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General Information

For safety reasons, all visitors and volunteers must report to the school’s front office immediately upon entering the school.

Due to COVID-19, schools are currently minimizing volunteers/visitors in the classroom.

A visitor/volunteer is someone who is not a school employee or enrolled student and enters the school during operating hours. The school administration has the final determination on visitors/volunteers authorized to be at the school. When visiting, visitors/volunteers may go only to the approved area indicated as their destination when signing in at the front office. All visitors will receive an appropriate visitor’s badge, which is to be displayed conspicuously at all times while on school grounds. Any change to the designated location must be approved by the school’s front office before the visitor/volunteer can access a different location within the school. Upon finishing their visit, visitors/volunteers must check out at the front office, return the visitor’s badge, and exit the school. Parents are welcome to visit the school and classrooms to observe the school’s programs for brief periods of time that do not interfere with instruction. Approval by school personnel is required for this type of visitation.

Learn more about volunteering at your school's Get Involved page.

DoDEA school administrators, in partnership with sponsors/family members, students, and military leaders, promote communication through the establishment of advisory committees to address issues (school initiatives, procedures and policies) locally. This is a system-wide way for parents to get involved in their child’s local school. Consult your child’s school to learn more about school advisory committees.

Learn more about SAC's at your school's Get Involved page.

Enrollment

Proof of Eligibility: The sponsor does not need to be present at registration, as long as the parent or other adult registering the child has all the necessary paperwork, in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 1342.13, “Eligibility Requirements for Education of Elementary and Secondary School-Age Dependents in Overseas Areas,” September 20, 2006, as amended, and DoD Instruction 1342.26, “Eligibility Requirements for Minor Dependents to Attend Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS),” March 4, 1997. 

The following documents are necessary to complete the registration process:

  1. Proof of age;
  2. Medical records, including information on medical conditions, medications, and all dates and types of immunizations;
  3. Official documents to support eligibility (e.g., letter of employment, contract, permanent change of station [PCS] orders, etc.); and
  4. Proof of on-base residence (applies to students enrolling in DoD domestic schools).

Contact the registrar at your child’s school to update your child’s information or visit your school's registration page for more information on enrollment. 

In accordance with the policy stated in DoDEA Regulation 2095.01, “School Attendance,” August 26, 2011, as amended, school attendance is mandatory. All students are required to attend school to ensure continuity of instruction and that they successfully meet academic standards and demonstrate continuous educational progress. School attendance is a joint responsibility between the parent or sponsor, student, classroom teacher, school personnel, and, in some cases, the Command. Students with excessive school absences (or tardiness) shall be monitored by the Student Support Team to assist in the completion of all required work and successful mastery of course objectives.

Daily student attendance is identified based upon a quarter of the school day formula. Students will be identified as present or absent, based on the following criteria:

  1. Absent up to 25% of the school day = absent one-quarter of the school day
  2. Absent between 26%–50% of the school day = absent one-half of the school day
  3. Absent 51%–75% of the school day = absent three-quarters of the school day
  4. Absent 76%–100% of the school day = full-day absence

DoDEA considers the following conditions to constitute reasonable cause for absence from school for reasons other than school-related activities:

  1. Personal illness;
  2. Medical, dental, or mental health appointment;
  3. Serious illness in the student’s immediate family;
  4. A death in the student’s immediate family or of a relative;
  5. Religious holiday;
  6. Emergency conditions such as fire, flood, or storm;
  7. Unique family circumstances warranting absence and coordinated with school administration;
  8. College visits that cannot be scheduled on non-school days; and
  9. A pandemic event.

Unexcused absences may result in school disciplinary actions. An absence from school or a class without written verification from a parent or sponsor will be unexcused. Student attendance is calculated based upon the date of enrollment in a DoDEA school, which may occur anytime during the school year. Student attendance monitoring is designed to provide a continuum of intervention and services to support families and children in keeping children in school and combating truancy and educational neglect. Parents should notify the school of their child’s absence 30 minutes after the start of the school day.  Too many unexcused absences may trigger the Student Support Team to convene.

