getting into gymnasium from year in us

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Thinking of going to the US for my kid's 4th grade. Kid is currently in 3rd grade here in Bavaria. What effect would a year outside Germany have for applying to a gymnasium? Will things be more difficult?

Thanks

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This week Kid 2 (in year 4) received a Gymnasium recommendation, so secondary school applications are a current issue for me. 

 

There are the obvious points about disrupting your child's development (languages, friendships etc) by moving countries for such a relatively short period of time which aren't likely to help them academically, but I trust you've weighed up those issues already. Fundamentally, missing the fourth year of primary school German writing/grammar will put him behind, so that is something you would need to work on in addition to him settling in to a US school.

 

Dealing purely with the application/recommendation then, I can say from experience that it is far easier to get a child into a gymnasium (or whichever school is right for them) if they have been in the standard German system. The secondary schools will usually be familiar with the primary schools, and the recommendations prepared by those schools and the grade reports for the different subjects. However, it is not impossible.

 

Kid 1 did not have the standard background. He was at a Waldorf school, where there are no grades, and kids usually stay straight through for all 13 years, so the teachers aren't familiar with letters of recommendation, and couldn't provide a list of grade reports for standard subjects. However, he ended up at the preferred gymnasium (he was also offered a place at another gymnasium too). What we did/what happened:

1) spoke with his primary school teacher, to see what school she would recommend in the circumstances (the recommendation is likely to be harder in the US, where they might be unfamiliar with the tiered secondary school system in Germany, but they should still be able to give you an honest appraisal of your child's performance).

2) asked the teacher to provide a written report for our son, which we could show to the gymnasium (she also agreed to speak with the school if necessary).

3) called the schools we wanted to view, and arranged to look around them, at the same time of year as applications from German primary school children (this might require you to return for a few days).

4) our son was interviewed by the schools.

5) we received an offer at the same time as other primary school children received theirs (I believe it was just before Easter).

 

So, it can be done, but it will require you to take an active role, and probably call and visit the schools (with your child) in person. Don't underestimate the additional burden on your child though.

Hope that helps.

 

 

 

 

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It’s a very short time to remove your child from the DE school system yet, at a very important time just before secondary school.

 

Is your child already on track to be recommended for a gymnasium with suitable Noten? Can you discuss the situation with the current teacher/Schulleitung/Schulamt? 
 

Kids can forget a lot of language in a year at that age. Do you plan to keep your child learning German whilst in the US? The probable worst case scenario could be that your child would have to repeat a DE school year. The 4th or even 3rd? This isn’t a major issue in DE schools and can be seen as a big benefit in many cases. If you plan to return to your current home town then I would suggest that you ask if your child could have a place in the current Grundschule upon your return.  I’m not sure if it’s still the case though the Bayern school system used to be considered very strict in terms of gymnasium entrance.

 

All the best.

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4 hours ago, emkay said:

It’s a very short time to remove your child from the DE school system yet, at a very important time just before secondary school.

 

Is your child already on track to be recommended for a gymnasium with suitable Noten? Can you discuss the situation with the current teacher/Schulleitung/Schulamt? 
 

Kids can forget a lot of language in a year at that age. Do you plan to keep your child learning German whilst in the US? The probable worst case scenario could be that your child would have to repeat a DE school year. The 4th or even 3rd? This isn’t a major issue in DE schools and can be seen as a big benefit in many cases. If you plan to return to your current home town then I would suggest that you ask if your child could have a place in the current Grundschule upon your return.  I’m not sure if it’s still the case though the Bayern school system used to be considered very strict in terms of gymnasium entrance.

 

All the best.

When my kids returned from abroad (after grade 9 though) the principal of the gymnasium offered a 6-months trial period. Maybe discuss it now already with him/her?

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36 minutes ago, jeba said:

When my kids returned from abroad (after grade 9 though) the principal of the gymnasium offered a 6-months trial period. Maybe discuss it now already with him/her?

 

When was that?

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Thanks all. We would definitely either send him to a German school in the US or have some serious tutoring going on to keep up the German. He already speaks English, but will have to learn to write in English (he can read mostly). Grades are good enough but not stellar.

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I so agree with Dstanners. I was amazed at everything my son learned - German grammar, punctuation,  and comprehension - in the fourth Klasse in Rosenheim.

 

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My school-principal wife says :

Bavaria is not in Germany - they are on another planet there. You could probably buy your kid a Grundschulempfehlung. You will need one, that's indisputable.

 

Go to the States, come back and have junior repeat grade 4, that's actually her true advice.

 

 

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8 hours ago, socrates74 said:

We don't want to repeat a year. He's already on the older side of his class.

My daughter was 21 when she made her Abitur.

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7 minutes ago, socrates74 said:

jeba: thanks, that is a really interesting suggestion. Do you have any experience with that? It's a bit hard to tell how the instruction works.

Sorry, no. At the time I decided against it as there were better options where I had moved to (a remedial school for one of my children and a Montessori school for the other). Montessori is also a very good option in my view (for most kids, at least) because they have several grades in one class and older kids teaching the younger ones, which speeds up acquisition of the language and helps to make friends (apart from all the other advantages the method offers). My son loved it.

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very grateful for the responses so far. Just wanted to add that my son is fully integrated, been in normal german kita, kindergarten, school. So while it will take some work, I am not concerned about him keeping up basic German. More concerned about the actual material of 4. Klasse Deutsch and the formal requirements of moving on.

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