Children in the USA start school when they are six years old. They start in the first grade in an Elementary or Grade School where they stay for five years. When they are eleven, they go to Junior High School, and at the age of fourteen to Senior High School.
Students spend four years at Senior High School. Each year has a special name. The first year (9th grade) is the Freshman class. The 10th grade is the Sophomore class. The 11th graders are called Seniors.
The school day usually runs from eight o´clock in the morning to half past two or three o´clock . Students have homework to do after that. The day starts with the flag- raising ceremony. All the students and teachers stand together and sing the American national anthem while the American flag is raised. Students usually have their lunch at school. Most schools have a cafeteria, where students can buy lunch, but some students bring their own lunch from house.
American schools encourage a strong sense of community. Schools have their own teams for American football, baseball and basketball. They usually have bands and drama groups, too. When sports teams compete against other schools, it is a big event. Students and their parents come to watch. The cheerleaders dance and the school band plays , too.
Students can leave school when are sixteen, but stay at school till they are eighteen and then they go to college or university ( which they also call “school”). They do not always go to a local college or university . A lot of students go to study in different cities and even in different states, hundreds of miles from their home.
State education in the USA is free up to the age of eighteen. There are some private schools that you have to pay for. However, most children go to state schools. Colleges and universities are not free. Parents have to pay, and students often have a part- time job, too. They work in restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations. American universities also offer a lot of scholarships.
When students leave school or university, they have Graduation Day. This is a very big ceremony. The students who are graduating wear gowns and caps. Their parents come to watch as they go up to receive their graduation certificates. There are graduation ceremonies at the end of Elementary School and Junior High School, too.
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Education in the USA
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