Create topic New topics


Chatter away, friends!  

Question about schools in USA

Posts: 157
on 08/19/2014


Knowing, here are many writers from USA, I would like to check this:

In our country kids go to (primary) school from 1st to 9th grade. If there is too many kids in one generation / of same age (typical classroom has capacity of 24 to 30 kids), in the same school, they are divided into a and b sections.

Their classroom is accordingly marked as 1. a, 1. b, 1. c etc., depending how many kids are in the school area. Bigger schools in well populated areas can go from 1. a to 1. h, for instance, while smaller schools stay at 1, 2., 3. grade without additional letters, because there is no need to divide kids.

My question is how is this done in USA? I have a book where kids from 1. a and 1. b occasionally compete against each other and would like to know how is this in your country:

1. a against 1. b
1 a against 1 b
1a against 1b (no spaces between)
1. A against 1. B
1 A against 1 B
1A against 1B (no spaces between)

or something else?

I heard in Great Britain a class is named after first letter of teacher's name, but have no idea how it's formulated in USA. I suppose with 50 states and different types of schools there can be more than one solution.

Thank you in advance:)

Posts: 100
on 08/19/2014

I was born in 1980 and went to a public school.  My schools were divided Kindergarten (pre-1) through 6, with K being half-time, then grades 1-6 full-time.  My elementary school had 3 sections of about 20-ish kids each (if I remember the size correctly, there were definitely 3 sections).  I don't remember competing against other sections though: if we ever did this, it was rare.

Then there was junior high: grades 7-9.  Followed by high school, 10-12.  Since I went through, they changed the system to a middle-school system where the breakdown was K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grouped together.  This school was bigger--3 or 4 elementary schools fed into one school.

In junior high we were kept together by age / grade, and we were still in different systems...but unlike elementary school, we were "tracked".  That is, they divided us by academic level.  There was the highest section, the second highest, and on down.  We had a few elective slots, and could choose a language.  There was no competition between sections, because it wouldn't make sense with the tracking system.

The high school was even bigger.  4 schools fed into one school, which had about 2500 students.  In high school the grades were mixed.  With the exception of a few classes, most of my classes in high school were a mix of people from all 3 grades, or sometimes 2 grades.  This was true of math, languages, music, English, History, and many other subjects.  The only class I remember being all the same grade was chemistry.

Alex Zorach, editor of RateTea and co-founder of Why This Way
Posts: 157
on 08/19/2014

Thanks, Cazort, for this detailed explanation. I'm afraid my question was misunderstood. 1. a and 1. b are competing against each other in soccer etc., not necessary related to school.

I can't see from your answer, how you differ among two groups each made of 20-ish kids. Let's say both groups are in the same school, both are second grade, but they are learning in different classrooms with different teachers.

Can we name these groups 2. a and 2. b? Or 2a and 2b? Or 2. A and 2. B? Or IIa and IIb? Or ...?

I suppose you have to distinguish between these two groups somehow?

Thank you again for your time!

Posts: 481
on 08/19/2014

I have first hand experience with a California school district. Over here, the classes in the same grade level are either distinguished by their teacher's name (Mrs. Smith's Class, Mr. Miller's Class, etc.), or by room number (Rm. 10, 11, 12, etc.).

During my own time, I experienced the a., b. c. sections in Germany. I also attended schools in Asia, where each class was named after a precious or semi-precious stone (e.g. Ruby, Beryl, Aquamarine, etc.)

I guess there is no simple way to generalize how this is handled around the world.

SEO Praxis: Specializing in WordPress Hosting and Small Business Web Design.
Posts: 1085
on 08/19/2014

I have 4 kids and would agree with nightowl in distinguishing the classes by teacher's names or room number.

Occasionally districts in Florida also offered advanced or gifted classrooms.  And there are usually ESE (special education) classes in schools.

Each state, district, county or even town can have a different set up according to what is needed and how crowded the schools become.

In answer to your question, the best option would be by teacher's name, in my opinion.

Posts: 157
on 08/19/2014

Comparison with Germany totally makes sense, our school system was built when we were part of Austria. It still works:)

Thanks, nightowl and Dustytoes, for your detailed explanation. It is very helpful!

Loading ...