• Resource Library ▹ Magical Education in North & Central America
Education in North and Central America
In both the United States and Canada, many witches and wizards choose to send their children to ordinary primary school so that they can begin growing used to ordinary people early on in life. Though some magical primary schools exist, they are often only attended by children from affluent families or those who have a staunch aversion to ordinary society.
Middle School & High School
From age 11 onward, or sixth grade in the United States, most magical schools offer boarding for some students while others may choose to attend school just for the day. Many magical families will move closer to the school of their choice to make it easier for students to travel back and forth, since apparation and other transportation is far more accessible for adult wizards making it easy for them to travel to and from work.
In the United States, students may begin carrying a wand at school at the age of 11, or they may use a wand appointed by their school. In either case, the wand must be registered with the school and that registration must be renewed upon graduation to meet the national wand registration requirements.
Most students will remain in school through age 18, though depending on their age of enrollment they may be 17 or 19 at the time they graduate. In the United States, it is mandatory for all students to participate in Ordinary Studies classes so that they are fully prepared for life as an adult, regardless of whether or not they had an ordinary or integrated upbringing. In Canada, all students must continue attending French language courses throughout their schooling, even those outside of Québec, as French-based spells and potions are in wide use through the country and a misunderstanding of the language could prove deadly.
In addition to Ordinary Studies, common courses throughout the United States and Canada that are not typically found in British and European schools may include mathematics, ordinary history, physical education, foreign languages, and college preparation among others.
Graduation & Continuing Education
All North American students must take the Wizarding Academic Realization Test (WART) in their junior year, or in their second to last year of schooling for those attending schools outside of the United States. This exam tests a student’s knowledge in the core subjects of Charms, Transfiguration, Potions, Herbology, and Defense Against the Dark Arts and must be passed in order to graduate from school and maintain a registered wand (in the United States.) Students who do not pass are permitted to re-take the exam in their final year.
In the United States, ordinary colleges and universities remain a very popular choice for those students who can afford to attend them. There are some schools with a larger population of magical students, though one can find magical students at colleges throughout the country. A few magical universities exist for those students wishing to continue their study of magic, but they are primarily for highly specialized fields and offer few majors than their ordinary counterparts, more closely representing some European universities in structure. Also in the United States, some students choose to enlist in the Magical Infantry after graduation.
Students wishing to apply for an ordinary college must take the SAT exam if it is required by their school of choice, and many students in the United States also must take the Ordinary Realm Certification Assessment (ORCA) to test their ability to live and work with, as well as understand, non-magical persons before enrolling in an ordinary school.
North & Central American Schools
The schools listed below are a small sampling of the magical establishments throughout North America. Those listed as Background Schools are available for adult characters to list as their previously attended institution, while Active Schools are available for characters that are current students or staff to play in real time. New schools may be added periodically, and schools may be shifted in and out of Background/Inactive status as needed.
Beaumont-Spindletop Boarding Academy – Texas (Background School)
Located on an expansive ranch, this school allows students to interact directly with a wide number of magical creatures while performing daily chores in addition to attending their lessons. It is a favorite school for students with an interest in magizoology or creature care…and for parents looking to send their children away for misbehaving. Though the classes at Beaumont-Spindletop are not as comprehensive as at the larger schools, many students enjoy the freedom they have to explore the ranch and many alumni find that they have made lifelong friends while away studying.
Chicago Academy of Wizardry – Illinois (Active School)
Situated in an otherwise ordinary skyscraper that helps to form a familiar part of the Chicago skyline, this public school has a very diverse population from all over the country due to its position as the largest magical school in the United States. High school students attending the Chicago Academy can often be found exploring the city or attending movies at ordinary cinemas, as they are given a great deal of freedom to move off campus, while many middle school students only attend for the day or are not yet permitted to leave the school grounds.
Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft & Wizardry – Massachusetts (Background School)
Founded by British immigrants, this school was originally established as an American cousin to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Scotland. Though at the time of its conception it was notable for being far more relaxed than its British counterpart, in modern times Ilvermorny is widely considered to practice outdated ideals and impose strict requirements on its students. Attendance has been dwindling as ordinary society progresses at an alarming rate, and its student body is largely comprised of children of key members of the Cloaking Party.
Redwood Elemental Institute – California (Background School)
Tucked away in the Redwood National Forest far from the prying eyes of ordinary people sits a small school primarily focused on elemental and natural magic, where students live and attend class in treehouse structures high above the forest floor and attend many classes focused on herbology, wandlore, and other natural subjects. Though Redwood follows the general requirements of all American schools, they operate on a year-round schedule that allows students to attend classes for only 30-45 days at a time between 30-45 day breaks. In addition to student services they also host a Seismic Divination Center that is often used by members of the Bureau of Magical Affairs.
Selkirk School of Magic – Ontario (Background School)
Funded by the Earl of Selkirk in the 19th century, this school was established by the Earl’s magical brother as he sought to share his knowledge of spells with the local population but had been discouraged from practicing witchcraft too near to his brother’s settlements in Manitoba. It remains the most popular English language school in the country, with many witches and wizards traveling great distances to study at the school. In recent years, encouraged by the Métis Student Society, Selkirk has offered classes in Indigenous Studies, both for spells and history, giving them a much broader course of magical study than other magical schools.
Ste-marie-de-la-magique – Québec (Background School)
Canada’s only French-language magical institution, this school is nearly as old as the original settlements to the province and is situated in a historical building that looks to be abandoned to any ordinary people who might stumble upon it. Though it is primarily attended by Québécois students, it is also a popular destination for Francophone students from across the globe who are looking to study abroad and even hosts an exchange program together with Beauxbatons Academy of Magic for upper-level students to spend a year at their sister school. Due to provincial legislation, students attending Ste-marie-de-la-magique are not held to the same requirements as other Canadian students and have their own set of exams they are required to complete for graduation.
Cortés College of Magic – Yucatan Peninsula (Background School)
Founded in the 1600’s, the school is located on an island off the southeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, near Belize. The school was originally founded by a group of Spanish wizards that immigrated to the new world in order to practice their magic more freely and away from the watchful eye of the Catholic Church. The secretive nature of the school has carried on through time, as outsiders are generally not allowed to step foot on the island that is home to the school. The school is attended by students from Mexico as well as other Central American countries such as Belize and Panama.