German International School

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GIS is a collaborative community with a student-centered learning environment that encourages growth into bilingual world citizens, who strive for academic and creative excellence, embrace healthy and responsible behavior, and value independence and lifelong learning.

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About Us

At the German International School, we educate well-rounded, global citizens from Preschool through fifth grade.

Our Philosophy

GIS provides an excellent educational experience that fosters cross-cultural understanding, giving our children the tools and perspectives needed to actively participate as citizens in a global community. Our students develop and maintain fluency in both the German and English languages.

We believe that children’s natural curiosity of the world is the origin of learning and that we must respect each child’s level of readiness, ability, and curiosity as we promote learning.

Our Students

  • Total students enrolled: 185 (49% girls & 51% boys)
  • Diverse community representing 24 different nationalities.
  • Preschool – 5th grade
  • Total financial assistance awarded to students: 19%.

Our Teachers

  • 28 full-time & 9 part-time facility members
  • All core classroom teachers have native or near-native fluency in the language and cultures they teach.
  • All teachers and assistant meet education and experience requirements appropriate to their positions, as required by the Child Care Division of the State of Oregon.
  • Elementary classroom head teachers hold MA teaching degrees (first and second state examination or equivalent) from a German speaking country.
  • Elementary English teachers hold teaching certificates from a U.S. college or university.
  • Preschool and Kindergarten teachers have average of 10 years of experience as a head teacher, hold Early Childhood Education diplomas from a German-speaking country, or have an equivalent U.S. degree.

Our Curriculum

Our curriculum is demanding, stimulating, and fun, encouraging children to:

  • Use all their senses to explore their environment
  • Excel academically, artistically, physically, socially, and emotionally

We provide a structured learning environment that fosters their inner motivation and stimulates each child to advance their level of knowledge and skills.

GIS is an International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme school and also certified through the German Government. Academic standards reflect competencies from the German and US curricula. The program meets and exceeds Oregon curricular standards and prepares students successfully for participation in German language diplomas in grade 3 and 5.

Well-Rounded Education

The education of each child requires consistent and cooperative communication between the family, the school and the child. Each participant in this process makes vital contributions to the learner’s personal growth. All parties share responsibility toward the learner to foster qualities needed for constructive world citizenship, such as:

  • Respect for human values
  • The ability to solve problems
  • Adaptability to a diverse world of rapid change, and the acceptance of responsibility.

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Extended Care

GIS offers on-site child care before and after school from 7:00am until 6:00pm every day. Our programs are affordable, safe, fun, and enriching for the students. Both programs offer a great place for students to gain positive social interactions and be surrounded by healthy role models. Our spaces are divided by age group to ensure age appropriate levels of playtime and curriculum support. We value the extended educational opportunities the school has in developing both the before and after school curriculums.

Before Care
Before Care starts at 7:00am and is included in the school’s tuition, no separate registration required. Children can be dropped off at the convenience of their parents schedule any time before school starts (8:00am for Elementary School and 8:30am for Preschool and Kindergarten).

After Care
Our in-house After Care program starts at the end of the school day and goes until 6:00pm. The students will enjoy a healthy after-school snack, active playtime, and curriculum-based activities. Separate registration is required for the After Care program. We offer affordable care for our families to sign up through our regular schedule, flex calendar, or drop-in options.

Staff Development / In-service Days / School Breaks
The Extended Care program also offers child care during Staff Development/In-service Days and Camps during one week of Winter Break and both weeks of Spring Break. On these days, separate registration is required. All fees include care from 7:00am until 6:00pm, two snacks daily, and an exciting day packed with fun yet educational activities.

Educational & Fun Summer Camps

As you are planning your family vacations don’t forget to sign the kids up for a bilingual, German and English camp with the German International School’s Kindersommer Summer Camp Program.

This summer each week our Preschool and Kindergarten camps will take the children on a trip around the world, learning about the people, animals, and the cultures of Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and America.

We are sure that our wide variety of school age camps will pique any child’s interest with weeks filled with dance, LEGOs, Star Wars, acting and a variety of fantastic sport camps!

Register Today!




“I am proud to be a part of the GIS community where every member is so accomplished, truly dedicated, and wears a constant, beautiful smile… I feel there is no other school in Portland that even comes close to GIS in its offering, attitude, acumen, international collaboration and dedication to each and every child.”
GIS Parent

“Last weekend I had five boys from different high schools sleeping over; and the one thing they have in common is GIS. The bond is simple and absolute. It is unaffected by distance or time. GIS is an extraordinary community, and I want to support it, nourish it and enrich it. That is why I give to GIS. It is not the size of the gift, but the act of giving that matters. In the spirit of family and friendship, I dare you to try it.”
GIS Parent and Board Member

“I like After Care so much; I don’t want to go home most days!”
GIS Student, Preschooler

Elizabeth Gillespie – Director of Admission and Marketing