2017 Back-to-School Topical Guide
The Associated Press has compiled a style guide of essential words, phrases and definitions related to the return to classes. Terms are from the AP Stylebook, usage in AP stories and Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition.
But single-letter grades get apostrophes: an A, two B's and three C's.
He bought back-to-school supplies. But she went back to school.
Capitalize and enclose in quotes the names of books, poems, plays, films and songs. Capitalize without quotes books that are primarily references, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias and almanacs.
The vehicles carrying kids to and from school. Not busses, which are kisses.
Common Core educational standards
Or Common Core learning standards, Common Core curriculum standards.
Capitalize proper noun elements or numbered courses: American history, English, Algebra 1, world history
Lowercase in all uses: He is on the dean's list. She is a dean's list student.
dropout (n.), drop out (v.)
enroll, enrolled, enrolling
Titles of special events, such as school fundraisers, are capitalized and enclosed in quotes.
Acceptable in all references for grade-point average.
first grader, seventh grader, 10th grader; but hyphenate first-grade student, 11th-grade classes.
Graduate is correctly used in the active voice: She graduated from high school. It is correct, but unnecessary, to use the passive voice: He was graduated from high school. Do not, however, drop from: John Adams graduated from Harvard. Not: John Adams graduated Harvard.
half day, half-day (adj.)
Friday is a half day of school. The half-day tests were challenging.
No hyphen in high school student, high school teacher, etc.
home schooling (n.) home-schooler (n.) home-school (v.) home-schooled (adj.)
hookyAbsence from school without a legitimate excuse is playing hooky.
home schooling (n.), home-schooler (n.), home-school (v.), home-schooled (adj.)
K-12The years of schooling from kindergarten through 12th grade graduation.
kindergarten, kindergartnersBut pre-K, K-12.
lectern, podium, rostrumA speaker stands behind a lectern, on a podium or rostrum.
PTAAcceptable in all references for Parent Teacher Association
public schoolsUse a figure and capitalize when numbered: Public School 3. If a school has a commemorative name, capitalize it: Benjamin Franklin School.
room numbersUse figures and capitalize room when used with a figure: Room 2, Room 211.
Elementary school, middle school, but preschool is one word.
school-age (adj.)They have three school-age children.
schoolboy, schoolgirlOne word for each.
school dayTwo words for any day that school is in session.
school yearThe 2017-18 school year begins soon.
teacherOne word for schoolteacher; others are three words without hyphens: grade school teacher, high school teacher
three R'sThey are: reading, 'riting, 'rithmatic