GSoM Policies related to teaching and registration
Enrollment and tuition: Students enroll for the entire academic year. Tuition is due at the beginning of the academic year and can be paid in four installments. There is no refund for missed classes (see also our policy on class cancellations). Pro-rated refunds of tuition (minus a registration fee of $50) are granted in the case of student relocation out of the area and other exceptional circumstances, as determined appropriate by the Board of Directors.
New students and trial lessons: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free trial lesson. There is no charge if you decide not to enroll in a class after the trial lesson. If a child enrolls, standard tuition rates apply. For students who join a class in the middle of a semester, tuition will be prorated.
Class placement: Student placement for school-age children is determined by age and the grade the student enters in the fall. When you enroll your child(ren), please make the appropriate selection. In exceptional cases, upon recommendation of a teacher, a student may be advised to switch to another class. The final decision lies with the Board of Directors.
Class size: Class size is typically between 4 and 12 students. In the event that registration for a certain course is too low, the German School of Madison reserves the right to cancel that class and refund all payments, including the $50 registration fee.
German language exams: As part of our partnership with the Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen (ZfA), we offer our students the opportunity to take internationally recognized German language proficiency exams, beginning with the so-called Vergleichsprüfungen at the level A1 according to the Common European Frame of Reference for Languages (student can understand and use familiar everyday expressions). Exams are not mandatory. There is no additional cost or fee associated with taking these exams.
Class absence and make-up lessons: Due to our schedule (each class is offered only once per week), we cannot offer make-up lessons at this time.
Class cancellations: Classes may be cancelled due to extreme weather conditions and families will be notified in the event of a class cancellation by 11 AM. We ask families to check their email, our website and our Facebook page for updates. In making a decision on cancellations, we take into account several factors including the safety of families travelling to Madison from other communities and cancellations of weekend events in the MMSD and other school districts surrounding Madison. If at any time, you feel it is unsafe for your family to travel to school, please stay home. Classes cancelled for weather-related reasons will not be rescheduled. If an instructor is unavailable for class (e.g. due to illness), every effort will be made to engage a qualified substitute teacher to lead the class and avoid class cancellation. If this is not possible and class needs to be cancelled, the following procedure applies: one (1) cancelled class per academic year will not be rescheduled. Any additional cancelled classes will be rescheduled.
Class conduct: If behavior concerns arise with a particular student, teachers will first discuss the concern with the parent and develop a plan to address the issue, in consultation with the Board of Directors.
Homework: In the more advanced classes, there will generally be weekly mandatory homework assignments (e-mailed to parents). Homework assignments will deepen the topics studied during class and will strengthen a student’s language skills.
Parent participation: We are a volunteer-run organization and some of the events we offer depend on additional volunteer support. We kindly ask our families to volunteer a couple of hours of their time each year, e.g., by helping with organizing an event or by assisting with the school library. For insurance reasons, all staff and volunteers have to undergo a background check.
Photo release: The GSoM staff occasionally take pictures of students in their classes or during events to use in GSoM publications, or marketing materials. If you prefer that we not include photos of your child(ren), please check the relevant box during registration.