Atlanta International School celebrated the beginning of the advent season with its annual Weihnachtmarkt – a traditional German Christmas Market – on Dec. 5, but it wasn’t the only thing that spread cheer.

The school also was awarded the PASCH designation, indicating it is a partner school of the Federal Republic of Germany, or Bundesrepublik Deutschland, making it the first full-day school to receive the award. The award, presented by representatives of the German Consulate General, was received by students in the school’s German language program.

The goal of PASCH (“Schools: Partners for the Future” in English) is to build a network of partner schools that fosters interest in Germany in young people. AIS, which excels in German education, is one of 1,000 PASCH schools worldwide.

“Atlanta International School is proud to be recognized as a partner school by the German government,” said Kevin Glass, headmaster of the school located on North Fulton Drive. “This is definitive testimony to the quality of our entire school program, as well as our German language teachers and students from pre-kindergarten through Grade 12.”

The ceremony coincided with Weihnachtsmarkt, a popular outdoor street market that featured traditional German food, drink, music and arts and crafts.