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American High School help

blurred

I've been trying to get help with American High School for a do over story I'm writing.

What I require assistance with -

The classes, the times of the classes, the teachers and fashions, and parts of the actual lectures themselves so as to include in the story.

I wanted to do the classes over a period of five to six chapters, give or take, at the beginning of the chapters and then move into the main story. This is to show progression of the character himself.

Switch Blayde

@blurred

You'll need someone with teenage children.

High school has changed a great deal since I was in it. And it's different in different parts of the country.

Replies:   blurred  blurred
blurred

@blurred

The story will be:

Tempus Fugit
Part 1
The Wishes

Doing life over with all that he's gained.

Being able to remember everything he's done over his life through use of a memory palace, similar to Sherlock Holmes in the modern day BBC series.

Almost perfect Eyesight as well as some modifications

The memories of Desmond Miles, tailored to suit him

Being able to win at things like the claw and arcade games, just because :D

blurred

@Switch Blayde

I forgot to mention & wasn't expecting such a quick response lmao that it's set in 1995.

blurred

@Switch Blayde

It can't have been that long ago, you're what, only 21 right :D

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@blurred

It can't have been that long ago, you're what, only 21 right :D


I think some of my clothes are 21. LOL

Ernest Bywater

@blurred

You could do what I've done in a few stories with scenes in US high schools:

a. Have the high school be a private one with their own class time structure;

or

b. Never bother mentioning the actual class times, just they're going to or from or in a particular class, and never give the full daily schedule or class length.

Replies:   blurred
Not_a_ID

@blurred

It is going to be variable based on a number of various factors.

Different states have different requirements, and depending on the School/School District, Community Size and general "wealth" of both the Scool District and the school's patrons(parents) also factor in.

Which isn't to mention format variations. Rural Districts can have "secondary" start in either 6th or 7th Grade, where they are in turn attending either a "Middle School"(highest grade is 8th), a "Junior High"(Highest grade can be 9th grade--High School Freshmen in most of the country. Yes, that means officially starting "Senior High School" as a Sophomore), or some flavor of combined Middle/Junior/Senior High School.

Which likewise means you could have either a 3 year, or 4 year high school format depending on the Middle School/Junior High aspect. Middle schools can likewise be two, or three year institutions.

I graduated HS in 1998(So I guess I'm a prime interview target in that respect, having actually been in High School in 1995). My experience was a 3 year Junior High and 3 year senior high. After they built a new additional High School, the graduating class of 2007 in that same district attended a 2 year (grades 7 and 8) Middle School, followed by 4 years of High School. The graduating class of 2018, in the same district, will have attended a 3 year Middle School(grades 6 to 8), and a 4 year High School.

In the case of that school district, as with most of them, a lot of that was a function of capacity. The 3rd High School opened up enough space to pull the 9th graders in, and with the easing of a "student population bubble" they shut down one of Junior Highs(one less Administrative staff to pay for) and shuffled the remaining students from that school out to the other rebranded Middle Schools that just lost a 3rd of their student body. Not quite a decade later, crowding in the Grade Schools became sufficient that they reopened the closed Junior High as a Middle School and incorporated 6th graders into all of the Middle Schools in order to create room in the Grade Schools. But that's a digression.(But potential background fodder for how/why your particular School is setup as it is)

Larger(population)/better funded districts will, obviously, have more options for their students. Larger student bodies usually mean more options, but not reliably so, as people in an "Inner City" type school might attest.

People attending high school in a College/University Town/City are likewise going to have better options as interactions with the local College/University is very likely to result in AP(Advanced Placement) programs being available where some High School classes could earn college credits.

Proximity of High Schools to each other can also come into play. There were programs that were unique to each High School in my district and a busing program to shuttle students between schools(during lunch) existed for people enrolled in those more unique offerings for example.

At the time I attended, the Junior High ran on a 7 (class) period schedule that was the same every day. The High School ran on a 6 (class) period schedule, that likewise was the same every day. Lunch wasn't considered one of those periods, although a first/second lunch did exist on the schedule.

There were courses that had options for being taken as a scheduled class in the hour before, or the hour immediately after the normal 6 period schedule. Night school classes (typically remedial) were offered as well, but you paid extra for those, and those were more in line with the "college format" of MWF or Tu/Th.

