WELCOME TO OUR PARENT HANDBOOK

Here you can find a range of valuable information for the 2020/21 academic year.

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school Policies

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school Policies

School Schedule

Calendar & Timetable

school organisation

school organisation

Contact & Communication

Contact & Communication

Documents & Forms

Documents & Forms

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FAQ’s

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important questions

School Policies

Dress code

We don’t have a uniform in any of our school sections. We are, however, mindful of different cultural conventions regarding clothing and expect our students, teachers and staff to dress respectfully at school and during school activities.

    Please do not wear the following items:

    • Clothing and jewelry with provocative or inappropriate images such as nudity, weapons or references to drugs, tobacco, alcohol or sex
    • Clothing that leave underwear exposed (baggy jeans, trousers with rips in inappropriate places); undergarments should be covered at all times – while standing, sitting, stretching or bending
    • Low-cut or short tops showing skin below armpit level or the torso; all tops/dresses must have straps or sleeves
    • Shorts or skirts shorter than fingertip-level; no bare hip bones
    • Excessively ripped/torn clothing in a way that breaches the guidelines listed above

    Hats must be removed at a teacher’s request.

    Clothing and shoes should be comfortable and appropriate for the school activities (eg sports clothes for sports lessons).

    For primary school events that take place off-site and for certain events in school, students should wear something from the school clothing collection.

    It is possible to purchase items from the PTA web shop www.ptakoeln.de. We do this so our students can visibly represent the school and on class trips are easily recognizable for teachers and guardians.

    Mobile phone policy

    Cell phones can negatively affect students’ learning. For example, some students can use their phones to text and play games when they should be doing work. If a cell phone rings while a teacher is teaching, it will disrupt the flow of the class and definitely disturb other students.

    Cell phones are not to be used during the school day including breaks.

    In such a way pupils socialise, communicate with each other or spend their break time at the school yard.

    PLEASE NOTE: every student can anytime, also during the class, contact their parents or any person in charge if necessary. In this case, please contact the teacher.

    Student absence

    How can I inform the school that my child is absent?

    Illness or planned appointments

    If your child is ill or must miss school due to prearranged medical appointments, please let the relevant school administration office know and inform the homeroom teacher or tutor in primary school and Gymnasium Bilingual+.

    For the International Secondary School, please use the online portal Managebac to inform us.

    Contagious infection

    Please e-mail the school at sick@if-koeln.de to report any contagious infection common in schools, such as scarlet fever or head lice. Please also inform the relevant school administration office and the homeroom teachers/tutors.

    Family travel outside school holidays

    As an international school, it is clear that some families travel outside the holidays. If your child will miss any school days based on such travel, please fill out the Application for Granting a Leave of Absence form and return it to school administration personally or via e-mail.

    German law gives the principals some discretion for exceptional circumstances, however additional leave can never be granted directly next to an existing school holiday, either before or after.

    Homework

    How much time should my child spend on homework?

    BILINGUAL PRIMARY SCHOOL

    No formal homework is assigned to students up to the end of grade 4. The student’s weekly plan is sent home at the weekend for parents to Review. It is also recommended that students do 10 minutes of reading every night and in Grade 3/4, some multiplication practice.

    INTERNATIONAL SECONDARY SCHOOL

    Guideline to indicate on average how much homework should be set per day for each year group:

    • Grades 5-6: 30-40 mins per day (15-20 min per subject)
    • Grades 7-8: 60-90 mins per day (30-45 min per subject)
    • Grade 9: 90-120 mins per day (45-60 min per subject)
    • Grades: 10-12 as required

    GYMNASIUM BILINGUAL+

    Guideline to indicate on average how much homework should be set per day for each year group:

    •  Grades 5-9 participate in 2-5 self-study learning times per week (Lernzeit/Lernbüro) scheduled in their weekly classes. These allocated times should be enough for finishing homework, however, focused learning prior to tests and daily vocabulary learning are not covered.
    • Grades 10-12 have no limitation by law. A suggested 60-90 mins per day (30-45 mins per subject) on average should be enough to keep a healthy balance between school and extracurricular time and achieve a good final exam.
    When and where can students do homework?

    • In Individual Learning Time, which is offered within the after-school program. This gives students the chance to complete their homework at school under the supervision of a staff member.
    • At home.

    Student reports

    How often are reports sent out?

    BILINGUAL PRIMARY SCHOOL

    Written reports on each student will be sent twice a year. Additionally, student portfolios will be used to document your child’s work throughout the year.

    INTERNATIONAL SECONDARY SCHOOL

    In the International Secondary School, written reports will be sent out six times a year to help you understand your child’s progress in each subject area. Two of these are full reports and the other four are grade cards giving a summary of student learning. All reports are published via ManageBac.

    GYMNASIUM BILINGUAL+

    The Gymnasium Bilingual+ issues formal student reports twice a year, though our high school students also receive quartal cards with grades from each subject they chose. Parents always have access to the student’s logbooks plus tutor reports are provided as needed for student development. Each tutor offers consultation with parents which can be scheduled in advance via E-mail.

