These schools are sometimes referred to as Secondary Schools, and typically account for the last few years of education in North American schools, prior to college. Exactly what grades are covered varies from one school system to the next, but typically they all finish with the 12th grade. Graduates are usually about 18 years old. (In the U.S. system, 1st grade normally begins at age 5 or 6.) What varies is that some will start as early as 8th grade, and others will start at 9th grade.