Absences (Illness, Leaves) - Elementary School
Regular attendance is important for a successful school experience. Any absence for which a proper excuse has not been received is considered “unexcused” and will be marked as such on the student’s report card. Please use this Absence Excuse Form (or a similar format) – it needs to be printed, completed and signed by a parent or guardian, indicating the dates and periods of the absence and the reason.
Participation in school-sponsored activities are excused absences. Students remain responsible to catch up on all work missed including homework. They have to make arrangements with their teachers to find out about assignments and, if necessary, make-up dates for quizzes or tests.
Absences due to illness:
Parents must submit a written and signed excuse note to the homeroom teacher stating the length of and reason for the absence upon the student’s return to school (see sample excuse note). A doctor’s note may be requested by the administration on a case-by-case basis.
Students diagnosed with a reportable infectious disease must inform the school immediately. Upon returning to school, a doctor’s certificate (Gesundschreibung) confirming that the student is no longer infectious and may return to school must be submitted to the homeroom teacher. Examples of reportable infectious diseases (meldepflichtige Krankheiten) which must be reported to the health authorities per the German Infection Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz/IfSG) include mumps, measles (Masern), rubella (German measles, Röteln), chicken pox (Windpocken), scarlet fever (Scharlach), strep throat (Streptokokken).
Non-participation in sport:
If a student is unable to participate in sport class due to injury or illness, parents must submit a written and signed excuse note to the sports teacher. A doctor’s note is required for extended non-participation in sport.
Homeroom teachers must be informed in advance about planned short absences. Reasons may include doctor’s appointments which cannot be scheduled outside of school hours, official district doctor’s exams, or passport/visa appointments. Notices can be submitted by email to the homeroom teacher but must be followed up with a written and signed excuse note in order to be excused (see sample excuse note).
Any leave of absence up to three days must be requested in advance by email to the homeroom teacher. If the absence includes both a Monday and a Friday, the weekend counts as an additional day. Reasons may include, for example, funerals or sport tournaments. Absences must be followed up with a written and signed excuse note in order to be excused (see sample excuse note).
4 days and more
Any leave of absence 4+ days must be requested in advance using the Leave of Absence Request Form signed by all parents/legal guardians. If the absence includes both a Monday and a Friday, the weekend counts as an additional day. Reasons may include, for example, visiting a prospective new school or planned health treatments (Kur). Leaves of absence of 4+ days can only be granted by the ES Administration.
3 weeks to 1 year
Any leave of absence exceeding 14 days must be requested in advance using the Leave of Absence Request Form signed by all parents/legal guardians. Proof of enrollment at another school is required before leaving, in addition to a report card (or progress report) upon return. Requests for leaves for the full school year are by the superintendent (Schulaufsicht). Leaves of absences for attending another school in Berlin or Brandenburg (e.g. for a semester or year probationary period) will not be granted. Equally, leaves of absences of longer than one year will not be granted.
Before or after a school holiday
Any leave of absence before or after a school holiday (summer or fall vacation, single day holidays such as Memorial Day, etc.) cannot be granted by the homeroom teacher but requires principal approval. Generally, however, leaves of absences right before or after vacation are not granted.
For more information see AV Schulbesuchspflicht, Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Jugend und Familie (in German).
Absences (Illness, Leaves) - High School
Regular attendance is important for a successful school experience. Any absence for which a proper excuse has not been received is considered “unexcused” and will be marked as such on the student’s report card. Please use this Absence Excuse Form – it needs to be printed, completed and signed by a parent or guardian.
Students participating in school related activities are marked as “excused” absences. Students remain responsible to catch up on all work missed including homework. They have to make arrangements with their teachers to find out about assignments and, if necessary, make-up dates for quizzes or tests.
In case of illness, the homeroom teacher/tutor and the HS office must be informed of the student’s absence by email each day by 08:00 at the latest. Please put the office in the cc of your email (). Parents must submit a written excuse note to the homeroom teacher by the third consecutive day of illness.
Absences due to illness may be excused by the parents. Upon the student’s return to school the written excuse must be given to the homeroom teacher or tutor stating the length of and reason for the absence.
If the student is excused from sports due to injury or illness, please submit a written excuse note to the sports teacher.
Students who have been ordered into quarantine due to suspected cases of Covid-19 must inform the school immediately. You can find more information on our school website for Covid (link available in the Parent section of the website).
Students diagnosed with a reportable disease (meldepflichtige Krankheit, which must be reported to the health authorities per the German Infection Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz/IfSG)) such as influenza A/B, mumps (Mumps), measles (Masern), rubella (German measles, Röteln), chicken pox (Windpocken), scarlet fever (Scharlach), strep throat (Streptokokken) or another infectious illness must inform the school immediately. Upon returning to school, students must give the homeroom teacher a doctor’s certificate (Gesundschreibung) confirming that the student is no longer infectious and may return to school.