    School supplies

    Please find below a list showing the materials your child will need when they start school:

    The supply list includes the initial stationery equipment, used items would then need to be replaced during the school year if necessary. Not all items have to be replaced: folders, pens, etc. from the previous year can of course be reused.

    Please label all items with your child’s name.

    Library

    PRIMARY SCHOOL

    Classes have an allotted library time as part of their weekly schedule. All books are checked out and returned during this time. The homeroom teachers keep and use the students’ identification cards for this purpose.

    SECONDARY SCHOOL

    Students have access to the library as they need, for both study and assignment work as well as leisure reading in their free time. Students are responsible for their own cards and returns.

    Library contracts are issued by the homeroom teacher/tutor or can be collected directly from the librarian. Signed contracts can be returned to the homeroom teacher/tutor or library staff.

    Students use their student identity cards (issued by the school) as their library card. After they and their parents have signed the library contract, they are able to use the library facilities.

    If a student’s identity card is lost, a new one can be issued for a replacement fee of 10 Euros

    Students can borrow up to three books at a time for two weeks. The loan period can be extended if needed.

    All books need to be checked out on a student’s library account.

    Unfortunately lost or damaged books will have to be replaced.

    Books need to be checked back in by the library team in order to clear the student’s account.

    At the end of the school year, all books need to be returned to the library.

    School Calendar

    The school follows the term dates set by the state of North Rhine Westphalia.

    Dates for upcoming events, festivals etc. will be provided at the start of the school year and published weekly in our Weekend Note, together with more detailed information about events as they come up.

    School calendar to download:

    Timetable

    Here is a general overview of our primary and secondary school day. Students will receive their weekly schedules in the first week of school from their homeroom teachers.

    PRIMARY SCHOOL DAY

    View timetable

    07:00
    07:30
    08:00
    08:30
    09:00
    09:30
    10:00
    10:30
    11:00
    11:30
    12:00
    12:30
    13:00
    13:30
    14:00
    14:30
    15:00
    15:30
    16:00
    16:30
    17:00
    17:30
    18:00

    SECONDARY SCHOOL DAY

    View timetable

    ARRIVAL

    Early supervision is available from 7:00 – 7:50 am in the sports hall. Students arriving at 7:50 am should go directly to their classroom.

    Secondary students may arrive from 7:00 am, but should go directly to their home-room area.

    EARLY PICK-UP

    Early pickups are permitted for extraordinary or emergency cases only. A note or e-mail with reason needs to be given at least one day in advance to the homeroom teacher.

    LATE PICK-UP

    Any student not picked up by 4:15 pm will be brought to the late room by the teacher. Please note that the late room closes at 4:30 pm and there will be no supervision from this time onwards. In emergency cases, if you cannot be on time to pick up your child, please call the school (+49) 0221 310 634-0 as soon as possible so supervision arrangements can be made.

    School Organisation

    Associations and committees

    BOARD OF TRUSTEES
    The school is governed by a Board of Trustees. This is composed of the managing director, business director, school principals, representatives of the shareholders’ and supporters’ community, teacher representatives and also parent representatives. Parent representatives are elected in a general vote by all the school’s parents. The board of trustees defines the fundamental pedagogical direction of CIS/IFK as a whole. This is based on a sound economic basis that ensures the long-lasting competitive existence of CIS/IFK in the Cologne area taking into account current or future legal and accreditation requirements.
    PARENT TEACHER ASSOCIATION (PTA)

    At our school, parental involvement is especially welcomed. The Parent Teacher Association contributes significantly to school life, acts as a communication platform for the parents, as well as welcoming new families to the community. You can find more information on the PTA website www.ptakoeln.de.

    SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETINGS
    At the start of the school year, every class meets to discuss class issues and elect two class representatives (Klassenpflegschaftsvorsitzende).

    Each school form’s elected class representatives meet twice a year with their respective school leadership team at the school committee meeting (Schulpflegschaft). The purpose of these meetings is to discuss topics that come out of the classroom meetings and cannot be answered by the homeroom teachers.

    STUDENT COUNCIL
    Every class from grade 1/2 – 12 elects two students to be their class representatives in the student council.

    Each month, the student council of each school section meets with two teachers and School Leadership to discuss student-related topics and to pass on suggestions from the student-faculty.

    Contact Information

    General contact information

    Bilingual Primary School

    International Secondary School

    Gymnasium bilingual +

    Internal Communication

    TEACHERS’ CONTACTS

    Each teacher and staff member has a school e-mail address. At the beginning of the school year you will receive an e-mail list with the relevant contact information. Please do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail at any time.

    MANAGEBAC

    International Secondary School
    Our International Secondary School uses the online portal, ManageBac for communication between parents, students and teachers. Families will receive information about and access to ManageBac at the beginning of the school year.

