high school in the u.s.a.



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The American high school system is unlike that in many other countries. In the United States, there is little national standardization in the high school (or secondary school) curriculum. Individual states have great control over what coursework is taught in the schools within’ their borders, as well as in the requirements those students must meet in order to graduate with a high school diploma. What courses and subject are offered at a high school will vary depending on where the school is located.

The coursework will also vary depending on whether the school is public or private. Public schools are operated by the government and are financed by public found. They are free to all students, even foreigners. The quality of education can very greatly between different public schools, primarily because of differences in the amount of funding that different schools receive. Private schools are operated by private individuals and are financed by private funds. They are not controlled by any government agency, but their students must still meet the minimum graduation requirements set by the state. Private high schools are popular in the US, because they offer options that are not available at public high schools. These may include advanced math and science courses, a broader selection of foreign languages, and better art, music and athletic programs.

Pre-School Preparation
The majority of U.S. children now begin their educations before entering regular school, and most states now require enrollment in pre-school programs and provide such programs. Pre-school programs generally occur in the year preceding school entry and sometimes the previous year as well, around ages 3-5. The first year of pre-school education is often called pre-kindergarten or nursery school, while the second year is often called kindergarten or preschool.

School Entry
U.S. children enter formal schooling around age 6 (some enter at 5 and others at age 7 depending on the relationship of their birthday to the school calendar). The first year of primary school is referred to as first grade. In America, the word grade has two meanings: (1) the score achieved on an exam or in a course, and (2) a year of education in primary or secondary school.

Duration of School
Formal schooling lasts 12 years, until around age 18 (once again, depending on the age at entry).

Stages/Levels of School
Formal primary education is called Elementary Education and ranges from first grade through grade 4, 5, or 6, depending on state and district regulations. The upper level of primary education is often organized separately into a unit called Middle School, which begins at grade 4, 5, or 6 and ends at grade 6, 7, or 8. Likewise, the lower grades of secondary education (years 7, 8, or 9 depending on state and district regulations) are sometimes organized separately into a what is called Junior High School. Regular (including upper) secondary education is called High School, beginning in grade 8, 9, or 10 and ending at grade 12, again depending on state and district regulations.

Compulsory Schooling
Compulsory schooling ends by law at age 16 in 30 states, at age 17 in nine states, and at age 18 in 11 states plus the District of Columbia. Student may drop out of school if they have reached the age set in their state’s law for the end of compulsory schooling. The U.S. dropout rate is just over 11 percent of secondary-level students age 15 and older.