Both my husband and I are German but both our kids were born here. Our older child has been going to the Vorschule (Kindergarten) for 8 months now and it has been a great experience for all of us. Her German has improved tremendously. Despite the less rigorous curriculum compared to public school Kindergarten, she is learning to read, write and do math but with a healthy dose of self-motivation while still being given ample time to follow her creativity and imagination. It is also great to have such a tight school community where parents and teachers support each other and parents can have an influence on the development of the school if they want to.
We are an American family and this is our 6th year at the GISB. We continue to be impressed by many facets of excellence at our school: the German language platform; multiculturalism; excellence, integrity, and resilience in the staff; rich learning in art, science, language, music, and ethics; cross-grade teaching; the generous after school program; etc. The list goes on. However, the reason we are passionate about our school is because it is much more than a school. It is a community with a shared set of spoken and unspoken values amidst which our children are growing up. It is a private school, but also a middle-class school. Achievement and contribution are valued over wealth and status. Parents chat in the parking lot! We buy baked goods on Friday mornings. School gatherings are family gatherings. Our children face academic and real-life challenges, and both are formative. The GISB school community supports the type of socialization and habit forming we want for our grade-schoolers, and the maturation and academic foundation we want for them in middle and high school. Our family is passionate about this type of education.
Our children are attending the German International School and so far, we are very pleased with the academic program and the culture of the school. GISB is a unique school offering a bilingual education in German and English, and is one of only 140 "German Schools Abroad" that are supported by the German government. So far, our children are very happy at the school and are developing as self-reliant learners and confident individuals. The school has a close-knit parent community and there are plenty of opportunities to interact with other parents, teachers, and administrators through participation in social and academic events. At any given year, GISB students can represent over 15 nationalities, and our young children are already aware of cultural, religious, and ethnic diversities, and are being trained as global citizens. Like any other school, GISB will not fulfill the needs of every parent and every student, but it is a perfect school for our family.
We moved to Boston a year ago. Coming from Germany with experience in the rigid school system of Bavaria we were very pleased with the multi-cultural environment at GISB. Small class sizes where every kid gets a high level of attention and individualized support helped our teenager son to make a smooth transition within short time. Maybe more importantly, he quickly became part of the community and likes going to GISB a lot. We perceive the quality of teaching as very good. The kids have a tough schedule but are carefully guided. The approach of the school is exceptional and training is focused to grow kids with personality and skills that will help them to meet the challenges of a globalized world. Getting bi-lingual education and training in two additional languages is definitely a plus. Not to forget the Deutsches Abitur and the US High School Diploma. Of course there is always something you would like to improve. However, the community is strong, involved and committed and the cooperation with the school administration very close. In summary: We are very happy with the decision we made and would encourage everyone interested to have a closer look at this school.
This school has many issues with unaddressed bullying. Teachers, parents, and ultimately children do not care about the problem, as they only stay at GISB for a couple of years until they go back to Germany. I do not recommend this school if you have bright, sensitive children.
What attracts us are the high teaching standards, emphasis on independent and group learning, as well as the opportunity to obtain American and international diplomas. Beyond that, we want our children to grow up in a multicultural environment where they interact with innovative, cosmopolitan role models every day. The GISB delivers.
Small classrooms, bilingual education, offers excellent after school programs, has very competitive tuition in the Boston area. My kids have been very happy there for over 4 years now!
We had our son for three years at the German International School. We never doubted about this decision and we would always send him to this school again. Our son was welcomed warmly, was easily integrated in his class, found lots of friends and felt really happy from the beginning on. Before he did not like school as much as at this time and even now (half a year later), he misses this school. Concerning the education at school we were also very happy. Most teachers worked a lot for the class and the school, were always willing to talk, to answer an email in very fast time. They really did a good job. Also everything else in school was organized better and better every year (it is still a young school! I can t imagine what it will be like in a few years . Always improving!!!). We miss the school and its community a lot. It is a nice small school with good education!
We enrolled our oldest daughter at the GISB six years ago, back then there were 74 students enrolled. Since then we have seen the student body grow twice its size, we have seen the school extend to 12th grade (the first DIAP - deutsche Internationale Abiturpruefung - is written these days), saw it awarded the title of an excellent German School abroad (exzellente deutsche Auslandsschule) by the Bund-Lander-Inspection and most important of all, we see our daughter, our son and now since last fall our little one thrive at this school. Not only academically, but also in terms of self confidence and social intelligence. The teachers are young and motivated, the principal does not only have visions but really pulls through with them and the atmosphere is always friendly and like a big family. Our kids love this school and so do we.
The GISB is a wonderful bilingual school that responds to its community and delivers a challenging and broad curriculum with care. Our children have been at the school for five years now and enjoy every day. In fact, it is usual very difficult to get them to leave school at the end of the day because they enjoy every minute. The teachers are extremely dedicated to their work and deliver every day. The principal does done an excellent job of responding to the diverse community of highly educated professionals and their children who are active in making sure that their children get the most out of their school. I say this as a teacher at a nearby institution of higher learning. The curriculum follows in most respects a standard German curriculum. Our experience with mixed age class homeroom (which does not extend to most subject lessons) has been extremely positive despite our initial skepticism. We were later surprised to learn that this teaching model is more widespread than we realized and that some parents had themselves had experience with the model in the US as well. The kids love it, too
We just moved into the Boston area and it wasn't any question about where our child is going to go to school especially after we looked at the school and met with the staff. The cooperation and community between parents and teachers concerning lessons, education and goals, individual care of the children is really exceptional - especially compared with schools in Germany. Our child is visiting the Vorschule and is already learning on the same level as in the first grade in Germany. The classes are small so that the teachers can concentrate on each child individually. The school received an award of excellence which we support to the full extent.
We enrolled our children recently in grade 4 and grade 5. We were previously at American schools, and we find the German school excellent. There is a balanced approach to children, allowing them to express themselves. Content wise it is excellent, but it clearly different from most American schools. We are veru happy there - the kids are alive with energy, are taught independence, but also have an appropriate level of demands on them academically. Parent involvement is high in terms of extramural activity, but in the classroom, it is the children who are responsible for their success, not the parents.
Our experience at the GISB was stressful and extremely negative. Our son s teacher was inexperienced with his age group, insecure and inconsistent, and was obviously dominated by the asocial and undisciplined children of her Entry Level classroom. There was no place for creativity. Focus was on drilling letters and numbers. Vacation homework did not include any English, which is a serious issue for multicultural families. Young and old children are left to themselves in the Afternoon School Program. One afternoon, a First Grader intentionally punched our son on the nose. No incident report and no disciplinary action followed up. This is simply unacceptable. Tolerating bullying is encouraging it. There are safer, less stressful and more multicultural ways to learn German in the Boston area. We do not recommend the GISB.
As a parent of children who attended this school for many years i can attest to the quality of many of the teachers. Unfortunately this only gets you so far - when there are problems with teachers or with the curriculum (which is experimental, mixing grades even in the higher classes) the administration is unlikely to respond. We decided to remove our children after serious problems with certain teachers went unresolved year after year.
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