Chronology of Creative Chaos and Containers


State International School Berlin opens its doors

September 2000

The SISB was an initiative from the Senate and the Foreign Office, and started with 4 teachers and 28 students. Rooms had to be shared with the Greek school at the Curtiusstraße in Lichterfelde. Parents and teachers of the Greek school were unhappy with this decision by the Senate. The initial 'Genehmigungschreben' was for year 5&6 plus secondary only. This was changed, to include lower Primary as well. The school started growing both from pre-school up and from year 7 up. Newspaper article:

Move to Pfalzburgerstrasse 23


Discord between Senate and Bezirk over the new location of the growing SISB. Senate wanted Emserstrasse, but then the Robert Jung School would have had to move out. Start at Pfalzburgerstrasse with more classes, both Primary and Sek 1 in one building.

Name change to Nelson Mandela School - rapid expansion


The school grew massively, more international staff was hired, the Primary school soon became 4-zügig and a larger building had to be found. MH always wanted to have one building for the entire school, this didn't materialise. The first container- classrooms appeared on the school yard. The school changed its name to Nelson Mandela School, after am al-school election process. (runner up was Kofi Anan).

More containers and partial move Sek1 to Kastanienallee


More containers were built next to Pfalzburgerstrasse 23, but it was a temporary and poor solution. Teachers had no resources and students often no proper supervision. In 2004 part of the Secondary school moved out, to Kastanienallee. The pre-school was dropped, against the wish of the school.

Secondary at Kastanienallee and P30, further expansion Primary school


While the Primary School became 4-zügig (b/o strong pressure by the Senate and the Auswärtige Amt) with the addition of a fourth 1st grade, the remaining secondary classes moved out to Kastanienallee (which was always going to be a temporary option). Many teachers and students were forced to travel back and forth, as there were also some lessons for Year 12 students at P30 (which was being renovated and partially newly built). International teachers received much lower payments than their German colleagues. NMS lead the fight for Fair Pay, which would take years of action and strikes and would take almost 10 years to book some results.

Primary School extension starts - major construction work


Next to Pfalzburgerstrasse 23 the highly necessary addition for upper Primary (5&6) was being built. Two years of traffic chaos, dust and noise followed.

Primary year 6 students in containers at P30


Lack of space became pressing. More students in containers.

Opening and move upper Primary to new building P23


The move of year 5&6 from containers at P30, as well as from the old building in the middle of the school year (October 13th), was a massive operation, but finally there was some breathing space for Primary teachers and students. The Secondary remained at the Kastanienallee for the time being. There were logistical problems with the Rheinhold-Otto Schule, the school we shared the Kastanienallee Campus with. Again the school was caught between the Senate and the Bezirk.

Move Secondary School to Pfalzburgerstrasse 30


In 2010, after many delays and logistical problems, the Secondary campus at P30 was finally finished, and the school moved out of the Kastanienallee, into P30.

Principal Michael Hertz retires


Founding principal Michael Hertz retires. It takes a long time to find his replacement. During this 'interim' period, the Senate changes the NMS 'Genehmigungschreiben' in order to create a third campus, against the wish of all staff, Schulkonferenz and parents.

Senate forces expansion Prinzregentenstrasse 24


A recent school inspection report stated that the NMS needed time to consolidate for the first time in its existence. The Senate decided that we would not get this time and opened up a new branch, at the Prinzregentenstrasse 24 (P24). NMS had three weeks to organise staff, materials, student registration etc.

New Principal: Christian Nitschke


A new principal, a new name for the extra campus - this became B24 (Babelsbergerstrasse 24). More changes, such as the introduction of workshops, extension of IB from 2 to 3 years. Many colleagues went back and forth between P30 and B24. Those at the Senate, who pushed B24 against the wish of NMS, left or retired, It was a great challenge to maintain the required standard with the funds, resources or contact people. Instead of the much needed consolidation, NMS was again forced to make things work with limited means.

New Principal: Mr Miebs


Christian Nitschke left the school in the Summer of 2016 after only three years and a new principal had to be found. During that time acting principal Brigitte Kather also left, leaving the school without management for some months. In September 2016 Mr.Miebs joined the school as new Principal and was followed in March 2017 by new Vice-principal Mrs Sajid. Regarding the future of B24 and the second international school, the answers can be found on the Internet: