Tag Archives: Language immersion

German Language Instruction for the Youngest Learners

Research shows, that the earlier you start with introducing a second or third language to your child, the easier it will be for her or him to learn it.

Especially if those languages are spoken at home as well, your child will just grow up using these languages instinctively and will automatically pick up the vocabulary and intonation of each one.

From what I have experienced, this effort of raising children with more than one language, is even more successful if the child can connect one parent to one particular language. It will make it so much easier for the child to switch back and forth between languages since there is also a visual distinction.

But even if your child grows up in a mono-lingual household, you now have so many options to introduce your youngsters to a wealth of languages and give them, too, the gift of understanding other cultures early on.

For many of us German expats it is a given that we want our children to be able to speak our native German. We want them to be able to communicate with family and friends still living overseas. But sometimes it’s hard if all the pressure of passing on this cultural heritage just rests on you!

California is fortunate enough to have many German language schools among its wealth of  language schools all together. Many of them offer classes already for three-year olds. And a few even offer Mommy-and-Me classes that one can attend as soon as the baby is born!

In the following find a few examples of schools, that offer these early language courses; but please feel free to browse our list of various schools under our “Resources” tab.

Learning German for the Youngest all around California


Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool is offering “Mama und Ich” classes starting this September 2017. The classes are instructed by Ilka Sternberger, Director at Tivoli, who is also a certified as a Lactation Specialist UCLA, and Postpartum Doula DONA .

These classes offer parenting information and support, meditation for the Mamas, German children songs and verses, movement and seasonal finger games. Sessions will start on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. All classes are held at: Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool in Mar Vista (3170 Stoner Ave., LA, CA 90066).  Two classes are offered weekly. The 3-4pm baby class is for newborns to age 15 months and the 4:15-5:15pm Toddler class is for age 16 months to 2 plus years.

If you are interested in joining our next session please rsvp to ilkayan@aol.com.

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WanderKind School in Glendale offers a bilingual nature immersion program preschool program for 2-5 year olds and an after school program for 4-7 year olds. Whether children are enrolled full time or part time they will always experience friendship, joy, free play and creative expression. Two mornings and two afternoons a week are spent at Brand Park immersed in a forrest school curriculum. While outdoors teachers guide the children utilizing English and German. The rest of the time we learn, get messy and play in the indoor/outdoor classrooms of the school and focus on German language immersion.

Contact Dr. Franziska Reff at 415-812-6675 or wanderkindschool@gmail.com .

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GermanSchool campus in Newport Beach just started with a “Vorschul-Klasse” for children ages 4-6years. This particular class will playfully engage the children with the concepts of the German language through music, songs, rhythm and dance. Children will learn numbers, the days of the week, the calendar, seasons and much more through fun songs and plays. As it is tradition at the school, also the youngest members will learn how to introduce themselves and will be able to hold up a small and simple conversation by the end of the year.

GermanSchool campus offers a variety of German language classes for children, 4-17 years old, focusing on guiding the older students through the various  exams available. From Deutsches Sprachdiplom to AATG testings for high schoolers.

Contact GermanSchool campus at (949) 285 0829 or email at principal@GERMANSCHOOLcampus.com

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German Pacific School of San Diego offers classes for students ages 3 to 18 at its four different locations in San Diego County: Poway, Clairemont, Carmel Valley and La Jolla. For this school year 2017 /18, registration has already closed. But if you are still looking for German classes for your child(ren). There are just a few spots at each location left. Most classes are full.

Contact Wiebke Elbe (germanpacificschool @gmail.com) to inquire about availability or to get on the waiting list.

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GASA – The German-American School Association of Southern California, Incoffers classes for children ages 3 to 5 years at its Kinderland School and has Parent & Me classes for children 1-3 years old that are currently offered only in Anaheim Hills.

Founded in 1954, GASA maintains several schools in the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego area.  The various schools offer classroom-based German language programs to children ages 4 – 17 years in its Saturday Schools.

Contact the school at office@gasaschool.org or at (562) 693-0223.

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German Language School of Marin (NorCal) has a Kindergarten class that accepts children starting as young as 3-years-old at the Santa Rosa campus and as young as 4-years-old at the Novato campus.

In Kindergarten, children approach the German language in a playful, hands-on way. Through simple poems, circle games, songs and rhymes, story books, and art projects, the children intuitively learn basic vocabulary and grammar. Lessons revolve around themes like family, animals, colors, food, clothing, body, nature, months, weekdays, seasons, and holidays. To support learning on Saturdays, basic homework for our Kindergarteners include poems and songs that they can practice and memorize throughout the week.

