Education structure in USA: primary, secondary, higher

The American School System

Unlike many countries, the United States does not have a single educational program: in general, the program forms the board of education under the state government, or more precisely, the board that determines a particular school.

Schooling in the United States is divided into three stages.

  • Elementary school (grades 1-5) - children learn the basic required subjects and participate in sports and creativity.

  • Secondary: Middle school (grades 6-8) or junior high (grades 7-9) - in addition to the required subjects, elective subjects emerge.

  • Upper School: High School (grades 9-12) or High School (grades 11-12) - Reduction in the number of required subjects and maximum freedom to choose the subjects studied. For the past 2 years, talented students have been able to take college prerequisite courses. At the end of high school, U.S. students must take the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test).

Depending on the state, children begin school between the ages of 5 and 8. As a rule, each stage of American school has its own building and is a completely separate educational institution.

Elementary school

In every state, children between the ages of 5 and 8 can attend school at the request of their parents - formal elementary school is the first stage of general education in the country.

In the United States, everyone is expected to receive an education, so children must attend elementary and middle school unless health or religion does not allow it. In elementary school, one teacher usually teaches all the required subjects except physical education, music and art (all three subjects are taught once or twice a week).

The main goal of American public elementary schools is to teach boring material through entertainment and to teach children the concept of individualism. Teachers who take elementary school students often visit various museums, go on hikes, and make their own art or technology projects. In addition, in addition to elementary school recreation, subjects such as math, reading, and writing are taught to prepare children for learning in secondary school.

Parents take their children to school, or their children get on the school bus (free of charge). Classes begin in different ways at different schools, most commonly from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The elementary school day is short, about 3-5 hours a day, depending on the workload of the day. The length of a session varies from school to school - from 25 to 35 minutes. Breaks are 5-10 minutes in length, except for lunchtime, which lasts about 30 minutes. Parents come to school to pick up their children and the staff does not let some children leave. As soon as someone comes to pick up a child, the child is asked if he or she knows the person and if the person is a relative of the child. Only after the child recognizes the person who is looking for him or her can the student go home.

Elementary schools are fully funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Parents who send their children to public school do not spend a penny. It is important to mention that children are attached to the school as close to home as possible, meaning that if you live in a poor area, the only way to get into a thriving school home is to change your area.

Secondary school

This stage is divided into two phases: middle school and high school. A unified educational program - from the sixth to the eighth grade. For high school, each educational institution develops independently.

Starting with the eighth grade, students can choose the subjects they want to study. In addition, they must teach mathematics, social and natural sciences, history, English, and art. They can also study foreign languages.

Schoolchildren in the United States not only attend classes, but also participate in school sports, join circles, hobby clubs, and engage in socially useful work. This is a mandatory part of secondary education, which provides children with the necessary social skills and ensures harmonious personal development.

At this stage, talented students can choose advanced courses in individual subjects. Much attention is given to the independent study of individual subjects.

Another feature of American secondary schools is the credit system. Students earn credits, which are later taken into account when entering college. For the study of a subject during the semester, students earn 2.5 credits - 5 credits during the academic year.

The highschool

Students in grades 9-12 are required to study mathematics, natural and social sciences, English, physical education and art. Education is not only theoretical: students perform laboratory work, practical tasks.

In addition to the required school courses, students can choose other subjects that they will need when they enter college to study their chosen major. Popular elective courses include.

  •  Foundations of a healthy lifestyle.

  •  Oratory.

  •  Fundamentals of doing business.

  •  Music ;

  •  Informatics, computer science.

  •  Foreign Languages

  •  Dramatic arts

  •  Ecology.

In the last 2 years, talented students can take college prerequisite courses. Often the subjects studied in AP correspond to level 1 or even level 2 courses at the university. Successful completion of college prerequisite courses facilitates students' entry into American universities as well as many British, German, Israeli, and Canadian universities.

In some cases, universities may immediately recredit AP subjects during the first year of college study.

At the end of high school, U.S. students must take the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or ACT.

Their scores will be taken into account when entering institutions of higher education, universities.

Year 13 Further Study and Preparation for Admission

After receiving the certificate, students can study for one or two more years to study in depth in a subject useful to the university or college. This education is called advanced placement. It ends with passing an exam that, depending on the results, allows you to immediately enter the second year of a higher education institution.

Studying under this program allows you to advance in certain subjects and save money on studying at a college or university. Travel Smart Club will help you choose an educational institution for your pre-university program, prepare education, obtain a visa and process documents.

In this pre-university program, students choose from nearly forty advanced level subjects. Relatively recently, the U.S. launched another AP program focused on conducting research and scientific work.

Sports in American schools

In American educational institutions, great importance is attached to sports and the physical development of students. It is important to note that the initiative comes not only from the state, but also from the youth themselves. The admiration for a healthy lifestyle is rapidly gaining popularity. Children and their parents understand how important it is for the growing body to receive adequate physical activity in the midst of constant mental activity.

Schools, colleges and universities offer an excellent opportunity to discover talent in a variety of sports, achieve great success and express themselves on the international stage. Sports activities offer a real opportunity to gain various benefits: for example, sports scholarships covering tuition and living expenses. Higher education and professional sports become possible and do not harm each other. It is also worth noting that players always have the option to continue their education or not.

Most importantly, sports foster team spirit, help bring teams together, free themselves, demonstrate their abilities, learn how to work in teams and make real comrades. Throughout their lives, many Americans remember with horror how they defended the honor of their country's educational institutions, continued to compete and carefully stored items with their favorite team's logo. American sports are an integral part of the American culture that continues to grow and win the hearts of millions.

Advantages of studying at an American school

  • The main direction of education is the student's preference, directed towards a future career.

  • American university degrees are well known and highly valued in different countries

  • Opportunity to obtain a prestigious job in any country of the world

  • Wide range of educational institutions and majors

  • Many scholarship programs and grants

  • Integration with employers

  • Optimal distribution of teaching load

  • Democratic and relaxed classroom atmosphere

The cost of studying in a U.S. school

Let's talk in more detail about how much it costs for a child to stay in a U.S. educational institution, whether it is a private or comprehensive school, each year.

As a rule, studying in the United States, even in high school, is a rather expensive pleasure. The average cost of a one-year educational program is about $40,000. The cost of studying in the USA usually depends on the rating and prestige of the school, the state where the educational institution is located and its history.

The cost of a prestigious American education is high. However, it is important to note that this price includes not only tuition, meals, and accommodation, but also some additional bonuses.

  • All study materials.

  • Insurance.

  • Preparation for the upcoming final exams.

  • Participation in circles, various extracurricular activities.

  • English classes for foreign students.

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