WELCOME TO OUR PARENT HANDBOOK

Here you can find a range of valuable information for the 2022/23 academic year.

School Policies

The following is an excerpt from our School Regulations, which are located in full in the Documents & Forms section below.

Dress code
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We do not have a school uniform. 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, caps and hoodies are not to be worn during the lessons.

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
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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
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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.

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

School attendance is mandatory every day. There needs to be an ‘important reason’ for a leave of absence from class. A leave of absence can be requested for e.g. religious celebrations, weddings, births, or for serious illnesses or in the event of a death in the family. Participation in competitions, artistic performances or sporting events can also be a reason for a leave of absence. Proof can be requested from the school management for one of these occasions (e.g. a copy of the invitation). Applications for leave of absence must be sent in writing to the school management of the school at least two weeks in advance. Please note that requests can be turned down (e.g. previously scheduled tests or exams).

Please read through the student absence policy first before submitting an absence request form to the respective principal.

Homework
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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.

Bilingual 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

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
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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.

Bilingual 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.

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

Class 1-2
Class 3
Class 4
Class 5
Class 6-9

The supply list includes the initial stationary 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
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Bilingual 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.

Bilingual 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 CONTRACT
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.

CARDS
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

BORROWING BOOKS
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.

RETURNING BOOKS
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.

2022/23 School Semester Calendar

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

SECONDARY SCHOOL DAY

View timetable

ARRIVAL

Early supervision is available from 7:30 – 7:50 am in the sports hall. Students arriving at 7:50 am should go directly to their classroom.

Secondary students may arrive from 7:30 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.

AFTERNOON CLUBS IN OUR BILINGUAL PRIMARY SCHOOL

HERE is an overview of our current afternoon club and supervision program, which is quite limited due to Corona protective measures. If you have any questions, or if you would like to register, please send us an e-mail at: clubs@if-koeln.de.

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

Bilingual Secondary School

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

Bilingual Secondary School

Our Bilingual 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.

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 Bilingual 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

Documents & Forms

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School Regulations

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Leave of Absence Form

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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 Tuesday, 9 August, 2022. 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 Wednesday, 10 August.

“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 10, 2022 at 8:00am.

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.