More about DoDEA Attendance Policy (dodea.edu/StudentServices/Attendance)

The Principal may authorize an accelerated withdrawal of a student who must withdraw from school 20 or less instructional days prior to the end of a semester, in accordance with Section 3.1.d, of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1367.01, “High School Graduation Requirements and Policy,” [TBD]. Accelerated withdrawal will only be considered if the parent/sponsor presents PCS orders. The parent or sponsor must present verification of the date required for the student to depart from the school (e.g., PCS orders). All of the conditions of an accelerated study program outlined by the student’s teachers must be met prior to withdrawal in order for grades to be assigned and credit to be granted. Students who withdraw prior to the 20-day limitation of the accelerated withdrawal policy will receive “withdrawal” grades rather than final grades. In this case, the sponsor/parent should notify the school two weeks prior to the date of withdrawal.

High School Graduation

DoDEA accepts the official courses, grades and earned credits of middle school (grades 7–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students who transfer to a DoDEA school from other DoDEA schools or who earn course credits in an accredited non-DoD system (public or private), correspondence, online, and/or home-school program. The accreditation for the sending school or school system must be from one of the six U.S. regional accrediting associations, one of the U.S. state education agencies, or by a public- or state-supported system of accreditation for public or private education programs in a foreign nation, in accordance with Section 4.7, of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1367.01. Please contact your child’s school for questions regarding course credit transfer process and approval.

Report Card and Testing Information

At the beginning of each course or grade level, every DoDEA teacher shall make available information regarding grading policy and course requirements to parents and students. This information will be provided to parents and students by the end of the first month of the school year or by the end of the first month of the semester in the case of a semester course.

If any student demonstrates unsatisfactory progress or achievement, teachers must notify parents with enough time to correct the deficiency. Notification must occur as soon as unsatisfactory achievement is evident, and not later than the midpoint of the nine-week grading period.

Timely and accurate reporting of student progress shall be accomplished for students in grades 4–12, using the approved DoDEA Electronic Gradebook (EGB) System. All assignments (e.g., quizzes, tests, examinations, homework, speeches, etc.) that are used to assess and report student progress shall be promptly evaluated and/or graded, posted in the EGB, and returned to the student. The normal period of evaluation and posting should be no longer than ten calendar days from the day the assignment is collected, with reasonable exceptions for large projects. At a minimum, one assignment or grade should be recorded per week in the EGB System. To create an account and access the EGB System, please visit the DoDEA SIS Gradebook for instructions.

A traditional letter grading system will be used for grades 4–12 report marks.

Grade Numerical Range Description

A

90 – 100

Excellent: Outstanding level of performance

B

80 – 89

Good: High level of performance

C

70 – 79

Average: Acceptable level of performance

D

60 – 69

Poor: Minimal level of performance

F (failing)

0 – 59

Failing (No credit awarded)

For purposes of calculating a student’s high school GPA, the following scales shall be used:

Unweighted Standard Scale Weighted Advanced Placement (with AP exam)

4.0

5.0

3.0

4.0

2.0

3.0

1.0

2.0

0

0

School Health Services

The DoDEA School Meals Program (SMP) supports academic achievement by providing nutritious meals to your students through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.  

  • The School Meals Program is a budget friendly and convenient program for parents that can save time, energy, money and reduce stress.  
  • Households must reapply every school year for free and reduced-price meals, beginning no earlier than July 1st.
  • All meals must be paid for in advance or at the point of sale.
  • A best practice is to fund your child’s account every pay day through the next pay day.

Visit your school's School Meals Program page for more information and the latest school menus.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Students are expected to actively participate in the educational process, including school-sponsored activities in and outside of the classroom, as deemed appropriate. Students should bring to the attention of a school employee behavior or activities that may endanger the safety and well-being of themselves or others.

