The first years of compulsory schooling are called elementary or primary school (just to confuse the issue, elementary schools are also called grade or grammar schools). Secondary education is for children aged 12 to 18.
Secondary school generally takes place in a high school, which is often divided into junior and senior high. Junior high (also called Middle School) is for those aged 11 to 14 and senior high is for students aged 15 to 18.
Elementary schools provide instruction in the fundamental skills of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, as well as History and Geography (taught together as Social Studies), Crafts, Music, Science, Art and Physical Education
Secondary school students must take certain core curriculum courses for a prescribed number of years or terms, as determined by each state. These generally include English, Mathematics, General Science, Health, Physical Education and Social Studies or Social Sciences
High schools offer a wide range of subjects from which students can choose a program leading to college/university entrance or a career in business or industry. The courses offered vary from school to school and are listed in school curriculum guides.
Around the ninth grade, students receive counseling as they begin to plan their careers and select subjects that are useful in their chosen fields.