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Parent Handbook 2020-2021

The Parent Handbook covers general information about daily life at school and is a starting point to help families negotiate their way through our processes and policies.  It provides answers to what we hope are the most important questions parents have about BIS. We ask that you use this handbook as the first place of reference during your time at BIS.

Should you have specific questions not covered in the Parent Handbook or elsewhere on the website, you are welcome to

Information specific to either the Primary or Secondary Schools (i.e routines, curriculum, etc.) may be found in the website sections specific to these areas of the school.

Content edited 22 July 2020

Attendance / Absence

Notification of student illness or absence must take place before 8:00 on a school day. Parents should send a message via ManageBac or an email to when a student absence occurs.

  • If a student is absent as a result of illness, he/she should not return to school until sufficiently recovered to participate in their regular school schedule.
  • Students must be free of fever for at least 24 hours before returning.
  • For a planned absence, parents must inform BIS in advance by completing a Notification of Absence form in the Primary School or Student Leave of Absence Form in Secondary and submitting it to the respective Principal.
  • Medical appointments during school hours should be avoided.
  • Students who leave school during school hours for medical appointments must provide notification in writing in advance and sign out at the Waves or Agora Reception.
Cafeteria, Media Centre, Facilities Use, Road Safety


The cafeteria is open to students and staff daily from 8:00 – 17:00. Aramark is our school's on-site caterer. General information and contact details for Aramark are found in the Cafeteria section of this website.

Cafeteria arrangements vary throughout the school according to the age of the student involved.

Parents are welcome to socialize in the cafeteria until 9:00 in the morning and after school. There will, however, be occasions where the cafeteria will be closed to allow for school functions. 

Media Centre

The Bonn International School Media Centre is located at the top of the main staircase in the Waves building with areas for younger and older students, as well as spaces for quiet reading, collaborative work, and independent study. The collection includes more than 40,000 books, eBooks, magazines, and DVD’s, and supports 22 different mother-tongue languages. A complete description of all Media Centre resources and link to the catalog can be found on the Media Centre section of the website. All login information can be found on our password page.

The Media Centre is open for students Monday through Friday from 8:00 - 16:00, while parents are invited to use the Media Centre from 8:00 - 8:30 and 15:00 - closing time. Please refrain from bringing food and beverages or using mobile phones in the Media Centre. The library staff welcomes you to stop in with questions or suggestions, or send an email to

Facility Use

In general, BIS facilities and rooms are be used and booked for school events and activities involving students and staff. Should you wish to organize any event and/or book a room, please send an email to to inquire about availability.

  • No rooms may be used without prior approval in writing.
  • Room bookings for EC Activities must be submitted to the Extracurricular Activities Coordinator under

Road Safety and Traffic

Road safety during peak traffic times at school (morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up) is of utmost importance. Our students, whether on foot, on bike or on their way to/from a car, are sometimes put at great risk due to impatient or reckless behaviour. Responsible driving and biking can keep all students safe.

We ask everyone in our community to observe basic traffic rules: 

  • After dropping off your child, use the roundabout at the top of the street – do not do a U-turn at any point in front of the Waves building.
  • Stay in your traffic lane until any blockage is cleared.
  • Cross at the assigned cross walks. 
  • Bikes have right-of-way over cars and two bikes may be ridden side by side.
  • If you intend to leave your car, please park in one of the designated parking spaces. The Agora parking lot is reserved specifically for parents and staff. 
  • Do not block fire lanes at any time. This violates fire code and could be a major problem should emergency services need to enter our school grounds.

Appointments can be scheduled with individual faculty members via email. Individual emails may be found for the School Administration, Primary Faculty or Secondary Faculty in the respective sections of this website.

If you require any assistance scheduling a meeting, please contact Katharina Heindl (0228 308 54 400) for Primary School appointments or Caroline Becker (0228 308 54 500) for Secondary School appointments. To make an appointment with a member of the Leadership Team, please contact Rosemary Hewitt (0228 308 54 150).

Parental and Student Concerns

Parental and student concerns should be addressed to the staff member directly involved.

  • Concerns about student welfare should be addressed to the homeroom (Primary) or advisory teacher (Secondary) who can decide how best to respond. Should parents and/or students wish to further address concerns, our process would then involve the Dean of Students or Counselor, followed by the Principal, followed by the Director and, as a last resort, it would go to the Board of Trustees.
  • Concerns related to specific course work should be directed to subject teachers. Should parents and/or students wish to further address concerns, our process would then involve the Curriculum Coordinator, followed by the Principal, followed by the Director and, as a last resort, it would go to the Board of Trustees.


