Veteran Military Wife says:
September 1, 2010 at 9:50 am
Some websites for the SHAPE area regarding schooling:
SHAPE High School (includes 7th & 8th grade administratively)
Information on the different SHAPE school sections
SHAPE American Elementary School (grades K-6)
SHAPE Area Christian Homeschool Network
Most Americans send their school to the American side, but as a bonus, the American side of the elementary school has 30% international students. I’m not sure of the stats for the HS, but there are many foreign students there as well.
Many parents also send mostly younger children to the Belgian school on post, which is also part of the International School…to avoid confusion, the International School on SHAPE interconnects all the other NATO countries’ schools, such as Polish, German, British, Canadian, etc…they are a loose knit group of buildings all in one area and share the large grassy playground, gym and also cafeteria. Some Americans also send their children to the local Belgian schools in their commune where they live.
Great news for homeschoolers in Europe as DODEA, formerly DODDS allows those students to participate in a wide range of activities and classes. Take advantage of those!
Sports in this area are run by MWR and not by the schools, per se. There is soccer, football and a variety of other sports throughout the year.
The schools do conduct cool fieldtrips. I know my 8th grader is going to the Louvre in Paris for one of his! How great is that?
HS and ES students ride the same buses to school….huge plus for younger siblings and allows them to ALL leave for school at the same time.
When looking at housing, get the sheet from the housing office that lists which towns the school buses service. You may find yourself driving your kids to the next town or to SHAPE itself because there is no bus service to your town. It happens more than you think.
Kids get to sleep in! My kids leave the house for the bus at 0750 AM….but don’t get home til just after 4 pm. Due to sports, many times, they walk from school to one of the fields on SHAPE. Or they can go to the library where I meet them later.
School lunches run on the AAFES lunch program. You can pay directly at the cafeteria or add to your kids’ accounts at AAFES, the PX at Chievres.
Elementary school runs an A, B, C, D-type schedule, three classes at 90 minutes each. These rotate, so you may have A, C and D one day, then A, B and C the next and so on, so it is not on/off like some other DODEA elementary schools…it takes some getting used to especially trying to figure out which day the kids should bring their white soled tennis shoes and white shirts for gym and such…teachers say, bring them every day! HS is pretty much standard.
School supplies are standard, and we found everything we needed in the weeks before school at the PX.
HS kids in grades 9-12 can go off campus for lunch. Everyone else must remain on school grounds throughout the day. Kids under those grades also need to be signed out/in for appointments and such. The health clinic/dental is conveniently right across the street.
There is also a very nice skate park right between the health clinic and the schools:-)