Santa Monica School

10792 National Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

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Classes offered at the Santa Monica German School Campus


4 – 5 year old students

Introduction to the German language and culture in three steps:

1. Working on oral comprehension
2. Motivating students to speak achieved through games, songs, crafts and
additional fun activities
3. Progression in writing and reading

Unterstufe I/Elementary School Level:

6 – 8 year old students

The focus is on expanding vocabulary and verbal skills through age appropriate topics and a variety of activities. With the introduction to basic German grammar, writing skills will also be promoted. A1 Testing starts.

Unterstufe II / Middle School Level:

9 – 12 year old students

Emphasis on vocabulary enrichment and development of writing and grammar skills in preparation for A2 Testing.

Oberstufe/High School Level:

12 – 17 year old students

Goal for the students is to achieve written and oral competence in German. Preparation for AATG II – IV Testing (American Association of Teachers of German), A2 and DSD 1 and 2 Testing. See Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen

School Staff

Elisabeth Beken (School Principal)

Born in the vibrant city of Munich, Germany, Ms. Beken, the dedicated Principal of GASA Santa Monica, brings a global perspective and a rich cultural background to her role. Her journey in education began with a study of acting, film production, directing, and screenwriting, weaving together a tapestry of creativity and academic expertise. With 23 years of teaching experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge and a deep commitment to fostering both creative thinking and academic excellence

Having delved into psychology and pedagogy in her native Germany, Ms. Beken’s passion for education was ignited during her internship at a Montessori Kindergarten in Munich. This early experience, combined with her later studies in the United States, shaped her into the visionary educator she is today.

GASA Santa Monica holds a unique place among the 11 campuses of the German American School Association in California. As the principal of this distinctive institution, Ms. Beken is dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment that welcomes individuals from all backgrounds and religions.

Beyond her professional role, Ms. Beken is a devoted mother with two children attending GASA Santa Monica. This dual role uniquely positions her to understand the needs of both parents and students. Her leadership decisions are not only rooted in educational expertise but also in the deep care and consideration she holds for the individual journey of each child.

In her vision for GASA Santa Monica, Ms. Beken sees more than a school; she envisions a diverse community where cultural richness, academic excellence, and personal growth converge.

Petra Wise (Substitute Teacher)

Petra was born and raised in the South of Germany. She holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and has taught High School and College students since 1995. Petra has worked at the Santa Monica Branch of GASA since 2003. In the classroom she tries to implement all learning options, visual, auditory and through practical work. She also likes to introduce the students to classic German characters.

About Us

Multilingualism is the norm in most of the world and we believe that children who speak and write more than one language will be better prepared for life in the 21st century with its growing global economy. The best way to master another language is to start learning at an early age.

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    Student Policy

    GASA admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.