A school is an institution whose primary purpose is education. Although the term can be synonymous with places of higher learning, school most often refers to institutions that educate children from the ages of 5 until 18. Schooling is vital to one's personal development and ability to function in society.
While child education is compulsory in the U.S., the government provides free, publicly-funded education through the public school system. Children may also attend charter schools — public schools governed by a charter between them and a local or national authority that have more autonomy and offer specialized curriculums. Private schools govern themselves, establish their own curricula and charge annual tuition fees. Home-schooling is another alternative in which parents formally educate their children at home.
All public and charter schools, as well as most private schools, have a common course of study and organization. There are 12 grades that are spread out among elementary, middle and high schools. Teachers evaluate students by assigning grades based on their performance. Common subjects taught in school are English, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, and foreign languages. (Photo: Shutterstock)