Okay, maybe you didn’t stick with that high school Spanish class; it’s not (totally) your fault—the best time to learn a new language is when you’re a tiny human! If you are looking for your kid to learn another language, a modern school with an integrated language program that grows with them is ideal. Now, more than ever, we are embracing the importance of community, acceptance and thinking globally. For twos through grade five, this Portland school has it all. Intrigued? Read on for six reasons why The German International School is A+ in our book!


Wish you learned another language in school? Now you can live vicariously through your kid, with GIS’s full immersion language tracks in German and Mandarin. For PreK and kindergarten, no prior German or Mandarin is necessary, and language is taught through song, dance, arts and crafts, leading up to more structured language instruction in grades 1-5.

Small Class Size

Class size counts! It could be the greatest school ever, but if a class has too many kids attached to one teacher, learning opportunities can be lost. Fewer students per teacher means more personalized attention for kids. At GIS, teachers serve as guides and collaborators, helping students discover their interests through specialized projects and themes. GIS’s smaller class sizes allow more one-on-one time for teachers to nurture each child’s learning style, helping them build the foundation for a lifetime love of learning.


Top-Notch Education

Current parents and students love this school, and it shows with a 90% retention rate! Their graduates fluently speak German or Mandarin, depending on the track. GIS raises the bar on PreK and elementary standards, including the most experienced teachers utilizing a German curriculum within the International Baccalaureate guidelines, which are recognized and respected by the world’s leading universities—now that’s smart!

Worldly Experience

The German International School is committed to “developing knowledgeable, caring world citizens.” More than just its accredited bilingual program, this IB World School is truly a melting pot, housing over 24 nationalities. Students get the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, learn different cultures and ideas and expand their world in their own backyard!


The learning experience includes creative and collaborative subjects like art, music and sports, with lessons focused on emotional, social, physical and creative development.

GIS is also a green school, teaching kids about the importance of taking care of our environment. There’s even a garden committee made up of staff, parents, school helpers in addition to plenty of outdoor activities for kids. One highlight for the littles is the Kindergarten Waldtag, a monthly nature trip exploring local green spaces. Keeping local wildlife and the environment clean and safe for all are values that these types of field trips encourage, and can leave a lasting impact on our budding citizens!

Financial Aid and Before/Aftercare

It’s need-based and available! You can learn more about how to apply here. Care for kids before school and after school is available in-house as well.


German International School is currently enrolling! To learn more about their internationally-minded, caring, creative and supportive community, set up a tour today!



–Jamie Aderski


All photos courtesy of The German International School.