Update on EBGIS?

Hello there! I am interested in sending my little guy to the EBGIS kindergarten next year. I’m curious to hear how EBGIS has weathered the transition to the new head of school over the past 2 years — thank you in advance!

Ava

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RE: Update on EBGIS? ()

Our son started in kindergarten there this fall after spending about one year in the preschool program. We’ve been nothing but impressed with the quality of teaching and the school’s management. The principal Claudia always seems to be checking in with the kids and the teachers. Just to give an example of how tapped in she is, today we sent a text to the kindergarten teachers that our son was getting his first covid shot and by the time I got to the classroom, Claudia was leaving and said hi to my son and congratulated him on his shot! My younger son is also in the preschool 1 class, which has been wonderful especially given all the challenges of covid. Neither my husband nor I have any German language but we never feel like this is an impediment in participating in the school community. I really have nothing but great things to say about the school! 
-V. 

RE: Update on EBGIS? ()

My daughter started at EBGIS last year when the new principal took over, and she is now in 2nd grade there. We are tremendously happy with the school, and it seems to be functioning beautifully from everything I can see. Super responsive, organized, and my daughter adores everything about EBGIS. I have felt super safe having her there through COVID. Recommend the school highly.

RE: Update on EBGIS? ()

I think you'll get different replies based on grade, how long families have been with the school, and if German immersion is the priority. Kinder is part of the preschool/early childhood program at the school, and that program saw dramatic growth this year compared to last year, as the school moved away from small classes and bubbles. Many of us who toured were told about smaller classes and kids who stayed with their friends for 2-3 years throughout the preschool program and how well children without German speakers at home did in the immersion program. 

On the first day, we were shocked to find classes of 25+ in preschool. They have had severe staffing shortages due to inappropriate planning and moving away from a mix of local English-speaking teachers paired with German teachers toward only German-speaking teachers. The latter have had visa challenges and delays this year, exacerbating the problem of finding replacements for departures and medical leaves. The preschool director quit the first week of school and her replacement won't arrive until after Thanksgiving from Germany, and the lack of an experienced early childhood administrator has left significant issues that led to a painful, unsatisfying, 2-hour town hall with families and the board/principal last month where it was clear many children are struggling, and families are nervous about being asked to re-enroll in December. Two preschool classes have been missing teachers since the first month of the school year, and we are now told they may not arrive until Dec/Jan.

Short-staffing has led to children having to switch rooms mid-day to ensure staffing coverage, many lost items, no one able to tell us why our child had a bad day or how an injury happened. In trying to launch the high school and IB program the focus is on upper grades, and preschool feels like a top-of-funnel effort to ensure enough high schoolers 9 years later without thought to the specialized care, attention and administration early childhood requires. If German-immersion is your priority, you might apply and conduct diligence before signing enrollment papers in March to ensure the incoming director has made meaningful progress in resolving these issues. Otherwise another school may provide a better experience in the next year or two as EBGIS sorts the administrative challenge of launching the high school and deals with issues related to fast-growth.

RE: Update on EBGIS? ()

Our daughter attended EBGIS Kindergarten last year and we were VERY happy with the experience. We really loved the environment, the teachers, and the school administration. It was a tough year (with regard to COVID) and I can't imagine any school handling things better than EBGIS did. Loads of excellent and clear communication, sensible and forward-thinking policies, and overall fostering of an incredibly safe but still warm and student-focused environment. I have no reservations at all in recommending!