German at Alto

A German Education with an International Perspective

  • Experience: Alto has been educating German speakers for almost 30 years. Combining our German immersion program with the inquiry-based learning approach of the International Baccalaureate (IB) allows us to offer a unique German education that enables students to become not just bilingual but active global thinkers.
  • Language immersion: Alto’s preschool and Vorschule (Kindergarten) students are fully immersed in the German language on a day to day basis. German continues to be the main language of instruction throughout the elementary school. in addition, Alto introduces English as an academic language in Grade 1. The preschool and elementary program allow students to become fluent in German as well as English and this provides a foundation from which students can continue a bilingual or multilingual education in the upper school. In middle and high school we offer a range of subjects in German – see middle and high school academics for more details.
  • Assessments: German speaking students in middle and high school are encouraged to undertake a yearly external assessment in German. This provides students with feedback about their language mastery as well as providing assessment data that is recognized by the education system in their home country. Assessments include the Deutsches Sprachdiplom, Advanced Placement Test (AP), and SAT for German.
  • Returning home: Alto International School IB curriculum integrates German curriculum expectations as well as the curriculum guidelines for the State of California. German speaking students who return to their home country after attending Alto report that they are well prepared for the transition into the German, Austrian or Swiss school system and are often ahead of their German speaking peers in certain subject areas. Alto graduates also have the possibility to attend universities in Germany or other German speaking countries.
  • Traditions: Many members of Alto’s faculty and parent community are German speakers or are of German, Swiss or Austrian heritage. Throughout the year the Alto community celebrates and observes many German traditions, such as St. Martin’s Lantern Parade, a Winterfest celebration including German carols, Fasching, and much more. In addition, Alto offers a Swiss language and culture after school program for elementary school students.
Benefits
Requirements

Language requirements for entering the German program:

  • Preschool: No prior German required
  • Kindergarten: No prior German required
  • 1st – 5th grade: Grade appropriate German knowledge required. Admissions and grade placement is determined on a case by case basis.
  • 6th grade and up: Grade appropriate German knowledge only required when a student intends to take classes taught in German. Students without prior German knowledge have the option to take German language acquisition classes if desired.

The combination of the IB program and the language immersion creates an environment in which my children thrive.”

Alto Parent