Voting Workshop at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin

As shared by the American Citizen Services Unit of the US Embassy:

 

Dear U.S. Citizen Community,

In the run-up to the 2024 United States presidential election, U.S. Embassy Berlin is pleased to announce a Voting Assistance Workshop hosted by the American Citizens Services unit and the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP.gov).

We would like to ensure that all U.S. citizens in Germany who wish to vote in the 2024 elections know how to register as absentee voters and submit their ballots.  As members of local schools, businesses, and civic organizations, we need your help informing our fellow citizens how to vote!

Please join us at the U.S. Embassy Chancery, Pariser Platz 2, at 2:00 pm on Monday, April 15.  The workshop will last approximately two hours and will provide comprehensive training on the overseas voting process.  Additionally, you will have the opportunity to speak with our consular staff, pose any questions you may have about citizen services offered by the embassy, and network with fellow U.S. citizens in Germany.  You will also visit our beautiful Chancery building located beside the Brandenburg Gate.

Please respond by March 31, 2024, to confirm your attendance or to indicate if you would like to send a representative to attend the workshop.  You are welcome to forward this invitation to other U.S. citizens, but space constraints may require us to limit attendees.  In your response, please provide the following:

  • Full name and date and place of birth of attendee
  • Citizenship
  • I.D. type
  • I.D. number 

We look forward to welcoming you to the embassy!

Sincerely,

David McWilliams

Chief of American Citizens Services

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SKI TRIP 2024: Update #2

The weather gods have smiled upon us – both for our free-ski day and the last several days of skiing. Since we concluded our first round of skiing, the kids have enjoyed several more Activity Nights, a dance party and a very busy free-ski day consisting of a shopping trip to Fügen (in record-making time for our speedwalkers – are you shocked?), a hike up into the mountains with Mr. Weiss and a soccer tournament organized for 40 players by Mr. Lang and Hr. Fabig. 

To be honest, there was very little actual free time on free-ski day because the preparation for the first room inspection became a top priority for most rooms. We’re not just talking about clothes picked up off of the floor and garbage thrown away. Oh no. The room inspection has become a combination of hyper-cleaning (do NOT expect this at home), organizational mastery down to the last perfectly shelved helmet/goggles and presentations or performances to create the perfect ambiance for the visiting inspectors. We were welcomed with artistry, song & dance, flowers, food, poetry and, perhaps my favorite, a Zen Chamber of Meditation. Before the inspection team’s arrival, rooms were aromatized with a heavy fragrance of deodorant (the boys) or incense (the girls). The less inventive rooms did little to hide the traditional tang typical of sweaty socks and overutilized long underwear that we get to enjoy each night we put the kids to bed (you know, when they don’t really go to bed).

The aforementioned “Perfection” theme from update one? Umm, not yet. Still some lessons to learn in their relationships/communication. Still some lessons in general decision-making. Still some lessons of slope etiquette to learn. But that’s why we’re here. And usually, they learn a great deal – and have fun doing it!

Speaking of slopes, the big excitement concerns the quick advancement of the beginners, many of whom are no longer beginners! Most of the new skiers have been up the gondola to the top of the mountain and have successfully negotiated (more or less) the slopes all the way back down to our starting point. Their grins and newfound pride are a wonderful site to behold. 

As I wrap up, I look out on the terrace where the kids are holding their current dance party. Not sure I would call it dance, at least not universally, but the bodies are moving and grooving, small groups are cracking up with laughter around the dance floor, and hints of adoration float just above the heads (or hearts) of the dancers. Or maybe they are simply high from the delicious Apfelstrudel tonight. Whatever it is, smiles abound.

 

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Internet at JFKS (week of 11.03.)

We are installing a new server on Monday. Consequently, we are expecting severe interruptions of data accessibility and internet connection throughout the week.

Please expect delays in email responses from teachers and staff. 

****

Wir werden am Montag einen neuen Server installieren. Daher erwarten wir im Laufe der Woche erhebliche Einschränkungen in Bezug auf Zugang zu Daten und Internetverbindung.

Bitte rechnen Sie mit Verzögerungen bei der Beantwortung von E-Mails durch Lehrer und Mitarbeiter.

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SKI TRIP 2024: Update #1

Just in case your children have been incommunicado since Sunday morning, we HAVE indeed arrived in beautiful Bruck am Zillertal. The fields are green, the sky was (at least for 36 hours) blue and, with any luck, your child’s shoes remained “cow-dung free” from the first evening’s evening hike through the narrow paths through the local farmer’s fields. We cannot claim 100% success in this regard, and if you know your own child to stray from the path on occasion, you may want to have some sanitizer on hand upon their return. (We are doing our best on this end!) In your children’s defense, it was dark and many phone batteries/flashlights had died during the 9+ hour ride down here. (Please note: for those of you awaiting the results of the poetry slam, rap battle, despite Bus #1’s preparedness with some potentially legendary lyrics, Mr. Lang’s Bus 2 (very suspiciously) has requested a postponement. Needless to say, we remain battle-ready.)

