This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
German School Washington DC2
Posted March 31, 2015
- a parent
This school suffers from myopia. The administration is set in its ways. Decisions are often arbitrary. While the school has some positives, if your child deviates from the mold they are looking for (quiet and easy to teach) you will not have a pleasant experience. If your child has any spunk or comes from a non- German speaking home - forget it, your child likely won't receive the support needed and will not be asked back. Keep in mind this is essentially a German public school which makes it rigid and inflexible, but at a private school price tag. While it should be more open to local outsiders and recruit and provide more support to non- native German speaking families to promote the principles espoused in its mission statement, it does a poor job. It is too bad because it could be a great asset to the community. My child attended for SES and the teacher constantly complained about minor/normal 5 year old behavior. Now at the public school and magically no behavior concerns whatsoever. Also your child will be behind academically when you transition to public school- at least that is the case in elementary school. Facilities average. Location & parking difficult.
We have two children at the school. One in the elementary school and one in the preschool. I can only talk about our experience. We are a local family and speak English and German at home. We find the teachers and staff to be very dedicated and professional. Class sizes are small - but not too small (my daughter's class has 17 children). My first grader has learned how to read within two months and is know reading fluently (at her age level). There is an emphasis on math and science. The afternoon programs offers "mad science" for the 1st and 2nd graders twice a week. Our preschooler is also periodically doing "mad science" in his class and loves it. The indoor swimming pool is very nice. My daughter has swimming twice a week, one hour in the morning and two school hours in the afternoon. She has gone from not swimming at all in the beginning of the school year to swimming small laps and diving within four months. We are very happy with the school.
Just read the earlier review. I have to disagree. Fabulous music department? There is a band that meets after school to practice but that is not part of the school. The school doesn't teach the children to play an instrument . Outstanding science program? It seems very average to me. If you want your child to participate in the after school science class then start making friends now. Your child has to be invited to join so if your child wants to explore more science opportunities you have little luck. I find suspect that the children of the teachers get into the class before the the full tuition paying student. The school could be really good, but it is like the administration doesn't want to change. Plus, half the teachers come from Germany and stay 3 years. So there is a constant rotation of teachers. For the most part, this is a holiday for the teachers and their family so they don't seem to have a strong tie to the school or are motivated to go above and beyond. The schools raises the tuition each year but i don't see improvement in the school to match the tuition increase.
It is an average school. The tuition keeps going up and you will find the tuition is about the same as other very good schools in the area. The teachers are OK but the administration needs to be replaced. It is like they have their own little click and you have to become one of them if you want to get financial aid or have a question that needs answered. Don't question them or try to seek improvement or they will find a way to make it difficult for you. My child went there but we transferred him to the public schools . We found that that that if you want your child to do well on the SAT and go to a US college - you may want to not consider this school.
I have two children at the school one in the elementary and one in the upper school. Both children love it, especially the older one. We are one of the families who don't speak German at home. I can share the following positive experiences: The teachers are excellent, very dedicated and kind (even in the upper school). The school is providing a strong foundation in German and English, and the children who graduate are truly bilingual. That in itself is an amazing edge when competing for the coveted spots in the top universities. Furthermore, the school has an excellent program in the sciences, languages, mathematics and encourages critical thinking. Classes are small. There is also the option of having shorter days(especially in the elementary school), allowing children more time for play, or longer days with a wide array of afternoon sports, arts, theatre, and musical activities. It is a wonderfully warm and safe environment and has a great cafeteria. I would highly recommend the school for the education, relative affordability(compared to other private schools), the opportunity to be immersed in another culture, and a warm environment.
New parent here. Unfortunately I cannot echo any of the positive reviews. It's a little suspicious that they were all posted within a matter of days and probably "liked" by the same small group of posters, some of whom have a clear stake in talking up the school (kids about to graduate). To parents considering this school I can only emphasize that these glowing reviews do not reflect reality.
We've been very happy with the German School overall - both my kids attended preschool (KIGA) there, and my daughter is now in the 3rd grade, my son in kindergarten (SES). My daughter LOVES the school - we are a bilingual family (I'm originally from Germany and try to speak German to my kids, my husband is American). Our daughter is fully fluent in both languages, our son is more comfortable in English, but he's making progress. Yes, the school has had it's issues, like any school, but people are trying hard to make a difference, and it shows. The school is like an extended family to us. It was very important to me to not lose the "German" from which I came, which is why we chose this school for our kids, and so far, it's been an excellent fit for our kids. The teachers have been caring and excellent with the kids, and I appreciate the emphasis on learning independence, responsibility and self-control. I'm the opposite of a helicopter parent, and I have a tendency to not get overly involved in my kids academic life. That is just our style. So far we've been very happy with the school, as our kids are definitely happy and doing very well.
I am a proud parent of 3 children at the DSW. My husband and I are health professionals who traveled around the country and we were looking for a European/German School for our children. He graduated from medical school in Germany and I from Yale University in CT. In 1 yr., our children have become comfortable speaking German. Their libraries provide a vast variety of German books and media, and this has helped us improve our German at home. I love that our children have plenty of time to play outdoors and be children. The classes are small and the qualified and experienced teachers provide excellent learning skills in Math, language, and social development. This very international community is made up of globally experienced and educated parents who have a love and understanding of many things that German education can provide our children. Many of us volunteer in school to provide German cultural festivities, international food at the cafeteria, and musical and artistic variety. Parents are heard and encouraged to get involved. Overall, this school is a perfect fit for my family. I feel welcome and grateful for having a piece of Europe right here in our American soil.
I agree with the positive reviews. Our two children (first and fourth grade) have been at the school for several years. The academic standards are very high. We couldn't be happier with their teachers or the quality of the extracurricular activities. The German School is an inclusive and welcoming school in which all children are expected to thrive.