United States of America High school Structure

Find High Schools

Secondary school in the United States is mainly divided into 2, namely middle school (junior high) and high school (senior high). The middle school encompasses grades 6 to 8 and usually starts at the age of 11 in most cases. RocApply takes you through both levels and the structures of secondary education.

  • Level: Middle School
  • Duration of study       : 3 years
  • Ages                            : 11-13 years
  • Primary Languages: English
  • Terms: 2 semesters (fall and spring) or 3 semesters (fall, winter, and spring)
  • Admission Term: Beginning of the term- fall.

Middle school or junior high school in most cases typically encompasses the sixth through eighth grades, seventh and eighth grades, or sometimes seventh through ninth grades. Sixth grade usually starts around the age of 11.

The middles school curriculum typically focuses on areas including English, mathematics, science, social studies, fine arts, and physical education, where Physical Education and Mathematics courses are sometimes sequential, with algebra starting in the eighth or ninth grades.

A foreign language course can also be taken here. Students can also select one or several electives per year which vary widely and may be specialized offerings related to core subjects. Students are also involved in co-curricular activities and sports.

As RocApply, we give you a list of schools that you can select from for your middles schooling. Note that most schools that offer middle school education offer high school education as well.

Challenge Magnet School-Cherry Creek School District No. 5

This is a Kindergarten to 8th-grade magnet school located in greater Denver, Colorado. It is a school for motivated students and gifted learners. The school aims to cultivate intellectual curiosity within students and foster learning as a life-long process. 

Students are taught to recognize their abilities and build upon their strengths through a challenging academic program that teaches students to become compassionate, critical, and creative thinkers that can communicate their ideas with impact and meaning.

The school offers various cases including Connections classes, Mini-courses, and immersion classes which are for the enrichment and allow students to pursue their interests, and for remediation as well.

  • Established: 1950
  • Type: Public
  • Levels: K-8
  • Location: Denver, Colorado

The school offers programs in areas including humanities, Maths, and sciences o mention but a few. Times. Students here also participate in Shadowing experiences which help students plan their path. Job shadowing gives students a look into a career or occupation they may want to pursue in the future and better understand their strengths, interests, and passions.

Students can partake in a variety of extra activities and clubs including Destination Imagination, Intramurals, Math Club, Musical Tryouts, Robotics, Speech and Debate, Student Senate, and TSA (Technology) to mention but a few.


Princeton Charter School

This is a public school in Princeton, New Jersey, that offers a free, academically challenging education to students from kindergarten to the eighth grade. The school focuses on the fundamental academic disciplines in an environment that fosters and affirms academic achievement while developing a strong character in the students.

  • Established: 1997
  • Type: Public, Charter
  • Level: K-8
  • Location: Princeton, New Jersey
  • Address: 100 Bunn Drive Princeton, New Jersey 08540
  • Students: 428
  • Student-Teacher ratio: 11:1
  • Ranking: #1 of 1 418- Best Public Elementary Schools in New Jersey, #1 of 747 Best Public Middle Schools in New Jersey, #1 of 65 Best Charter Elementary Schools in New Jersey.

Curriculum- the school’s curriculum focuses on areas including Language Arts, Math, Science, World Language, History, PE, and Art and Music, to mention but a few.

Clubs: students have an opportunity to join any one of the exciting clubs including the Art Club, Chess Club, Jazz Ensemble, Math counts, Operation Smile, Orchestra, Piano Ensemble, or Prep Orchestras, the Science Bowl and Science Clubs, Spring Musical, and Spring Musical.

Sports- students can also in a variety of sports clubs including athletics, Basketball both girls and boys, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Lacrosse-Boys, Lacrosse-Girls, and Soccer


Lincoln Akerman School

This is a school that provides an environment that promotes the successful intellectual, physical, social, and emotional growth of students. It aims to produce responsible, competent, tolerant, compassionate, and well-rounded students who are accountable for their thoughts and actions, are academically well prepared, able to solve problems, and well-adjusted.

  • Location: New Hampshire
  • Address: 8 Exeter Rd Hampton Falls, New Hampshire 03844
  • Type: Public
  • Level: K- terms: 3 (Fall, winter, and spring)
  • Students: 210+
  • Student-Teacher ratio: 3:1
  • Ranking: # 2 best school in the state (

Curriculum- Core subjects offered at the school include reading, writing, math, science and social studies, history, humanities, art, PE, Spanish, band, chorus, STEM or technology, guidance and wellness, and SEL (Social Emotional Learning).

Sports- the school offers a variety of sporting activities including  Cross Country, Field Hockey, Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, and Track and Field athletics.

Potential students- students who wish to enroll at the school, must provide the following documents or requirements:

  • Birth certificate
  • Immunization and medical physical records
  • Proof of residency ( NH driver's license with current Hampton Falls address, current electric, gas, landline phone, cable, or internet bill with the current Hampton Falls address, to mention but a few.

Examples of International schools that offer middle school education in the United States.

Over the years, international enrolment at American schools has risen sharply. Many international students enroll to study in American schools to gain an edge in university admissions or to gain an international qualification that will be used anywhere in the world. These offer an International Baccalaureate curriculum that can be used almost anywhere in the world. Examples of an international school that students can enroll in include the following:


Baton Rouge International School

This is an independent, non-profit school offering a challenging college preparatory curriculum from preschool through 12th grade. It has a diverse and multilingual environment. The school is authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) for grades 6 to 10.

