A middle school, or junior high school, is a school which children attend between primary school and secondary school in places which use three levels of schooling, typically between the ages of about 10-11 and 14-15 although this varies. More commonly, two levels of schooling are used, with children moving directly from primary to secondary school at about 11 years old.
Historically, in the United States, local public control (and private alternatives) have allowed for some variation in the organization of schools. Elementary school includes kindergarten through fifth grade or sixth grade. Basic subjects are taught in elementary school, and students often remain in one classroom throughout the school day, except for physical education, library, music, and art classes. In Falcon School District 49, middle school starts in the sixth grade.
Middle school typically includes sixth, seventh and eighth grades, while "junior high" usually includes seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. The range defined by either is often based on demographic factors, such as an increase or decrease in the relative numbers of younger or older students, with the aim of maintaining stable school populations. At this time, students are given more independence, moving to different classrooms for different subjects, and being allowed to choose some of their class subjects (electives). Usually, starting in ninth grade, grades become part of a student’s official transcript. The middle school format has now replaced the junior high format by a ratio of about ten to one in the United States.