    UNTIS

    Gymnasium bilingual +
     Our Gymnasium uses UNTIS and the NRW required SchILD for internal communication. Families will receive information on this at the beginning of the school year.
    TEACHERS’ CONTACTS

    Each teacher and staff member has a school e-mail address. At the beginning of the school year you will receive an e-mail list with the relevant contact information. Please do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail at any time.

    MANAGEBAC

    Our International Secondary School uses the online portal, ManageBac for communication between parents, students and teachers. Families will receive information about and access to ManageBac at the beginning of the school year.

    cologneis.managebac.com

    UNTIS

    Our Gymnasium uses UNTIS and the NRW required SchILD for internal communication. Families will receive information on this at the beginning of the school year.

    Untis

    Documents & Forms

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    Absence Form

    Application for Granting a Leave of Absence

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    Withdrawal form

    FAQ’s

    When is the first day of school for first graders?

    This year, we will be celebrating the “Einschulung” – the celebration marking the beginning of school for first graders – on the last day of the summer holidays, Tuesday, 11 August, 2020. We invite all first graders to bring their “Schultüten” to this special event, where they will meet their new teachers and classmates. The first normal day of school will be on Wednesday, 12 August. CLICK HERE for more information about the event details.

    “SCHULTÜTE”

    “Schultüte” is a large cornet of cardboard filled with sweets and little presents. You may buy them at stationery shops at the Rhein Center, or department stores, like Kaufhof or Karstadt, etc.

    When is the first day of school for grades 2-12?
    The first day of school for all students in grades 2-12 is August 12, 2020 at 8:00am.

    Welcome Day for grade 5 of the International Secondary School
    Monday, 10 August, 2020 from 3:00-4:30pm
    This is an opportunity for new grade 5 students to spend some time with their new teacher, and for all parents and other students to find out more about how the school works, and have any questions they may have answered. You can join in person or virtually via google meet. Please contact Mr. Riccio, the Lower School Coordinator, for more information and to register for the event: claudio.riccio@if-koeln.de
    How can I talk to teachers about my child’s development and grades?
    Parents are regularly invited to discuss student reports and their child’s progress at our parent-teacher conferences. These are offered twice a year in all school sections. We also encourage parents to contact us throughout the year if they have any worries or concerns.

    For new families, a first talk is requested after the first six weeks for feedback as to how their son or daughter is settling into school life.
    Are meals provided at school?

    At the start of each semester, parents can either pay in advance for school meals, or opt out and their child(ren) can bring a packed lunch.

    The menu is sent out every Friday with the Weekend Note.

    Important note! An invoice will be automatically sent after a week unless you send an e-mail to food@if-koeln.de with the request for cancellation.

    All students are asked to bring a water bottle,  water dispensers are available around the campus with a choice of still or sparkling water.

    PRIMARY SCHOOL

    All students who choose to take school meals are provided with breakfast at the morning break, hot lunch at midday and snack in the afternoon.

    SECONDARY SCHOOL

    In secondary school, only lunch is provided. We operate a self-service canteen with both hot lunch and salad options. 

    Is it possible for my child to study its mother tongue in school?

    We offer a number of extracurricular mother tongue classes during the week, in both primary and secondary schools. These change according to demand, but in the past, we have included Dutch, French, Italian, Turkish and Korean.

    You will be advised by the school at the start of each semester which languages are being offered. If you have any specific requests please feel free to ask the school principal. In primary school, we also offer Spanish as an option three times a week as a third language to all students who are not native Spanish speakers as well as Spanish for native speakers.

    Where can my child place or find personal belongings?
    LOCKERS 

    Every student in the school will have a personal storage space, known as a cubby. The cubby is located in front of the classrooms where students can keep their belongings, and for secondary school students, they are lockable.

    Money and expensive personal items should not be brought to school. We cannot take responsibility for such items.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Students and parents seeking lost items should check the LOST & FOUND area at the main school entrance. Please label all student’s property so it is easy for you or your child to identify their belongings.

    How can I permanently withdraw my child from school?
    When a student is to be permanently withdrawn, the parents are to complete the withdrawal form. Please sign and return the Withdrawal Form to admissions@if-koeln.de or regular mail to Cologne International School, Neue Sandkaul 29, 50859 Köln. The notice period is three months to the end of both semesters, 31 January or 31 July. As a courtesy, parents should inform the teachers and principal as well.
    The final Report Card will only be released after the School has approved the following:
    • a) return of all school and library books to the librarian
    • b) payment of all outstanding invoices (Clubs/meals/class trips).

    Privacy Policy

    We store your and your children’s personal data according to the principles of the EU General Data Protection Regulation that has been in force since May 25, 2018 and the legal requirements specified by the NRW School Act.

    You can view the personal data from you and your children that we have stored at any time. The current data protection policy for the Internationale Friedensschule Köln gGmbH can be found here.

    You can request to have individual details or the entire data record deleted at any time by email to info@if-koeln.de. We will then immediately check whether we must continue to store this data for legal reasons, otherwise we will delete it.

    If you have any further inquiries, we will be happy to address them.

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