Back to School With The AP Stylebook

September 28, 2017

In August, The AP Stylebook published a back-to-school topical guide, which included some of the following new entries and recent changes:

ABCs But single-letter grades get apostrophes: an A, two B’s and three C’s.

back-to-school (adj.) He bought back-to-school supplies. But she went back to school.

bus, buses The vehicles carrying kids to and from school.

Common Core educational standards Or Common Core learning standards, Common Core curriculum standards.

courses Capitalize proper noun elements or numbered courses: American history, English, Algebra 1, world history

Dean’s list Lowercase in all uses: He is on the dean’s list. She is a dean’s list student.

dropout (n.), drop out (v.)

events Titles of special events, such as school fundraisers, are capitalized and enclosed in quotes.

GPA Acceptable in all references for grade-point average.

grade, grader Hyphenate first-grader, 10th-grader; also, first-grade student, 11th-grade classes are hyphenated as combining forms. But: She is in the fifth grade.

graduate (v.) Graduate is in the active voice: She graduated from high school. Do not 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.

high school No hyphen in high school student.

home school (n.), home-school (v.), home-schooled (adj.)

hooky Absence from school without a legitimate excuse.

K-12 Years of school from kindergarten through 12th grade.

kindergarten, kindergartners But pre-K, K-12.

lectern, podium, rostrum A speaker stands behind a lectern, on a podium or rostrum.

PTA Acceptable in all references for Parent Teacher Association

public schools Use a figure and capitalize when numbered: Public School 3. If a school has a commemorative name, capitalize it: Benjamin Franklin School.

room numbers Use figures and capitalize room when used with a figure: Room 2, Room 211.

school Elementary school, middle school, but preschool is one word.

school-age (adj.) They have three school-age children.

school year The 2017-18 school year begins soon.

schoolwork One word.

teacher One word for schoolteacher; others are three words without hyphens: grade school teacher, high school teacher

three R’s They are: reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic

— Compiled by Amy Jacques


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