Leaves of Absence
Requests for a leave of absence must be submitted in writing and signed by both parents / legal guardians. Request forms are available in the offices or in the parent section of the website.
1-3 days: any leave of absence up to three days (including the weekend counting as one day) can be granted by the homeroom teacher or tutor.
4+ days: any leave of absence of 4+ days (including the weekend counting as one day) must be submitted to the homeroom teacher, however, these requests must be reviewed and approved by a principal.
Before or after a school holiday: A leave of absence right for days before or after vacation cannot be granted by the homeroom teacher but requires principal approval. Generally, however, leaves of absences right before or after vacation are not granted.
Early Release Due to Hot Weather
Early release due to hot weather means that JFKS instruction and activities will end for all grade levels (EC-10) at 13:20. Students must leave campus, or remain in Hort or Late Birds. Grades 11-12 have regular instruction and will be not be released early.
Policy will take effect when temperature of 25°C is measured in any third floor ES classroom by 10:30. The decision to declare early release will be made at 10:30.
When the decision is made to declare early release, 7th and 8th hour as well as all after-school activities sponsored by JFKS will be cancelled. By 11:00, parents will be notified via email and an announcement will be made for all students and staff over the intercom in the school buildings. A notice will also be put on the front page of the JFKS website. The school will notify all necessary parties such as the caterers, bus company, Hort and Late Birds.
Supervision will be provided by JFKS for students not enrolled in Hort/Late Birds and who go home on school buses at 15:00.
At 13:20, grades EC-2 are released as usual (Hort, Late Birds, bus, pick-up). Children who would have attended a 13:20 after school activity sponsored by JFKS must be picked up or enrolled in an after-school program (Hort or Late Birds).
At 13:20, grades 3 -6 are released by their 6th hour teacher.
At 13:05, grades 7-10 are released. Grades 11-12 continue regular class schedules.
Electronic Devices – Elementary School
The use of electronic devices brought from home is not allowed for students in the JFKS Elementary School.
Upon reaching the front or back gate, students are expected to turn off and put away all mobile phones, mp3 players, game boys etc. Electronic devices used at school will be taken away and given to the homeroom teacher who will return them the following day when a note from the parents has been brought to school.
In some cases in the upper elementary school, parents are expected to come to school to retrieve cell phones, when students are using them on school grounds or during instruction.
Electronic Media Devices (EMDs) – High School
An EMD is defined as any device that has access to the internet, including but not limited to smartphones, laptops, tablets, watches, and desktops.
In grades 7-10, no EMDs shall be used by any student on campus between the hours of 8am and 3pm on a day of regular instruction.
In grades 11-12, EMDs may be used on campus and in the student lounge. When asked by a teacher, students must demonstrate their grade by presenting a student ID with a green band.
EMDs are not permitted to be used in class. However, teachers may specifically allow the use of EMDs to aid instruction.
All students may use EMDs for educational purposes in the library.
It is inappropriate and not permitted
- to use EMDs for uploading or otherwise distributing photographs and/or personal information about other students, teachers, administration, and parents without their explicit permission and
- to use EMDs for obtaining or distributing in any fashion restricted information for tests, quizzes
and other school work and
- to play games without educational purposes or access a website banned by the school.
Permission to use a specific EMD in class may be granted by the teacher conference in the official accommodation for a special learning need.
The use of EMDs is prohibited during tests and Klausuren. Teachers may collect all EMDs at the start of a test or Klausur. For any student seen using an EMD during a test or Klausur, even during a break, their test or Klausur is graded as a “6” (0 points) or an “F”.
Any EMD that is used in violation of this policy will be confiscated by a member of the staff and given to the administration. The student is allowed to pick up their EMD at the end of their school day. Three violations of the EMD policy will result in a misconduct. Continued violations may result in a Class Conference.
Regardless of a student’s grade level, disruptive use of an EMD may result in its confiscation.
Students are graded according to the German (numerical) grading system. The following list shows the equivalent in the American grading system for Grade 4-6:
|80 – 95%
|60 – 79%
|45 – 59%
|16 – 44%
|0 – 15%
Students are graded according to the German (numerical) grading system. The following list shows the equivalent in the American grading system for Grades 7-12:
|1 = Very Good
|1+ = A+
|1 = A
|1- = A
|2 = Good
|2+ = A-
|2 = B+
|2- = B
|3 = Satisfactory
|3+ = B-
|3 = C+
|3- = C
|4 = Adequate
|4+ = C-
|4 = D
|4- = D
|5 = Poor, Failing
|5+ = F
|5 = F
|5- = F
|6 = Failed
|6 = F
The School Conference has the authority to decide on the principles of homework, including maximum amounts of homework per day, according to the regulations of the Berlin school law.
Students should be able to complete their homework without the help of a parent, guardian, or other person. Time and effort spent on homework has an impact on the quality of work turned in and therefore on the grade received on the assignment. Both the quality and quantity of homework accomplished is important when determining grades.