Students shall:

  1. Comply with policies, procedures and standards for student behavior;
  2. Refrain from conduct or behavior that is disruptive;
  3. Respect the rights and human dignity of other students and all school employees;
  4. Attend school and classes regularly, and punctually and make a conscious effort in all classes;
  5. Participate in and take advantage of educational opportunities provided by DoDEA schools;
  6. Assist school employees in operating a safe school by abiding by the laws of the United States, the local military installation, the host nation, and DoDEA policies, regulations, and procedures;
  7. Properly maintain school property and use school property and equipment for educationally authorized purposes;
  8. Promptly bring to the attention of a DoDEA school employee behavior or activities that may endanger the safety and well-being of themselves or others and to cooperate with school threat assessment procedures; and
  9. Promptly report to the DoDEA School Principal, or another DoDEA school employee, incidents or complaints, including, but not limited to, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or non-sexual harassment, based on race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation or status as a sponsor, parent or legal guardian; intimidation, hazing, bullying (including cyberbullying), or retaliation against persons who report or participate in the investigation of such incidents herein.

Students are expected to dress in a manner that complies with the school’s dress code policy as directed in DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1353.01, “Students Rights and Responsibilities,” April 6, 2021. Please refer to your school’s Web site or school handbook for specific dress code policy.

Student Conduct and Discipline

Management of student behavior is a responsibility shared by students, sponsors/parents/guardians, teachers, and the military command and school communities in general, in accordance with DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1353.01, “Student Rights and Responsibilities,” April 6, 2021. Student behavioral management consists of teaching and reinforcing positive student attitudes and behaviors. Students shall treat teachers, administrators, and other school staff with courtesy, fairness, and respect; and teachers, administrators, and other school staff shall treat students with courtesy, fairness, and respect. All students will be disciplined in a fair and appropriate manner. School administrators shall operate and maintain a safe school environment that is conducive to learning. School administration will ensure prompt investigation and response to incidents or complaints involving students made by students, parents, teachers, or DoDEA staff members.

In accordance with the policy stated in DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1347.01, “Student Disciplinary Rules and Procedures,” April 7, 2021, discipline shall be progressively and fairly administered. Disciplinary actions include, but are not limited to, verbal reprimands, conferences, detention, time-out, alternative in-school placements, school service programs, community service and counseling programs. Other behavior management techniques will be considered prior to resorting to more formal disciplinary actions that remove a student from school for a suspension (short or long term). Long-term suspension or expulsion following a first offense may be considered when a student poses an immediate threat to his or her safety or the safety of others (e.g., offenses involving firearms or other weapons, fighting or violence, or the possession, use, or sale of drugs). Additional rules and procedures can be reviewed in DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1347.01.

In the wake of school violence throughout the world, it is important to analyze the causes of violence and implement preventive measures to assure that every student and adult will feel secure in the school environment. DoDEA implemented a system-wide Bully Prevention program as a part of the Safe Schools and Character Education program.

Stop Bullying now

Bullying is defined as a means to have power over another and it takes many forms: physical, verbal, and indirect such as gossip and isolation. Bullying leaves long-lasting scars for its victims. Bullies have a higher incidence of antisocial behavior, domestic violence and crime as adults. Society pays a heavy toll for tolerating bullying behavior and bullies.

In DoDEA schools and community, bullying will not go unchallenged and will not be tolerated. All students, staff members, parents and the community play vital roles to ensure our children are not bullied, do not act as bullies, and will not allow others to bully. Our schools have a moral obligation to provide our students and the school community with the proper information, prevention strategies, and defenses to create a safe, accepting and caring environment for all.

DODEA students have the Right to a discrimination-free learning environment in which no individual, on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, or status as a parent, shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to, discrimination in a DoDEA-conducted or -sponsored education or training program or activity, pursuant to Executive Order 13160, DoD and DoDEA policy, and Federal law.

