Getting Involved at GISW
When you ask a GISW parent what they consider to be the strengths of the school, inevitably they mention the community. While we enjoy great diversity in our community, the one thing we all have in common is this school and our commitment to providing the best environment for our students. Whether you are here for a few years on an expat assignment, or here permanently, we want all parents to find a way to get involved and stay engaged – it’s a great way to meet friends, particularly for new families – it provides invaluable support for the school. For nearly 60 years, parents, faculty, staff and students have come together around their desire to have a strong school community, and have worked together to provide the environment we all enjoy today. It’s our responsibility to continue to carry on the tradition not just for our community today, but for those who come after us as well!
Whether you are donating your time, donating your expertise, or donating funds, all contributions are so valuable to GISW and we are so very grateful for your generosity.
There are many ways to participate, and we invite you to consider what’s best for you!
Under the direction of Ms. Susanne Kohler, Director of Food Services and Operations, every day a team of parent volunteers work together to prepare fresh, healthy, and tasty food for students, faculty and staff. The team rotates, and volunteers choose how often to work, with some helping out weekly and others coming in once a month. The volunteer team’s role is limited to preparing and serving the food; they are not responsible for cleanup. The time commitment is 9:30 am – 1:30 pm and provides a wonderful chance to engage with students during some down time in their day.
Contact: Ms. Koehler, Director of Food Services and Operations.
phone: 301.767.3829 (9:30 am-2:00 pm)
Friends of the German International School Society
Since 1969, this separate non-profit foundation has supported GISW and the community and created a place for all who believe in the mission of the school. The Friends hold a much-anticipated Christmas Market each year, including handmade German crafts, vendors offering a wide range of beautiful gifts, traditional German winter food and beverages – all in a festive atmosphere. This event is a large fundraiser for the Friends, and the funds raised are put back into the school through a range of programs and support. The Friends also sponsor traditional ballroom dance classes for high school students, culminating in a Winter Ball where they can show off their newly acquired talents and parents can join in the fun too. Volunteer opportunities include weekly craft sessions, helping to run their events, serving on their Board, and much more
Partner Families – NEWBEES
As part of GISW’s program to welcome new families (NEWBEES) to the school, we look for volunteers to be partner families. A partner family is paired with a new family, based loosely on age of children, language, etc. New families can turn to their partner family for basic questions and an introduction to GISW life. We invite NEWBEES and their partner families to events in the beginning of the year, and ongoing NEWBEES breakfasts, at school and throughout nearby neighborhoods, to help everyone feel welcomed and find their way during those sometimes challenging first few months.
Become a “Partner-Family”: Sign up here to BECOME a "Partner-Family".
New to GISW?: Sign up here to be matched up with a "Partner-Family"
As part of the school’s infrastructure, there is a Parent Council comprised of two representatives from each homeroom (typically 2 homerooms per grade). The representatives are elected during Parent Night at the beginning of each school year and act as a liaison between the parent community and school administration. They bring forward concerns, as necessary, and also relay important information from school administrators and the Board, maintain class fund accounts for social events, and work with the teachers as necessary. This cooperative network provides a forum for discussion amongst all. From the Parent Council, officers are elected to serve on the Parent Council Board (SEBR).
Other volunteer opportunities
Throughout the year, there are many other opportunities to raise your hand and volunteer. Working a shift at the 5K Oktoberfest Run and Celebration, chaperoning with a class field trip, assisting with a sports team or drama performance, we welcome parental involvement!
We are fortunate to have a vibrant school with a wide array of events and activities for all. Your participation in the life of the community contributes in such an important way, and we are grateful to all who join in.