Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I enroll my child?
After the initial contact with the school, we will send you a digital information package. This package includes general information about our school, fee schedule, yearly calendar, and our Application for Admission form. Once we receive your application together with the non-refundable registration fee as well as all supporting documents, we will start processing your application. After that a tour of the school and an interview with the principal can be scheduled. Upon confirmation, we will send you further enrolment information and documents. A student is considered fully enrolled as soon as the school has received the fully signed enrolment agreement and payment of the acceptance fee.
- Can the registration fee be paid by bank transfer?
Yes, the registration fee of $150 per child can be transferred to our school account at the Bank of Montreal. Please contact the school office for bank details.
- Can I pay the tuition fee monthly via Interac e-transfer?
Cheques have been a very reliable payment method over the last few years. We can submit them when they are due. With payment plan A you would have the option to pay via Interac e-transfer or wire transfer, all other payment plans require the submission of cheques. However, we use Interac e-Transfer for all other payments, e.g. book invoices.
- The website states that supplementary costs beyond tuition and fees are about $1200. Under what circumstances would costs exceed that estimate?
We know from experience that families usually pay about $1,200 supplementary costs. These costs include books, camps and one club per term. The costs mainly depend on your choice of clubs and camps. Also, if you decide to register for the afternoon program for the full school year, the internal clubs are entirely covered by the afterschool rate.
- The registration fee is paid upon application submission. When is the acceptance fee due?
The registration fee of $150 is due upon submission of the application for admission form. The acceptance fee of $2,500 is due upon submission of the enrolment agreement and upon confirmation of enrolment. The acceptance fee is generally due two weeks after acceptance and may be paid by cheque or via Interac e-transfer. If enrollment occurs during the year, the acceptance fee is due along with tuition fees.
- Is there a deadline for applications or can I enroll my child during a school year?
There is no set enrollment period or admission deadline. You may well change jobs or move to Toronto during the school year. Therefore, we accept new students at any time during the school year, provided there are openings. Especially in kindergarten, we may reach our capacity limit. The sooner we know of your interest and enrollment, the better we can plan and ensure you get a spot.
- What is the minimum age for admission to preschool?
Children who will be 3 years old by December 31 in the year of enrolment can be accepted into our pre-kindergarten. Additionally, children should be toilet-trained and able to go to the bathroom reliably.
- What do the students do after grade 9?
German International School Toronto is a Candidate School* for the Diploma Programme. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging high quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision.
*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.
For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit http://www.ibo.org.
- Do students wear a school uniform?
Yes, wearing the school uniform is mandatory for all school children. In kindergarten, uniforms are worn for special occasions and once a week. Please refer to the school dress code to find out which items of clothing are part of the school uniform. You can order school uniforms online as well as directly from our supplier ‘InSchoolwear’.
- Is there a lunch service at the school?
There is no lunch service at the school. We have occasional offerings such as pizza days where we provide lunch. We ask parents to pack an appropriate lunch for the children.
- Is there afterschool care at your school?
Depending on the schedule classes usually end at 1:15 pm. After that, you can register your child for afternoon care either until 3:15 p.m. or until 5:30 p.m. During afternoon care, homework is done, reading assignments are completed, and friendships are made. In addition, we offer various clubs and activities in the afternoon.
- Is there afternoon care for Pre-K children?
We do not offer afterschool care for our Pre-K children as we do not have the required sleeping accommodations.
- Which languages are taught at the GIST?
As a German School Abroad, we work accordingly to the Thuringian and Ontario curriculum. Lessons in the primary school are taught mainly in German. Beginning in lower secondary school, grades 5 to 9, instruction is increasingly in English.
The regular French program begins in grade 3. The GIST curriculum for French is based on the highest German curriculum standards for French. It is competency-based, clearly structured, and directly linked to our excellent teaching and learning resources.
- How will my child cope with the foreign languages English and French?
Language acquisition takes time and effort. Occasional setbacks are to be expected when growing up bilingual. This is what makes language support so important. GIST offers free, intensive language support in German, English and French.
Students receive additional instruction in small groups led by language support experts. We offer classes for different ability levels so that each student receives the support they need. In addition, the team-teaching setting in regular classes allows for individualized support and gives teachers ample time to help students reach their full potential.
The GIST French curriculum is modern, competency-based, and aligned with the German standards for French as a second language. Since all teaching and learning materials are written in both French and German, our students are constantly presented with language challenges that help them become confident French speakers and creative problem solvers.
- Do you offer German language support?
At our school, we offer the appropriate German program for each child, responding to the very individual language skills of our school children. At GIST, we work with a “Three Step German Program” that reliably introduces your child to the German language (Step 1: GermanFasttrack), constantly expands and develops language development (Step 2: GermanPlus), and addresses further language challenges (Step 3: GermanPro).
- Are classes only held in German or also in the language of the host country?
Basically, we teach in German as well as in English. From kindergarten to primary level, we teach 90% in German. From grade 5 on, there is an increase in the language of the host country.
- When is the French language introduced into the curriculum?
Our school is trilingual. Next to German, and English, our KIGA students start learning French in a playful way. The kindergarten children have French lessons once per week. Also, for kindergarten and grades 1/2 we offer the afternoon French club. Starting in grade 3, French is an integral part of the timetable.
- Do you teach according to a German curriculum at your school?
At GIST, we teach according to both the German curriculum (Thuringian curriculum) and the Ontario curriculum.
- What science program do you offer?
We are an “Excellent German School Abroad” awarded by the Federal and State Inspectorate and offer our students a qualified CHARACTER education and an attractive STEAM_MINT profile.
STEAM_MINT @ GIST follows the teaching principle of inquiry-based learning and offers the opportunity to ask questions, collect ideas and conjectures, try things out and conduct experiments, observe and describe, record and discuss results. In the process, students receive a comprehensive education in a learning environment that links scientific work with knowledge in the natural sciences and humanities. For more information, please also visit us at https://www.gistonline.ca/steam_mint-gist/.
Over the past two years, we have been working hard to develop a STEAM_MINT profile and in mid-November 2021, GIST received the “MINT-freundliche Schule” (STEM Friendly School) designation.
- Where can we find historical EQAO scores for GIST?
EQAO: was cancelled for the last 2 years due to COVID-19. It is voluntary for students at GIST and has been run as a club.
- What is VERA?
VERA is a German method for testing students and is used for internal purposes as a quality control. We take the VERA test to see where we stand in comparison to Germany. The VERA test takes place from the third grade onwards.
- Is cursive writing part of the curriculum?
The students learn cursive writing with a fountain pen (“Füller”) in grade 2. Cursive writing continues until grade 9. However, “exercises” only take place in grades 1 and 2. The acquisition of a fountain pen is mandatory.
- How can parents get involved at the GIST?
Parents play an important role at the GIST. At the beginning of the school year, parents from each grade level elect two parent representatives. Together, the parent representatives make up the GIST Parent Council. GIST parents and their representatives support the students and the school. We are proud of our good and constructive cooperation between home and school.
- Where can I find material lists for my child?
You can find them under Materials List on our Parent Login https://www.gistonline.ca/parents/.
- Is your school a Designated Learning Institute?
All primary and secondary schools in Canada are designated learning institutions.