Preschool + Kindergarten
Small group sizes and a daily schedule filled with enriching activities encourage children in our German-immersion preschool and kindergarten to learn through play.
Children with all levels of German language ability, from absolute beginners to native speakers, are welcomed, supported, and challenged in our program. Teachers speak exclusively German with your child, using a range of methods to promote language learning regardless of your child’s initial exposure to German.
Children in our preschool and kindergarten learn through play. Teachers are facilitators and role models, encouraging your child to be curious, creative, and reflective. In our mixed-age preschool classes, children learn to share, work through differences, express feelings, and describe new ideas.
Preschool (ages 2.9-5)
The term ‘Preschool’ in American English equals the German term ‘Kindergarten’ (ages 2.9-5).
The school year in preschool is divided into units (for example, earth, water, and animals) or multiple shorter themes relating to the cycle of the seasons. A variety of projects, such as experiments, art activities, motor games, and language development, focus on the given themes. Additionally, students join in pre-math and phonological awareness training sessions, all the while being immersed in the German language. Your child will interact with peers and adults, develop habits such as persistence and empathy, and acquire new knowledge and skills.
We integrate various enrichment areas into every day: social-emotional learning, letters, numbers, sensory awareness skills, music, and art are some examples. All of these concepts are presented playfully through rhymes, songs, movement, hands-on materials, and colorful games. Enrichment areas are designed to ensure that your child develops the specific skills necessary to participate successfully in the next step of their education.
Kindergarten (ages 5-6)
The term ‘Kindergarten’ in American English equals the German term ‘Vorschule’ (ages 5-6).
Our kindergarten serves as a bridge between preschool and elementary school and combines aspects of both. Kindergartners have a more structured schedule with allocated times for specific subjects, for example German, math, art, science, and social studies. All subjects are taught by their homeroom teacher exclusively in the target language. German is both the language of instruction as well as the basis for acquiring first writing and reading skills. Additionally, children have English as a subject.
We continue to support each student’s social and emotional growth and encourage children to take on greater responsibility, for example for materials, assignments, and their behavior toward others. The intense focus on the German language and their social-emotional development prepares students for a successful start in our elementary school program.
We believe that teachers and parents are partners in your child’s education. We are always happy to discuss your child’s progress, either during parent conferences in the fall and spring or during an informal parent-teacher meeting. Although most of your child’s teachers will speak only German with children, they look forward to discussions with you in English or German, depending on your preference.
The Preschool and Kindergarten program is a full language-immersion program. Therefore, all interactions between children and teachers are in German except for English lessons, parts of the After School Program (some of our After-School Teachers speak English), and rare, emotionally charged situations, e.g., if your child is injured or inconsolable.
Children who are not fluent in German are supported through additional language support as needed. Non-German speakers in Kindergarten join our Junior Fast Track Program, designed to provide additional language support in a small group environment.
Our community takes regular field trips, including adventures to puppet theater, apple orchards, and museums. We welcome family chaperones and enjoy making memories with your child on these special days.
Examples of Enrichment Subjects
|Music||1 hr/week||2 hrs/week|
|Physical Education||2 hrs/week||2 hrs/week|
|Language Support||1-4 hrs/week|
GISB offers families several options to accommodate their busy schedules. Doors open as early as 8:00 am for drop-off, and our regular program runs from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm. We offer a daily after-school program until 6:00 pm.
Enrollment in the after-school program is a year-long commitment, but changes can be made before May 1 (for the first semester) and December 1 (for the second semester). Families have the option to enroll their child until 4:00 or 6:00 pm.
|8:00 am – 8:30 am||Drop-Off|
|8:30 am – 2:00 pm||Regular Program|
|2:00 pm – 4:00 pm||After School Program|
|4:00 pm – 6:00 pm||Extended After School Program|
The daily rhythm is continuously fine-tuned to support your child’s physical needs and intellectual growth. Below is a sample of a preschool day:
|8:00 am||Doors open|
|8:30 am||Greetings, songs, and sharing in our morning circle|
|9:00 am||Snack, free play, and discovery stations|
|10:15 am||Learning circle, for example, the class learns a new finger play, sings some favorite songs, or plays a number or letter game|
|11:00 am||Free outdoor play|
|Noon||Lunch with friends and teachers|
|12:45 pm||Reading circle: Time for dim lights, cozy blankets, and a favorite story in German|
|1:00 pm||Quiet time. Some children sleep, others rest quietly and read a book or draw.|
|2:00 pm||Children enrolled until 2:00 pm say Auf Wiedersehen! Afternoon circle time followed by free play|
|2:45 pm||Afternoon snack|
|3:00 pm||Children can choose from free play inside and outside, weekly cooking projects, craft projects, and activities in our gym. They have the option to stay on campus until 4:00, 5:00, or 6:00 pm.|
Preschool applicants must be three years old by December 31 of the school year they wish to attend and should be reliably toilet trained by the beginning of the school year. Worried about potty training? Click here for some helpful tips and tricks.
Due to state regulations, children must be 2.9 years old when entering preschool. Therefore, children who turn three years old between December 1 and December 31 can only start in the preschool program on October 1 and not at the beginning of the school year (September 1). Please note that children must be five years old by September 1 in order to participate in GISB’s kindergarten program. For more information, please contact our admission team.