Are schools where you are similar to the UK?

Here they are quite different, I don't think I expected them to be that different but they are. School buses are the norm. If you do take your child to school, there is no hanging around in the play ground or just outside of school, there is a 'car rider circle' where you queue in your car, gradually move forward and then drop off or pick up your child, no meeting other parents etc. Also they don't get playtimes/breaks during the day, lunchtime is basically just for lunch (my 12 yr old gets 27 minutes!), in elementary school (primary) they get 'recess' every other week (one week on one week off) alternating with P.E.. In middle and high school (secondary) they get 7 periods a day and do those same periods every day They do get to choose some of those periods, for example next year (from August) my eldest daughter (12yrs) has chosen Ology (some science thing), TV production and IT, as well as the other compulsory ones of Language Arts, Math(S), Science and Civics (hopefully she should get into the honors classes for all of those). You can fail a grade and be held back, even kindergarten (year 1) can be failed! State tests are performed from 3rd grade (year 4) and upwards, certain levels have to be achieved to get into certain classes.

Don't get me started on the lack of mid school year holidays/vacation time!! 12 weeks off in the summer, REALLY!?!? Why!??

It still baffles me.....