A preparatory class (Vorbereitungsklasse, VKL) is a special class at the school, where your child (between ages 6 and 15) learns German and learning techniques. There are preparatory classes (VKL) at elementary schools (Grundschule) and secondary schools (Gemeinschaftsschule, Hauptschule, Werkrealschule, Gymnasium). Your child will learn the German language and interact with other children during subjects such as gym or music. The better your child learns and understands German, the more time he or she will spend in the standard classes with other children. Normally, after one year, your child will leave the preparatory class and join the other students in all subjects.
A list of schools near you that offer preparatory classes (VKL) may be found here.
Like everywhere in Germany, in Baden-Wuerttemberg, your child must attend school. This is called compulsory education. Compulsory education begins when your child is six years old. Then your child must go to elementary school (Grundschule). If your child has a disability, there is also the possibility that he or she attend a special needs school (Sonderpädagogische Bildungs- und Beratungszentrum, SBBZ).
Your child must attend school until the age of 18. Afterwards, your child is no longer required to attend school, although he or she may continue if desired.
For more information about compulsory education and the school system in Baden-Wuerttemberg click here.