Procedures for emergency scenarios are outlined in the BIS Emergency Procedures Manual distributed to all staff members. Should an emergency concerning the whole school take place, parents will be informed via:

  •          SMS: when immediate action is necessary 
  •          Email: when families need to be informed within one day’s notice 

When an emergency concerns only a specific student or students, their families will be contacted immediately by the school administration.

BIS Communications Platforms


The secured community login section of the website is accessed via the right-hand login bar of Contact if you experience difficulties logging in. Here you can find the calendar of events and holidays, detailed information about extracurricular activities, sports teams, events and the Board of Trustees. 

The community login provides a launch point from which students may sign up for lunches, EC activities and BISSV. Subject choices for the MYP and DP are made via the website. 


ManageBac is used for Secondary students’ grades and summative assessment task details and deadlines. Subject specific messages may also be posted. Resources are also available through links in student ManageBac profiles. Students will often be required to upload tasks to this platform for online marking. 

ManageBac also contains PDF files of all reports in both Primary and Secondary Schools.

Seesaw is an app used for parent communication, reporting and sharing of student learning in Grades 1 - 5 of the Primary School. 
Tapestry is an app used for parent communication, reporting and sharing of student learning in the Primary School. 

This comprehensive newsletter is emailed home every second Wednesday during term. Newsflash gives an overview of the past weeks’ events and information about upcoming events and issues of interest. 

Our “Dates to Remember” with  meetings and events for the upcoming four weeks is emailed on Wednesdays when there is no Newsflash.

This publication contains contact information for all BIS families and classes and advisory groups. It is posted on the login section of the website shortly after the start of the school year. Families are asked to submit any changes in their contact information to keep this publication current for school records and to ensure, particularly in case of emergencies, up-to-date contact information.

Community members can follow stories of what is happening in classrooms, educational best practice and whole school event information on our Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and on YouTube.


Dress Code and Clothing Requirements

Dress Code

BIS expects all students to come to school dressed appropriate for a learning environment. Students will be outside during all recesses unless the weather conditions are extreme. Therefore, students must be suitably attired for all weather conditions. Students who arrive at school in inappropriate clothing may be asked to change. In extreme cases, parents will be informed and students may be sent home to change.

Specifics outlining appropriate clothing can be found in the Student Handbook distributed to all Secondary students at the beginning of each year and on the Dragon’s Den student portal.

Physical Education Uniform

Starting in Grade 1, all students are required to wear a PE uniform (sometimes referred to as “P.E. kit”) for their Physical Education classes. The uniform consists of a green t-shirt with the BIS logo and blue shorts. The required uniform can only be purchased online with the supplier "Schwarz Sports". Complete information on costs and a link to Schwarz Sports can be found on the website under PE Kit / Sports Clothing.

Students in Grades 1 – 3 wear their PE uniform to school on days when they have PE class. Students in starting in Grade 4 bring their uniforms to school and change before class. BIS recommends the purchase of two shirts, one pair of short and one pair of sweat pants for colder weather.

Extracurricular Programme and After-School Care

Extracurricular Programme

The Extracurricular (EC) Activities Coordinator, Matthew De Vries, is responsible for most activities that take place after school and on weekends. The EC Programme consists of EC Activities (all students) and EC Sports Teams (travelling teams Grade 5 - 12). Sign-ups for the EC Programme take place in late August (fall season), November (winter season) and February (spring season) and are completed through an online system.  

For any questions related to this programme, please send an email to

BISSV / Bonn International School Sport Verein

BISSV is a sports club with offerings for both students and adults. The main focus of this club is on participation in local leagues and events for students and on recreational sports for adults. More information can be found on BISSV in its own section of the website.

For any questions related to BISSV, please send an email to Rene Glinkowski, the BISSV Manager, under

Kidz Klub / After-school Care

As part of BISSV, BIS offers an after-school child care service every school day from 15:20 – 18:00 for all students in Early Learning 3/4 – Grade 5. 

Complete information about Kidz Klub, its offerings, conditions, costs and how to sign up for after school care can be found on the Kidz Klub section of the school website.

