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primary/secondary schools

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    Hello, I'm in a graduate program to become a school counselor in the state of Washington. I'm also currently an 8th grade math teacher. In the past and currently I have many Ukrainian students. I'm preparing a presentation regarding Ukrainian students and I have a few questions.

    My limited understanding is that schools in the Ukraine are somewhat different. I'm hoping I can get some input from various people here to confirm or reject my understanding.

    Here is what I think I know. Feel free to write back.

    Preschool starts for kids at age 6, there is no "kindergarten." Students who start school in the Ukraine and continue school in the United States (or Canada) are older than other students in their classes because of this late start (students in the US start kindergarten at age 5).

    There is no "4th grade" in the Ukraine. School starts at Pre, then 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and so on. This may have changed in the last few years. If it ever was the case, I'd love to hear why.

    School runs from roughly 9AM to 1PM.

    Schools are numbered rather than named.

    9th grade is a crossroads; students either continue with school or find full time work.

    There are no school buses, rather a part of the public transportation system (eight-seated vans) provide free transportation for students when there are vacant seats. Otherwise and sometimes there is a cost.

    I principal of a school is highly regarded and otherwise "feared" for if a student is sent to the principal for behavior, he/she might give the kid a smack on the hand or some other form of physical punishment.

    Again, I would love any feedback.
    Adam in Everett, WA