The John F. Kennedy School, founded in 1960, is a bilingual, bi-cultural German-American college preparatory public school. Students of both nationalities are taught together in the same classroom with the goal of developing respect, tolerance and understanding for each other and for the partner culture. The school year consists of 2 semesters normally extending from the third week in August to early July.
Organization: Unlike an international school, the John F. Kennedy School is a German public school organized under the auspices of the Berlin government. The Berlin Senate Office of Education is responsible for the overall operation of the school. There is an 11-member Educational Directorate which functions in a board of education capacity.
Curriculum: The John F. Kennedy School emphasizes academic excellence, and its curriculum combines features of both the American and German educational systems. Instruction is in German and English, with English being emphasized. American students learn German in formal, daily lessons beginning in the third grade; in the entrance class and grdes 1 and 2, the partner language is taught informally through play and singing. The program at all levels is designed to accommodate American students who have little or no knowledge of the German language. Classes in remedial reading and math are available in the elementary school, and students with special needs are provided with accommodations, as determined by the class conference. There is a probationary period following admission for all students, one year for elementary pupils and six months for students in grades seven and above. The entire school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and offers students the possibility to attain the American high school diploma and/or the German Arbitur. A comprehensive Advanced Placement program is also offered. Newly accepted American students in grades 7-12 with no knowledge of German receive instruction in English in all subjects except for the German language classes. As their proficiency in German increases, they participate in classes where the medium of instruction is bilingual German and English, or predominately German. French, Latin, and Spanish are also taught as foreign languages. Religious instruction is offered on an optional basis.
Numerous extracurricular activities are available for both elementary and high school students. Musical performances and drama productions are particularly strong features of the school’s program. Students may also become involved in various individual and team sports, in student government, and in yearbook, literary or newspaper publications. The school hosts an annual Berlin Model United Nations conference, where 700 international students from around the world participate as delegates for a given nation. For older students, class trips which promote German-American integration among students are scheduled throughout Europe and within Germany, depending on the particular grade level. Formal student exchange programs take place in the elementary school with Fort Collins Colorado, and in the high school with Fort Worth, Texas.
Faculty: There are 148 full-time and 12 part-time faculty members in the 2011-2012 school year.
Enrollment: Enrollment at the opening of the 2011-2012 school year was 1,732 (Kdg.-grade 6: 826, and grades 7-13: 906).
Facilities: Located in Zehlendorf, a residential area in the southwest of Berlin, the school's six buildings house an integrated elementary and high school. The School has 135 classrooms, 9 science laboratories, 2 library-media centers, 4 computer labs, modern sports facilities, a fine arts and drama annex, and a cafeteria.
Finances: The Kennedy School is a public school and as such, there is no tuition.