Stuttgart, Germany Report of what it's like to live there - 06/26/23

Personal Experiences from Stuttgart, Germany

Stuttgart, Germany 06/26/23

Background Information:

1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?

Parent of child

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2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?

Attended kindergarten from 2022-2023.

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3. What years did you live here?


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4. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?


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5. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?

There is also the Swiss International School and the DODEA schools. My colleagues all had children who attended this school, so. I defaulted to ISS without doing much research and this was a mistake.

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Admissions & Welcome:

1. Are the admissions and placement procedures clearly stated to prospective families, either on the school website or through other means of communication?

Yes, the admissions process is explained on the website.

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2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?

There is not much by way of support for intergrating new students that I found. We were told that incoming families got a sponsor, but we never heard from anyone. There do appear to be parents groups; a colleague of mine whose children also attend said he was in a ISS parent group that did dinners and other outings together. So maybe there is some support/integration if you find the right person but we never did.

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Administration & School Procedures:

1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?

Communication is mostly via newsletters about school events, beyond that it is a bit of a blackhole. We found there isn't much communication about how your child is doing.

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2. Aside from school fees, are there required expenses such as uniforms, laptops/tablets, musical instruments, or field trips that parents are expected to cover? What are the approximate costs?

One gym uniform is covered, but if you want more than one you have to pay extra. Extracurriculars are all extra, but that is pretty normal.

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Academics & Resources:

1. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?

Yes, they switched to a new "FlexCare" system which charges you in 15 minute increments for the time your child actually attends before or after care. Our monthly bill was usually $100 or under for 1-2 hours a day.

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2. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?

Yes, there is a library where children can borrow books to take home.

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3. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?

There is a gym, and it's fine. There is no swimming pool, but there is a facility next door that has a pool where ISS does its lessons. Unfortunately, these were cancelled from 1-2 times a month because the pool was out of service. So we would up paying for swimming lessons that were pretty hit or miss. Likewise the playing fields and tennis courts are at an offsite location. If you want your children to do any sports-related extracurriculars there is a lot of leaving work to ferry your children back and forth from these offsite locations.

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4. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?

Approx 20 to 1.

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5. Are students generally challenged appropriately by the curriculum? Please describe any particular strengths or weaknesses in this area. Do you have any thoughts how the curriculum is applied and implemented at this school?

I can't speak to the higher levels but my child's teacher said in October there was nothing they could teach my child. In my opinion, that was a very accurate statement.

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6. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?

There was no homework in K which is appropriate.

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7. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?

Yes, they offer music lessons after school. The piano lessons were the highlight of my child's year.

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8. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?

Yes, they all speak fluent English.

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9. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

There are none.

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10. What services are available for students with learning disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.

There are also none. The school rejected my younger child with a speech delay because they said they could not provide support.

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11. What extra-curricular activities (including sports) are available at this school? Have your children participated in these activities? What activities do you feel are missing at the school?

There are cooking classes, art, robotics, sports. There are a lot of extracurriculars but the quality varies. The instrumental music program was great. The sports were a disaster in my opinion. The coaches frequently did not show up for football practice. Any kids who were interested in actually learning to play football left quickly for other clubs.

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Social & Emotional Well-Being:

1. What is the climate for children with special needs? Is there a general attitude of inclusion for children with special needs?

There are no accomodations for special needs.

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2. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?

Yes, expats and local students social. It is a diverse student body.

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Overall Impressions:

1. What letter grade (ranging from A, excellent, to F, fail) would you assign to this school based on your overall experience? Would you choose it again?

C. I would not choose it again and regret keeping my child in the full year when I realized how bored and unchallenged my child was. In my opinion, the school very much caters to the middle. If your child needs additional support or is advanced, they are not equipped for that. There are a lot of extracurriculars, but beyond that this was a bit of a wasted year.

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2. Please describe some of your child's/children's highlights and challenges during their time at this school.

My child liked the field trips and the music program, but was frustrated academically. My kid who does multiplication and division for fun at home spent the year learning to count to 100. No attempt was made to meet kids where they are at.

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3. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!

If your child is performing on grade level and is looking for a diverse student body and a chance to do a lot of extracurriculars, ISS would probably be a good fit. I'd caution anyone who has children who need support or who need acceleration in academics to look elsewhere.

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