Schools

School Age Children (5 -18)

AFNorth International School
http://www.afno-is.eu.dodea.edu/
AFNorth International School is a full-day preK-12th grade school located just outside the base at Brunssum, NL. Students moving on from the 6th grade at Geilenkirchen Elementary School continue to AFNorth for the junior high and high school grades.

 

German Schools (Gruenschule = Elementary age)
As is true for schools in the United States, you will find local schools in Germany that are wonderful and others that are not to your expectations. It will depend on the school, the principal, and the teachers as well as your child and how well they’ll adapt to a drastically different situation. Go to the school in your area for more information and ask questions as you would in any new school situation. Since English is taught in German school, your chances of finding an English speaking administrator to talk to are very good.

 

Homeschooling
There is a very active homeschooling community here that organizes classes and field trips together. If you homeschool, you won’t have a difficult time finding other students and parents to connect with and share ideas.

Preschool Age Children
Child Development Centers (CDC) at: GK,JFC Brunssum, and Fort Emma Mine Schinnen
The bases at GK, JFC Brunssum, and Schinnen all have Child Development Center day care programs for ages 6 weeks to 5 years old.  Full time and drop in care is available including after school care for children ages 5 – 12.  Space is limited, goes quickly and there is almost always a waiting list, so if you are moving to the area, it is recommended to call ahead and let them know you’re coming.  Priority is given to single military, dual military, military with working spouse, civilian with working spouse, military with non-working spouse.  The GK CDC is open to all nationalities.  For more information, contact the CDC itself.

 

German Kindergartens
Children ages 3-5 may attend a German kindergarten. They are very Montessorie in their approach and give children a lot of responsibilities.  Kindergartens are places where the children play, sing, and have art time. They do not learn to read or count. Traditional academics are at a minimum.  Like any school, the strength of the kindergarten is based on the teachers.  So, you’ll hear great stories and bad ones.  German parents can tell you which German kindergartens are the best and which ones may not have the best reputation based on the teachers and the director.  Ask your neighbors what they think.  Each child will react differently to the immersion experience.  Usually the first 6 months is difficult, but most children pick up on the language quite well.
These programs do cost, but the fee is prorated according to your salary.  They do have breakfast at school. Most kindergartens run from 0730 until 1215 and from 1400-1600. Spaces for the lunch break are very limited with priority given to families with both parents working. These slots do cost extra, but a hot lunch is provided.
Children will walk to the church for a children’s mass, spend a lot of time outdoors on the playground as the weather permits, and will take walks with their class. You will hear both positive and negative stories about the German school system. Only you know your child well enough to decide what is best for them.

One Response to “Schools”

  1. m. king September 13, 2012 1:40 pm #

    kinderkorner is closing as of October 1st, 2012. Our family uses it and we got the official letter.

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