School years are usually divided into a shorter and longer route. The shorter route is usually around nine months and the longer route is about twenty eight weeks. Each school year in Australia lasts for six and a half months, so there are about fifty two weeks in total. This can vary from state to state as different countries have different time periods for their school years .
There are three major types of school years that are used in the US. The first is the K-8 which is usually used for elementary schools and middle schools. The second type is the K-12 which is for middle and high school students. Finally there is the six year route which can be used as a regular high school or as a program for people who want to get into college earlier than a four year program would allow. Also, each type can be used as either private or public, depending on what you prefer.
The school year in the US is broken into terms, trimesters, semesters, and quarters. A term is usually nine weeks long and a quarter is usually three terms which adds up to about fifteen weeks. Semesters are two or four quarters and are around fifteen weeks long. A year for a school in the US can be anywhere from about 2 and 8/9 months, to about 1 month longer than it is here in Australia. U.S. high schools and elementary schools usually have a K-12 schedule, while middle schools usually have a K-8 schedule (Feuer 325).
In US we have a school year that is based on a trimester system. A trimester has three terms, so there are nine weeks in total for each trimester. Our school year is the same length as the school year in the US. We also do things similar to how they do them in the U.S., only we call them by different names. We have S.E.S., and Fun Education weeks, the fun education week is a way for teachers to let the kids be creative and have fun outside of the regular school days.
The School-Year Tracks in the U.S. are broken down into two types: Academic and Occupational / Technical Credential Examinations (O-TEX). The Academic Track is usually divided into trimesters, while the O-TEX Track is divided into quarters. O-TEX Track can be broken down into six different subtracks: Career and Technical (CT), Career and Technical Education (CTE), CTE General, CTE Vocational, Academic and Occupational Preparation Education (A-O Prep), and Occupational Preparation Education (OPE). Each quarter in O-TEX is usually equivalent to one semester. The top two quarters make up the school year. In the O-TEX Track there are 4 standard academic units that contain three or four credits each. The four academic units include mathematics, science, social studies and English. The Academic units are completed in the first three quarters of the O-TEX Track and are typically completed in the fourth quarter of the O-TEX Track.
In February of each year, schools typically begin to make a list of students they would like to accept into their school systems. Each school is allowed to have a maximum of 75% of their students in each class. To make it more complicated, they can always add more students if they choose to. Schools that have a 90% or higher enrollment are considered to be over capacity and they will have to make room for new students. This can be very problematic, because it can cause the school to turn away students who could benefit from the education that they are hoping to provide. This leads to schools having a rather difficult time adjusting the numbers since most of their classes are full.
Each School Year is Basically Broken Down Into Two Periods:
There are also a few different types of classes available in US and the following is a list of some of them. Elementary school is for ages 5-8 and has many different types of classes, including P.E., art, music, special subjects such as science or social studies, English language arts (ELA), and math. Then middle school is for ages 8-13 and has similar types of classes as elementary school so they can transition in easily. Then high school is for ages 13-18 and has lots of different types of classes, many more than middle school and elementary school. Some of the different types are business and marketing, foreign language, art and music, special subjects such as chemistry or social studies, english language arts (ELA), math, science, technology and engineering.
In the US there are two main options for a student who is interested in pursuing higher education within a particular career field. High school students can choose to attend an academic high school which is usually known as the ninth grade. These are usually referred to as Academy schools and they are not bound to a particular career path, but they do teach the basics of that particular subject. Some of the courses offered at these schools include: kindergarten, eleventh grade, twelfth grade, and thirteenth grade. There are also many public or private high schools that have a specific career focus such as nursing or pre-medicine for example. The other option the student has is to attend an Occupational or Technical School which is known as the twelfth grade, unless they graduate earlier. These schools are bound to a particular career path and may teach prerequisite courses for that field. Some of the classes offered at these schools include: pre-engineering, pre-medicine, pre-law, and pre-business.
Students in high school also have the option of having a dual enrollment program with community colleges or universities so they can take college courses while still in high school. Dual enrollment is an agreement between a high school and a community college or university. The agreement allows students to take courses at the college that are typically considered college level courses, at no expense to the student, while they are still in high school. These agreements are usually set up before the student graduates from high school and ensures that they don’t lose out on some valuable credit towards their future education. Most dual enrollment programs exist as long as there are sufficient appropriations made by state with enough instructors to teach these classes.
This review covered a lot of different topics that are related to the school year in the US. It discussed the importance of calling it “semester” instead of “term”, how it allows for teachers to plan for their classes, and how it creates a sense of urgency among students in schools.