Contact the school at (415) 897.9771 or email: info@germanschoolmarin.com

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GASPA – German American School of Palo Alto offers a Parent & Me class  for children ages 0-3, for the first time this year. The “Froggy Group” is for parents and their children. Come to play and sing with your child in German!  Classes start September 16th, from 9am-10:15am.

Since 1965 GASPA has been offering the ever popular Saturday morning program for students ages 2.5 to 18. Students 2.5 years or older must be accompanied by a parent in class until age 3. Saturday classes are already in session since September 9th, 2017. All classes are at the Campus of Alto International School , 475 Pope Street, Menlo Park.

Contact the school at (650) 520-3646 or email: contact@gaspa-ca.org

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Kleine Schule Oakland in the Bay area offers parent-toddler classes for kids from 18 months up to 5 years. They take place once a week for 1 1/2 hours.  The school welcomes to a space where you can have a lot of fun while learning the German language. You may not even realize how much you are learning because you’ll be so busy playing, singing, reading, crafting, experimenting, baking and making friends. Nature plays an important role; sometimes we even take the class outside and meet up in the nearby forest.  The school also runs a daycare program fromMonday to Friday 9am-3pm.

Contact Runa for more information at kleineschuleoakland@gmail.com

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Let us know if you heard of other German programs for the Youngest German Language learners and send us an email at californiagermans(AT)gmail.com

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German Summer Camps 2017 in California – A Retrospective

As summer vacation draws to an end, we wanted to take a look at some of the German summer camps that were offered this year throughout California. The variety of camps is growing each year, and expat parents now have plenty of choices for their offspring to perfect their German language skills right here in California.

From sleepaway camps to science camps to unique camps like ‘Innerweaving’, we are sure you’ll find your favorite. Enjoy our compilation of a select group of German summer camps in Southern California & Northern California!

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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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GermanSchool Campus in Newport Beach

“Earth-Water-Air-Fire” was the motto for GermanSchool campus’ adventurous STEM Science Camp right on the Newport Bay in the beginning of July. The weeklong German immersion camp took young language learners out on the Newport Bay in sail boats and kayaks to learn about wind and solar energy first hand. When not aboard a vessel, the children explored the various environments, learned about sustainability, recycling, clean air solutions, wind power and much more. In cooperation with the Newport  Sea Base, GermanSchool campus put together a camp around a field that is gaining on popularity throughout the world. To help retain the new vocabularies learned, the children received a folder with all pertinent information in German and took a variety of day trips to manifest the theoretical knowledge by experiencing the real thing. Trips to a Newport hatchery and the Back Bay Science Center rounded off a week full of science adventures.

The next STEM Science Camp is planned for the beginning of July 2018. Please contact the school by April 2018 to find out more about the details.

GermanSchool campus starts its regular academic school year Monday, August 28th. The open enrollment policy makes it possible to join anytime during the year. New this year is the Vorschul-Klasse, that introduces the German language to the 4-6 year olds with the help of music, rhythm, and role-play and incorporates Carl Orff’s music education. You can register for the 2017/18 academic year here. You can also contact the school at PH: (949)  285  0829 or email at principal@GERMANSCHOOLcampus.com



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GASA – German American School Association of Southern California

GASA Summer Camp 2017  – A time travel through Germany awaited the children when they arrived at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center. 67 children aged 7-14, 6 teachers, 4 volunteers and our leader, participated at this year’s summer camp and spent an exciting time together at this 5-day overnight camp. Throughout the week children had German lessons in the mornings. The general theme was “Time Travel through Germany” with several interesting topics, such as: “The Knighthood in the Middle Ages”, “The German Fairy Tale Route with the Bremen Town Musicians”, “German Inventions”, “The Twenties in Germany” among others. In the afternoons the children enjoyed activities like archery, swimming, zip-lining, fishing or baking, or worked on painting the stage for the theatre play that was set to perform the last day of camp. The last day was marked by a visit to the local zoo and was rounded off by the theatre play and a cozy evening around the camp fire with s’mores and camp songs.

GASA’s summer camp is planned to partake again in June/July 2018.

During the regular school year GASA offers German language classes with a curriculum that stresses language skills, culture, art and music on all levels. The youngest students learn German primarily through songs, rhymes, games while writing and reading is added at the beginning elementary school level with the addition of grammar as the students advance in their studies.  The regular school year starts September 16, 2017.  For further information contact the school. Phone: 562-693-0223 or office@gasaschool.org and our website: www.germanschool4kids.org



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WanderKind PRESchool in Los Angeles

WanderKind Preschool offered its first language immersion day camp for children ages 3-8 this July. Children got together to read, sing, play and create amazing art projects, all while building new vocabulary and understanding in German. “We even got a chance to head out into nature at Brand Park, which is located across the street from the school. Families got together for a German movie screening, as well as a splash party and BBQ.”

