Do you have school-age children and are you worried about how schools work in the United States?
The school year in the United States begins in August-September until May or June. We list the different cycles according to the ages of the children.
If you have young children, 3 or 4 years old, they can attend Pre-School which is only a few hours a day and, in some schools, you can choose to attend 2, 3 or 5 days per week. Not all schools have Pre-School and some are free or ask for a monthly or annual fee.
Kindergarten is for children who are 5 years old until September 1 or before. Depending on the school, it can be a partial or complete day.
When children are approximately 6 years old, they must begin Elementary School. This stage is from 1st to 6th grade (6 to 11 years old).
Middle School has a duration of 3 years, from 7th to 9th grade (12 to 15 years), and, finally, High School is from 10 to 12 grade (16 to 18 years). At this stage the children have several subjects, different teachers and they are placed in classrooms according to the subject they have to study.
The hourly load they have will depend on what grade the children are in. It usually varies between 5 and 7 hours a day from Monday to Friday.
The school that your children have to attend will depend on where you live. So, it is important that if you are thinking of emigrating to the United States, first look for the school you want your kids to attend and then think about where to live.
If you work more hours than the school offers, don’t worry! Many of the schools offer childcare programs, called “After Care.” They can attend different classes like music, sports, help in school subjects and homework, among other activities. These classes usually have an additional cost.
Many immigrant families fear that their children might not adapt quickly due to the language barrier, but do not be alarmed! Children receive a lot of support within the classroom from teachers and quickly begin to speak and write in English.
All schools have a cafeteria where they can buy food there or they can bring food from home. It is very important that children attend school every day. But if they cannot attend for some reason or force majeure, they should contact the school first thing in the morning to inform the reason why the child will not show up. Depending on the school, there is a limit of days for unexcused absences.
Remember that education is a right and every child has the right to attend school, regardless of immigration status. In addition, children can enter school at any time of the year, immediately after emigrating.
I hope you liked this information and that it was valuable!