FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions Formal Procedures: 1. How can we sign up for a placement at the school? 2. What happens after we have sent the registration form? 3. What are the chances of admission if our child is not in a DAI kindergarten? 4. When can we expect a decision about a successful admission? 5. What happens if our child cannot be admitted? Is there a waiting list? 6. Where is the DAI School located? 7. What are the compulsory class times? 8. Are there childcare hours before and after school? 9. What fees do we have to pay? What is the price structure? 10. How is the school financed? Thematic: 11. What languages are spoken in the school? 12. How can my child learn German or English if he or she does not yet speak this language? 13. How many children are in a class? 14. Where do the children of the International DAI School come from? 15. What is the supervision quota of the teachers? 16. What is the background of the teachers? 17. Is there homework? 18. Are there grades? 19. How can children, parents and teachers follow academic development? 20. How can the children develop their creative talents? 21. Do the children learn with digital media? 22. What other special features are there? 1. How can we sign up for a placement at the school? On our website you will find a registration form, which you are requested to fill out and return to us, preferably via email. We will then contact you as soon as possible. Membership in the DAI Circle of Friends is a prerequisite for admission to the school community. 2. What happens after we have sent the registration form? In the further course, a private meeting between the school board and the parents are held via Zoom or – if possible – in person. After about two weeks, you will receive a message about the allocation of places and, if applicable, a school contract. 3. What are the chances of admission if our child is not in a DAI kindergarten? We work in close cooperation with the DAI kindergartens and are happy to see these children also at our school. However, we appreciate applications from families with children of different institutions as well and are happy to welcome you to the DAI family. 4. When can we expect a decision about a successful admission? After registration, and (conducting) the personal interviews, the assessment process of the school management will take place. During this time we will keep you informed and openly explain further steps and make you aware of the process. You will receive the final decision in spring before the respective enrollment in the fall. 5. What happens if our child cannot be admitted? Is there a waiting list? Due to the high demand, we can unfortunately not consider every child. However, we keep a waiting list which is constantly updated and we will be happy to inform you about the status of your child on the list. 6. Where is the DAI School located? The International School of the DAI Circle of Friends will be located in the BEGEISTERHAUS at the Heidelberg Innovation Park (former Patton Barracks) in the district of Kirchheim. The BEGEISTERHAUS provides multiple unique opportunities for the students to follow up their learning, interests, and talents. Among other innovative projects, a Maker Space and an Art Space are shared with the school. 7. What are the compulsory class times? The schedule for the 1st and 2nd grade are as follows: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 8:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday 8:15 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 8. Are there childcare hours before and after school? Yes, early and late childcare can be booked additionally at the BEGEISTERHAUS. Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Friday 2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 9. What fees do we have to pay? What is the price structure? Under the relevant documents tab, you will find the fee structure with all costs listed. There are different price structures available that will match your individual needs. 10. How is the school financed? The school is financed by the monthly contributions as well as by sponsors. After three successful years, we as a school can also apply for public funds. It is important for us to emphasize that the International DAI School is a non-profit school. Thus, we also strive to ensure a social mix of students and, with the help of scholarships, therefore welcome students from all backgrounds to our school. Thematic Questions 11. What languages are spoken in the school? The International DAI School is a bilingual school. Therefore, children will be instructed in English and German. We are aiming at a 50:50 distribution of German and English throughout the school day. The optional care hours before and after school can be used to improve your child’s language skills in his or her foreign language. Please note: Proficiency in English or German is not a prerequisite for admission to the school. 12. How can my child learn German or English if he or she does not yet speak this language? The school concept follows the immersion principle. The children experience native speakers in their respective language and learn to use the languages naturally in the school environment. At the International School we hope to welcome many different nations who will all speak in their native languages and contribute to the school’s international environment. In addition, courses in German and English are offered to deepen the use of the languages and support the children’s language skills in both spoken and written form. Many materials, books, instructions and labels in the classroom and in the school are in both languages. At the secondary level, French and Spanish will be introduced. 13. How many children are in a class? Each class accepts 20 students. The 1st and 2nd grade will learn together in a mixed-age classroom. The same model will be continued in grades 3 and 4. One English and one German native speaker will lead the group as a team. 14. Where do the children of the International DAI School come from? Our students come from many kindergartens in and around Heidelberg. They are not exclusively children from DAI kindergartens, but also children from sports and movement kindergartens, and from municipal and private kindergartens. Many families who move to Heidelberg from other cities and countries are also interested in a place at the DAI school. Our school is composed of a colorful and international community. 15. What is the supervision quota of the teachers? In core times, two teachers per class will organize the lessons. This allows for a better individual approach to each child and therefore, if necessary, support can be provided at an early stage. 