Homework should be review material that has already been taught or is unable to be completed in class. Students should preferably have more than one evening to complete assignments. Homework as a punishment or as a disciplinary measure is not pedagogically sound and therefore not allowed.
Students may not be asked to work on homework or projects over school holidays, school vacations, or weekends in grades EC through 10th. Homework may be assigned on a Friday if it can reasonably be completed on the same day.
In the high school, all homework must be assigned verbally in class, and teachers are encouraged to post on WebUntis to ensure transparency and clarity for students. Google Classroom may be used as an alternative to WebUntis.
After being ill, students have the same number of school days to make up any missed homework or class work as were originally missed due to illness. Students are encouraged to contact classmates to receive information about missed assignments. These assignments should also be posted on WebUntis or Google Classroom by the teacher or provided to students upon their return.
For elementary school, homework may not exceed the amount of time noted below per day/week per grade level for ALL subjects combined. This time includes reading in both languages. Studying for tests and homework of practicing a musical instrument is not included. Teachers and students should communicate to ensure that levels are not being exceeded. Times should be adjusted for special needs students in accordance with their accommodation plan.
|Grades 1 and 2
|10-20 minutes per day, 100 minutes per week
|Grades 3 and 4
|20-40 minutes per day, 200 minutes per week
|Grades 5 and 6
|50-60 minutes per day, 300 minutes per week
For high school, all students should be able to complete their homework within a reasonable timeframe. Teachers and students should communicate to ensure that this level is not being exceeded.
For diploma students in the 11th and 12th grade, the amount of time spent on homework may vary depending on the number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses taken. AP classes are college level and require additional individual student preparation and study time.
For students requiring additional assistance with their homework, homework help is offered in both the elementary school and high school. Students and parents are encouraged to communicate with the subject teacher, homeroom teacher, and administration if a student is struggling greatly with the amount of homework.
If you are notified by the school of a case of lice in your child’s grade level, please check your child’s hair and head to make sure they are lice free.
If lice are discovered we require proof of treatment (packaging of medication used) and a written confirmation that the child is lice-free after treatment. Only then your child is allowed to return to school. A second treatment is required per the treatment instructions (usually 7-10 days after the first round).
Lost and Found
Detailed information about lost and found items and storage areas can be found here.
School Rules - Elementary School & Hort
A list of school rules for the elementary school and Hort can be found here.
Additionally, for safety reasons, only walking is allowed on the stairs and in the hallways due to the large number of students. If students are caught running they will be asked to return to their starting point and walk the distance again.
Students are asked to move quietly and speak in a normal tone of voice. When using the stairs, students stay on the right hand side. Bouncing balls in the hallways is not allowed.
Students moving to Brandenburg
JFKS students who move to Brandenburg may continue enrollment at JFKS if the student submits proof of the guest student (Gastschüler) status by the Berlin Senate School Authority (Senatsschulverwaltung) and the relevant State School Authorities in Brandenburg.
Upon moving to Brandenburg, parents of JFKS students should immediately initiate the process of obtaining guest student status by contacting their relevant State School Authority (e.g. the Staatliche Schulamt Brandenburg a.d.H. for the cities of Potsdam or Brandenburg, and the Landkreise Potsdam Mittelmark and Teltow-Fläming). Please be aware that you will not receive any prompting and must undertake this process independently in order to continue your child’s enrollment at JFKS. JFKS is not able to counsel or assist you in obtaining this status, and has no influence on the processing time of your application.
Please refer to the Guest Student Agreement (Gastschülerabkommen) between the Land Berlin and the Land Brandenburg (link here) for more information.
Teaching and Learning Materials
The Berlin Senate supplies the funds for teaching and learning materials for JFKS students. JFKS will purchase schoolbooks at bulk prices, and lend out other learning materials to the students, freeing the parents of the task of locating and buying books and learning materials.
The Elementary School posts lists for school supplies for grades EC-6.
In the High School, students are asked to come with writing utensils on the first day of school as individual teachers will inform students what items are required for their class. Some additional materials may need to be purchased by students and their families as of school year 22/23. See this post for more information.
The JFKS Traffic Committee has created a document with detailed information on the traffic situation around the school and explanations of the rules and street signs related to parking.
Thank you for keeping our students safe!
Weapons and other Dangerous Objects
In order to insure the safety of all persons on the school campus, it is forbidden to bring any sort of weapon or dangerous object to school. Weapons include fixed knives of all types, foldable jackknives, switchblades, butterfly knives, gas pistols, and any implement or instrument which could be used as a weapon.
The use of wheels for transportation on the JFKS campus and on the entire ramp is not allowed for safety reasons. Upon reaching the drop arms on each side of the ramp or the back gate, students, teachers and parents are expected to walk their bicycles, carry their skateboards or push their scooters. “Heelies” are not allowed on campus anywhere. Wheelchairs may be used by disabled people.
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