Secondary education in the United States: elementary, middle and upper secondary education

The system of secondary education in the US differs significantly from our usual way. So in the country, there is no single state standard of education, as there is no unique curriculum. All this is set at the state level. Learning at school is 12 years old and starts not from the first class, but from the zero one. It is worth noting that schooling is not only available to US citizens. To date, there are special exchange programs that allow children from other countries to study at both public and private American schools.

School System in the States


The United States has a national education system. Most schools in the country - state, although there are private institutions. All public schools are free of charge, they are funded and controlled at once on three levels: federal, state, and local government. 90% of schoolchildren study in public educational institutions. Private schools in the United States, for the most part, provide a rather high level of education, but training there is quite expensive.


Also, some parents prefer to teach children at home. Refusing to study often happens for religious reasons when parents do not want their children to be taught theories that they personally disagree with (mainly in the opinion of evolution) or they want to protect children from possible violence.

For historical reasons, educational norms are not enshrined in the American Constitution. It is anticipated that this issue should be regulated at the level of individual states. Also, the United States does not provide for strict state standards of education and training programs. All of them are installed locally.

School education in the United States is divided into 3 grades: primary, secondary, and senior schools. Moreover, the school at each level is an entirely independent institution. Most often they are placed in separate buildings and have their own teacher teams.

Duration and age of primary education may vary in different states. Usually, children begin to study at the age of 5-8 years and finish by 18-19 years. At that, at first, they go not to the first class, but to the null (kindergarten), although in some states it is not obligatory. In the US, preparation for school is precisely in this class. Children are accustomed to living in a new team, methods, and methods of conducting classes for the next years of study. Often, the training of children in the United States takes place in the form of open dialogue or peculiar game. Although the zero grade is considered to be preparatory, the children set a rigid schedule. Right, homework is not yet asked.

The primary school in the USA lasts from the first to the fifth grade. During this period, most school subjects, except fine arts, physical education, and music, are conducted by one teacher. At this stage, children study writing, reading, arithmetic, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Important: Already at this stage, all children are divided according to their abilities. This is one of the hallmarks of American schools. Before starting the education, the children are given an IQ test. On its basis, children are divided into groups. Starting from the third grade, all students are tested annually. In general, all the results of training in the states have traditionally been checked in the form of testing.

Depending on the success of the student, they can be transferred to a class for gifted students, where subjects are studied more widely and ask more homework, or vice versa, a class for laggards, where tasks are less, and a course more accessible.

Secondary schools in the United States teach children from grades 6 to 8. At this stage, each subject is led by different teachers. There are compulsory subjects and classes of choice. Mandatory English, Maths, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Physical Education. Speaking about electives, in excellent schools there is a lot of specialized courses. Moreover, many of them are taught at the university level. The choice of foreign languages ​​may vary, but most often: French, Spanish, Latin, German, Italian and Chinese.

Necessary: At the American School, all students are allocated every year to new classes. So the children learn each new year in a new team.

The last stage of secondary education in the United States is an older school. It lasts from 9th to 12th grades.

Important: At this stage, we do not have the usual classes at all. Here, each student is engaged in the tailor-made individual program. Every morning, overall attendance is checked, after which the children differ in their classes.

In high school in the United States, students receive much more freedom in choosing classes to study. So there is a specific list of items that children are required to consider to get a certificate. All other courses they can decide on their own.

Important: In case of successful delivery of additional subjects at school, the student will not have to study them in college, where he will have to pay for each course he has listened to.

Speaking about compulsory subjects, they are set by the school board. This board is developing a school curriculum, hiring teachers, and identifying the necessary funding.

Also, many public institutions of higher education put forward their own requirements for the subjects that must be studied by each entrant.

Speaking about the benefits of teaching children in different schools, this is not only an improvement in English language skills. In American schools, there is a considerable amount of both compulsory and additional subjects. Naturally, the number of disciplines studied and the quality of teaching directly depend on the school's ranking. If the child is lucky to enter into the right institution, then all subjects will be shown at a high level. Also, American schools often find all kinds of excursions to nature reserves, museums, famous places, or even other countries. Plus in the United States is quite a severe attitude to sports.

Important: the best universities in the country are actively inviting active athletes. In such cases, even a blind eye to some omissions in the training of their talented athletes.

And most importantly, studying abroad teaches the child an autonomy. In American schools, children are always faced with a choice, whether they have answers in tests or subjects to study. Schools in the United States initially target and prepare children for their future profession. Also, for any child to study in another country, it is an opportunity to test their own strengths and opportunities. Competition among American schoolchildren is quite large, so that the student should not just be smart, but also talented, be able to show their positive sides and adapt quickly.

The first thing that faces newly-created students is the strict rules of the institution. All school life in the States is subject to strict regulation. All school rules are brought to every student. For their violation, the child may impose appropriate punishment or even expel him from the institution.

The next difficulty relates to understanding the structure of the educational process - by which principle it is necessary to select additional subjects, how to determine the required level of complexity.

Knowledge of English is essential. When entering both the public and private schools, each student must have a language test, interview, and also give a recommendation from a teacher of English from a pre-school or a scoreboard for success in the past few years. Depending on the class of the institution, the rules of admission may vary.

If the child does not speak the fluent language, it can be placed in an introductory class where vocabulary gaps will be actively filled. Such courses can take place at a separate course within 2-4 months, or go along with the general program.