Mission & Values
Today’s GISSV Students are Leaders in Tomorrow’s Global Community
With locations in Mountain View and San Francisco, California, GISSV is a bilingual school serving the broad academic and personal needs of children from preschool through grade 12 in German and English. GISSV is the only elementary and secondary school in the Western United States that meets the strict accreditation requirements of the German government, thus enabling entry into the best European and American colleges and universities.
GISSV is committed to ensuring students reach their full academic potential in a nurturing environment that fosters critical and imaginative thinking, a passion for lifelong learning and an appreciation for cultural diversity.
We Provide Academic Excellence by:
- Teaching a cross-curricular, dual-language (German/English) program that leverages all modalities of knowledge acquisition (listening, speaking, reading, writing and culture)
- Providing differentiated learning opportunities that allow each student to thrive, maximize achievement and develop a passion for lifelong learning
- Delivering one-on-one and small group learning interactions with student-teacher ratios averaging less than 20 to 1 at school and 10 to 1 in preschool
- Implementing instructional approaches that guide students through knowledge discovery and fostering creative and imaginative thinking
- Offering individualized learning plans so entering students quickly get on track
- Employing experimental, project-based learning within and outside the classroom
- Leveraging culturally authentic materials throughout the curriculum
- Providing an after school teacher-assisted independent study/homework program
We Deliver Liberal Arts Enrichment by:
- Offering extra-curricular classes such as ESL, multimedia learning options, etc.
- Providing sports opportunities such as swimming, soccer, basketball, volleyball, inline skating and tennis
- The arts: drama, dance, ceramics, creative writing, jewelry making, etc.
- Additional languages: French (from grade 6), Spanish (from grade 9) We Build Global Community Stewardship by:
- Being a center of cross-cultural exchange for the broader German-speaking community in the San Francisco Bay Area with locations in Mountain View and San Francisco
- Cultivating the values of community service and environmental stewardship through active participation in community programs
- Networking with partner schools in North America, Germany and Mexico
Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRS)
We ARe CLever People
GISSV students are…
- W- Well-Rounded
- A - socially adept
- R - Socially Responsible
- C - Culturally Aware
- L - Linguistically Competent
- P - Problem-Solvers
GISSV graduates have been exposed to a variety of academic subjects, extracurricular activities, community service, professional experts, and circumstances that give the students a comprehensive outlook on the world, their abilities and talents, and the different academic fields of study. This way, GISSV graduates develop a self-concept, giving them the opportunity to clearly outline their path in the present and future. Overall, they are knowledgeable in many areas of our society, and with this, develop their own personality further to become leaders of the future.
GISSV graduates know how to interact with other people in various circumstances. They understand that connecting and cooperating with other people is essential in their personal and professional life. Students are supported so that they are aware of their own emotional intelligence and empathy. Therefore, they are able to distinguish forms of interaction and choose a suitable one for their own contact with different groups. They know of the importance of listening and observing others actively and react appropriately to demonstrate control over their emotions, e.g. in a conflict situation, and are able to resolve disagreements tactfully and professionally.
GISSV graduates know their role in the world and society they live in. They commit to the idea of acting in such a way that people around them are not adversely affected, and embrace their obligation to benefit society at large. They understand that they are responsible for their own actions and contribute towards social, cultural, and ecological causes. Overall, GISSV students strive to be instrumental to the welfare of society.
GISSV students understand that people see, interpret and evaluate things in different ways. They can see both the gains and the challenges of cultural differences, understanding that success often depends on cultural contingencies. To be able for people of different cultural backgrounds to communicate and work together effectively, it is essential for them to have some understanding of each other’s cultures. This is why GISSV graduates are able to make their own culture accessible to others and step outside their cultural boundaries in order to realize the impact that our culture has on our behavior.
GISSV graduates know that interactions involve knowing and using the mostly unwritten rules in various communication situations within a given speech community and culture. They can initiate and manage conversations and negotiate meaning with other people, knowing what sorts of body language, eye contact, and proximity to other people are appropriate. That way, they are capable of communicating effectively, and conveying information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse audiences in various languages. They are fully bilingual in German and English and speak at least a third language fluently. Overall, GISSV graduates do not only possess the grammatical competence to use words and rules in these languages, but also the pragmatic competence to apply them appropriately and strategically in a given context to achieve a communicative goal, also using their cultural knowledge.
GISSV graduates understand that problem solving centers on thinking about goals and ideals, and think rationally, realistically and systematically in their approach to solving a problem. They know they need to clearly define a problem, expose and challenge assumptions and find multiple perspectives on the issues they are dealing with. This way, they are able to focus on the problem at hand and synthesize information and knowledge to achieve a solution, competently gathering facts to get a comprehensive data set to work with. In addition, GISSV graduates are aware that problem-solving requires flexibility as the nature of a problem might change, requiring verification to make sure the solution is still valid.