16. What is the background of the teachers? Private schools also have to follow certain public guidelines set by the respective regional councils. Thus, our teachers are state-approved. Due to that, it is also important to us to support diversity in our teaching staff in order to strengthen our international community. 17. Is there homework? In principle, there is no homework from grades 1 to 4. Within the daily school schedule, children are offered sufficient time to practice and review their classroom projects and assignments. Beginning in grade 5 at the community school, children are offered additional time in the afternoon if they are unable to complete the necessary assignments during class time. This task time is discussed with children and parents individually and follows the principle of individual development, which aims to keep school time and free time in balance. 18. Are there grades? Since development and the associated processes are more important than assessment figures, the children regularly receive constructive feedback that follows the principle of “dialogic learning” and helps them progress in their learning process. Performance assessment and performance measurement are based on the standards and recommendations applicable to community schools, i.e., differentiated assessments of the students’ individual performance and developmental levels are made regularly and documented transparently for children and parents. Three progress reports are completed throughout the school year. All progress reports can be translated into grades at any time if a change of school occurs. A transfer to another school is possible at any time, as all reports can be translated into the grading system valid in the respective school system within or outside of Germany. 19. How can children, parents and teachers follow academic development? Children and parents receive progress reports with short descriptions three times a year combined with parent interviews, and a detailed description at the end of the school year. This corresponds to the report card. The International DAI School uses a school cloud from the Hasso Plattner Institute in its daily work. The platform allows parents to contact class teachers via message service and to view class portals that provide an overview of the trimester project and learning objectives in each subject. Everyone involved, including the children, can see their developmental progress. As the children grow older, they can complete the documentation independently. Completed projects and assignments are stored in the file archive until a child leaves school. 20. How can the children develop their creative talents? As part of the Baden-Württemberg educational plan, the children continue to develop their skills in music, art and crafts. Each subject is integrated into one of the trimester projects in “Deeper Learning” and additionally offered as a talent subject in the afternoon. In the BEGEISTERHAUS, after the compulsory lessons, students can take advantage of offers that go beyond this, such as the Theatre Club, Film Club, Book Club, Sports Club, Explorer’s Club, Magician’s Club or the Artists’ Club. 21. Do the children learn with digital media? Different forms of digital media are used during class time. The media curriculum will allow children to learn all of the necessary skills in using computers, the internet, and social networks in an age-appropriate and context-related way. In doing so, we are guided by meaningful integration into the subject areas. Each child will receive their own tablet and become familiar with the benefits of digital learning arrangements and documentation in the school cloud. We pay particular attention to teaching media literacy as early as grade 1. Of course, we also incorporate traditional forms of learning. 22. What other special features are there? Best Practice and “Deeper Learning” In cooperation with the Educational Institute of the University of Heidelberg we are implementing teaching and learning methods that have been internationally proven to be the most effective such as project-oriented learning and “Deeper Learning.” Through project-oriented learning, the students engage themselves in the curriculum’s content through projects that are connected to their daily lives and allow them to understand why it is important to learn. “Deeper Learning” is a concept that is implemented in a number of countries. Here, the learning process is divided into three phases: knowledge acquisition, knowledge processing and knowledge presentation. This structure ensures sustainable learning and trains core competencies like the “Four Cs”: critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. Ethics from grade 1 The DAI School has a special focus on ethics training beginning in the first grade. As we are an International School with children from multiple countries and cultures we believe the students should be confronted with different religions throughout their school career. Furthermore, we want to establish and encourage a philosophical discourse. Experience shows that children are excellent philosophers in posing questions and discussing them within their own radius. School in a non-profit cultural center The DAI Kindergartens and the DAI School are the first institutions of their kind in Germany that are run by a cultural center. This link between the educational institutions and the cultural center is unique: The shared facilities of the center contribute to the educational life in the kindergartens and in the school. For example: our English library including a children’s librarian can be visited by the children from our kindergartens and school. Further, the speakers that visit the DAI can also be sent to the school on a regular basis which is a huge enrichment to the children’s education. Teachers profit from the DAI’s lectures which constitute a rich opportunity for their further education. Above all, the DAI’s policy of enhancing democracy and international understanding forms an adequate framework in which the educational assignment of the international kindergartens and the international school can thrive. It is a main task of the DAI as well as the primary goal of its International School to support and encourage children in their development into responsible citizens that are able to make informed decisions, value diversity as a form of enrichment, understand lifelong learning as a chance and a mandate and that are best prepared for life in a complex world. Last but not least, the DAI offers a platform for various speakers, and a wide and interested audience to discuss the topic “educational policy” on a broader basis. As a registered association, the DAI operates on a non-profit basis. Any amount of surplus flows back to the school and the kindergartens.