BAKS+ is a full-immersion German language program for children between the ages of 5 and 17 years, grade levels K–12. Our mission is to cultivate German language development in literacy and oral communication skills. Our program is aimed at students for whom German is a home language, that is, most of our students come from homes in which German is regularly spoken.
BAKS+, also called Deutsche Sprachschule Berkeley (DSS Berkeley), is officially recognized as a German-language school by the German government. In the fall of 2013, BAKS+ was designated a German Center of Excellence by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG). This prestigious and competitive award honors programs with “demonstrated excellence” in teaching German. Programs are judged on their overall strength and stability; the qualifications, quality, and continuing development of their instructors; their curriculum; and their structural organization.
BAKS+ was founded in 1999 for a group of graduates from Kinderstube's preschool program (BAKS). Their parents were hoping to keep the German language skills acquired during the preschool years alive. Additionally, they wished for their children to become fluent in reading and writing German as well. Today we have grown into a program with 200 students in classes at two locations, in Berkeley and Pleasant Hill.
Many of our BAKS+ students are graduates from our preschool program, but we are open to all students. However, students entering any class of BAKS+ are expected to understand and speak German (and older students are expected to read and write German) at an age-appropriate level, since our classes are held exclusively in German.
Most of our older students participate with great success in annual German exams and essay contests. Besides the teaching of reading and writing, it is very important to us to provide a German-speaking environment to our students, where they can develop friendships, and experience German culture and traditions. Our curriculum is enriched by arts, crafts, music, and games as well as many extracurricular events and celebrations. Our younger students are invited to join the annual celebration of Laternenfest in Kinderstube (BAKS). We also celebrate many Advents and Christmas traditions, Karneval, Easter, and other traditional German holidays.
Visit the BAKS Plus Facebook page for news and updates.
We are looking forward to meeting you and your child!
With warm regards,
Heike Feltes and Sylvia Klein
Directors of BAKS+