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American High Schools

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General educational system

Facts about school in the USA
88 % of all American children go to public schools. These schools are free and open to all students. So nearly all children from one neighborhood go to the same high school. Students are not divided up into different types of school, as they are in Germany.
Professional school
Grade Age
12th “HIGH SCHOOL” 18
11th High School Senior High School 17
10th Secondary 16
9th School 15
8th Intermediate School Junior High School 14
7th 13
6th 12
5th 11
4th 10
3rd Elementary School 9
2nd 8
1st 7
Kindergarten 5
Nursery School 4
The age years have specially names, for example “freshman”, “sophomore”, “junior” or “senior”. The school year begins between August and September and finished in June or July. There are little school-holidays because the summer-holidays are 3 month long. The school year is dividing in two semesters or in four quarters. Students get Report Cards at the end of a half school year. American grades are the letters A-F. A is the best grade. At the end of the high schools follow the American diploma. About 55% of high school graduates go on to college or university.
The regular school lesson

Courses and schedules
Before the school year begins, students can discuss their schedules with their guidance counselor. Subjects are divided into requirements and electives. Requirements are subjects you have to take in a certain year, for example English, math, American history or chemistry. Electives are subjects you can choose to take if you have the time. They are subjects like gym, or a foreign language, but they can also be typing, auto mechanics, Science or Engineering. Students get credits for finishing these courses. A student needs a certain number of credits in order to graduate, to finish the high school successfully. About 20% of all high school students fail to graduate each year.

Here is a schedule, for example:
1st period 8.15 - 9.15 English
2nd period 9.20 - 10.20 gym
3rd period 10.25 - 11.25 auto mechanics
11.25 - 11.50 lunch
4th period 11.50 - 12.50 Am history
5th period 12.55 - 1.55 math
6th period 5.00 - 3.00 chemistry
Most classes are 55 – 60 minutes long, and then are 5 minutes to go to the next classroom. Teachers stay in their rooms and the kids come to them. But students must not always take their materials all the day. They have lockers, where they can let their things. Every day it is the same schedule. At lunchtime you can either eat in the school cafeteria or drive to one of the many fast food places around the school.
Most of the kids come to school in cars. But also many come with the school bus. It is a normal bus, which is yellow, but it is only for students.
The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America
There is a flag in every classroom and the kids have to stand up, put their right hand on their heart and say the “Pledge of Allegiance” every morning. It is part of the morning routine. After the flag salute, a member of the student council talks on the intercom (there is a loudspeaker in every classroom) and says what the lunch menu will be in the school cafeteria, the results of sport events the day before, activities of the day: club meetings, sports, assemblies, etc.
Pledge of Allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to
the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.”
Rules at school
There are no general rules at school. The most of they were deciding by the states or the schools.

Here are some rules:
The halls are not a race track. Do not run along them. You could get hurt.
You must spend extra time with your classwork because you have been late or you haven’t done your assignments.
The library is a place where you can read books or magazines. It is not a place that you visit with your friend. If you damage anything, you pay for it.
You are late when you arrive at class after the bell rings. You can be late three times. The fourth time we tell your parents.
No form of tobacco is allowed anywhere on the campus.
Fighting is a no-no.
Clubs and activities after school
Classes finish at three o’clock, but many students often stay for an hour or two for a school club or in order to take part in one of the activities. There is a huge choice of extra-curricular activities at most schools. The “School spirit” combines all students of a high school.
For Americans, playing on the school’s team, working for the school magazine or class yearbook, or being elected “class captain” is just as important as collecting “credits”.

Here are some clubs and activities:
- Yearbook - Football - Student Council
- Chess Club - Golf - Drama Club
- Soccer - Computer - School Paper
- Project - Nature Club - Baseball Team
- Cross Country - Volleyball - Gymnastics

And here are two activities which are describe:
The School Band: Kids who are in the school band have to work hard. They must practice their instruments at home and at school – and at school they also have to learn to play together. So they do this twice a week. But that is not all. They also have to learn to march in special formations and to play while they are marching. That is what they do when there is a football game. That is why they must practice a lot on the football field, too.
The Cheerleaders: Cheerleaders wear uniforms with the school colors. They appear before every game. It is their job to make sure the crowd is excited and cheering wildly before the teams appear. But first, before the game starts, everybody stands and sings the national anthem. Then the cheerleaders dance and jump up and down and lead the cheering during the game.
Das ist ein Bericht über das Schulsystem in Amerika. Hier wird das allgemeine System beschrieben und auch auf bestimmte Fächer eingegangen. Außerdem sind die Regeln in der Schule und die Aktivitäten der Schüler nach dem Schulschluß beschrieben. Ich habe dazu die Englisch-Bücher "Cornelsen" und "Greenline" benutzt. (1026 Wörter)
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