21st Century Schooling & Digitality
Digital Media Concept
Our school-wide media concept aims at systematically integrating the use of media to foster learning processes throughout all school levels and subjects. Students acquire knowledge, insights, skills and abilities to meet the challenges of a media influenced world. The development and acquisition of the necessary skills for a life in a digital world go beyond basic IT knowledge, so they cannot be assigned to an isolated learning area, but are acquired, practiced and further developed in every subject and every school level. The school's media concept creates a common basis for the active design of the learning environment and lesson organization through an exchange between all those involved in the school.
Graphic: Phillipe Wampfler
Technology in the Classroom
- Modern conferencing system, Interactive Whiteboards etc
- Laptops and tablets:
- Classroom computers (grades 1-3)
- iPads (grades 4-7)
- Personal laptops (grade 8-12)
- Learning Management Systems:
gissvschool.org (since 2015) / Google Classroom
- Online learning programs / apps
The Virtual Classroom
- Collaborations with other classes and/or schools or institutions
- Experts visit classrooms
Computer Science Classes & Afternoon Activities
- Core curriculum of grades 5, 7, 10 and up
- extracurricular programming
- activities in grades 4,6,8,9
AP Course Computer Science Principles
The AP course Computer Science Principles, offered for the first time at GISSV by the Computer Science Department in the 2019-20 school year, was very successful in many ways. Among other things, GISSV received the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award from the College Board. This award is given to schools where more than 50% female graduates complete the course.
Distance and Hybrid Learning at GISSV 2020-2021
The COVID-19 Pandemic presents one of the most serious public health crises the world has experienced in generations. The German International School of Silicon Valley (GISSV) is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all its students, parents, employees, and guests.
In March 2020, our campuses had to be closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to be able to allow our teachers to offer students opportunities to learn, think, reflect, and grow as well as master essential skills and content in their grade level, we have switched to online lessons for the time being.
The Distance Learning model of GISSV provides learning experiences that can be managed by students and provide opportunities for connection and support. In a positive and streamlined manner, we continue to support student well-being and academic development, deliver curricular content, and maintain a sense of community. GISSV’s distance learning approach combines synchronous, asynchronous, independent, and group learning to mirror a student’s typical experience at school: to interact, to engage, to think critically, and, ultimately, to learn. In our Distance Learning Plan, which was made available to the families, we outlined the responsibilities of each constituent, the basic structure of distance learning in each division, and the platforms that are used.
In order to reopen our campuses, we have to monitor the developments carefully and respond quickly to circumstances in our own community as well as to conditions in the county and state. This means that it is likely that GISSV toggles between different learning models quickly and with very little advance notice. Decisions are subject to constant evaluation based on the effectiveness of measures taken, reflection, and feedback from the school community.
With this Reopening Plan, we strive to create positive school and learning experiences within these challenging times. We are confident that together, we can thrive both on campus and at home.
For our campus reopening scenarios, we have developed a Reopening and COVID-19 Prevention and Mitigation Plan (RCPMP) for the 2020–21 school year that will guide our decisions regarding the reopening of our campus to students and employees as well as our overall program. We recognize that through the implementation of the following coordinated efforts, we can greatly reduce, but not completely eliminate, the risk of COVID-19 transmission in our community. We strive to balance our mitigation policies with the known benefits of children experiencing in-person learning at school.
As soon as it was possible for GISSV to reopen the campuses in Mountain View and San Francisco, the students returned to the classrooms in a staggered approach: for a short time in October 2020 and now again since February 2021. Families had the opportunity to choose between Distance and Hybrid Learning.