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}> Junior high is also called "middle school". I think this is only true of }> public junior high schools
} Although in some places, like New York City, the two terms imply different } grade ranges, at least from a historical perspective.

The thing is that high school is serious business, and elementary school is, to put it kindly, flexible. If a school has ninth grade in it, it has to follow high-school rules as to class length and number and content and so on. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Junior high schools would seem to have ninth grade in them, plus whatever else the traffic will bear. Middle schools would seem to stop short of ninth grade.
My son started out in a junior high school, which turned out to be convenient, because he could take high-school geometry in seventh grade. Then they switched the school to a middle school, which turned out to be convenient, because he could take AP calculus in ninth grade. The down side is that I also got to listen to the principal of the newly middled middle school expound on the advantages, which mostly had to do with getting rid of ninth graders (some of whom were fully functional men and women while others of them were still children, with all the pressures the mixture entailed). So now they could take two years to teach Spanish I or Algebra I, and they saw that as an advantage.

I went to a junior high school in New York, which enjoyed the annual flush of students from parochial schools (which went through 8th grade), ahead in some areas and behind in others.
Middle school is a high-end elementary school; junior high school is a low-end high school.
In high school nowadays kids can opt for an international baccalaureate diploma (q.g.), which is a step beyond the spotty AP classes of yore and is graded internationally with the idea of being compatible with foreign pre-university schools, so that it's not a particular problem to start at a three-year university program or to skip the first year of a four-year university program or to hit the ground running on a difficult university program (say a bachelor's and master's in engineering in five years while still getting a decent liberal-arts education).

R. J. Valentine