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United States Air Force
School Liaison Specialist (SLS)
Located with A&FRC
Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base
Neuteveren Germany 52511
Each installation provides information about the types of schools and programs offered on or near your installation for your child. Learn about the types of programs, guidelines and requirements for each school. Whether you choose to send your child to a Department of Defense School, a private school or public school, your installation can help you explore all of your options to make the right decision for you and your child.
AFNORTH International School
The AFNORTH International School, a DoDDS school, was founded in September 1967 and provides education for about 1,400 Children of Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFC) and other NATO personnel serving at the headquarters and nearby commands.
Four nationalities sponsor the school: Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the Federal Republic of Germany. Responsibility for international administration is vested in a Director appointed by the Board of Governors. Each of the national sections has its own principal or head teacher who is responsible for his/her section to both the director and to his/her national education authority. The director and the principals are together responsible for fostering the international ethos of the school and for respecting the educational requirements of each nation. This responsibility includes the mandate, as agreed by all four nations, to attempt insofar as possible to standardize instruction, develop common courses, promote language learning, and facilitate intercultural exchanges. The spirit of internationalism and cooperation amongst NATO partners is well represented in the educational setting where NATO children study and learn together.
AFNORTH International Elementary, Jr. High and High School offers education for dependents of all personnel stationed at JFC, Geilenkirchen, and Schinnen. The school is located at Brunssum, the Netherlands, caters to American, Canadian, British, and German students.
Higher educational opportunities are plentiful for those who seek them while stationed at Geilenkirchen. The Education Center, located in Bldg. 89, offers family members, as well as Active Duty members the opportunity to complete a degree. Associate, bachelors and masters degree programs are offered at reduced tuition to those in uniform.
Americans can also use the local German and Dutch schools. German Kindergarten schools are most frequently used. The older the child the more German is used. Private school listing information can be given upon arrival. These schools are on a space available basis which is subject to review at any time, which can result in a student having to vacate their spot for local nationals.
The school year in Kreis Heinsberg (the greater Geilenkirchen area) usually begins in August and runs for almost 11 months with several long vacations throughout the year. The German school system is divided into primary, secondary, and higher level education, with the first 9 years being obligatory. The government operates most German schools. Students including foreign children pay no tuition. However, there are several private preschools operating in the local area that charge an income based fee for children attending. In addition, few schools provide bus transportation. Most students walk, bike, use the public bus system, or are driven by parents.
Organized sports and band are provided through clubs separate from the schools, but which often use school sport facilities in the afternoons. Some schools provide language tutoring for non-German speaking children during school hours or in the afternoons, particularly those schools with large numbers of foreign students (Geilenkirchen/Gilrath). Religion is part of the school curriculum. The instruction is mainly Christian teaching.
Enrolling in Neighborhood Schools
If you wish to enroll your child in German school, you may make direct inquires to your city or community authorities. Note: Some city or school officials may question you regarding registration with the German authorities; American military members and their families are not required to register.
You can call the "Stadt-" or "Gemeindeverwaltung" to determine which school your child will attend or call the school "schule" directly. (Telephone numbers are listed alphabetically in the "White Pages.") The authorities should give you the address and telephone number of the appropriate school as well as the name of the school's director. You may then contact the school director for an enrollment appointment.
During the visit with the school director you will need to supply personal information such as address, date of birth, etc., as well as present documentation such as passports, immunization records, and school records, if applicable. The director should provide you with the following information: exact dates for the start and close of the school year, dates of school holidays, times for the school day, your child's class schedule, list of needed supplies, and any information concerning possible tutoring or after school care.