The first public high school in the United States was established in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1835. It was modeled after the Scottish Edinburgh’s Royal High School, which opened in 1128 and eventually inspired the Boston Latin School. Originally a private institution, the Dedham school system was the first in the United States to be financed through taxation. Its goal was to prepare boys for work in the church or law. Today, high schools are open to the public, but their quality and standards vary by region and school district.
Graduation is a significant family event. It’s an opportunity for young people to gain a deeper understanding of government and democracy in the U.S., and to experience how to participate in community and government first-hand. High school graduation ceremonies are also often highly anticipated. But the importance of a good high school education goes beyond academics. For many people, the most important part of high school education is social and emotional development. In addition to academics, high school graduation ceremonies are also occasions to celebrate friendship and accomplishments.
High schools tend to be larger than middle school buildings. Most high schools feature larger classrooms and specialty rooms with advanced equipment. Many high schools also include science laboratories, cafeterias, auditoriums, and physical education gyms. Some high schools also have special interests or talents that are pursued by students. Some schools have vocational tracks and others offer common high school courses. These programs are important for both students and their futures. The curriculum for high school education is designed to give students a broad foundation for success.