The camp will be expanded and offered again in June 2018. Please call the school for more information.

During the school year WanderKind Preschool offers a German Immersion Nature Preschool Program for 2-5 year olds. Children spend half of their time outdoors, enjoy time set aside for free play and get creative in a curriculum rich with arts and crafts. The highly qualified staff nurtures the whole child, supporting social and emotional development in a small mixed-age group. Please sign up now for classes to start in September. Contact Dr. Franziska Reff at 415-812-6675 or wanderkindschool@gmail.com .



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German Pacific School San Diego

Kids at German Pacific School in San Diego (GPSSD) had the choice of 4 different camp weeks in July. 2017 marked the school’s fourth year of summer camps.  The youngest campers traveled back in time to learn about dinosaurs, the medieval ages, princesses, knights, and dragons. They hand-built and hand-painted an almost life-size pirate ship while the 10-12 year-old campers learned quite a bit about movie-making this summer – from the first idea to the final cut. “During the four weeks of camp we went on to two field trips. We visited NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and went on a tour (in German) at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.”  The highlight of this year’s summer camp was the production of the musical “Ritter Rost” (Rusty Knight). In addition to their regular language classes, the school offers different enrichment programs, and organizes events for the whole family with the goal to bring the German community together.

Regular classes will resume in September, at four different locations throughout the greater San Diego area (classes in La Jolla, Clairemont, Carmel Valley and Poway).

New this year is that Saturday classes will meet at La Jolla’s beautiful campus of SDFAS, the French-American School. Most of the GPSSD students come from bilingual families or have visited German schools in other countries. They have therefore a very good understanding of the German language already. GPSSD is an accredited school to prepare for the various German exams all the way to the ‘Deutsches Sprachdiplom’. Find more information on the upcoming school year at germanpacificschool@gmail.com,  Ph: (858)-461-9118 or visit the website: www.gpaas.org



NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

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German-American School of Palo Alto (GASPA)

GASPA held its annual Summer Camp from June 19th through July 15th on the Campus of ALTO International School in Menlo Park. The 65 campers were ages 3-12 and from all over the San Francisco Bay Area.

The ever popular camp is a full immersion camp and not only is it about learning German, but about doing everything in German! This summer did not disappoint! Among other things tree-house caves were built, songs were sung, buffets cooked, costumes sewn, screenplays were written, movies were made, artwork was drawn and painted, experiments conducted, cucumbers pickled, metal was forged, juices squeezed and pressed, boats were sailed in, pinball machines were built, Stockbrot was grilled, Zumba was danced and of course, Fussball was played.

This fall, our Saturday School Program gets underway on September 9th. Next to our tried and true program for children ages 3 to 18, we are pleased to expand our program this year to include a “Parent& Me” toddler group for children ages 0-3 and a class for adults.  Registration is currently open and ongoing. All program details can be found at www.gaspa-ca.org 



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GISSV – German International School of Silicon Valley in Mountain View

The GISSV (German International School of Silicon Valley) Saturday School in Mountain View had a 4-week-long full-day German Immersion Camp in June/July for students age 6-16. Students had academic German language classes in the morning, and participated in different fun afternoon activities each week. Extended Care was also available. Afternoon activities included yoga, soccer, cartooning, science experiments, music, international cooking, and much more! Everything was taught in German.  The GISSV summer camp is open to both full-time GISSV students and students from the community ranging from total language beginners to native speakers.  This year we had over 80 students joining us!

New this year was the KinderCamp for younger students. Based on the GISSV Kindergarten program, the KinderCamp gave a loving introduction to the German language through songs, crafts, and nature experiences–also all taught in German.

Based on demand, GISSV considers offering an additional two weeks of camp in June/July 2018 (for a total of 6 weeks). The weeks will be again packed with challenging/rewarding language classes as well as new and favorite afternoon activities for school children, and engaging immersion activities for preschoolers.  2018 Camp Dates are not yet set. Registration will open in early February. Dates will be announced on our website when available: www.gissv.org/saturdayschool



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INNERWEAVING – ARTFUL GERMAN SUMMER CAMP IN MARIN COUNTY

The first Innerweaving German Summer Camp “Deutsch lernen mit Spass, Kreativität & Naturerfahrung” for 4-11 year old children was held from July 5th-6th this year. The camp at Fairfax/Marin County offered a playful, effective German experience based on fun nature explorations, sparkling creations of weaving art, wood craft and mixed media collage. “Throughout the Camp we talked German and introduced language based on nature and craft activities.” At the end of the final day, family members got the unique opportunity to attend the children‘s craft presentation.

