Many people mistakenly think the title is the first line in the last verse, "Hail, hail, rock 'n' roll." The line was used as the title for a 1988 rock documentary featuring Berry.
The song is about high school life in the '50s. Teenagers were the target audience for most rock music in that era, and Berry, 30 years old when he wrote the song, knew that he could sell a lot of records by appealing to this crowd. School days hadn't changed much since he was there, so his story about getting through the hectic day while thinking about dancing and being with your girl was still relevant.
The stops and starts in this song evoke the nature of high school, where you go from one class or activity to another. Berry remembered a big change going from elementary school, where he stayed in the same room all day, to the peripatetic high school routine.
This was Berry's first hit in the UK.
Berry released a follow-up to this in 1971 called "Lonely School Days (Version 2)."