Personnel news and schedule overview for the rest of the school year

We have some scheduling and personnel news to share:

Axel Junker is our new president! Axel has been with the German School of Madison since its inception and will continue our efforts to grow as a school and serve the individual needs of our families and the larger community.

We thank Catrin Weimbs, our outgoing president, for her extraordinary leadership through the past two years, in which our school gained recognition from the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (ZfA), merged its first and second language acquisition branches, added a class for adults, and moved to our current location. Catrin spearheaded many of these developments and we are fortunate that she will remain on the Board of Directors.

Catrin Weimbs (on the left), Axel Junker (on the right)

Chris Tabisz, whom many of you know as a teacher for our school and who has led many of our outreach projects, will take on the role of administrator for the school next month. (He will continue teaching the Falken class until the end of the year.) Like Axel and Catrin, Chris has been with GSoM since the beginning and knows our programs inside out.

Chris Tabisz

With these developments, we feel we are in a good position to plan the next school year.  But first, we’d like to share information about some special events we have planned for the remainder of the current school year:

  • April 1st – normal class
  • April 8th – no class (MMSD spring break)
  • April 15th – no class (MMSD spring break)
  • April 22nd – normal class + movie night

After class, the whole GSoM community is invited to stay for a film evening with pizza in the LEUCC community room. The young kids will get to watch a children’s film during the 2nd and 3rd lessons for the older kids, and afterward, there will be a family film with pizza. The films are TBA.

The church building is not available that day. All classes (including preschool and adult classes) will meet at the Olbrich Gardens playground on the far side of the parking lot at 2 PM-4:45 PM. We will have mixed aged activities for the day’s class in and around the Olbrich Gardens.

  • May 6th – normal class
  • May 13th – normal class
  • May 20th – normal class
  • May 27th – last class for the school year / all school Spiel- und Basteltag

All classes (including preschool and adult classes) will meet at LEUCC (normal time), and we will have mixed-aged activities for the day’s class in and around LEUCC and the elementary school across the street.

  • Change: June 3rd – no class
  • June 4th – Abschlussfeier / Sommerfest

All of the GSoM community is invited to join in on the fun at the Monona Senior Center at 2:30 PM (1011 Nichols Road) for our graduation and end-of-school-year party. Note that this is a new location. Each class will present something that they have learned, and we will have activities for all ages before we all leave for the summer. Feel free to invite friends and family!

Sommerfest 2016

 

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Celebrating Karneval, Scholarships, and Madison’s International Community

What a busy day this was for us! From morning to afternoon, we represented our school at the Overture Center International Festival. This year, our table was right at the rotunda, which was great exposure for our school. We loved chatting with everyone who stopped by, including familiar faces (Schwalben/Swallows teacher Jo Drury) as well as unexpected visitors.

Collage International Festival

In the afternoon, we celebrated Karneval/Fasching with arts & crafts and a costume parade. Have a look at all the fabulous costumes! Robots, fairies, and several Triwizard Tournament Champions were in attendance, as were Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz,  Axl Rose, and one Top Chef.

collage Karneval 2017

Collage Karneval 2017

What a great turnout! Special thanks go to Iris Hengst and Krista Bultmann-Spiro for organizing the event, as well as to everyone who helped with the setup and cleaning or who contributed treats.

Collage Karneval 2017

A highlight was the announcement of the winners of our Waldsee scholarship essay contest. Herzlichen Glückwunsch to the 8 (!) students who won a scholarship of $400 each towards attending  Waldsee, the German language immersion program in Bemidji, Minnesota, this summer. We are very grateful to Concordia Language Villages for providing this opportunity to our students.

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Additions to our library

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New textbooks, maps, and posters for our students!

We thank the Zentralstelle für das deutsche Auslandsschulwesen (ZfA) for a book grant that allowed us to buy new textbooks for our classes.

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Additionally, Falken teacher Catalina Thomsen on a recent visit to Berlin arranged for the Auswärtiges Amt to send us updated Landeskunde materials, via the German Embassy in Washington and the German Consulate in Chicago. Our students say “DANKE”!

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Let’s play!

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Dear GSoM families and friends,

There will be no school on October 15 (the church needs our rooms for another event), but that doesn’t mean we can’t get together and have fun in German.

  • Please join us for our first German Spielenachmittag / Board Game Afternoon on Sunday, October 16, from 3-5 pm at Panera West, 3416 University Avenue.

Feel free to bring you favorite game (games that do not require lengthy introductions work best). We will also have games available (e.g., Das magische Labyrinth, Die Maulwurf-Company, Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister, Sagaland, Qwirkle, Qwixx).

