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The Elementary Program at German International School builds on 3 core pillars:

The competency-oriented curricula come from Thuringia, Germany & Beijing, China.

The framework of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP).

Integrated German & Mandarin language acquisition from Preschool through 5th grade.

We believe in providing our students with opportunities to develop into lifelong learners.

In elementary school students continue the journey they started in preschool and kindergarten by connecting their personal experiences with classroom learning. We implement multidisciplinary content topics using inquiry-based learning and authentic assessment. Our teachers differentiate instruction for learning groups to allow for meaningful learning. As guided in the IB PYP, learning is organized in Units of Inquiry that allow for student agency, foster our students’ natural curiosity and provide authentic and meaningful learning opportunities. 

All students participate in German or Chinese as a second language instruction as part of their regular schedule. This class supports language learning in a more structured way, and where applicable, is connected to current classroom themes.

Our students collaborate in our small school garden, maintain and plant in our creek area and learn hands on what it means to take on responsible stewardship for our environment.

Field trips and expert visits connected to units of inquiry enhance our students' experiences.

Find out more about our Chinese track here.

GIS Fast Track

“If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.” -Ludwig Wittgenstein 

Learning a new language can be a challenging but rewarding experience, and for many students, it is an essential part of their academic journey. At the German International School, we are proud to offer a Fast Track language program for German and Chinese that enables students to develop their language skills quickly and effectively.

Our Fast Track language program is designed to help students achieve fluency in their chosen language in a short period of time. We understand that many students come to our school from all over the world, with different levels of language proficiency. That is why our program is tailored to meet the individual needs of each student. For example, student learners in grades 1 through 3 can start the Fast Track program with little to no German or Mandarin skills. 

The program is led by experienced language teachers who are experts in their fields. They use a variety of teaching techniques, including interactive language software, small group instruction, and one-on-one coaching, to ensure that students receive the support they need to succeed.

In addition to the language, our program also offers cultural immersion opportunities, such as field trips and expert visits. These experiences enable students to deepen their understanding of the language and culture they are studying, and to develop a greater appreciation for the diversity of our world.

At GIS, we believe that learning a new language is not only important for academic and career success but also for personal growth and development. Our Fast Track language program is designed to provide students with the skills and confidence they need to communicate effectively in any situation, and to become global citizens who are capable of engaging with the world around them.

 Contact Admissions at for more information.

Frequently asked questions about Elementary


No! A child can enroll in Preschool or Kindergarten with no exposure to the German or Chinese language.


Yes! All GIS students receive music, art and PE each week


Near-native or native fluency of the German or Chinese language is a requirement for all teachers who instruct in German or Chinese, including Head classroom teachers. Teaching assistants are either native or proficient in the language. All English teachers are native English speakers. Read all about our staff!


We are the only school (preschool-5th grade) in the Portland metro area that offers German language as an immersion program; our graduates will speak German fluently upon graduation. The addition of a Chinese track option gives parents even more language-immersion choice. Our academic standard is very high, we hire experienced teachers, keep class sizes small, and teach using a German curriculum within the International Baccalaureate framework, recognized and respected by the world’s leading universities.



For motivated students entering grades 1 through 3 with little to no German or Mandarin skills.


One-year accelerated program that embeds students in a language immersion classroom with individual or small group pull-out sessions to offer intensive language support.


Relevant and hands-on learning opportunities with real-life connections

Interactive language software

small group instruction

one-on-one coaching

Language immersion classroom

Expert visits

Field trips

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German International School

3900 SW Murray Blvd.

Beaverton, OR 97005

PH (503) 626-9089

FX (503) 626-9730

International Baccalaureate® (IB) World SchoolPrimary Years Programme
Zentralstelle für das AuslandsschulwesenConsulate General, San FranciscoCertificate of ExcellencePasch

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