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Parent's Review of Gregor-Mendel-Gymnasium in Amberg, Germany

What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)

Gregor-Mendel-Gymnasium

In what town or city is this school located?

Amberg

How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)

Local

What grade levels are represented at this school?

5-13

How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)

bus, walk, car

How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?

Older building, but well-maintained. Houses about 850 students. Several computer labs, but not as fancy as what we had in the US. Various clubs, music programs, and sports available after school. (School hours are 8-1, so there is plenty of time after school for other things.)

What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?

This school has bent over backwards to help my non-German-speaking daughter adapt to total immersion and tough academics. There are no special programs for foreigners, but the director has spent time abroad, and is interested in helping us. We brought her school records from the states, and they copied everything and read them closely, and tried to place her appropriately. They assigned one of the English teachers to assist her. They have allowed her one semester un-graded while she learns the language. Since she will only be here 3 years (grades 9-11) they have allowed her some flexibility in her schedule to meet US requirements: for instance they aren't requiring two foreign languages (She takes English as her foreign language! and German, of course.) They have weighted her schedule with math, since that uses less language. She also takes an on-line English class from the US, and GMG proctors her exams for that. We visited several schools, and met with the directors. We chose this one because the staff seemed interested and flexible. Our daughter agreed to a trial, and has had a great attitude. Her education hasn't necessarily been as good academically as she would have gotten in the states (due to the language) but she has learned a wealth of other things, both culturally and about herself.

How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?

There is an active parent association, but we don't attend meetings, because we can't understand anything!

What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?

This is an "academic" school -- kids here are serious about learning, and tend to be bright. We arranged for a tutor after school every day to help our daughter with the language, which has been absolutely crucial. We supplement her education with on-line US classes (English, US History)to keep her on track for returning to the US.

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