For the 2016–2017 school year the BAKS preschool program is in session from August 23, 2016, through August 11, 2017 (including the summer program and the BAKS/BAKS+ summer camp). For school breaks, holidays, and special events please see the calendar page.
BAKS observes a wide variety of American and German holidays, including Fasching (carnival), Thanksgiving, St. Martin, Nikolaus and Advent. In addition, the birthday of each student and teacher is celebrated with a special ritual. Here a few highlights of our school year:
This is a magical yearly event that transforms out school yard with music and lights. The children sing songs and perform a play about the life of Saint Martin, that culminates in a lantern-procession around the neighborhood. We serve great German refreshments from "Bratwurst" to Glühwein, and hold a raffle with great prizes.
The week before Thanksgiving break, the children bring vegetables to school, and work together cooking Thanksgiving soup - a meal they greatly enjoy together.
We celebrate Saint Nikolaus, an essential figure in German pre-Christmas traditions. The children learn Nikolaus songs, do fall crafts, and sometimes are even visited by Saint Nikolaus himself (he never forgets to bring his big jute sack that is full of little presents).
During the month of December, we observe the German tradition of an Advent-Calendar, beginning on December 1st, and counting down the days until Christmas eve. Each child gets their turn to open one surprise-present on a day of Advent.
Winter Play with Coffee and Cake
We cordially invite our BAKS parents to join us in a pre-Christmas celebration, enjoying treats (the children bake and decorate Christmas cookies for this special day).
What kind of German school would we be if we didn't celebrate Fasching (also known as Karneval)! In Germany, the last days preceding the beginning of Lent are celebrated by dressing up in costumes and dancing in the streets, watching the brightly decorated floats of the Fasching Parade go by. The children get to dress up for this special day. This year's theme: Animals.
Mother's and Father's Day Celebration
In May, we invite all BAKS parents to our special Mother's and Father's Day breakfast. The children perform songs and a little play. They are saying "thank you" to their moms and dads, having prepared a special handmade card and a surprise gift in the preceding weeks.
Every summer we organize a huge yard sale that is part of our fundraising efforts to benefit our program. It is always a very sought-after event, and we draw a big crowd from all over the neighborhood.
Füchse Graduation Ceremony
We celebrate this big milestone with our Füchse every year, with songs and a special performance. Each graduating Fuchs is also presented with a certificate, highlighting the ways each particular child is so special to us and their friends, as well as a Schultüte, the traditional gift that marks the first day of elementary school in Germany.
Just before the beginning of the new school year, BAKS celebrates an annual off-site picnic, usually at a neighborhood park, to welcome and introduce all new students and their parents to the BAKS family. We spend the afternoon with good food and fun games, so that our new families will have an opportunity to meet.