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Orientation Level

The transition to the Upper School marks an important change for our students.  After four years of Elementary School students enter the 5th Grade, also known as the Orientation Level (Orientierungsstufe).   It is then that students are exposed to the different classes and methods of instruction offered at the Upper School.  During this time teachers carefully task, observe and assess the students, leading up to a Recommendation Conference at which their further course of study is evaluated  before moving on to the 6th Grade.  At this point teachers recommend which branch of the Upper School is best suited for each student. 

After 5th Grade (Orientation Level) students will follow the College Prep (Gymnasium) or Realschule (graduation after 10th grade) branches of the Upper School.  All instruction however takes place at the College Prep (Gymnasium) level.  Students who choose the Realschule branch are integrated into all aspects of the Gymnasium with the exception of the second foreign language.  The School does not officially offer a Hauptschule (graduation after 9th grade) option, however students who are in that track are recognized and instructed in different learning groups.  Similarly to Realschule students, Hauptschule students receive instruction that is appropriate for their chosen branch of study. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Coordinator of the Orientation Level, Antje Linnenbrink at a.linnenbrink@dswash.org.

> Information about the German International Abitur (DIA)

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