Students shall treat teachers, administrators, and other school staff as expected within the code of conduct, to include courtesy, fairness, and respect; and teachers, administrators, and other school staff shall treat students as expected within the code of conduct in this Issuance, to include courtesy, fairness, and respect. 

Technology

Each student, together with the student’s parent or guardian (if applicable), shall acknowledge and sign Form 700, “Use of DoDEA Internet and Use of Information Technology Resources,” before he or she is assigned a user account. In accordance with Enclosure 4 of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 6600.01, “Computer Access and Internet Policy,” February 16, 2010, the following are required of all students:

  1. Students shall use DoDEA information technology (IT) resources, including computers, electronic mail, and internet access, only in support of education and for research consistent with the educational objectives of DoDEA; 
  2. Students shall respect and adhere to all of the rules governing access to, and use of, DoDEA’s IT resources; 
  3. Students shall be polite in all electronic communication;
  4. Students shall use courteous and respectful language and/or images in their messages to others;
  5. Students shall not swear, use vulgarities, or use harsh, abusive, sexual, or disrespectful language and/or images;
  6. Students who misuse DoDEA IT resources are subject to disciplinary measures; and
  7. Students’ accounts will be deactivated upon transition out of a DoDEA school.

The signed agreement (Form 700) is to be retained in the administrative office at the student’s school for the duration of the student’s enrollment. A copy will be provided to the student and, if applicable, the student’s parent or guardian.

Use of personal social media between parents/teachers/students is discouraged.  The only acceptable form of social media communication between parents/teachers/students is through official school social media.

Student Transportation

Student transportation is defined as the transportation of students from their assigned bus stop to school at the beginning of their school day, during the mid-day and for return to their assigned bus stop at the end of the normal scheduled school day.  DoDEA principals are responsible for monitoring student loading/unloading zones when students are coming and going from school sites, including administering discipline.  A school bus or any device operating to provide student transportation will function as an extension of the school.  The walking distance for students in grade 6 and below should not exceed one mile from the student’s primary residence to the school or designated bus stop.  Students in grades 7–12 may walk up to 1.5 miles from their primary residence to the school or designated bus stop.  These distances may be slightly expanded or contracted to conform to natural boundaries such as housing areas or neighborhoods.  In locations having middle schools, which include grade 6 (i.e., grades 6–8), the walking distance criteria shall be the same as the criteria for grades 7–12.  

Transportation is not authorized to take students to their homes or to eating facilities for their mid-day meal.  No other transportation between the assigned bus stop and the school will be charged to commuting transportation unless stated in a special education student’s IEP and/or required by Section 504 guidelines.  “Curb-to-curb” only applies to students with disabilities who require such service as documented in the student’s IEP.  DoDEA District Superintendents, in coordination with the District Logistics Chief and the supporting military installation commanders, will establish a commuting area to determine eligibility for transportation of dependent students.

SHAPE Common Services School Bus Office handles all transportation of students to and from SHAPE for all schools located on base. The Common Services Bus Office is responsible for the safety and well-being of students utilizing their transportation services. Since SHAPE American Schools are located on a NATO base, bus transportation is not handled by the school. Common Services’ Bus Office provides bus monitors on all buses to help ensure the conduct and safety of student’s onboard the bus is maintained. Inappropriate behavior by students while on the buses can result in suspension from utilizing the bus transportation long term. All students who ride the bus must first register with the Bus Transportation Office. Parents can contact the office at (+32) 65-44-4013 / 4365 for any questions or concerns. 

School Procedures

Management of DoDEA student behavior is a responsibility shared by DoDEA students, sponsors/parents/legal guardians, teachers, and the military and school communities and consists of teaching and reinforcing positive DoDEA student attitudes and behaviors. Discipline should be progressively, equitably and fairly administered, is sequential and preplanned, and normally occurs in a hierarchy of consequences for repeated offenses of the same behavior. 

There are times when inclement weather, such as heavy snow or freezing rain, will result in SHAPE International Schools (SIS) closing. If SIS decides that it is not safe to operate buses or proceed with classes normally on SHAPE, schools will be closed. 

