Primary Education in the United States


Primary education in the United States refers to the first seven to nine years of formal education in most jurisdictions, often in elementary schools, including middle schools.

Primary education or elementary education often in primary school or elementary school is typically the first stage of compulsory education, coming between early childhood education and secondary education.

A primary school, junior school or elementary school is a school for children from about four to eleven years old, in which they receive primary or elementary education.

A middle school is an educational stage, which exists in some countries, and takes place between primary school and high school.

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Preschool programs, which are less formal and usually not mandated by law, are generally not considered part of primary education.

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The first year of primary education is commonly referred to as kindergarten and begins at or around age 5 or 6. Subsequent years are usually numbered being referred to as first grade, second grade, and so forth.

Kindergarten is a preschool educational approach traditionally based on playing, singing, practical activities such as drawing, and social interaction as part of the transition from home to school.


Elementary schools normally continue through sixth grade, which the students normally complete when they are age 11 or 12.


Some elementary schools graduate after the 4th or 5th grade and transition students into a middle school.


In 2001, there were 92,858 elementary schools in the United States.

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