Who We Are

Portland Kinderschule is a German language immersion preschool program for children aged 3 to 5 years (children younger than 3 may be accepted with board approval).  Our preschool program, commonly referred to in German as “kindergarten,” or “Deutscher Kindergarten,” welcomes children who already have strong German-language skills, as well as those whose parents have an interest in exposing their children to the German language and embracing our rich and diverse culture.

Mission Statement

Portland Kinderschule strives to enrich the lives of children and their families through a German immersion cooperative preschool program. We promote German language ability, diversity and cultural awareness with the goal of creating confident, happy, bilingual children who are prepared to start kindergarten.

Main Benefits of Enrolling Your Child in a German Language Immersion Program

  • German Language

    German immersion preschool encourages natural acquisition of language ability

  • Cooperative Preschool

    Cooperative preschool setting involves parents and families in the child’s education

  • German Culture

    German cultural immersion fosters an appreciation of the German culture

  • Small Class Size

    Small class size and adult to child ratio ensures each child gets individualized attention.

  • Play Based Curriculum

    Play based curriculum provides significant intellectual and cognitive benefits

  • Safe, Nurturing and Fun

    Safe, nurturing and fun environment ensures that children start their educational journey enjoying school

Portland Kinderschule Educational Philosophy

ic2Portland Kinderschule is a nonprofit German immersion preschool where parents and teachers work together to provide a caring, creative environment for their children to become culturally aware, responsible and increasingly independent, productive citizens. Children are encouraged to learn at their own pace, through multi-sensory exploration and social interaction. By listening to stories, playing games, drawing, and singing, children develop fine and gross motor skills, learn about relationships and feelings, and gain critical-thinking and language abilities that will serve them throughout their lives. At the same time, the preschool’s German language setting supports German-speaking children who are learning the language from their parents outside their native country, and allows non-German speakers a chance to learn a second language.

Our Curriculum

Our curriculum is based on that of a traditional Deutscher kindergarten. Our talented teachers support our four-hour schedule which follows a creative and flexible curriculum designed to meet the needs of the individual child within a multi-age setting. Each child is allowed to grow at his own pace, in his own way. Children are encouraged to develop their individuality while they develop relationships within the group. In Portland Kinderschule’s loving and caring environment, children learn to trust and open up to new experiences. During situational conflicts, children learn to accept compromises and recognize their own inner resources, therefore increasing their problem solving skills and reducing their level of frustration.

Non-German speakers and German speakers alike are immersed into the German culture and learn the language through repetition of our daily routines and songs, as well as through interactions with other children, parents, and the teacher. Each child learns the language at her own pace. First, the child comes to understand the meaning of the words, much like an infant and toddler does in its beginning stage of language development. Once the child becomes more familiar and comfortable with the language, she begins to speak more naturally.

circlerVocabulary is built through themed monthly units, such as the five senses, life in the city versus life on a farm, and holiday celebrations. The children dive deeply into the unit by completing on-theme craft projects, hearing topical books read aloud, going on related field trips, playing dress-up games and acting in plays. As the children spend each month focusing on a new area of exploration, the repetition of the theme helps them to naturally learn the German language.

Cognitive development is promoted through activities that engage all of the senses. By verbalizing the actions, activities, or observations, the child learns the meaning of language in a fun and playful way during the process of socialization, and increases his German vocabulary. Activities in sorting, classifying, and dividing introduce the child to mathematical concepts. Music and movement are woven into the program to facilitate transitions and provide a fun way to express whatever we are learning. At times we may sing silly songs just to have fun with words and actions. Learning songs in German also helps to build vocabulary.

Since we are a cooperative preschool, parents are involved in many aspects of the program, from helping in the classroom to coming up with ideas for field trips to helping coordinate cultural events and celebrations. You and your child will have the opportunity to not only gain a wonderful education and form lasting friendships, but you will also feel ownership of and pride in exquisite preschool program.

Portland Kinderschule Board

Portland Kinderschule is a cooperative German immersion preschool run through the efforts of teachers, as well as parents who serve on an administrative board.

  • President: Heather Kalowsky
  • Vice President: Rachel Närhi
  • Secretary: Geoff Painter
  • Accounting Treasurer: Nick Mauro
  • Payroll Treasurer: Tony Pinella
  • Membership: Calvin Arnason
  • Marketing: Nina Vorlop

Parent Child Preschools Organization (PCPO)

ffe34d_6ea8688d59e24598bd3b176bf13d1283Portland Kinderschule is a member of PCPO which assists our school with administration, offers opportunities for parent education, allows Portland Kinderschule to connect with other cooperative preschools, and gives us and edge in staying on top of educational trends.

Portland Kinderschule does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, language ability, or national origin.