Summer School also was available as an option for those needing either remedial education, or for those trying to knock out general requirements for graduation to either pursue additional electives during the school year or pursuit of early graduation. Generally speaking there were few "hard" restrictions in regards to what had to be taken when, so long as the pre-requisite course requirements had been met(or the instructor accepted the student by other means). You might need to speak to a guidance counselor to satisfy them that you have a "satisfactory" plan and the means to carry it out, but at least for my school, that was usually as far as things needed to go.

(For example on this front, I had electives I wanted to take and the 6 period schedule wasn't sufficient to cover all the General Requirements for graduation and do those electives. So I enrolled in Summer School, and took care of my mandatory 2 semesters worth of Phys Ed over the summer, so it never was part of my High School school day)

Ernest Bywater

this page may help you understand the situation in the USA, and it has a handy picture of ages / years / systems about halfway down

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_the_United_States

Not_a_ID

That brings up another valid, pre-NCLB(No Child Left Behind) charter schools, and is a still ongoing thing.

Parochial(Church) schools exist my hometown, and have done so for decades. Some only do elementary school, some do K through 8, but none of those local schools had a High School Equivalent in the 1990's. I don't think any of them do to this day for that matter. Mostly due to the combination of State certification requirements, expected class sizes, and the costs of doing so.

So it is possible for some smaller communities to end up with a (Religious) K-8 School and a local(secular) 7 through 12 school in the same town.

Replies:   blurred
PotomacBob

@Not_a_ID

Rural Districts can have "secondary" start in either 6th or 7th Grade, where they are in turn attending either a "Middle School"(highest grade is 8th), a "Junior High"(Highest grade can be 9th grade--High School Freshmen in most of the country. Yes, that means officially starting "Senior High School" as a Sophomore), or some flavor of combined Middle/Junior/Senior High School.


In some districts in New York State, Elementary School starts in 1st grade at age 6, and runs through Grade 4. Then it's Middle School, for grades 5 through 8. Then it's High School for grades 9 through 12.
In one district in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Elementary School (again starting at age 6) for grades 1 through 6, Middle School is grades 7 and 8, and high school is grades 9 through 12.
In another district (same state), Elementary School is grades 1 through 6, Junior High is grades 7, 8 and 9, the High School is 10, 11 and 12.
School Days: Most school districts require classes to be held either 175 or 180 days. In those with only 175 days, often the daily hours or longer, so that they still end up with the same number of classroom hours at the end of the school year. If there's bad weather that prevents schools from opening, some districts require additional days to be scheduled to make up for the lost days; some don't.
One district with which I am familiar schedules 195 days of classes, though the requirement is for only 180 days of classes. Recent history has shown that schools will be closed from 12 to 15 days per year for inclement weather. That district started school last year in August, and kids got out for the year yesterday.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Capt. Zapp

@PotomacBob

Where I grew up (after dad retired) there were Primary school (1st-3rd), Elementary (4th-6th), Middle (just 7th), Jr High (8th & 9th), and Sr High (10th - 12th). When I moved back here 7 years ago, there was Elementary (1st-6th) and high school (7th-12th). From what I understand, they reopened one of the old school buildings as a middle school (7th & 8th) a couple of years ago due to overcrowding, yet the county population is FALLING.

Replies:   PotomacBob
StarFleet Carl

@Not_a_ID

I graduated HS in 1998


Youngster!

Change that to 1979 for me.
Kindergarten for kids 4 / 5. Elementary school grade 1-5, junior high grades 6 - 8, high school grades 9 - 12. Typical age on graduation was 18, although I was still 17, due to starting school young. Back then, your parents could get waivers because of your birthday being late in the year.

We had the biggest graduating class seen when my class matriculated - 58 students. Yeah, you might say it was rural ...