Governance, Structure

Bonn International School is a registered non-profit association and is governed by a Board of Trustees. The 10-member Board of Trustees is mandated with the effective management of resources and long-term development of the school. The Board holds responsibility for strategic decisions and determines school policy and annual budgets. For the names and responsibilities of this year's Board of Trustees as well as association information and meeting minutes, please refer to the Board of Trustees section of the website.

The BIS Leadership Team is responsible for our educational programmes, curriculum, student well-being, personnel, as well as daily and financial operations. Our Leadership Team is composed of:

  • Pat Baier, Director
  • Jo Junglas, Head of Student Services and Operations
  • Derek Nelson, Primary Principal
  • Will Tragert, Secondary Principal
  • Sabine Schattenberg, Business Manager

Strong relationships between the Board of Trustees and the Leadership Team ensure continuous a shared vision for the future of our school and a resilience in the face of short terms challenges.

Materials, ID Cards, Property, Lockers

Books and School-Owned Materials

Students are held responsible for all personal and school materials. Should materials be lost or damaged due to misuse, students will be charged for their replacement. In the case of non-return of books and equipment, the yearbook and reports will be held back until the clearance process is completed.

Information related specifically to the use, care and damages of iPads is distributed to users at the beginning of the school year.

Identity Cards

All students, parents and staff are issued with a BIS photo identity card upon joining the school. The cards must be worn in a visible manner at all times while in the school. Should they not have their identity cards with them, they will be asked to wear a visitor’s tag. Replacement cards will be charged € 10.

Identity cards are used for:

  • Identification purposes, allowing access to the school building and parking lot during the school day or for special events.
  • Media Centre borrowing purposes, allowing identity card holders to borrow books and use the Media Centre.
  • Cafeteria purposes, allowing identity card holders to load money onto their cards and pay for food. For information regarding cafeteria use and loading funds on to cards, please go the Cafeteria section of the website.

Questions related to identity cards should be directed to the Security Guards in the Waves Reception.

Property, Lost Property and Inspections

Students are strongly encouraged to leave valuables not needed for educational purposes at home. Bicycles should be securely locked in one of the bicycle areas. Students from Grade 8 upwards are required to bring a personal laptop for use at school, but must take care to ensure their security at all times and to use them according to the BIS policy. BIS cannot be responsible for any personal property lost or stolen at school.

Students are responsible for their bags while on school premises, school trips and school-related events. Staff members authorized by school leadership may check the contents of bags and lockers at any time. As student lockers are the property of the school, BIS reserves the right to search lockers on suspicion of a violation of school policies with regard to serious misbehaviour by a student.

Large items of lost property are placed in the ‘Lost and Found’ boxes in the Waves Sports Hall or under the stairs in the Agora Lower Lounge These items can be picked up at any time when these areas are not in use.

Valuable items of lost property such as money or phones should be handed in to Security in the Waves building. These items will be recorded. If a valuable item is lost, report this to Security as these items may turn up at a later date.


Every Secondary student is allocated a locker at the beginning of the school year. Students new to Secondary will be given a combination lock. The Dean of Students has a master key for all school combination locks.

The locker may only be used to store the clothing and educational materials necessary for school attendance. No displays (photographs, etc.) are permitted on the outside of lockers. Lockers must be locked! Students are responsible for maintaining their lockers and leaving them so that they are ready for reallocation at the end of the school year. 

BIS reserves the right to search a locker upon suspicion of a violation of school policies. Students are not permitted to swap lockers with their peers as a record of numbers is kept and each student is responsible for the contents of their allocated locker.

Medical and Insurance

BIS provides nursing services in the Waves building, Room 134, Monday - Friday, 8:00 - 16:00. The School Nurse provides First Aid and care for Primary and Secondary students. In the event of an emergency, the school will contact the local ambulance service. 

Students who are sick or injured must report to the School Nurse’s Office.

  • Where appropriate, parents will be contacted to pick up the student.
  • Students are not permitted to phone parents themselves to be picked up or leave school without the permission of the School Nurse.
  • Should a student need to go home, the Nurse will provide him/her with an exit pass. This must be presented at the Reception in either Waves or Agora to permit a student to leave school.

The School Nurse is available for consultation by parents regarding specific illnesses or conditions. Parents can stop by her office or email her at to discuss these topics. 

