Frequently Asked Questions
Since its founding in 1997, BIS has been accredited as an IB World School by the International Baccalaureate Organization, headquarted in Geneva, Switzerland. The IB visits and evaluates BIS every 5 years, together with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council of International Schools. BIS is also a long-standing member of the Association of German International Schools.
The IB Diploma is highly-regarded and often preferred by the world's most prestigious universities. This is the most recognized qualification around the world as fosters well-rounded, mature graduates who have acclaimed critical thinking skills, are exceptionally prepared for university-level coursework and demonstrate academic persistence. They are more likely to finish their studies and achieve higher grades. Recent BIS graduates are in American Ivy League universities as well as in Europe's most respected universities.
We accept students throughout the course of the year and have systems to quickly integrate students into their classes at any time. To ensure that spaces are available (some grade levels are full), we recommend you apply as early as possible.
Yes. Many of our students enter school without fluency in English. Therefore, we are quite familiar with language support issues and draw upon many years of experience in helping students quickly acquire English-language skills. Our English Language Acquisition (EnLA) Program equips students to a level where they can participate in mainstream classes as quickly as possible. Further support will then happen within the classroom. Students who enter BIS will be assessed for their proficiency and assigned to the EnLA Program if necessary.
Our language of instruction is English. English Language Acquisition (EnLA) classes are offered to students entering BIS with little or no English language ability.
German is taught from Early Learning through to Grade 12. Students in Grades 1 – 10 are grouped according to their language proficiency, from beginner through to mother tongue.
French and Spanish are offered as optional foreign language courses beginning in the Secondary School.
Our Mother Tongue Language and Literature Programme in Grades 6 – 10 allows students to study their native language as a normal MYP Language and Literature subject within the regular timetable. This school year, we offer French and Spanish as school supported mother tongue languages in Grades 6 – 10. Other languages such as Japanese, Czech, Dutch, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Greek and Russian have been offered as parent supported languages. The availability of these language courses depends upon the number of students interested in participating. School supported languages are fully subsidized by the school, the cost of parent supported languages are passed on to parents.
Languages classes may be offered by private instructors and organizations on campus after the regular school day. These are part of our Extracurricular Activities; their availablity varies according to demand. In the 2018-2019 school year, this included Chinese, Dutch, French, Italian, Russian and Swedish.
Our faculty members are experienced teachers who join BIS with expertise teaching the programmes of the International Baccalaureate. Teachers must be fully qualified in the subjects they teach, provide current references and their teacher qualifications as well as interview in person or via Skype. Our staff partake in a regular performance evaluation process and enjoy generous professional development opportunities.
Our school prides itself not only on the training and dedication of our teaching staff, but also on the diversity of their national and cultural backgrounds. While our staff hail from 25 different countries on 5 continents, most teachers come from the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada as native English speakers followed by our German colleagues.
The average time at BIS is ca. 4 years per student. This length of stay has remained fairly constant over time, with slight variations per year. Having said this, there is no "typical" length of stay as this varies from 1 to 15 years, depending upon when a student enters BIS and where parents are located for work.
We understand how overwhelming starting at a new school and, most probably, a new city or country can be. As such, BIS supports students and their families within this transition with a variety of informational meetings and social activities. Our goal is to get everyone settled and confident in their new surroundings as quickly as possible. When it is time to move on, BIS Counselors have developed a program supporting students, both those who leave and those who remain.
BIS expects all students to come to school dressed tidily and in a manner appropriate to a learning environment. A detailed dress code is outlined in the Student Handbook and overseen by the Dean of Students. There is no school uniform for any grade level, although a uniform is mandatory for Physical Education classes.
Primary students will be outside during all recesses unless the weather conditions are extreme. Therefore, Primary students should be suitably attired for all weather conditions.
Our students travel to school in a variety of ways. Aside from those students who are brought to school by car, many of our students (both Primary and Secondary) cycle, travel by public transport, scooter or walk. The school does not offer a specific bus service.
All students start school at 8:20. We expect our students to be punctual. Primary students should report to their homerooms and Secondary students to their advisory groups.
Dismissal times differ somewhat between Primary and Secondary School.
- Primary School (Early Learning – Grade 5): 8:20 – 15:20
- Secondary School (Grades 6 – 12): 8:20 – 15:30