Replies:   blurred  Remus2
PotomacBob

@Capt. Zapp

I'll raise you one. When I started, in a one-room school, there were 9 grades in the one room. The earliest grade was called Primer (pronounced either Primmer or Prymer). Then we started Grammar School, which lasted for eight grades. During my first year, there was nobody in the 8th grade. The advantage of that system was, each student advanced in each subject according to his or her learning ability. One student might be studying first grade Reading, third grade Arithmetic, fourth grade Writing (both printing and cursive) and all of us competed against each other in Spelling Bees. We had two recesses each day - one in mid morning, one in mid afternoon. There was no cafeteria; everybody had to bring lunch from home. My folks didn't have as much money as most in the school did. So I had to make do with lunch. While other kids could afford storebought white bread and baloney, we couldn't afford that. I was "deprived," because I had to eat Mom's biscuits and fried pork sausage (or country ham), all stuff we raised on the farm.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
seanski1969
Updated:

@blurred

-Thought I'd throw my 2 cents in as no one listed private school schedules. I attended Catholic School which was one school for K-8 and then I attended both a Catholic High School and later a Public High School for my Senior Year. Both High Schools ran from grades 9-12 and the times for the classes were very similar. I remember that I had a min of 6 classes a day and that was standard at both high schools at I was in all AP classes at that time. Basic hours were like the following:

7:00-7:52 0 Period (optional)

7:58-8:50 1st Period

8:56-9:48 2nd Period

9:48-10:00 Break

10:00-10:52 3rd Period

10:58-11:50 4th Period

11:50-12:40 Lunch

12:40-1:32 5th Period

1:38-2:30 6th Period

2:38-3:30 7th Period (optional)

Classes were pretty well set for all honors students as well.

Freshman Year

AP English

AP Biology

AP Geometry

AP U.S. History

AP Foreign Language (French, Spanish, German)

Religion (Was a Catholic School, but would be an elective)

A Team Sport was also required or you could take P.E. at O period. Team Sports usually ran from 2:40-5:00 everyday except game/meet days.

Sophomore Year

AP English

AP Chemistry

AP Trigonometry

AP World History

AP Foreign Language II (French, Spanish, German)

Religion (Was a Catholic School, but would be an elective)

A Team Sport was also required or you could take P.E. at O period. Team Sports usually ran from 2:40-5:00 everyday except game/meet days.

Junior Year

AP English

AP Physics

AP Calculus

AP Government

AP Foreign Language III (French, Spanish, German)

Religion (Was a Catholic School, but would be an elective)

No PE Required. Team Sports usually ran from 2:40-5:00 everyday except game/meet days.

Senior Year

AP English 1 Semester AP Latin 2nd Semester

AP Economics

AP Foreign Language IV (French, Spanish, German)

Community College Differential Calculus MWF 1:00-2:30 4 Units

Community College Accounting 1A T/TH 1:00-2:30 3 Units

No PE Required. Team Sports usually ran from 2:40-5:00 everyday except game/meet days.

Guess that was my schedule all through high school and I graduated in 1987 so I'm not too far off.

Hope it helps and I believe that if you took Band it may have counted for Team Sports but I believe California at the time required 2 years of PE to graduate and team sports didn't count for some reason from my Catholic school. Never really understood it but I had to take a year of 0 period PE even though I played Football (American), Pole Vaulted (Track Team) and Played Water Polo. Maybe somethings were confused on my transfers or whatever.

Foreign Languages was only required for two years unless you were on College Prep/Honors tracks when it was required for 4 years. Which was great since I didn't have to take a foreign language in college.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
REP

Just a thought but you may try picking a High School in the area where the story is to be set and do a search for that schools hours and curriculum.

Replies:   blurred  Not_a_ID
Capt. Zapp

@PotomacBob

When I started, in a one-room school, there were 9 grades in the one room.


Sounds like the private school my son is at. Last year had one 6th grader finish the year as 8th. This year there were 3 seniors, 2-10th, 3-8th, 1-6th(8th), and 1-4th.

I personally like the self paced curriculum they have.

blurred

@Ernest Bywater

Nice idea and I had thought of that but I really wanted to include some of the classes in the story. Not all of them, that's not necessary, but enough to show progress

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
blurred

@Not_a_ID

That's a lot of info there :D
To summarise, he's 14 years old turning 15 and is in a bog standard High School, middle class that sort of thing.
This is a good example of what I want to do, but a more adult version, in fact this series is based upon one of our owns work Al Steiner

Do over

Ernest Bywater

@blurred

You can have scenes in the classrooms by simply leaving out the actual class schedule. Alternatively you can have a private school with your own class schedule as you wish.