Innerweaving projects: – Nagel-Fadenbild/String Art – Wünschelstab/Talking Stick – Gewebte Naturkunst/Woven nature creations – ‚Schatzsuche‘/ Treasure hunt – Fluss-Zoo-Landschaft/Land-art . The camp was facilitated by Silvia Schroeder, Founder of INNERWEAVING Coach and Counselor for Experiential Learnings http://www.innerweaving.com .

The next German Innerweaving Summer Camp will take place in August 2018. Please contact Silvia Schroeder for details at coaching@innerweaving.com .

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Images: Copyright ©All Images are property of the respective schools, GermanSchoolCampus, GASA, Wanderkind, GPSSD, GASPA,GISSV, Innerweaving


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Adolesco – Your Ticket to the World!

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A non-profit language immersion and cultural exchange program  – ADOLESCO

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17-year old Sacramento-area teenager Gemma B. has lived in Germany, France, and Spain in addition to her native California thanks to Adolesco, a non-profit exchange organization that matches American children and teens with exchange partners in Europe for short-term language-immersion and cultural exchanges.

Unlike typical ‘one-way’ foreign exchange programs, Adolesco only offers real exchanges: each carefully matched partner has the chance to both host and travel, taking turns to live with their exchange partner and family for up to three months. This reciprocal exchange experience typically results in close friendships and life-long international connections on both sides.

“When I arrived at the airport in Germany, it wasn’t hard to find my exchange family: they were wearing matching grins and t-shirts that spelled out ‘GEMMA’. Johanna’s family was so welcoming that I quickly felt at home.”

You Can Participate With Little To No Foreign Language Knowledge

With Adolesco’s guidance, children and teens with little or no exposure to a second language are often able to gain remarkable fluency. As Gemma recalls, “I’d only studied German for a few months before going to Germany. During the first days of my exchange, beginning to understand and speak German was alternately frustrating and hilarious. Eventually, speaking German became Adolesco gemma-and-johanna_goslarsurprisingly normal.”

And there’s no reason to wait until college for the opportunity to study abroad. Living a new culture as a member of a family rather than visiting as a tourist is a tremendous opportunity that Adolesco makes available for children as young as 9 (and up to 18). Parents on both sides are encouraged to treat the visiting child not as a guest, but as another sibling. This true integration offers a unique opportunity for developing real understanding and appreciation.

“I enjoyed experiencing life in Germany and learning about its culture and history. I also had the opportunity to re-examine and better understand my own country’s culture and relationship with the world.” -Gemma B.

How Does It Work?

Adolesco is based in France and staffed by a network of representatives and volunteers across Europe and North America whose children have benefitted from these exchanges. Interested families must complete a thorough application process that includes a home visit and interview. Candidates are only matched with exchange partners when the team feels like an exchange will succeed. In many cases, the connection between the two families and the two exchange partners will be life-long.

“The girls have a perfect understanding… this exchange opened new horizons for Emma but also for the whole family – thank you!” -Sandrine, French mother

In Latin, Adolesco means ‘I’m growing’ and the Adolesco team believes that learning a new language, understanding another culture, and growing beyond our cultural boundaries benefits our children, our families, and our world.

Learn more about Adolesco:

Adolesco is accepting applications for this summer! To travel or host this summer, apply by March 31 – visit www.Adolesco.org to get started.

Watch a short video about Gemma and Johanna’s exchange:

Follow current and past exchanges at www.facebook.com/adolesco.org

EXPLORE YOUR WORLD!

 Contact Adolesco’s Exchange Coordinator in California at kristin@adolesco.org

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Text & Images Copyright ©Adolesco                                                                       (Sponsored Post)
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New Language Immersion School in Glendale to Open Fall 2017

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In fall 2017 a new language immersion school is planning to open its doors in the Los Angeles area. 

International Studies Language Academy (www.islaca.org), a new charter school in Glendale, will have an:

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (K-5) that will offer immersion (90/10 model) in French, German, Italian and Spanish. All grades K-5 will be open to all students, regardless of language skills – no prior knowledge of the target language is required.
The MIDDLE SCHOOL will have two tracks. A Continued Immersion track will be open to students already fluent in their target language (25/75 model). An Acquisition track will be open to students with no prior knowledge of the target language (25/75 model), giving them an opportunity to become fluent in their target language by high-school.

The program of the school is designed according to the International Baccalaureate framework and is furthermore supported by the school’s affiliation with the International Studies Charter School in Miami, which is ranked #1 among charter schools in Florida.

