back to school, we thought we could deal with the heat and humidity if the park wasn't super crowded (like it was when we visited during spring break in 2010).

    Someone here mentioned their kids go back on Aug. 19th. Do all the schools in the area go back at the same time? We are flying on points and have very few options. We were looking at Aug. 12-23 but the first part of our vacation will technically still be your summer break if the whole state goes back to school on Aug. 19.

    Thanks for your input, this info will definitely help with choosing dates. I can't imagine huge crowds, long lines AND incredible heat.


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  3. #2
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    Towards the end of August will be better for lines BUT remember WDW unlike DL is not mostly locals. Lots of schools don't go back until September or are in session all year, so others are planning the same thing you are. For the hotter months the best strategy is to be at the park at rope drop, use those early, cooler, less crowded hours to get lots done and at 11 or noon when it starts to get hotter and the crowds build up go back to room for a rest or a swim or to a nearby resort for a sit down lunch.
    While I don't live in Florida, one of my neices does and her school dates have ranged from beginning to August all the way to August 20 th or so, she has gone to four or five different school districts.

  4. #3

    We were in WDW at the end of August last year, most of the school kids had gone back and it was very manageable. You still need to make good use of Fastpass and early entry if you qualify but there is no reason you won't have a great time.

    Cheers Larry.

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  5. #4

    I took this info and cut and pasted it from the Florida Department of Education site. The start date listed here is 2012 but the law has not changed. Following this law would move the earliest start in 2013 to 8/19/13. If it helps any I have students in both Manatee and Sarasota schools both start 8/19/13. Sarasota is one of the few districts that is exempt from this law but is still following it for the 2013 start date.

    In 2006, the Florida Legislature adopted a change to Section 1001.42(4)(f), Florida Statues, regarding the opening of the school year. According to the statute, beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, the opening date for schools in the district may not be earlier than 14 days before Labor Day each year. However, according to Section 1003.621, FS, districts that are currently designated by the State Board of Education as Academically High-Performing School Districts have the authority to waive Section 1001.42(4)(f), FS. This year, August 20 is 14 days before Labor Day, and 42 of the 67 regular school districts in Florida will begin classes on that date. Nineteen districts Brevard, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Flagler, Gilchrist, Gulf, Lee, Leon, Martin, Nassau, Palm Beach, St. Johns, Sarasota, Seminole, Sumter, Wakulla, and Walton are exempted from the statute because of their status as Academically High Performing districts. Fourteen of these districts will start between August 7 and 16. Four districts Hillsborough, Putnam, Union, and Bradford will begin between August 21 and 29. The remaining 7 districts have not yet reported their 2012-13 dates.

    This near uniformity in start dates stands in stark contrast to school years prior to 2007-08, in which the average difference between the earliest and latest start dates was 23 days. The longest stretch between the earliest and latest start dates was 34 days in 1997-98. For 2012-13, Brevard County has the earliest closing date (May 22), and 7 counties share the latest closing date (June 7). Sixteen counties close on June 6, making it the most common closing date.

    I also agree with the two other posters even late August will see tons of famlies at WDW because there are tons of places where school does not resume until September. It's doable but I highly suggest early starts and good use of Fastpass.


  6. #5

    I just wanted to add that it is highly unlikely that a district would choose to start much after the allowed start date. This is because all the schools must take FCAT testing on the same dates. Districts want as many school days as possible before the test with students in class. This law was established in order to prevent schools from starting early and having more days of instruction before the FCAT over other districts. My children use to start school the 1st week of August before this law was passed.


  7. #6

    When do the kids go back to school in Florida?

    The last week in August is noticeably quieter. However, those last two and a half weeks are very popular with English visitors. Flight and acc prices drop a bit, people know its a bit quieter and our schools go back some time the first week of September.


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  8. #7

    I think Scooby hit the nail on the head. Word has gotten out that prices drop the last two weeks of Aug and many times free dining is offered at WDW. This once quiet season has started to pick up around here because so many other places still have the children returning to school after Labor Day. It won't be Christmas/Easter week crazy but don't count on walk ons or short waits either.


  9. #8

    Timing a visit

    You should just look at the projected crowd levels for your travel dates. easyWDW is free, touringplans you pay for. Southern schools, northern schools all start at different times so just check the projection, your fly dates, go early to park, use fast passes wisely, and take a mid afternoon break.

  10. #9

    Oh boy, a trip in August! You will have a wonderful time. The last 2 weeks in August are a good idea. Don't worry about the exact date that Florida kids go back to school. Most families here will be spending $ on school supplies and clothes right before school starts, so they won't be spending it at the parks. You'll have the usual tourists but it won't be crowded like it was when you were here during spring break. Late August is a good time to go. Just try not to get too close to Labor Day weekend, it can be really busy in the parks then.
    Remember, plan for the heat and humidity, don't worry about the quickie afternoon showers, and take a break back at your hotel during the hottest parts of the day.

    I hope you have a magical time!

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goodnplenty View Post
    Remember, plan for the heat and humidity, don't worry about the quickie afternoon showers, and take a break back at your hotel during the hottest parts of the day.
    GnP provides probably the best tip... plan for that as the crowds will probably take care of themselves.
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  12. #11
    Friend of Figment
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    Poinciana, FL (20 miles from WDW)

    Florida State Law requires that schools start no earlier than two weeks before Labor Day. For this year that is August 20. However some systems have received waivers to this law.

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