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Dear German School of Connecticut Community,

The GSC board of directors, taking under consideration recommendations from students, parents, teachers and administration, has decided that online teaching is the best way to keep everybody safe.

Since GSC is renting its facilities this leads to insufficient control over the safety of the two campuses. Furthermore, our students come from many different schools within a 1-hour driving radius elevating our risk of exposure to the Covid-19 virus. That said, we will constantly evaluate the situation, and adjust based on the development during the fall semester, and hopefully we will be back inside our regular classrooms no later than by the beginning of 2021.

We will be planning for different learning experience based on the age range of our students.

Our youngest students in classes up to age 6, will meet in online micro-groups of up to 3 students per session to provide an even more individualized learning experience than in our regular classroom. Based on the age appropriate attention span, these short micro session will be up to 30 minutes. Each micro session will be followed by a parents-assisted activity phase. Students will be provided with a window to reconnect with their teachers during Saturday morning hours to be able to share their independent work with their teacher for timely feedback and encouragement. Furthermore, you will be provided with a weekly video recorded reading of a picture book by one of your highly qualified early education teachers, and a weekly brownbag containing an activity, or book that will foster the learning expierence of each specific Saturday.  Last but not least, the teachers will schedule some outdoor Saturday morning classes at a location nearby to our regular school campus for a fun, save and engaging learning expierence. 

In addition to instruction by the classroom teacher, students will meet in a separate online meeting with the GSC music teacher to learn and enjoy traditional and contemporary German songs.

Our students, age approximately 6 through 11, will meet in two small groups of up to 6 students. Each groups can expect a 60 minute small group session plus a 20 minute whole class session. This set-up of shorter period but highly individualized meetings has worked best during our spring experience for this age range. In addition to their regular books, we are excited to introduce additional printed learning material, as well as the fun and engaging LÜK learning system to further enhance your child’s learning expierence. Weather-permitting, teachers will also strive for a few outdoor meetings with their entire class at a location near or at our regular campus provided that we won’t face another statewide lockdown. 

In addition to instruction by the classroom teacher, students will meet in a separate online meeting with the GSC music teacher to learn and enjoy traditional and contemporary German songs.

 Our classes for students age 12 and up, as well as our adult learners, will be meeting as a whole class, in breakout sessions for group activities, and in one-on-one sessions for the duration of their regular Saturday morning sessions. When possible, teachers will conduct outdoor meetings for the entire class.  We purchased additional literature for students to read off screen for class discussions, and we have other fun activities planned for the fall semester.

Since most of our classes are in their second year of a two year rotation, the majority of our students can expect to have the same great teacher and book that they are already familiar with from last year.

During the board meeting, it was decided to waive the schedule tuition increase for the entire school year and keep the tuition at last year’s level. Furthermore, the service fee and the volunteering opt-out donation have been waived for the fall semester for the Stamford and West Hartford campus respectively. If you should need additional tuition assistance, please inquire with our campus registrars. 

We are looking forward to seeing you at the first day of school for distribution of class materials, and a welcome back meeting with your class teacher. We are also looking forward to seeing you at one of our outdoor classes and online via zoom or facetime. If you have additional questions please feel free to reach out directly to our school administration or to your or your child’s classroom teacher from last year.

Kind regards,

Dr. Stefanie Mischner

Principal

Bärbel Röder                                                                     Dr. Eileen Wilkinson

Assistant Principal – West Hartford                          Assistant Principal – Stamford

Please help us with our planning & preparations for the fall semester and fill out this online survey for us please, thank you very much.

GSC School Community Feedback

Sincerely,

Dr. Stefanie Mischner

President and Principal

Stamford and West Hartford

E-mail:  gsc.mischner@gmail.com

Phone:  +1 (203) 300 5373

Internet: germanschoolct.org

Dear students, parents, teachers, alumni and friends of the GSC,

Registration for the GSC 2020/2021 is open now!

Reserve your spot for only a $200 deposit now .

Registering early helps the German School of Connecticut plan our teachers, classrooms, resources for the fall and ensures the continuation of our GSC Community.

Thank you in advance for your continued support and trust in our school!.

Click here to register now!

PS- Donations are kindly appreciated and help the GSC to provide an excellent service to our GSC Community.

If you would like to donate please click here and know that your donation has an immediate benefit for the school.

Best regards,

Arnold MischkulnigRegistrar Stamfordregistrar@germanschoolct.orgGail Zimmermann

Registrar West Hartford

gailzimmermann1@gmail.com

Click here to register now!

