My experience at this school was absolutely terrible and I dread that my time there has greatly impacted my chances of getting into a good college. The school is rated as a "MINT" school, which is the German equivalent of "STEM". This is absolutely ridiculous and false, as the science program at this school is absolutely dreadful. it is totally fake and just done in order for the school to have one. Some teachers are good, although most only do it for the money. Teachers are only hired because they speak German and some even teach subjects in which they aren't even qualified. For instance there are teachers who teach history who know NOTHING about it, or teachers who teach English and make even the most simple grammar mistakes when speaking. Overall this school is hardly worth the 22k and if you are thinking about applying, THINK AGAIN. Ask other students about their experience and not the administration, as they will give the false impression that the school is good. One more thing to note: there are many parent reviews, stating that this school is good. Most of these are false. From the outside this school looks good, but if you are a student like me and have been here for a long time (8 years) you will know that that is incorrect.
At GISB the kids grow to become "Weltbuerger". There are so many diverse national, language and cultural backgrounds, and they all look out for each other. The school has a full time nurse and a school councelor who both work with the kids on character traits and fairness. It is a small school, the kids basically grow up with each other it and it really feels more like family.
The faculty is young and well trained. The school has teachers which are sent from the German government and also hires through local contracts. Teaching at a bilingual school with crossgrade teaching certainly is challenging but the results of the International Abitur grades and the Massachusetts high school diplomas (which our graduates get both!) speak for themselves. And so do the standardized testing results comparing to other private schools and to German peer schools. The kids learn to work in teams and learn to work indepentently. The teacher student ratio is great.
The kids have lot of homework , but most of it is assigned in "Wochenplan" (weekly assignments), so the kids can do it in their own pace. The school offers homework supervision every day with the regular teachers for elementary and middle school students, specially to help kids of non German speaking families but all students can go there and gets support. The school also offers a student led tutoring club where students help students with homework, presentations and so on.
GISB just presented the results of a pilot standardized test (Educational Records Bureau - ERB) and all parents, students and faculty are so proud: Our students in grades 5 and 6 achieved higher results than the students in monolingual independent schools where they have 12 and more periods of English per week! This is an impressive confirmation of the outstanding strength of our English program and of our bilingual program as a whole.
The school is an experiment. Every new term there is something new. I can only say that it creates a lot of confusion on the kids. The children are forced to share classrooms with other classes creating friction and insecurities on the younger children. For example 3rd and 4rd graders are forced to share the same classroom. How are 3rd graders going to succeed in a room with older kids.
The school has a poor English department. My kids are reading and speaking English very poorly. I had to transfer to the American system because they were not going to compete for good spots in the American universities.