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Education Options

Families affiliated with the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of State have the opportunity to send their children to DODDS - Brussels American School (K - 12); local Belgian Schools (Pre School - 12 / Tuition Free); and, local International Schools (Pre School - 12 / Tuition Required).

Brussels American School (BAS)

Brussels American School (BAS).  DoDDs is the ninth largest school system in American public education and sets high educational policies and standards. Brussels American School’s small enrollment provides a distinct advantage for its students. The students enjoy a high degree of close, personal contact with staff and instructors, which creates a family-like atmosphere. Course offerings compare favorably to the curriculum of larger Defense Department schools and schools of like size in the United States. The small school size also permits most students to actively participate in athletic and extracurricular activities.

The school has its own playing fields, library, special learning facilities, and labs for science, computer studies, home economics and business. The campus also includes a multi-purpose room for assemblies and a gymnasium. The Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) provides hot lunches daily in the school cafeteria. BAS enrolls approximately 260 students from 15 different countries.

The BAS campus is situated on 17 acres of landscaped grounds in Sterrebeek, a Brussels suburb. Since the school opened in October 1967, numerous improvements to the facilities have been made, yielding a complex that adequately serves the educational, athletic, extracurricular and social needs of a diverse student body and community.

The mission of Brussels American School is to provide each student a diverse education in a safe, supportive environment that promotes self-discipline, global citizenship, tolerance and academic excellence.

Standardized test scores for the Brussels American School are available through the DoDEA Data Center.

Entrance Requirements

DoDEA has changed its Early Child Hood Education programs entrance requirements for all DoD Schools for Calendar Year 2015-2016.  Age requirement are:

  • Sure Start and Pre-Kindergarten Programs, a child must be 4 years of age by September 1.
  • Kindergarten Programs, a child must be 5 years of age by September 1.
  • First Grade, a child must be 6 years of age by September 1. 

If you have any questions about exceptions, contact DoDEA.

School Registration

To register your children for school, you will need to submit a copy of the birth certificate for students entering Kindergarten or 1st grade (those entering 2nd-12th do NOT need to submit birth certificates), up-to-date shot records, PCS orders assigning you to Brussels listing family members, and previous school records. Online registration can be initiated on the website. However, even if you pre-register online, you must still go to the school to complete the registration process.

  • Local Number:  02-717-9552
  • Calling from the United States:  011-32-2-717-9552
  • Website  

Other International Schools in Brussels

There are two major international schools in the Brussels area. These are non-boarding, tuition-paying schools. The U.S. government does not provide any reimbursement of tuition for family members of military and civilians hired through the Department of Defense. This does not apply to those who are contracted personnel or Department of State employees.

International School of Brussels (ISB)

The International School of Brussels (ISB) located on a large, wooded campus on the outskirts of Brussels, offers classes for grades K-12 and a nursery school for children ages three to four. ISB is the oldest and largest international school in Brussels and approximately 40 perfect of its students are American. 

Bus transportation is provided and the high school participates in conference sports. Because there is often a waiting list and tuition costs vary from year to year, it is suggested that families interested in obtaining more information contact the school directly at the number below. To learn more, check out their website.

St. John’s International School

St. John’s International School is located in Waterloo. It is a Catholic school, but children of all faiths are welcome. It also has a nursery for school children ages three to four.  An American curriculum is offered in addition to European academic programs. For more information, visit their website.

Belgian Schools

Belgian Pre-schools

In Brussels many parents use the Belgian pre-school and childcare system. Regardless of where you live in Brussels, there will be a Belgian pre-school open to residents of your commune. Many of these are fee-based for foreigners.  For more information check with the maison communale in your area, or the school liaison officer at DSN 314-366-6870, CIV 011-32-65-32-6870.

Belgian or Commune Schools

American students living in Belgium may attend a Belgian school with no tuition fees. The academic standards are comparative to those in the United States while also providing language and cultural enrichment.  Instruction is either in Flemish or French, depending on the commune or town of residence. The younger the child, the easier it is to assimilate the language. Belgian schools are not required to provide tutors for language assistance; however, some do integrate some additional classroom assistance.

Belgian school registration occurs in the spring and late summer. Most communes make an effort to publicize the dates for registration so contact your local maison communal for more information. The school term starts the first Monday of September and runs through the last Friday of June. For more information on Belgian schools in Brussels, contact the USAG Benelux - Brussels Parent Central at DSN 314-368-9651; CIV 02-717-9651 or the school liaison officer at DSN 314-366-6870, CIV 011-32-65-32-6870.

Associated Links

Military Youth on the Move
Answers to military children and teen concerns.

Military Child Education Coalition
Provides information and resources on military education needs.

DoD Schools
Provides complete information on all Department of Defense Schools run by DoDEA.

Military K-12 Partnership
Provides comprehensive information for all students.

Great School -- Find and Compare Schools
Find information on all schools nationwide.

Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center -- Head Start
Information about the Head Start pre-school program.

Search for Public Schools - National Center for Educational Statistics
Provides a web site to search schools nationwide from elementary through high school.

State Savings Plans -- Information on saving for children's education.
Allows user to search college savings plans (529 plans) in every state and provides information on how to begin a plan.

TALARIS - Learn about early childhood education.
Advancing knowledge of early learning and the importance of parenting.

Choosing a School for your Child - Department of Education
How to choose a school.

School Matters
Public source for information and analysis about nation's public schools.

SchoolQuest -- Designed by Military Child Education Coalition
School information designed for military Families by the Military Child Education Coalition.

Army OneSource
Comprehensive information on all Army Community Services and QOL support.

United States Army Recruiting Command Soldier and Family Assistance Programs
Public web site for all Army recruiting command needs.

USA4 Military Families
Seeks to engage and educate state policymakers, not-for-profit associations, concerned business interests, and other state leaders about the needs of military members and their families.

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