The more, the merrier!

Please note that while Panera will not charge us for the use of their community room, they ask that we consume food in the amount of $50. This only seems viable if at least 10-12 people come, willing to buy a cup of coffee and a cookie. Therefore, we ask those of you who would like to join us to notify the organizer of the event, board member Anja Wanner (anja.wanner at gmail.com), by Friday, October 14, or respond to our announcement on Facebook.

If there is not sufficient interest in the event, we will cancel it (you will be notified by email either way).

We hope to see you there!

Welcome Letter 2016-17

Dear GSoM Families,

A warm welcome to all of you from the Board of Directors! We hope you all had a wonderful summer and are as excited as we are to start the new school year at the GSoM!

Over the past two years, the school has seen many changes and we are very grateful for your continued support and enthusiasm about being part of our school’s community. Apart from switching all our classes to Saturdays, and making changes in our curriculum, we have also found a “new home” at Lake Edge United Church of Christ! With all these changes behind us, the Board is confident that our school will continue to thrive as a school that serves both American and German families in the greater Madison area. We are also very happy that the German class for adults is finally becoming a reality. Thanks to all who have signed up!

“Behind the scenes,” a few changes have taken place as well. In an effort to become more professional and reduce the workload of our all-volunteer Board, we have used Active.com to handle our registration. We are also continuously working on streamlining administrative processes and becoming more efficient. This is very important because it allows us to focus on other important issues such as expanding our community outreach, offering varied community events, supporting our teaching staff, and serving you, our families, better. We always welcome your feedback and encourage you to share your thoughts about the school with us!

In the school year 2016/17, we will continue to offer a number of exciting family-friendly events. For details and updates on upcoming events, please visit the calendar on our website  or our Facebook page. Please note the following dates:

  • October 15 (Saturday)No classes (rooms are needed for a church event)
  • October 16 (Sunday), 3-5 p.m.Game time! Join us for round of German board games at Panera West, 3416 University Avenue.
  • November 6 (Sunday), 3-6 p.m.Get crafty! Make your own Laterne (lantern) for our St. Martin Fest. Location: Neighborhood House, 29 S. Mills Street.
  • November 13 (Sunday), 4:30-7:30 p.m.St. Martin Fest with lantern walk and community potluck. Location: Shorewood Hills Community Center, 901 Swarthmore Court. (Volunteers needed.)
  • November 26 (Saturday)No classes (Thanksgiving recess)
  • December 10 (Saturday), 2-5 p.m.No classes (rooms are needed for a church event). Instead, we will enjoy a visit from St. Nikolaus, along with Christmas Carols and a community potluck. Location: Shorewood Hills Community Center, 901 Swarthmore Court. (Volunteers needed.)
  • December 24 and 31 (Saturday)No classes (winter break)

Last but not least, we would like to thank all our volunteers past and present – without you none of this would be possible! If you are interested in volunteering or have a special skill or talent to share, please speak with one of our board members or send us an email!

I am looking forward to a wonderful year ahead of us!

Herzliche Grüße,

Catrin Weimbs
President, Board of Directors

Meet & Greet on Sep. 10

All families registered for the fall are cordially invited to a Meet-and-Greet on the first day of classes (9/10, 2-5 pm)!  Come and pick up your welcome folder and enjoy a cup of coffee/tea and a sweet treat while chatting with our board members and other families!
We are also urgently looking for classroom helpers for some of our classes! If you are interested in volunteering your time, either regularly or several times throughout the year, please contact our office!
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Sommerfest 2016 and exciting news about the new school year

Our students and families had a splendid time at our annual Sommerfest in June. It was Zeugnistag for everyone, and our Deutsch 3 students also received their well-earned A 1 certificates from the German Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA). Our thanks go to our fabulous teachers and to our wonderful parents and volunteers for their support. We couldn’t do it without you!

At the Sommerfest, we also announced our schedule for the next school year. Two big changes: We will move to a new location (on Madison’s east side) and to a weekend schedule. All classes will now be taught on Saturdays. And, as requested by many, we will offer a class for adults! Read more about the 2016-17 school year here.

Online registration is open! Please register by July 31 to ensure that the class you are interested in will make and that your child(ren) will have a spot.

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We also held a very successful rummage sale. Time to stock up on those German books and toys!

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No need to hire a face painter — our older students are quite the make-up experts.

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Tschüss, 2015-2016 — we hope to see you all in September, in our new location. Classes start September 10, 2016.

Register today!