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Department of the Air Force
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.
Parents have three basic options for schooling: private English-speaking schools, local German schools, and home-schooling. There are no Department of Defense Dependents School (DoDDS) schools available for Kalkar dependent students.
Most students from the US community attend either the International School of Düsseldorf (ISD) or St. George's English International School for grades K - 12. Both schools are located just north of the Düsseldorf International Airport, and are about a 1 hour and 15 min drive from the Kalkar area, depending on traffic. Most families that send their children to these schools decide to live in the north Düsseldorf metro area so their children are closer to the schools and the members commute to the Kalkar area for work since the commute is opposite of normal traffic congestion (50 min average commute). Arnhem International School is another English International School option that is popular with the NATO community and it is located a little closer to the Kalkar area being just over the border in Arnhem, NL. Registration and tuition fees for qualified dependents are paid by the Non-DoD School Program (NDSP). Parents can use their remaining education allowance to pay for school transportation (POV, public transportation or taxi/school van contract), but no government/school contracted school transportation is available.
For more information, parents should visit the NDSP web site. Parents should also visit the school websites below as applicable:
More information is also available in the attached school/school transportation info document:
ISD is an independent, co-educational International style school serving approximately 1000 English speaking students from 50 countries. It is located near the Düsseldorf airport (about a 1 hour and 15 minute bus ride each way from Kalkar, but closer from other communities). Students leave Kalkar at about 7:00 a.m. and get home about 5:00 p.m. There are school buses scheduled for students staying for after-school activities. For weekend school activities, parents provide transportation or students can use train service.
ISD is based on the International Baccalaureate program. ISD emphasizes small classes and utilizes the latest instructional methods which enable the school to offer a rich and varied program for high school students. Elective courses in typing, computers, video and film, advanced science and mathematics, art, and music complement the academic schedule. German language courses are mandatory for all students, third-language courses are mandatory for 7th and 8th graders. The extracurricular program includes the arts, sports, and drama. There are expenses for these programs, which students are responsible for. ISD is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the European Council of International Schools. ISD offers the International Baccalaureate diploma, as well as an accredited high school diploma. Courses dedicated to US history or US government are not offered. For more information, you can access ISD's website.
The Non-DoD Schools Program (NDSP) schools office has also offered to pay for registration and tuition fees for other schools, such as the Arnhem International School (located in the Netherlands) and St. George's school, which is located in Duisburg. The websites for these schools are Arnhem International School and St. George's school, respectively. Parents may choose these or any other day schools for their children, instead of ISD. Transportation, however, will only be paid for by Non-DoDDs to ISD. Parents will be responsible for their own transportation to/from these schools for their children.
Upon arrival into the Kalkar area, we suggest that you visit these towns/schools to find out for yourself which is the best option for you. The accessibility to the A-57 highway from each town and house you look at will help determine the time your child will spend on the bus if attending a school in the Düsseldorf area. Since space in some classes may be limited, you may have to decide on a school and housing location before you arrive to ensure your child a seat in the desired school.
Many parents elect to send their young children to local German kindergarten. Every town has several kindergartens which take children from 3-5 years old, and some take children as young as two. Instruction is all in German, of course. The German kindergarten emphasizes social and emotional development of children before they enter formal education, and is similar to American pre-school. There is a modest fee for the school that is based on your annual gross income, and whether you choose half days or full days. This fee will be paid for by NDSP only if your child is considered of school age: 5 years old as of 1 September. Many kindergartens are half price or free for children older than 3 years old.
Children may also attend local German school. And home-schooling is of course available here at Kalkar. The School Liaison Officer can help you with these options. Also, see the NDSP website for details on how they can help cover costs of these programs, to include supplemental language instruction, and study materials.