June 14, 2023 | Peter Long
Can you believe that three states will have most of their students back in the classroom by the week of July 31st? You read that correctly - July 31st! MCH Strategic Data has just completed their initial gathering of the 2023 – 2024 school calendar dates. Over 79,000 school calendars have been compiled from published school calendars found on school and district websites across the country. These calendars show when kids return to school in the Fall of 2023, start their Spring Breaks in March of 2024, and start their 2024 Summer break. So, what does the data tell us about the 2023 – 2024 school year?
School’s Out for Summer! Or is it?
Labor Day is not the back-to-school marker that it used to be! In fact, only five states have a majority of their students going back to school after Labor Day. In stark contrast, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi ushers a majority of their students back into the classroom by the week of July 31st. With kids back in the classrooms earlier and earlier, companies may need to consider the timing of those back-to-school campaigns.
Crowded Vacation Spots
Watch out for the week of March 25th 2024, because a big chunk of schools in the US will be on Spring Break. While Spring Break vacation dates do very across the country, six of the states with some of the largest student populations will release their kids for break during the same week in March. At least Florida and Texas, two other huge student population states, will be earlier the same month, but you can expect a record number of travelers the week of March 25, 2024. If you’re travelling in March next year, book your tickets now!
The End-Of-School Spend
Just as the school open dates have a broader range, school close dates now span more than seven weeks across the United States, running as early as May 13 and as late as June 24. That means dates can vary widely for schools and districts to spend the last of their budget dollars. Promotions to “use-it or lose-it” can run well into the Summer to make sure you are capturing all the clean up spending that you can.
K-12 Marketing Tips: Evolving with Education
MCH has been helping businesses succeed in the education industry for almost 100 years, so we know a thing or two about keeping ahead of the curve. Marketing to K-12 institutions has evolved immensely, and moving with the flow of changing cycles is imperative. A generation ago, the end-of-school spending promotions would tie up in May, the back-to-school marketing would begin in August, and the summer months would be quiet. Following that model would be the kiss of death for anyone marketing schools and districts today.
As we can see with the 2023 - 2024 school calendars, the education market is quickly becoming a year-round marketing and sales effort. Aside from a few weeks in July, the true educational marketing cycle has no time off. So how do you get your message to stand out? The winning marketing campaign uses a data-driven approach to understand the full cycle of the school year, with promotions timed for those budgets and funding releases that offer the biggest spending opportunities.
Below is a brief summary of where the bulk of the schools in each state begin school, start Spring Break, and close school. If you’d like a more detailed version, we’ve put together a School Calendar At-A-Glance cheat sheet to help you keep on top of it all. It’s a valuable tool to use in conjunction with the Calendar Dates add-on package with any MCH education list. Build your own custom list online or email us for more information today.
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