Parents are asked to inform the Nurse’s Office regarding any changes in student health, such as the use of and change in medication or specific dietary needs. Permission to carry medication is granted only with the consent of the School Nurse. If parents and the School Nurse agree, a student may have access to medication, such as inhalers, from a central place in the Nurse’s Office.

All students in North-Rhine–Westphalia are covered by state accident insurance (Unfallkasse NRW) while at school, or on the way to and from school. In the event a student is injured and requires medical intervention, the School Nurse will notify parents and give them Unfallkasse NRW information to hand in at the doctor/hospital. Sickness-related costs are not covered under this kind of insurance, but rather under a family’s health insurance.

If parents receive a bill from the doctor/hospital, there is a possibility of being reimbursed through the Unfallkasse NRW. The School Nurse can help to facilitate this process. If parents request additional treatment not covered by the Unfallkasse, please note that they are responsible for these expenses and will be billed accordingly.

Payments, Billing, Termination of School Contract

All enrolment and application information is available on the website under Admissions. Please contact the Admissions Office at regarding the application process, fees, and changes in contact information.

Conditions for withdrawing a student from BIS / terminating the school contract are outlined in the School Agreement as signed by all families. If the School Agreement is not terminated according to these conditions, it is automatically extended further for one school year until a student graduates from BIS. Withdrawing a student during the school year or without notice within prescribed timelines may incur costs for families. These are also outlined in the School Agreement.    

Payments and Billing

Tuition fees are payable within 30 days of the invoice date.  Outstanding accounts are charged with a late fee. Parents can apply for a payment plan (please see the School Agreement). The BIS Accounting Office will issue and send the payment plan to the parents/legal guardians. For further information, please refer to the School Agreement or contact the Accounting Office under or 0228 - 308 54 210.


We are in the process of updating and digitalizing the Board of Trustees Policy Manual. When it has been finalized, it will be made available via our website.

In the meantime, please consult this document. It contains the full breadth of BIS policy on all areas of school life, ranging from health and safety to academic honesty and what happens in cases of bullying.

School Trips

School trips play an integral part in the educational process and are planned to complement and enhance classroom learning. Classroom learning is often based around these experiences. It is difficult for students if they are unable to participate. Full details regarding travel information, emergency telephone numbers, trip fees and other pertinent information are provided two weeks prior to each trip or event. 

Students are expected to exhibit the same high standard of behavior out of school that they display in school. Prior to school trips, students and parents are asked to sign a statement saying that students will abide by school rules while on the trip. Inappropriate behavior on a school trip may result in the student being sent home immediately. In such cases, the additional cost will be carried by the family.  

Curricular based day trips will be funded through the school budget and do not incur additional costs. The costs for overnight trips will be billed to parents.

Students injured at a school event out of the country will be accompanied by a members of the school staff to the doctor/hospital. When receiving emergency treatment outside of Germany, students will be asked to show their medical health card or proof of details of their health insurance. Information from this doctor/hospital visit will be forwarded by the staff member involved to both the parents and School Nurse who will process any paperwork necessary for the Unfallkasse NRW.


Student Support Services, External Tutoring

Student Support Services

Being a student in today's world has its unique set of challenges, which vary from student to student. School Counselors are partners in helping students face these challenges and learn how to lead balanced lives. Counselors can offer help to children and teenagers dealing with concerns ranging from friendships to peer pressure to managing stress. Students are able to self-refer to the Counselor, or the referral can be made by teachers or parents. The Primary Counselor, Kelli Holm, and Secondary Counselors, Amanda Vogt (Grades 9-12) and Kalli Walker (Grades 6-8), are available to students and parents throughout the school day for consultation.

Students with a range of moderate learning needs are provided targeted intervention strategies by our Learning Support team, in cooperation with classroom teachers. If you have a question about Learning Support, please contact our team via Helle Moller-Sorensen


BIS believes that students should not need tutoring over and above the teaching they receive as part of their normal lessons. However, as an open entry school, there are times when teachers, IB Coordinators or Principals recommend additional tutoring to fill substantial gaps in knowledge due to a number of possible factors. 

Should you think that your child needs additional tutoring in any subject, please speak with the teacher concerned or the Programme Coordinator. If it is agreed that this should take place, it is possible in some cases to arrange for use of BIS facilities for on-site tutoring. Please contact with this request and to discuss requirements.