Lakeside High School - A foreigner's experience with Lakeside High School as example of American High School

Pre-University Paper, 2012

12 Pages, Grade: 14



1. Introduction
1.1 U.S. educational system introduction
1.2 U.S. educational system in general
1.3 High School
1.3.1 Graduation in Ohio
1.3.2 Classes

2. Lakeside High School

3. Is Lakeside High School or Antoniuskolleg better?

4. Bibliography

1. Introduction

I decided to do my Facharbeit about this topic because it really concerns me. The last school year I attended at Lakeside as an exchange student. This experience was amazing and I want to share some of the things I learned. To do so, I will write many things with these experiences I had.

This Facharbeit will be outlining high schools in the United States. To make it more easily understandable, it will also examine the U.S. education system in general. Afterwards the focus will be on high schools, due to the fact that each state differs from each other, Ohio as an example. Lakeside High School will be presented as a sampling of an American high school. This contributes to having taken Ohio as an example state, considering how Lakeside High is located in Ohio and someone needs to know how Ohio high schools are set up in order to understand Lakeside. Finally, a comparison between Lakeside High School and the Antoniuskolleg summarizes this Facharbeit.

1.1 U.S. educational system introduction

“For someone from another country, the U.S. educational system understandably appears large and varied, even chaotic.”[1]

This issue happens due to the fact that it is the responsibility of each state to take care of their educational system. Therefore there are differences from state to state: ”the responsibility for K–12 education rests with the states under the Constitution”[2] (K grade the kindergarten grade). The Tenth Amendment ensures this by stating that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”[3]

Furthermore, there are different ways to go through the educational system of the U.S. You can go to high school, secondary school or junior/senior high school. This text will focus on high schools[4], but also address the educational system in general for better understanding.

1.2 U.S. educational system in general

The U.S educational system has a K grade and twelve further grades. Before children in the U.S. go into kindergarten, they can go to a nursery school between three and four years of age. Kindergarten follows nursery school with the K grade at age five. In their sixth year children go to an elementary school for six to eight years, depending on which schools are available in their area. If there is a junior high school, they will leave elementary school in sixth grade and go there. After passing junior high school, children will go to a senior high school, which continues until the twelfth grade. If there is only a high school, children will go to the elementary school until eighth grade and then go to the high school for the remaining four.[5],[6]

1.3 High School

The typical American high school takes four years, which are grades nine through twelve. After the twelfth grade students will receive a diploma and can either get a job or go to college.

Even though all students go to the same school, they may have completely different schedules and may receive different diplomas. The graduation depends on which classes somebody took, since each student picks there classes every year in high school.

School starts in the morning and, depending on the times in between periods and the length of each period, it has six to eight periods.

1.3.1 Graduation in Ohio

“The minimum number of credits required for graduation is 23. Of these, 4 shall be in English, 3 in social studies, 3 in science, 3 in mathematics, and 1.5 in health/physical education.”[7] This leaves eight and a half credits left for electives. Credits are gained for taking certain classes. Each class usually gives a student a single credit if they take one school year. Those classes that are only taken for one semester, half the year, will give the student half of a credit.[8]

Therefore a student needs to have an English class in all four years of high school. He would also have to have three social studies classes, three science classes and three mathematic classes. However, he can set them up whichever way he likes. A student may take two different social study classes in one year and more in the following year. After that, he does not have to have any more social study classes. On top of these must-have classes, the student needs eight and a half additional credit points to graduate. These can be achieved with electives, classes that a student make take to fulfill the minimum, but otherwise would not have to take, e.g. Concert Choir, Astronomy, Economics and Financial Literacy.[9] In addition to this credit system, the student would need to take a graduation test, which is called Ohio Graduation Test (OGT for short) in Ohio. The OGT consists of five tests, testing Reading and Writing for English, Science, Social Studies and Mathematic skills.[10] This test differs from state to state, which means that if a student takes the OGT and moves to Indiana, he needs to take the Indiana Graduation Test to graduate there. Once graduated, it does not matter in which state he graduated.

Now a student achieved the basic diploma, but if he wants and is able to get a better certificate, he can graduate with honors. In order to get this better diploma, the student has to fulfill more requirements and also needs to take further tests. There is a diploma with honors and also a Career-Technical diploma with honors. The honor diploma is awarded to general high school students that want to go to college. Those students who wish to acquire a more procedural education can go to a vocational school equal to high school. Vocational schools require some years of high school. It also is advantageous if one is looking to go into a more procedural job. If somebody goes to the vocational school, they can achieve the Career-Technical diploma.


[1] U.S. Government, Structure of U.S. Education U.S. educational system understandably appears large and varied, even chaotic, (11.02.12), Online im Internet:, p.1.

[2] U.S. Department of Education, 10 Facts About K-12 Education Funding, (14.02.12), Online im Internet:, p.1.

[3] U.S. Government, Tenth Amendment Reserved Powers, (11.02.12), Online im Internet:, p.1.

[4] s. Dichanz, Horst, Schulen in den USA Einheit und Vielfalt in einem flexiblen Schulsystem, München 1991, p. 33.

[5] s. Dichanz 1991, p. 32 f.

[6] s. Fiedler, Eckhard; Jansen, Reimer; Norman-Risch, Mil, America in Close-up, 6. Auflage, 1996, p. 188 f.

[7] Lakeside High School, Lakeside High School Scheduling Handbook 2010-2011, Ashtabula 2010, p. 2.

[8] s. Lakeside High School 2010, p. 10 ff.

[9] s. Lakeside High School 2010, p. 14 f.

[10] s. Delisle, Deborah, Ohio Graduation Test Results, in: The Ohio Department of Education, 2010, p. 1 ff.

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Lakeside High School - A foreigner's experience with Lakeside High School as example of American High School
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Lakeside, High, School, America, Germany, Jan, Zähler, Antoniuskolleg, Ashtabula, Ohio, Neunkirchen, NRW, Facharbeit, Englisch, English, example, foreigner, experience, better, Bergheim
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Jan Zähler (Author), 2012, Lakeside High School - A foreigner's experience with Lakeside High School as example of American High School, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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