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Volle Halbtagsgrundschule

christina: I'd rather stay inside but today is my last after school ('after school' in Germany being 12:45 p.m. - go figure)...

Me: And I am so looking forward to that this fall! :-(

christina: Even worse if it's not a verlässliche Grundschule- then they can send them home any old time.

I think I've complained before that the concept of substitute teachers is unknown in Germany. If a teacher is sick or doesn't show up for some reason, they send the kids home.

In that sense we're lucky, Jesteburg has a Volle Halbtagsschule, "full half-day school" (the link is even in English), which means the children aren't just supervised during empty hours, but are guaranteed to have 5 hours of instruction with certified teachers each day. The concept was tested in Lower Saxony in the '90s, but was discontinued and replaced with the cheaper verlässliche Grundschule. Our local school fought to keep their system and won.

For first graders the school day is only 4 hours, though, mornings from 8 to 12. I'm not sure if anyone would want to employ a sys admin who has to be home by noon every day.

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