We actually arrived ahead of schedule and soon the excitement of new rooms, fun roommates and the stunning alpine scenery provided reason for exhilaration. A light dinner was served soon thereafter, topped off by Kaiserschmarrn (we are in Austria, after all!). The roar of the dining room chatter registered a familiar din to the teachers, similar to years past, with this year’s decibel reading the equivalent of a jackhammer-on-steel combination with Category 5 hurricane winds. Par for the course down here. (We should have measured the next night’s delivery of second helpings of Schnitzel, but it might have broken the device.)

We benefit now from pre-registration at our rental ski partners and, combined with patience of your children (really!), we were able to get in and out and onto the slopes relatively quickly for our advanced assessment and the onset of our beginner program. We have experienced an interesting problem this year: a host of fantastic advanced skiers. Coupled with a very athletic and motivated group of beginners, we’ve noted a lot of happy faces on the slopes. Perfection? On the horizon. (Is it ok if I wear two left-handed gloves?” “ I don’t understand why I need to learn how to fall.” “Could you teach me how to put on snow pants?” etc.) 

The bus rides to and from the ski area provide some of the best (and most memorable) social interactions – thank the absence of cell phones! One example: “I just want to have two kids, but before that I want to be financially independent.” (Never too early?!) 

Just today, I enjoyed a charming discussion today with a student, discovering that her nannies in Rome years ago turned out to be two former favorite JFKS students of mine! (A classic “small world” moment in the big world of JFKS connections.)

It is also true that your kids have received various compliments on their behavior, whether from our daily ski bus drivers or the staff at the rental facility, and that’s really rewarding for all of us chaperones and hopefully for the parents as well. 

We’re on the verge of the first ski-free day – right after the first dance party!  

-Mr. Felt

 

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TRAIN STRIKE: 07.-08.03 (THU-FRI)

Dear Parents,

Unless an agreement is reached quickly, there will be another train strike from Thursday morning, March 7 (02:00) through Friday afternoon, March 8 (13:00) which will affect the S-Bahn and regional trains in Berlin. The BVG (busses, trams and U-Bahn) will not be affected.

Any delays on Thursday due to the strike or increased traffic will be excused by the homeroom teacher, however, please be sure to plan accordingly and leave extra early. Thank you for planning ahead!

Friday is a school holiday for International Women’s Day! 

*****

Liebe Eltern,

Wenn es nicht noch vorzeitig zu einer Einigung kommt, wird es von Donnerstagmorgen (07.03., 02:00 Uhr) bis Freitagnachmittag (08.03., 13:00 Uhr) einen Bahnstreik geben, der die S-Bahnen und Regionalzüge in Berlin betrifft. Die BVG (Busse, Straßenbahnen und U-Bahnen) werden nicht betroffen sein.

Verspätungen am Donnerstag aufgrund des Streiks oder des erhöhten Verkehrsaufkommens werden von der Klassenleitung entschuldigt, wir bitten alle Familien allerdings entsprechend zu planen und früh aus dem Haus zu gehen! Vielen Dank für Ihre Vorausplanung!

Freitag ist ein Feiertag: Internationaler Frauentag!

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HS: AMIS High School Honor Choir Festival – Review and Video Link

Congratulations to Dr. Curtis and the 17 students who participated in the AMIS HS Honor Choir Festival in Paris.

In case you missed the live stream of the concert on Saturday, March 2, you can watch the video here

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SKI TRIP: We arrived!

The 8th graders and accompanying teachers have arrived at their destination! 

Check the school website (in the newsfeed) for more updates in the next two weeks. 

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Einladung: Theater gkds12 (06. + 07.03.)

Es ist wieder soweit, das Semester (und die Schulzeit) für unsere Abi-12er neigt sich dem Ende. Der gkDS12 führt sein Abschlussprojekt auf: “Jedermann – vom Leben und Sterben des reichen Mannes”. Eine Tragikomödie nach Hugo von Hofmannsthal. 6.+7. März. 19:00 Uhr, kleine Aula.

Alle weiteren Infos siehe Einladung unten. Karten nur an der Abendkasse. Sprache und Inhalte könnten für kleine Kinder ungeeignet sein. 

Mit theatralen Grüßen

i.A. gkds12

Hr. Martens, HS Drama

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Congrats, Gymnastics Team!

The student athletes who competed at the Jugend Trainiert für Olympia and Paralympics gymnastics competition this week were outstanding! They fought through their nerves, competed new skills, and are already excited for next year! 

Boys Team: 1st place

Girls Teams: 5th, 7th and 8th place

Congratulations!

 

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Congrats, ES Basketball Teams!

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