FSO – Freie Schule Odenwald
69483 Wald Michelbach
Tel.: +49 (0) 6207 / 924 851
Fax: +49 (0) 6207 / 949 872
The Drachenschule is a state-approved, Grund and integrated Gesamtschule located in Wald Michelbach, a rural community in Kreis Bergstrasse. Students at the school work with and interact with peers from various age groups and determine for themselves what they want to learn. Currently, 40 students attend the Drachenschule and the school plans on expanding to a maximum enrollment of 50 students. Students at the school, commute from Mannheim, Weinheim, Heidelberg, and smaller communities scattered throughout the Odenwald.
Every morning at the Drachenschule begins with the student led Schulversammlung (School Meeting). The Schulversammlung is the only required event in a typical day at the school and determines nearly all rules and aspects of student life. Conceptionally, the school is based off of the teachings of Maria Montessori, Rebecca Wild, current research in the field of neurobiology, and Marshall Rosenberg’s Gewaltfreie Kommunikation (Nonviolent Communication). Additionally, the school works with the Gesellschaft für Systemische Pädagogik (Society for Systemic Pedagogy), and emphasizes creating a safe, stimulating learning environment for its’ students.
We are interested in building relationships with other academic institutions both inside and outside of Germany and value cultural exchanges. Alongside our German Lernbegleiters, we also have team members from the United States, Chile, and Great Britain. Following prior notice and an accompanying discussion, we are also interested in hosting representatives from like-minded institutions, and can provide free accommodations.
School Info Chart
Tel.: +49 6207 924851
schnittstelle(at)drachenschule-odenwald.de (Tara Fuchs and Matthias Dautel)
Q & A – Drachenschule at a glance
What is the legal status of the school? Private school, acknowledged by German state
When was the school founded? 2007
How many students are there? 50
Which student age groups are there? From 5 to 17 (open till 18 years of age), 10th standard
How many (full-time equivalent) staff members? 7 to 8
How many school hours per day and week? 5 hours/day plus more optional time for exploration, projects and fun
Interested in hosting interns? Yes
Interested in the EUDEC Diploma? Yes
Interested in the EUDEC exchange program? Yes
How often do school meetings take place? 2 meetings per week plus 10 to 15-min. meetings daily
Which decision making bodies are there? School assembly incl. of all children and staff
What is the parents’ role in school life? Supportive role of parents in operating the school, management of financial and legal matters, PR, Fundraising, maintenance of building, cleaning, living a philosophy that matches the school’s idea at home, offer whatever knowledge they have at the school assembly’s request.
What is the parents’ role in decision making? Fundamental decisions regarding changes in school concept and sales of property can only be made with approval of the members of the society at the base of the school
Who is financially and legally responsible
for your school? Management and members of Trägerverein / society hosting Drachenschule
Who makes financial and legal decisions? Management of Trägerverein (who are being elected by the association hosting DS)
What is the school building like? A generously spaced, 2-storied building with 5000 sqm garden, play and soccer area adjacent to a park and a forest.
Is your school a boarding school? No
From how far do most students come from? The students commute from places like Bensheim, Weinheim, Michelstadt, Heidelberg, Neckarsteinach – upto approx. one hour commuting time. Bus stop nearby. Parents form coops to reach kids to school.
In what kind of area is the school located? Located in a beautiful, peaceful, green rural area in the Odenwald area. 45. min from Heidelberg, 30 min. from Mannheim.
How is the school funded? Monthly tuition fees by parents plus yearly allowance per child through state
Can students get a degree/diploma? Yes. This is optional as per student’s wish. EUDEC diploma as well as state exams (Hauptschul-/Realschulabschluss)
Is there any curriculum planning? The students decide about their studies and contents themselves with the support of our staff – they are not called teacher but Lernbegleiter*innen – they are facilitators who support and communicate with the kids on eye level.
Please feel free to contact us for further information and check out our website http://www.drachenschule-odenwald.de (German only)