The German International
(At Sunset Elementary)
The German International Studies (IS) Program was established at Sunset Elementary in 1987, with a startup class of 18 students. Since then it has grown to house a student body of some 150 children in grades one through five. It is the only such German program offered by a public school system in the United States to date.
The overall goal of an IS magnet program is to provide intensive instruction in a foreign language while promoting academic excellence in all subjects with a special focus on global awareness. At Sunset, the IS program is offered in French and Spanish, in addition to German.
Sunset’s German IS program provides two-and-a-half hours of immersion language instruction in German daily, which is taught by native German speakers. As a result, students in the program have an extended school day, which runs from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Half of the German instruction time is used to teach German language arts skills such as grammar and vocabulary, while the other half -- referred to as ‘German Content’ -- expands upon these skills through the teaching of literature, science, social studies, history, geography and music in German. No English is spoken during the German portion of the day.
The curriculum guidelines used for the German IS program at Sunset are from the state of North Rhine-Westfalia in Germany, which also meet all of the objectives and requirements set forth by the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system. The German government annually sends a language consultant to review the program and administer standardized German language proficiency tests to students in the middle and high school levels. In addition, the German government provides textbooks, workbooks, and financial support toward a German teacher.
In fifth grade, the elementary program culminates with a two-week visit to Germany, where the children stay with German host families and attend a German school.
Sunset Elementary’s German IS program feeds into the German IS program at G.W. Carver Middle, which in turn feeds into the German International Baccalaureate/International Studies program at Coral Reef Senior High. (The German IBIS program at Coral Reef High enables students to earn the internationally respected IB diploma while continuing their intensive and advanced German language instruction.)
For information about how to apply for the German IS program at Sunset Elementary or more information about the school’s IS program, visit the Sunset Elementary website by clicking HERE.