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Kindergarten - 5th Grade

Kindergarten meets Monday through Friday. Students can sign up for a full day program from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. In coordination with Washington State Public School policy, Kindergarten students must be 5 years old on or before August 31st of the year they enter Kindergarten. If you are interested in testing early into Kindergarten, please check your local public school system for information.

First through fourth grade meets Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Due to the low student-teacher ratio, students benefit from individualized attention and a personalized curriculum. The multi-age classroom encourages a strong community where older children serve as models for their younger classmates. Younger children tend to develop independence more quickly because of the assistance of an older "buddy" in the group. While being exposed to models of positive social, emotional, physical and intellectual behavior, our younger students also benefit from the stimulation of a wider range of interests, personalities and abilities.

Older children, on the other hand, benefit by taking on the role of mentors and practicing leadership skills while boosting their self-esteem and confidence. Cognitive skills are equally improved through the opportunity to reinforce, consolidate, and expand upon knowledge shared with younger children.

Curriculum

At the SAGA School we believe children learn best through playing, exploring and engaging in hands-on activities while forming positive relationships with children and adults in the world around them.

We create an environment that invites children to try new things, express themselves, and take on responsibility. Our curriculum includes group activities and exploratory projects, circle and story times, arts and crafts, music appreciation, numeracy, letter recognition, reading, writing and science introduction, physical activities, and provides opportunities for individualized learning and social interaction.

Previous exposure to the German language is highly recommended for incoming Kindergarten students and required for students grade one or higher. However, since our students come from a variety of different language and cultural backgrounds, we provide individualized student support by forming collaborative relationships between the school, teachers and the families. Interested parents receive additional German-language materials and advice to foster ongoing language development at home. The teachers and parents work as a team to provide the best learning support to your child.

Our programs are built on research-based theory and proven best practices, while providing room for the teachers AND children respectively to discover what type of teaching and learning styles are most successful for them. Our teachers approach learning as an exploration, an individual journey and an amazing adventure for all those involved!

We lay the foundation for future success in school, providing our students with language and subject content skills transferable to other international or mainstream American public or private school programs.

What are the tuition rates for the 2017/18 school year?

Tuition for the upcoming school year is as follows:

Kindergarten

  • Full Day, 5 days per week = $1075/month

First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade

  • 5 days per week = $1075/month

One time yearly fees

  • $50 - Application Fee
  • $5 - $10 per field trip; Field Trip Fee

How much English is spoken and/or taught as part of the curriculum?

Our teachers strive for 100% total German immersion and only speak English in the rare case that a child is in distress and can not be comforted using the German language. However, our elementary aged students (1st Grade and above) receive English lessons, from an English teacher, as part of their curriculum. The number of hours of English instruction varies based on grade level.

The Kindergarten curriculum is primarily German in focus. We have found that kindergarten children are particularly savvy in pointing out the differences between English letter sounds and German letter sounds. This happens frequently when the children are learning the letter sounds as well as learning to read in German. Often a child pronounces the letter "E" or "J" for example with the English pronunciation. Our teacher uses these instances as "teachable moments" where knowledge of both English and German language skills is reinforced.

The Kindergarten - Fourth Grade daily schedule runs for a total of 4 hours for part time Kindergarteners or 6 hours for full time students. Below is the schedule of a typical day at SAGA. There is a built-in flexibility to the program from day to day to allow for special projects and activities.

Example of a Kindergarten Schedule (some days vary due to Music, Leseschau, and Faustlos programs)

  • 9:00-9:15 arrival and first writing tasks/projects
  • 9:15-9:30 morning "Circle Time"
  • 9:30-10:30 German, math, music
  • 10:30-11:00 recess/snack/playground (we go out no matter what the weather)
  • 11:00-11:45 German or math practice and project time
  • 11:45-12:30 German or math practice and project time / story time (English)
  • 12:30-13:15 lunch and clean-up / mini recess Children bring a lunch from home. When they are finished eating they look at books on their own, Lego table or help with cleaning up.(If a student is doing Kindergarten half time, he/she departs at this time.)
  • 13:15-14:45 art, sports, social studies, science, Faustlos / Second Step
  • 14:45-15:00 closing circle

Example of 1st - 4th Grade Schedule (some days vary due to Music, English Lesson, and Faustlos programs)

  • 9:00-9:15 arrival and first writing tasks/projects
  • 9:15-9:30 morning "Circle Time"
  • 9:30-10:30 German, math, music
  • 10:30-11:00 recess/playground (we go out no matter what the weather)
  • 11:00-11:45 Faustlos/Second Step, English, work study with head teacher
  • 11:45-12:30 German or math
  • 12:30-13:15 lunch and clean-up / mini recess Children bring a lunch from home. When they are finished eating they look at books on their own, Lego table or help with cleaning up.
  • 13:15-14:45 art, sports, social studies, science, English
  • 14:45-15:00 closing circle

While our kindergarten and elementary programs run similar schedules, the groups are broken out at various points in the day to provide specialized learning time for the various grade levels.

What are the materials used for instruction in our programs?

Most of the teaching materials are all brought from Germany and include:

  • Myrtel und Bo (German) and Myrtel und Matto (Math) in Kindergarten and First Grade and the "Raab" books (essentially letter, reading, writing books, mathematics, memory, etc.) and children make their own books as well.
  • Zahlenbuch (Math) and Flex und Flora (German) for 2nd - 4th Grade as well as Leseschlau/Leselöwe and Antolin, an on-line reading process for learning to read and write.
  • Individual watercolor paint set and a Federmaeppchen, very typical of what is used by many German school children is provided for our Elementary School Students. And of course all the other materials for sensory exploration, gross and small motor skill development, dramatic and imaginative play, etc. that are available to our preschool class are also used by the elementary program, where appropriate.
And of course all the other materials for sensory exploration, gross and small motor skill development, dramatic and imaginative play, etc. that are available to our preschool class are also used by the elementary program, where appropriate.

How are the needs met of children with different abilities?

  • Since the teacher/student ratio is low, the teacher is able to meet most (special) needs right away. This includes children's desires to drive the curriculum, need for 1:1 attention and playing extra games with a student to practice the child's skills.
  • One of the most effective ways to deal with this is by pairing children up to work on a common goal, employing each child's strengths and weaknesses. For example: in a matching exercise picture to letter, a child who knows their letters, but has a limited German vocabulary may be paired with a child who knows a lot of German words, but is still mastering letter recognition.
  • In everyday situations, the teacher adjusts their teaching style to the child's unique ability (speaking slower, using more pictures, examples, gestures, etc.)
  • All parents are asked at the beginning of the school year what they expect from our program. The teacher then works to strike a balance between the child's abilities, the parent's expectations, and the school's philosophy.

How is the transition from the SAGA School to public school?

SAGA alumni successfully integrate into both American and German-speaking countries’ primary education systems. The biggest adjustment students will likely face in starting American public school is that they will be the "new student". Most students will have already had at least one year to "learn the ropes" of public school. SAGA School graduates will most likely adjust to a larger class, a longer day and a greater amount of academic time. It is a big change, but one that students adapt to relatively quickly.