I want to clearly state some things "for the record" in a followup to the last post so there aren't any misunderstandings.
Almost everything related to moving here and living in Germany has been very positive thus far. The biggest and almost only problem has been T's school situation. There are some very negative stereotypes about Germans and Germany in the US and we are pleased to experience first hand that most of this is unwarranted. Germany is a beautiful country and there are many nice and helpful people here that we have met. The main negative cultural points that we are seeing are almost entirely related to T's school situation. There is a pervasive arrogance here that the official German way is the only right way and everyone else is wrong (not being able to see things from other points of view) and that German society seems to be set up to be very bad in dealing with individual needs (you're expected to fall in line with the group, nothing else is considered). Of course these are obviously things that do not work well with immigrant families from different cultures. These things are not unique in any way to Germany but there does seem to be "an edge" here in this direction.
Also, I can see how from my last post it might appear that I am being "the ugly American". I do not expect the school to learn English and use English only for T's sake and our convenience. I understand that this is Germany and we have to do our best to work with the German system and learn and use the German language. In fact I am amazed that so many Germans speak English so well; coming from America I was completely unprepared for how much English is spoken in the rest of the world. Believe me we have tried and are still trying to learn and use German. What I do take issue with is the schools refusal to teach T German, when it is clearly in all of our best interest. His teacher told us in a meeting last year (the same teacher both years) that she has 20 other students to teach and will not spend any extra time with T, so as far as we can understand he sits in a corner all day at school and has no idea of what is going on around him. She seems obsessed with making him learn the German style of cursive handwriting (that all the other kids already know), so this is what she has him work on over and over while she teaches the rest of the class--as far as we can tell. He is at school to learn, but he can't learn if there is no communication, either in German or otherwise. He does have a teacher this year, apart from his regular teacher, that teaches him math. This teacher doesn't speak English but T likes him. He works with T and shows him how to do math problems in a way T can understand. A little effort on an individual level are all that is needed for T to learn, but despite my best efforts his primary teacher does not seem to get this and is just letting him "do his time" until she can pass him off onto someone else.