The following methods are used to inform families about school closures: 

  1. AFN SHAPE (106,5 FM) radio and RTBF HT-VIVACITE (92,3 FM) will broadcast the closures between 06.30-08.00, repeating this message every 15 minutes. 
  2. Parents can call 065/44-2000 + enter 6033 for the bus office. An automated message on their answer phone will inform you if the buses are not running. 
  3. SHAPE2DAY website will also display school closure information. 

There can be occasions when a bus could be delayed or unable to reach certain scheduled bus stops, usually resulting from heavy traffic, road work or poor weather/road conditions. If your child’s bus has not arrived within 15 minutes of the normal pickup time, you would need to make arrangements to take your child to school. 

Force Protection

SHAPE American School is in session, as follows, during United States Military Force Protection Conditions ALPHA through DELTA: 

ALPHA Regular School Day Schedule BRAVO Regular School Day Schedule CHARLIE Regular School Day Schedule 

DELTA **** Regular School Day Schedule **** See Below 

In the event that United States Military Force Protection Condition DELTA goes into effect during the school day the following school closure and evacuation plans will be carried out: School will remain in session through the remainder of the day and students will be dismissed from school at the regular time and expected to use the normally available transport systems to return to their homes. 

The School Principal will work in concert with the American Community Commander, the HSG Commander and the Commander of USAG Benelux to determine whether or not there is sufficient cause to close school earlier than the regularly scheduled time. If so, students will then 

be transported home using the regular bus program with parents being notified of the school closure via the military command structure and local AFN radio and television. 

It is important for the parents of students attending SHAPE American Schools to remember that if US Military Force Protection Condition DELTA were invoked, only the SHAPE American Schools would be affected, and not the other national school sections that make up SHAPE International School. It is also possible that during the normal school day, the SHAPE International authorities may determine that SHAPE International School (SIS) will close. In this event, school will be dismissed using the normal bus program with parents being notified of the school closure via the military command structure and local AFN radio and television. If US Military Force Protection Condition DELTA goes into effect and the American schools are closed and/or if the SHAPE International authorities decide to close all SHAPE International Schools, the duration of the closures will be determined by the events that caused the action. 

In the event that Force Protection Condition DELTA goes into effect before or after school hours, the USAG Benelux Commander, through command channels and local AFN radio and television, will announce the decision regarding the school closure. Rest assured that in the event of a school closure occurring, the decision to do so was reached as a result of close coordination and communication between the SHAPE International and American community commands. 

In summary, we are in a unique position being an American Schools on a NATO base here in Europe. We have command structures on SHAPE and the USAG Benelux Command structure and the school falls under both command structure guidelines. 

 

The cafeteria is run by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). Unlike other DoDEA schools, SHAPE American Schools are not connected to the cafeteria registration or payment systems. SHAPE American Middle School Sixth (6th) and Seventh (7th) grade students eat at the SHAPE MPR/Cafeteria while the Eighth (8th) grade students go to the International Cafeteria for lunch. The 6/7th grade Cafeteria Supervisor, Stephanie Surin, can be reached at , while the 8th grade Cafeteria Supervisor, Janae Keyes, can be reached at . Along with your child’s student ID number, which is located in your child’s school planner, parents can set up a lunch account. Parents can either go directly to the cafeteria between 09:00 and 13:00 and deposit funds into the account or email the appropriate grade cafeteria supervisor to have their child’s account set up and then pay online at www.MyPaymentsPlus.com. There is a management fee associated with using the online option. 

If you believe your student may be eligible for free or reduced meals, you can apply online at https://freeandreducedapps.aafes.com. Only one application is needed per family and paper applications are no longer accepted. 

Office of DoDEA Policy

The Policy Team of OPLP administers and operates the DoDEA Issuance Program, the Issuance Focal Point Working Group, and facilitates DoD-level issuance coordination for DoDEA.

Policy and Legislation