Zoo Outing

Our first field trip of the year was to Henry Vilas Zoo, on a glorious late summer day. Ask your children if they got to see the 6-months-old Löwen (lions) or the Dachse (Badgers) at the news Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit!

Did you know that there is a connection between the Vilas family and the German language? Henry Vilas Zoo was named in honor of a son of Madisonians William and Anna Vilas, who donated the land to the city in 1904. William Vilas was a law professor at UW Madison. He later became a US Senator. In 1889 he supported the movement against a law in Wisconsin that required the use of English in schools (Bennett Law). Up to then, many schools in Wisconsin used German in the classroom as the main language of instruction. Backlash against the law was strong and it was repealed in 1891.

Thanks to everyone who chaperoned and volunteered!


10 days to go!

Just 10 days to go! We have been busy preparing for the new school year: tweaking the curriculum, holding teacher orientation meetings, hiring assistants, planning community events, and reaffirming our connection with the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad.

We are excited to introduce our new Eulen (5th/6th grade) teacher Elizabeth Allaby, who joins us after two years as a Fulbright teaching assistant in Austria and a year as a STEM educator and German instructor with AmeriCorps. Herzlich willkommen, Elizabeth!

Elizabeth Allaby

This year, we are going to reach more families than ever. As always, our classes for our youngest students have filled quickly. We currently have a waitlist for our preschool classes (Entchen/Spatzen) as well as for our Schwalben class (1st and 2nd graders). For all other classes, you can still register here.


Join us for our August Sommercamp!

Our campers had so much fun at our June “Märchen” (fairy tales) Sommercamp. They learned German songs and games, read stories, played soccer, and built a room-filling fairy tale castle. A big thank you goes to our outstanding counselors, who made everyone feel welcome.

Considering joining us for our second session? You still can! There are a couple of spots left in our August Sommercamp. You can register through this link.  Beginners welcome. If you have any questions, please email us at germanschoolofmadison at gmail dot com.


Not sure if German Sommercamp is right for your child? Here are some parents’ comments on our June session:

  • No complaints or recommendations. Thought camp was great!
  • My child really liked all of his counselors and it sounds like they did a great job. They made learning German fun for my child.
  • I thought that the counselors were very sweet to the children. I loved to see that children felt really comfortable around them
  • I love the individualized attention. The camp counselors made my children feel comfortable and loved which made them open to learning and making mistakes with the language without fear or worry. Keep up the good work!
  • My son LOVED ___ [name of counselor]. He was fantastic with the kids. My daughter loves the singing and continues to sing the songs.
  • Both children loved the songs and the counselors.
  • Fun and educational.
  • Keep up the good work. Well organized. Nice program!
  • Thank you so much for the great week.

Happy and silly faces at Sommercamp

In June we welcomed 19 campers to the first session of Sommercamp 2017. For the first time, camp extended into the afternoon, which gave us more time for activities like soccer, crocheting, T-shirt decorating, and, of course, singing and dancing! The session’s theme of “Märchen” (fairy tales) could be seen in group learning activities and in a large castle-building project.
There are still a couple of spots left in our August Sommercamp (August 21-25). Come and join the fun! You can register here. Registration for the school year 2017-18 is also open.


School’s out!

Our students celebrated the end of the school year with performances, crafts, and treats. Thanks to our fabulous teachers and volunteers and to everyone who joined us! It’s been a great first year at our new location.

Registration for 2017-18 will open later this month.

Last day of school!

Impressions from our last school day: After their final lessons, students met outside for a fun run and a round of soccer.

Our younger students took their races very seriously!

The kids made their teachers run as well.

Teachers Jonathan Gillette, Jo Drury, and Chris Tabisz gave it their all. This was Chris’s (now Dr. Tabisz!) last day with our school. He will move to the Twin Cities next month to teach German at an immersion school. Chris has been instrumental in opening our school DaF (German as a Foreign Language) students. Most recently, he taught our 3rd and 4th graders. We will miss him!

Time to relax and hang out with friends.


Celebrate the end of the school year with us: Our Sommerfest will take place on June 4, 2:30-4:30 (time corrected), Monona Senior Center, 1011 Nichols Road. Our classes will present themselves, and we will honor the teachers for a great school year. We will also have Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake).

We hope to see you there!