Nikolausfest 2017

This was the first time St. Nikolaus visited us at our new location. Not only did he bring little gifts for all children, he also told them the story of the historic St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra.

And St. Nick did not come alone! He was accompanied by an ensemble from the Wisconsin Chamber Choir, who led us through the singing of some German Christmas carols.

It was a lovely event and our warm thanks go to everybody who helped with the organization, especially Krista Spiro.



We also thank the Clasen Family (of Clasen’s European Bakery) for their generous donation of cookies and other delicacies.



We wish everyone a peaceful holiday season! Thanks for celebrating with us and thanks for supporting the German School of Madison.

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.

sommerfest 1

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


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


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

Register today!



Karneval Party 2016

Karneval (or “Fasching”), sometimes called the fifth season, is a celebration that occurs just before Lent. Parades and street parties abound (especially in the Rhineland area), children wear costumes, and cities elect mock governors.
Here are some impressions from our 2016 Karneval/Fasching celebration. Thanks to everyone who came and shared in the fun! Special thanks to organizers Elisabeth Berkelman and Iris Hengst and to all the volunteers who helped out before, during, and after the party. You are the best!

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On Saint Martin’s Day Germans celebrate the story of St. Martin, a soldier-turned-monk who cut his coat in half to share it with a beggar, with colorful lantern processions. This year, more than 100 GSoM friends and family members came to our St. Martin celebration. It was a wonderful evening for showing off all those colorful lanterns!


Ready for the lantern parade

Before the parade, we got together to learn about the story of St. Martin. Here, DaF teacher Chris Tabisz is enacting the separation of the coat.


Enacting the story of St. Martin


Drawing the story of St. Martin


There was also time to practice one or two lantern songs.


Lantern songs

Did you see the mug on the piano? Have a closer look:


President Catrin Weimbs showing off our new fabulous mugs

(If you would like to order a mug — $15 –, please send us an email.)

While the kids were out for the parade, volunteers set up the potluck table.


Volunteer coordinator Iris Hengst setting up the potluck table


Vanillekipferln donated by Clasen’s European Bakery

Finally, the parade!


Lantern parade


Lantern parade


Lantern parade


Lantern parade


Lantern parade


Lantern parade

Such a colorful night! Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate with us (and brought delicious food to share), to our DaF and D1/2/3 teachers for a wonderful project class, and especially to our parent volunteers for making it such a fun night for all!


Such a colorful night!

Celebrate the 5th season with us!

Please join us at our annual Fasching/Karneval Costume Party/Potluck on February 15!

Fasching, also known as Karneval, Fasnacht, Fastelabend, or the Fifth Season, is a pre-Lenten celebration observed mainly in the Catholic regions of German-speaking countries. Originally, revelers wore fright masks to scare away the evil spirits, but the costumes evolved over time from mainly scary ones into sweet and cute ones, from monsters to silly ones, and ended up being anything crazy, funny, or even taboo.


Fasching 2014

In short, Fasching is a time to get crazy! Anything goes! It’s a time to break the rules and make merry! We hope to see you there.

DATE: 1/15/2015 (Sunday), 4:30PM – 6:30PM 

LOCATION: Shorewood Hills Community Center, 901 Swarthmore Court, Madison, WI – UPSTAIRS

COSTUME PARADE: There will be a costume parade for all ages and best costume certificates, followed by jokes, skits, games, dancing, and merry-making! Adults and children alike are strongly encouraged to come in costume!


Fasching 2014

Any comical, funny Fasching skits or “Büttenrede” which you might want to perform yourself can be submitted to Iris Hengst (

COST: For families with students enrolled in the German School of Madison, there is no additional cost for this event.  For families not enrolled in the school, we request a $5 per family donation. Everyone will be asked to register at the entrance so we can assign numbers to the children for the costume parade and certificates.

POTLUCK: Each family is asked to bring a dish to share for our potluck (anything goes — casseroles, chilies, salads, breads, or desserts.) The school  will provide paperware and beverages. As always, you are encouraged to bring your own plates, cups, and cutlery to reduce waste.

Faschingsfest Coordinators Elisabeth Berkelman and Iris Hengst


Fasching 2014

Copyright pictures Ralph Grunewald

Graduation Potluck

Curious about our school? Read the president’s welcome letter and join us and celebrate our teachers and students at our annual graduation potluck. Guests very welcome! Board members will be present to answer your questions about the school and the 2014-15 curriculum, registration forms will be available.

Edited to add: Here are some impressions of end-of-year celebration. Parents enjoyed performances of songs and poems and students proudly displayed their certificates. Thanks to our teachers for all their hard work to make this event happen!

Deutsche Dachse graduation, with teacher Bhavani Nagaraj

Deutsche Dachse graduation, with teacher Bhavani Nagaraj








Book club graduation, with teacher Iris Hengst

Book club graduation, with teacher Iris Hengst

Deutsch 1 graduation, with teacher Dr. Catrin Weimbs

Deutsch 1 graduation, with teacher Dr. Catrin Weimbs