History

More than seven million Germans have emigrated to the USA since the arrival of German Mennonites in Pennsylvania in 1683 and now more Americans trace their heritage back to German ancestry than any other nationality; the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in San Francisco estimates there are 30,000 German speakers in the San Francisco Bay-Silicon Valley area.

The German International School of Silicon Valley (GISSV) provides a German goverment-accredited elementary and secondary education which serves families of all nationalities who understand that a multilingual, multicultural education prepares children to become future leaders in the global marketplace.

United by a desire for a German and California accredited curriculum, six German and American families formed and incorporated the German School of Silicon Valley (GSSV) in November of 1999. Instruction began in February 2000 with 34 students. In July 2000, the school moved to the site of the former Whisman Elementary School in Mountain View and two years later, the GSSV obtained a 20-year lease with the city of Mountain View. In 2003, the GSSV officially changed its name to the German International School of Silicon Valley (GISSV) to better reflect the school’s multicultural and multiethnic student body combined with a pioneering multilingual school concept with the goal of serving Preschool through Grade 12 with the Abitur, while also fulfilling the requirements for a Californian High School Diploma.

Currently, the GISSV has over 500 enrolled students at three locations - with graduates who qualify for both European and American Universities. Primary languages spoken at home by GISSV students include English, German, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Korean, and Chinese. The school offers an academically rigorous, bilingual program with quality instructors and small class sizes and is unique in that it is one of only five recognized German foreign schools in the United States and the only one offering a High School Diploma on the West Coast. Advantages of being accredited as a German foreign school include report cards recognized in Germany, accredited diplomas (Abitur and High School Diploma,) and ongoing support from the German government.

The GISSV is a California non-profit corporation governed by a board of directors comprised of both German and American volunteers and operated in accordance with the California non-profit corporation code and the GISSV bylaws.