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Letter from the Preschool Director

Welcome to the Preschool!!


It is so exciting to start a new school year! We enjoy seeing all the 'old' faces again, after having had the summer off, and then it is a lot of fun to get to know all the new faces and the ones we have seen in other programs! All the teachers are ready to try out new things they discovered during the summer and have fun.


At the 'heart' of our program are seven teachers, who all believe and know that our preschool's philosophy is the best a school can offer. As a matter of fact, our philosophy is very similar to that of the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). As mentioned in our Handbook, our mission states:


The preschool is a place for children that exposes the child to the German language and culture. Our goal is to promote cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth of the total child. We do not focus on one aspect of the child, but on the total child.


Many schools seem to emphasize the intellectual growth of the child. Tests are administered before a child may enter preschool, but they neglect to look at whether a child is able to make friends, resolve conflicts, can climb trees, ride a bike, or build the biggest possible structure with blocks without it tipping over! Having social skills, being able to express yourself to your friends, being physically active, and being able to control your anger are more important at this age than being able to recite your ABCs.


The preschool program is taught in German. In general, by attending our preschool for two years, non-German speakers have achieved enough fluency to be able to enter the first grade of the German-American International School. Because of the English-speaking environment outside and sometimes in the classroom, we have found that German-speaking children are able to acquire the English language.


In our program the children learn to resolve a conflict, to make their own choices, and are able to create, play, and imagine when they choose too! First grade comes early enough and until then we know that children should be able to explore, discover and experiment as much as possible! Feeling and seeing it happen is the only way of learning during this time. If you are not convinced yet, then spend some time in the preschool and see the happy faces and decide for yourself!


All this, and the children learn a second language!



Heike Schmalstieg

Getting off to the right start

We believe that children learn best through play, while they are having fun, and feeling positive about themselves.

In our mixed-age developmental German-immersion preschool we have created an environment that invites children to try new things hands on, express themselves, and take on responsibility. Children are addressed in German from day one, but the teachers are all bilingual and ready to assist in English as necessary.

The curriculum includes group activities and team projects, circle and story times, crafts, music, math, sports and other activities while still leaving time for individual exploration and social interaction. The outside play area is like an oasis in the busy world of the Peninsula. Under an old growth of redwoods, there are lots of things to climb, bikes to ride, sand to dig, water to spray and animals to love and to learn to take care of.

For children that are new to the German language, we provide extra German circle times integrated into the program. In addition, their parents receive additional German-language materials and advice to foster ongoing language development at home. The teachers and parents work as a team to provide the best learning support to your child.

The preschool program builds the basis for the international kindergarten program and later academic subjects: children increase their language skills, acquire basic math skills, learn to concentrate and inquire through the program activities. Most importantly, they learn that learning is fun.



Below you can read and download the School handbook, which contains information about the whole School (including Preschool), its policies and its practices. Your computer will need the Adobe Reader software to access these files. If the Reader is not present, click here to download a free copy. After this download is complete, double-click on the new icon to install the software.