G. Younger has a lot of scenes in and around classes in high school without giving too many details of the schedule. The same is true of Ezzy B's stories with many scenes in school classrooms.

blurred

@StarFleet Carl

Damn I feel real young in here I was born in 1979!

blurred

@Not_a_ID

Perhaps you could give me a hand because 1998 is around the time that I want.

blurred

@REP

(I live in England...)

Replies:   REP
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@seanski1969


7:00-7:52 0 Period (optional)

7:58-8:50 1st Period

8:56-9:48 2nd Period

9:48-10:00 Break

10:00-10:52 3rd Period

10:58-11:50 4th Period

11:50-12:40 Lunch

12:40-1:32 5th Period

1:38-2:30 6th Period

2:38-3:30 7th Period (optional)


Except for some minor variations (5 minutes between classes, and the "break" period being 10 minutes, the clock being shifted a bit towards later in the day with a slightly longer lunch("open campus" period, students could drive into town for food) and a very slightly longer class period length you pretty much outlined the schedule at my school.

Edit: Oh, and homeroom had its own (10 minute) period at the start of the day(before 1st Period)

Replies:   seanski1969
Not_a_ID

@REP

Just a thought but you may try picking a High School in the area where the story is to be set and do a search for that schools hours and curriculum.


Thing is, that gives current requirements, not what they were 20 years ago. Trying to find the historical information tends to be a bit more involved. Although there should be considerable overlap between current requirements and the historical ones. Even more so when the time frames in question are comparatively close.

4 years of math, English/Lit, and sciences are likely. How much (and what kinds of) History, Government, Economics/Personal Finance, Health/Phys Ed, Foreign/ "Second Language" and etc becomes variable depending on the state in question and even the year.

Replies:   blurred  blurred  blurred  REP
seanski1969

@Not_a_ID

Hell I still remember it like yesterday. Six minutes between classes and having to run to some of them. I remember Senior year I had 0 period weight training and it was nearly a 1/2 mile from the Gym to my English class. We had something like 2300 students at my public high school and only 350 at the Catholic school so that was a big change. We also had an open campus for lunch, but we were in Long Beach,CA so everything was real close to the campus. Taco Bell, Mickie Dee's, and BK...

REP

@blurred

Where you live doesn't matter. It is where you want your story to occur that matters and the internet will aid you in researching that location.

Replies:   blurred
blurred

@Not_a_ID

Wow that info is great for the story. Next I need to be able to write actual segments of the classes.

blurred

@Not_a_ID

Wow that info is great for the story. Next I need to be able to write actual segments of the classes.

blurred

@Not_a_ID

Do you have an email and I can email you what I've done so far?

Replies:   Not_a_ID
REP
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


Trying to find the historical information tends to be a bit more involved.


I may have missed it, but I don't recall the story's timeframe being defined.

A fictional story does not have to be accurate. We all know the basics that need to be addressed by an educational institution, so blurred can define his own or just gloss over the details.

Replies:   blurred
blurred

@REP

1995 - He's 14 years old and it's set on Christmas day, so the kid would go to school after the Xmas holidays.

blurred

@REP

I've tried looking for classes online, even tried searching for actual transcripts but got bupkiss. If you are able to direct me to a website that can help? Perhaps I'm searching wrong?

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@blurred

Do you have an email and I can email you what I've done so far?


I'm hidden way down the availability list for editors. (Less than 3 hours/week). Otherwise we get to be mildly annoyed at the site messaging system as I am not publicly posting that. ;)

Keep in mind, other specifics regarding MY high school experience are probably not good reference material. We had Jocks and cheerleaders who were preppies, we had Jocks and cheerleaders in the Drama Club, there were even Jocks in the school choir. We even had preppies who were stoners. And our athletics programs were almost universally dominant statewide,(numerous state championship wins during my time there, including football and boys/girls basketball)

The social dynamics at my high school confused the hell out of the students who transferred in from out of town. Because the social structure simply didn't seem to work the way things normally did, as certain "traditional cliques" didn't conform to expectations. Going by both Pop Culture portrayals and conversations I had with others about their own High School experiences while I was in the military.

