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Our partners and memberships

Partnering organizations are key to delivering consistent quality across our curriculum. We are a proud member and partner of the following organizations:

ZfA (Central Agency for Schools Abroad)

The Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA), which is part of the Federal Office of Administration, coordinates closely with the Federal Foreign Office and the German Länder (federal states) to support the German schools abroad, worldwide. Our school receives financial support, professional development, and teaching materials through the ZfA. 


​Deutsches Sprachdiplom der KMK (German Language Diploma)

The “Deutsches Sprachdiplom (DSD) der Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK)” – the German language diploma of the Conference of Ministers of Education of Germany -  is the only program of the Federal Republic of Germany for German as a second language abroad. The “Deutsche Sprachdiplom” of the KMK can be acquired with an exam following several years of German lessons. The GLSN is qualified to take the DSD I exam which is equivalent to B1 level of the European Reference Framework for languages.


PASCH ("Schools — Partners for the Future") 

Partners for the Future” (PASCH) initiative was launched in February 2008 by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office. Pasch provides teaching materials and professional development classes for German teachers. Our school is an accredited Pasch-School.

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AATG (American Association of Teachers of German)

The American Association of Teachers of German is an individual membership organization in the United States dedicated to the teaching of the language, literature and culture of the German-speaking countries, supporting a variety of local projects with activities focused on public relations, professional development, and teacher and student immersion. The director of the GLSN has been an AATG member for over 20 years.

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German Language School Conference (GLSC) 

Founded in 1978, the German Language School Conference (GLSC) is the only national organization dedicated to the needs of community-based German language schools in the United States. The GLSC mission is to link member schools with a central organization for information and support and assist in the establishment of new language schools. The GLSC provides a forum for sharing experiences and advice. The GLSN has been in contact with other GLSC member schools especially in the Chicagoland area and the Midwest for more than 10 years.


KMK (Kultusministerkonferenz, the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs in Germany)

The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs is the oldest conference of ministers in Germany and plays a significant role as an instrument for the coordination and development of education in the country and for German language learning abroad. The KMK defines the curriculum and the teaching and learning content at the GLSN.


DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst)

The ​DAAD is an independent organisation of German higher education institutions and their student bodies, devoted to internationalising the academic system. It serves as an experienced intermediary between university systems and a worldwide network of external partners. Amongst other things, the DAAD can provide information to GLSN parents about the requirements for studying at a university in Germany with a diploma from a U.S. high school.

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Goethe Institute in Chicago

The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach. We promote knowledge of the German language abroad and foster international cultural cooperation. The Goethe Institute provides teaching materials about German culture for free which are used at the GLSN.

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Jugend debattiert (Youth leading debate) 

This is a joint project of the Goethe Institute, the Non-profit Hertie Foundation and the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (Zentralstelle fuer das Auslandsschulwesen - ZfA). Initiated in 2001 by the former President of Germany Johannes Rau, it now encompasses more than 1400 high schools in Germany and schools in more than 30 countries at which German is taught.  Every school year, students tutored by special-trained teachers compete in debates in German about certain topics. Students from the GLSN participated in such a debate in 2021 for the first time.

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Important German resources 

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