Secondary School Law and Legal Definition

Secondary school is the intermediate level between elementary school and college and usually offers general, technical, vocational, or college-preparatory curricula. It typically begins at ages 11 – 13 and ends by ages 15 – 18. There are many different types of secondary school, and the terminology used varies around the world.

According to 34 CFR 77.1 (c) [Title 34 – Education; Subtitle A -- Office of the Secretary, Department of Education; Part 77 -- Definitions that apply to Department Regulations], the term secondary school means “a day or residential school that provides secondary education as determined under State law. In the absence of State law, the Secretary may determine, with respect to that State, whether the term includes education beyond the twelfth grade.”

Example of Case law (South Dakota defining secondary school)

"Secondary school' means a day or residential school which provides secondary education as determined under State law." [Marshall v. Rosemont, Inc., 584 F.2d 319, 321 (9th Cir. 1978)]