  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Address: 5015 Auto Plex Drive, Baton Rouge, Los Angeles 70809, USA
  • Level: K-12
  • Type: Co-educational Day and Residential
  • Language of Instruction: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese.
  • Teacher- Student ratio: 1:7

The school offers a challenging curriculum focusing on various areas including foreign language immersion, technology education, language arts, math and science, music, physical education, and the visual and performing arts.


International School of Los Angeles

This is an independent, international school offering education for preschool to the 12th grade. The school offers a diverse global community with students from more than 60 nationalities and 39 languages spoken at School.

  • Established: 1978
  • Address: 1105 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank, California 91506, USA
  • Students: 1 100
  • Levels: preschool to 12th grade.
  • Type: Co-educational Day.
  • Language of Instruction: English, French.
  • Day fees: $19 495 - $24 900 per annum

Accreditation: French Ministry of Education, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and the International Baccalaureate (IB).

Middle school here is from grades 6 to grade 8. The middle school curriculum here includes French and English Language Arts (grammar, literature, creative writing, and essay structure), Math, Tech and Skills, Physics and Chemistry, Biology and Geology, World History and Geography, Civics, US History, Visual Arts, Music, and Physical Education.

Prospective students

The school is an inclusive school that admits students of any race, creed, color, gender, nation, or ethnic origin. To be admitted here:

  • Students must show fluency in spoken and written French.
  • submit a completed online application form,
  • teacher’s reference,
  • Report cards or transcripts and standardized tests from the previous three years.

Note that Paper applications are no longer accepted and all applications must be submitted online


High Schools/ Senior Secondary School

High schools in the United States mostly run from 9th grade to 12th grade. Some schools run from the 10th grade to the 12th grade. Ninth grade usually starts around the age of 14, and students usually graduate around age 18. In some schools, middle school and high school are combined into one school, running from the seventh grade to the 12th grade.

  • Duration of study: 4 years
  • Levels: 9th to 12th grades
  • Ages                            : 13- 18 years
  • Levels: O level and a level
  • Primary Language: English
  • Terms: 2 semesters (fall and spring) or 3 semesters (fall, winter, and spring)
  • Admission Term: Beginning of the term- fall.
  • Awards: High School Diploma

The high school curriculum in the United States encompasses areas including English, science, social studies, math, and other electives. Sciences may include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Anatomy, Astronomy, Health Science, Environmental Science, and Forensic Science, to mention but a few. Electives may encompass areas including Visual arts, Performing arts, Vocational education, Computer science or information technology, Journalism or publishing, foreign languages, Business Education, and Family and consumer science. There are public and private schools offering secondary education in the United States. RocApply gives you a general guide of some of the schools that both local and international students can apply to for admission.


EF Academy New York

This is a private international high school offering education to a diverse range of students from more than 75 nationalities.  The school offers internationally recognized US High School Diploma and IB Diploma programs in an immersive and intercultural learning environment that aims to develop students holistically.

  • Address: 582 Columbus Avenue, Thornwood, New York 10594, USA
  • Type:   Coeducational Day and Boarding
  • Students: 500
  • Ages: 14-19
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Awards: US High School Diploma, IB Diploma
  • Student-teacher ratio: 7:1
  • Tuition range: $19 500 per term, and $ 58 500 per year

The academy offers education in a wide range of areas including Language and Literature (English language and composition, English Literature, English language arts, World literature, Chinese, and Vietnamese), Sciences (Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Combined Science, and Computer Science), Mathematics (Pre-Algebra, International Math, Additional Math, Fundamental Math, and Math Lab), Art (Art and Design, Foundations of Art, Studio Art, Choir, Music, Songwriting, History of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Drama), Individuals and Societies (Business Studies, Foundations of Learning and Knowledge, Global History, Global Perspectives, Social Studies, Mindfulness, Awareness, Perspectives, and Skills.

The academy offers activities in the 65 clubs offered here. Co-curricular activities keep students active and engaged through new experiences and skills development. These include Theater Club, Outdoor Leadership Club, Philanthropy Club, Art and Photography Club, Badminton Club, and Model United Nations, to mention but a few. Sports activities include Soccer, Girls Volleyball, Cross Country, Cheerleading, Basketball, Track and field, Tennis, and Golf. Facilities here include a premier science center, a fully-equipped gym, auditorium, spacious classrooms, and on-campus residences.

Prospective students- The EF Academy is an inclusive school that enrolls eager, curious, and motivated students from all over the world, with a holistic, inclusive, and personalized admission process. The process is very simple and straightforward as follows:

  • Speak to admissions- a local Admissions Consultant will invite you to an in-person or online consultation
  • Take an admissions test- Take an EFSET test to determine your level of English. Different programs require different English level prerequisites
  • Complete an online application
  • Create your Student Profile,
  • choose the campus you are applying to, academic program, and residence preferences
  • Attend an interview in English
  • Acceptance decision
  • Prepare for departure

Required Documents for application include:

  • A personal statement
  • Official transcripts from the last two years
  • Scan of your passport

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