Elementary Schools, from Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

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Life in the USA
Education in America
Public Schools

Elementary Schools
At age six the American child begins elementary school by enrolling in First Grade, the first of twelve possible grades. The American school year runs from late August or September to late May or June, with a full summer vacation. In elementary school, children learn the basics of reading, writing, and numbers, some science, a bit of history, perhaps a little bit of a foreign language, a smattering of art and music, all mixed in with recreation and physical education. Standards vary widely.

There are differing categorizations in some school systems, but “elementary school” usually runs from First Grade to Sixth Grade. Seventh, Eight and perhaps Ninth Grade is considered “junior high school”or “middle school,” while Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Grades are “high school.” The term “secondary school” usually refers to the Seventh through Twelfth Grades.



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