The American School System
The American school system consists of several levels of education. Preschools offer classes for children from two to five years of age. Elementary schools teach beginning subjects to children ages five to 11 or 12. Secondary schools teach more advanced subjects to children from 13 to 17 or 18.
At the elementary and secondary school levels, each year of schooling is termed a "grade." Elementary school consists of kindergarten through fifth or sixth grade. Secondary schools include grades six, seven and eight at the middle school, grades seven through nine at junior high, and grades nine or 10 through 12 at the high school.
Colleges, universities and vocational schools provide education for those who have completed secondary school. Within the university system, the first degree awarded is a bachelor’s degree. The four years as an undergraduate student at a college or university are normally referred to as the freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior years.
Students who continue on after obtaining a bachelor’s degree are called graduate students. In graduate school, a student can obtain a master’s degree within one to three years, or a doctorate within four or more years.
Idaho Falls offers public transportation through the Public Transit Authority. If you are working at the INL’s desert Site, the laboratory offers regular bus service to and from the Site from the following metropolitan areas: Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Mackay, Pocatello, Rexburg, Rigby and Shelley. Bus information and schedules can be found on the INL Bus Operations Web site.
It is not recommended to bring your car with you when accepting employment at Idaho National Laboratory. It is easier to buy, lease or rent a car here than to import a car from your country. The United States imposes many regulations on imported cars, and importing is expensive.
Post Office and Mail Service
The U.S. Postal Service delivers mail to homes and businesses Mondays through Saturdays. Mail is not delivered on Sundays or legal holidays. Special delivery and express mail is delivered seven days a week. When mailing a letter in the U.S., make certain to use the ZIP code, as this will speed delivery. Current postal rates can be found online. Two U.S. post offices are located in Idaho Falls: at 605 4th St. and at 875 N. Capital Ave.
Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA) will determine if it has an obligation to withhold U.S. taxes from your salary. These taxes include Social Security taxes as well as federal and state income taxes. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began assigning Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to noncitizens who are required to report income for tax purposes but who are not eligible for Social Security numbers. Any nonresident spouse or dependent who would be claimed on a U.S. tax return, who is not eligible for a Social Security number, will also need an ITIN. You are considered a U.S. resident if you have a "green card." You also may be considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes if you meet the substantial presence test found online.
To apply for an ITIN, contact the IRS and ask for Form W-7 (Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number). You may contact IRS by calling the toll-free number, 1 800-829-1040 or by going online. For more information on taxes, call David O. Daniel at INL (526-0067).