The State has already approved the new immersion school to have its location in Glendale. The actual school building will be in Southern Glendale and is still in the process of being negotiated. The school model, similar to Benjamin Franklin Magnet School in Glendale, will also offer 6-8 grades, so that the students can continue their immersion education in German (and other languages) throughout middle school. In 2018, the board is planning to file a petition for a Language Immersion High School as well.

If you are interested in the school and would like to find out more, please visit the future school’s website at www.islaca.org . Questions can also be sent to info@isla.ca.org . 

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Image Credit: ISLA


 

 

 

German Schools in California – Plan Ahead for School Year 2013/14

German Schools in CALifornia – Send in your Application 

As the new year kicks off many schools are starting their application processes or are already in the midst of it. Language Immersion Schools are very sought after these days and its advisable to send in your application as soon as possible, or at least get your name on the waiting list.  If you have in mind for your child to attend a German language immersion school make sure you find out if there is a separate application procedure for native speakers.

At some immersion schools native speakers might have a slight advantage and a better chance to get a space since the school needs to have a certain percentage of  native speakers to offer a well-functioning language immersion program.

Apart from January’s application season many schools host also open houses for parents and students to check out their program and to see if it’s the right choice for them.

A Language Magnet School in Glendale

It’s nice to see that some parent groups are really active out there and engaged to keep German language programs going. One of these schools that can call itself lucky to have such an engaged parent volunteer body is the Franklin Magnet School in Glendale.

Franklin Magnet School – The International Foreign Language Academy of25 Glendale is offering several language immersion programs, German is one of them. Before the holidays the school had the honor of  German Deputy Consul General Stefan Biedermann visiting the students and presenting them with a check of nearly $6000 to support the German language program.

Anyone who is interested in applying to Franklin Magnet School’s immersion program is advised to send in applications immediately. The cut off date is January 25 at 4:30pm.

IF YOUR CHILD SPEAKS GERMAN, SCHEDULE A TIME FOR THE EXAM! WHERE: GUSD Magnet Office at 223 N. Jackson St., Glendale, CA 91206, PH:(818) 241-3111 ext 649.

For more information on the school and the application process see the following links:
Main GUSD Magnet Page: gusdelementarymagnet.org
Direct link to the application page: gusdmagnetandflag.com
Applications MUST be RECEIVED by the Glendale Unified School District (GUSD)  by January 25 at 4:30 p.m. !

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California’s Southland

Orange County International Academy  (OCI Academy) in Ladera Ranch has been introduced in our previous article on German Schools in CA. The school opened its doors not too long ago, and because of the high demand in its various immersion programs established a popular German immersion program in South County for grades Pre-K to K.

On January 7th  and 12th, 2013 from 10pm-1pm  OCI Academy’s Open House invites parents and students to check out the school and its academic program. Parents can meet the teachers, find out more about the curriculum and tour the school.  For questions please call the school at (949)-545-7487

The Albert Einstein Academies in San Diego had announced that the lottery process for applying to their school’s K – 8 grade has already started. The application deadline for K-5 is Feb 28, 2013 but for grades 6-8 it is already Jan 31, 2013. More information about the application procedure can be found at www.aeacs.org . Middle school has its new separate website at http://aeacms.org

Northern California Schools

GISSV – German International School of Silicon Valley offering a bilingual education from Preschool to University opened up a new campus in November 2012. The historic Hillside School of Berkeley became the school’s 3rd campus in the San Francisco Area. GISSV, which is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges” (WASC), offers the German International Abitur (DIAP), and the CA High School Diploma, which qualifies students for acceptance into European and American universities.

noname“The GISSV Berkeley campus, currently housing a mixed-age Kindergarten and grades 1 through 5, to be extended through grade 8 over time, is honored to make its permanent East Bay home in Berkeley.” The Grand Opening  Ceremonies were quite impressive with theGISSV Orchestra, performing “Music for the Royal Fireworks” by George Frideric Handel.

The Following Open House Dates for GISSV are offered:
Berkeley Campus, Preschool and Grades K-6
Upcoming Open House:
January 12, 2013 – 11am to 1pm
San Francisco Campus, Grades K-3
Group School Tours:
Every Tuesday from 9:30am to 10:30am during our enrollment season. Please contact admissions@gissv.org to register (registration required).
Upcoming tour dates for 2012/2013:
January 8 / January 15
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The German American International Schools (GAIS), another German immersion School in Silicon Valley which offers preschool through 8th grade,  has an information night on all sections of the school on January 8th at 8pm . The deadline to apply to the German American International School is already on Jan 14, 2013 (for new students only). To read their latest news, check out their online magazine .