Many larger metropolitan cities have developed comprehensive schools, which are known as the Gesamtschules. These schools are for students who want to represent the German government and are the government’s hope for the future of Germany.
And finally, the special school, known as the Sonderschule, is for all handicapped students who could not succeed without special assistance. These schools are first-class operations due to a strong parent lobby that keeps these programs from being integrated into the regular schools (Menacker, 1979).
Classes at the German schools span over a twelve-month period and are held six days a week. The class schedule repeats by the week. In other words, a student may not a first period class on Mondays but may have them on Saturday mornings. Class times range anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours (if there is a lab going on the class can take up to the full two hours). There is a short summer vacation and a couple smaller mini-vacations, which allow the school days per year to total around one hundred and eighty (Williams, 1999).
German students have a large responsibility list to take on. What students do in their free time while not in classes is the business of themselves and of their parents. The school does not assume the rule of loco parentis. It has only been recently that schools in larger metropolitan areas are requiring their kids to stay on campus for safety reasons. Schools do not provide libraries so students must travel by public transportation to use the community library. The students are expected to do heavy loads of homework every night outside of school. German students assume great responsibilities for independent studies.