There isn’t such a big different between the Swiss and the US school system. Generally there are three stages in the ground education: elementary school (Kindergarten to 5th/6th grade), middle school (6th/7th to 8th grades) and high school (9th to 12th grades).

Around age five (there are options already for 18 months olds but pre-school is not required. On the other hand, it acts as a way to prepare children to better succeed in kindergarten and offers working parents a care spot. The programs usually offer two- or three-hour sessions per day, a few days per week. Children learn the alphabet, colors, and other elementary basics), US children begin primary school, which is most commonly called “elementary school.” They attend five or six years and then go onto secondary school which consists two programs: the first is middle or junior high school and the second program is high school. A diploma or certificate is awarded upon graduation from high school. After graduating high school (12th grade), US students may go on to college or university. The high school graduation is the one we all know from the movies: students are wearing a gown and the typical flat square hat with a tassel, the one the students throw into the air after the ceremony.

Each year before summer break we have a graduation ceremony at our school. The teachers told their kids in what they’re good in and the students received a certificate that they finished successfully their grad.

This year was little special for our older daughter because she finished primary phase and will start with middle school in September. Still the same school but new school uniform, yes with tie and more homework, more responsibility, encouragement in volunteering and leadership as well as subject teachers. Therefore her teachers speech was a bit longer, there was a video with congratulations from family and friends and an impressive stage departure with balloons and a shower of confetti. And of course all smart dressed up.

A new experience for us that we really enjoyed. The kids are working so hard for their end of year goals, a ceremony like this is well-deserved and a good way to show them how proud we all are. A huge well done to Joelle, Leonie and all the others!

Summer break is already a week old. We had ab fondue-hotdog-marshmallows party with our neighbors, we celebrated Joelle’s birthday and 4th of July, enjoyed some quite days at the pool, made it through a swim meet in “beautiful” Shelby and survived figure 8 at the whitewater center. So far a great summer break, way to go!


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