We are always looking to grow the GSC community. If you know of families that might be interested in the school, make sure to let them know about us. As a special referral incentive, we will give a $150 credit per referred family to be applied to future year tuition payments. (contact your registrar when you referred a family!)

November 9th is the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Here are the recollections of a GSC parent, who grew up in former East Germany and was in his early 20s in 1989:

Brandenburger TorIn November 1989, I was a student at the Technical University of Ilmenau. We had keenly followed the developments at the Prague Embassy of West Germany, known people who sought to escape through Hungary to Austria and West Germany, and I had started to participate in the Monday demonstrations for an end of the socialist dictatorship. I was by no means part of an organized resistance; still worried what consequences open opposition might have, yet it was a time where one could sense fundamental changes were afoot. At the time, no one could fathom where they would end.

MauerfallWhen the wall came down on November 9 we were all in disbelief. No shot had been fired, the Soviet occupying forces stood down, Michail Gorbatchëv (then President of the USSR) seemed to support the East German people against the ruling party, and now, the borders were open. Right the next day we queued up at the local police station to obtain a visa for West Germany as we wanted to see our relatives in Witten (NRW), though we certainly expected to return back home. After four hours my stepdad and I had the visa stamp, put canisters of additional petrol in the trunk of our Wartburg 353 to save our few precious Deutschmarks, and started the journey at around 4 p.m. .

GrenzeThis must have been the longest traffic jam I’d ever experienced – 10 hours stop and go across the border. The welcome by our fellow Germans just across the border was overwhelming. Every town we came through had volunteers with food and drinks for folks like us on our way to see our relatives. I have never again seen so much joy, excitement, and outpouring of support. At 3 a.m. we finally sat around the kitchen table with our relatives in Witten – happy and still barely able to grasp the change that had happened. – Frank R.

GSC’s current Principal, Dr. Renate Ludanyi, will retire at the end of this school year after 40 years of dedicated service to the school. Back in 1978, driven by a decrease in German instruction in the State of Connecticut, Dr. Ludanyi and a handful of concerned parents and colleagues had the ambitious goal to create a German Saturday School. Due to her leadership, the support of dedicated teachers and enthusiastic volunteers, the school has remained successful to this day. One of Dr. Ludanyi’s key achievements was the introduction into the USA of the Deutsches Sprachdiplom or DSD 1 and 2 (German Language Diploma), for which she was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Germany’s Cross of Merit). Under Dr. Ludanyi’s guidance, Saturday schools were granted the privilege to offer the AATG (American Association of Teachers of German) exams. GSC also pioneered the Saturday school chapter of the German Honor Society Delta Epsilon Phi. She and her teaching staff can be especially proud that in 2018 the GSC was awarded the prestigious designation of German Center of Excellence by the AATG. Dr. Ludanyi is the recipient of many national and international honors and recognitions including the coveted AATG Friend of German award.

Going forward, Dr. Ludanyi will continue to support GSC in a position of Director Emerita.  She will remain president of the German Language School Conference (GLSC), the national umbrella organization for German Saturday Schools, and a core member of the Washington-based National Coalition of Community-Based Language Schools.  She will continue with her research into heritage language education, her publishing and lecturing activities, her affiliation with Western Connecticut State University and her professional memberships.

The School is very pleased to introduce Dr. Stefanie Mischner as the new principal of the German School of Connecticut beginning with the 2019-20 academic year. Dr. Mischner is very familiar with the German School of Connecticut, having taught at our school for 16 years. She also previously held the role of Assistant Principal at the school for 11 years.

After Dr. Ludanyi announced her retirement last year, the Board of Directors appointed a search committee to find her successor. The search for a new principal included candidates from a variety of backgrounds and consisted of several rounds of interviews by the search committee, as well as faculty and administration stakeholders. Dr. Mischner stood out among the candidates and was unquestionably the individual best qualified to serve as principal of the GSC moving forward. She has the experience and skills to lead the German School of Connecticut into the next 40 years.

Dr. Mischner holds a Ph. D in Economics and Education from Columbia University, and a degree in Linguistics, Visual Arts and Education from the Otto-Friedrich University in Bamberg, Germany. She has taught at universities in the US and Germany and has worked as a research assistant for the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education and the World Bank, and as a research consultant for the German Language School Conference. Dr. Mischner is a Board Member at the Columbia University Club of Fairfield County (Marketing and Technology) and has published several papers on education.