A school is an educational establishment designed to offer learning spaces and learning environments to children under the guidance of qualified teachers. Most states have systems of public elementary schooling, which can be required as a condition of enrollment. In such systems, children progress through a sequence of primary schools known as grade schools. At each of these levels, they gain knowledge and skills necessary for their eventual entry into kindergarten, elementary or high school. In the United States, the National Standards for Education test and qualify children for entry into kindergarten, while states review and revise their own educational systems to improve upon the Nation’s framework for education.
In most states, children continue to progress through secondary school – the stage of development representing the completion of elementary school – and into junior high school. At this stage, children typically are enrolled in one of two specific types of schools: public or private. Private schools are typically established to serve a particular ethnic group, socio-economic background or religious community, while public schools are established to educate all children of the state. For example, in Texas, the public school system is known as the State Board of Education, while in Massachusetts, the Department of Education is responsible for overseeing the schools.
Each primary school, as well as secondary school, serves a specific segment of the population. Because the conditions of primary and secondary schools vary by state, many children end up attending two or more schools during their academic career. In some cases, this inter-school attendance occurs at both primary and secondary schools. On average, young children attend school for about 6 months out of the year, with a majority of time spent in kindergarten, elementary school and high school. About half a year is spent at daycare or another non-school activity. After the initial start-up period, most young children remain in school throughout their academic career.