Replies:   blurred
Banadin

Thing may have changed since I graduated in 1962, truth is I don't remember my schedule. Must be CRS.

Replies:   blurred  StarFleet Carl
blurred

@Banadin

Blimey, showing yer age there :D

blurred

@Not_a_ID

Okay what about help with regards to pointing me to where I can get information on the actual classes themselves. If you had an email, I could send you what I've written so you can see what I want. You don't have to post it on here, I'm Dark Apostle in the actual site.

StarFleet Carl

@Banadin

Thing may have changed since I graduated in 1962, truth is I don't remember my schedule. Must be CRS.


Selective memory trimming. Call it a feature, not an issue, and it sounds SO much better.

Couple of things I DO remember - especially since we're getting ready for our 40th reunion next year - was FFA day. School parking lot was mostly empty - all the kids that could, drove their tractors to school and parked them on the front lawn. Other was just a minor detail, but very telling. I was not the only kid who would openly wear on his belt a lock-blade knife, and I don't think there was a single pick-up in the parking lot that didn't have a rack in the back window with a rifle in it. Did we have fights in school? Oh, yeah. Never escalated beyond fists - no need for that.

sejintenej

@StarFleet Carl

I don't think there was a single pick-up in the parking lot that didn't have a rack in the back window with a rifle in it

So we didn't have pickups or even motorised whatevers but we did have rifles and we shot them at ranges up to 1000 yards. That was part of our curriculum on a Thursday afternoon. A .303 can do a lot of damage!

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
Not_a_ID
Updated:

"Zero Tolerance" laws were in force by the mid-1990's. IIRC, that was a federal initiative so it would be standard nationwide. Don't remember exactly when it happened, just know it was after 1994 or else I should have been suspended twice for being on the receiving end of a fight.

Knifes(over 3 or 4 inches, IIRC) and guns were prohibited by the time I hit high school. Ie, a Leatherman/Swiss Army knife type deal might be ok, but a 5 inch switchblade was a no-go.

....and then the school shootings started happening.

Dominions Son

@StarFleet Carl

Oh, yeah. Never escalated beyond fists - no need for that.


And no major advantage to escalating if everyone is armed.

StarFleet Carl

@sejintenej

A .303 can do a lot of damage!


I'm presuming a scoped Lee-Enfield? Iron sights aren't much good beyond 400 yards.

And yeah, muzzle velocity for a rifle is going to exceed that of a handgun, so even at 1,000 yards your .303 has more energy than a .45 ACP fired at 10 yards. And both will, politely, fuck you up.

Goldfisherman

One of the schools 1-12 is located on a private reserve in a western state and would be a good candidate for NIS stories except for the age limits in SOL. All of the students have the academic requirements finished for HS graduation by the age of 13. They live in a 100% nudist community with no outside contact except on line. 80% of the students receive degrees on line as well for college level classes.
Yes firearms are dealt with, and everyone has formal instruction in both handguns and rifles. The firearms are only allowed to be carried outside the inner compound. Both sporting and assault weapons are used for training and compound security.

richardshagrin

I am with Banadin graduating from Hampton (Virgina) High School in 1962. Latin was one of the Language options. Football Coach Latoah and his team went 0 and 7 and his wife was arrested for embezzling funds from her social group. The Basketball team were the jocks, they had a pretty good year. My Junior year we integrated, added a Black boy. He was Negro in 1961. In 1962 the Black population at the school doubled, they added a girl.

Remus2

@StarFleet Carl

1977 HS here. The class setups were different depending on the school district. Depending on the grade, it was K-6, 7-9, 10-12. The same district changed to K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 the year after I graduated. That was for the high school.
I started that district in 9th having spent K-8 in the same building on the Rez. The money wasn't available to have separate buildings like that. My father was N-A, and my mother was 2nd Gen German immigrant. It made for an energetic life K-8.

I'm going to suggest a specific state be chosen and researched. Government run education in the states lacks the mostly homogeneous approach of many other countries until fairly recently in history.

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