A Necessary Move

Students transition from German school on Fort Bliss to IB remote learning

David Wart

David Wart

By Keidy Palma, Copy Editor

New incoming juniors Julius Wurz, Benno Gietman and David Wart felt the pressures of being the new kids at school like never before. Not only had they never set foot in an American campus, but they also had to make a transition to learning behind a computer screen. 

At the beginning of this school year, Wurz, Gietman and Wart transferred to El Dorado High School from the German School of El Paso to join the IB program. Not only did they have to transition to a new school that spoke a different language, they had to make this move via remote learning. 

“It was difficult starting a new school, especially online,” Wart said. “It was one thing to be the new kid and a completely different thing to think and speak in English in front of a computer all day long.” 

Initially, the students moved to El Paso when their parents were stationed at Fort Bliss. They began their studies at the German School of El Paso, but because the school only went up to grade 10, they had to move schools to finish grades 11-12. Therefore, this diploma would not be accepted by colleges in Germany, which is why Wurz, Gietman and Wart had to join the International Baccalaureate Program, which would transfer their credits internationally. 

“Joining the IB program was the only way to have my grades recognized by international universities,” Wurz said. “If I wanted to continue my studies, this transition was essential.”

Although the transition was difficult, the three boys quickly adjusted to this change. After being integrated into El Dorado by their classmates who quickly added them to their IB group chat and the teachers who made sure they were introduced in every class period, they knew they had someone to count on through this remote transition.

“Sometimes it was difficult to understand certain things online,” Gietman said. “But if I did not understand something, I knew I could turn to my teachers and classmates to be my anchors through it all.”

The stigma of being the new weird and unapproachable new kids at school still follows Wurz, Gietman and Wart, even through their computer screen. And while they still have some adjusting to do, they are eager to continue their studies at El Dorado and meet new friends and people; even if it’s online. 

“The inclusion I felt by all my peers and teachers was what made this transition so easy,” Wurz said. “One thing that makes me look forward to the future is being able to meet all my classmates and teachers in person one day.”