Organization and functioning of the SHAPE International School
On most military posts, the local school is independent of the military organization it serves. Here, at SHAPE, you will find a unique institution, which is an integral part of the Headquarters operating under the authority of the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. As a result, educational possibilities seldom found in national schools can be offered.
The school is a federated complex in which an integrated kindergarten and eleven national sections operate side by side with the coordination and support of an international General Services Unit.
Though national sections are responsible for the selection of their staff and the determination of their curriculum, the policies of the school as a whole are drawn up by the SHAPE International School Board. Members of the Board are appointed by their National Military Representatives, while the President is a SACEUR's own representative. All are members of SHAPE.
The Principals' Committee, chaired by the Director General, implements the policies established by the School Board and, in turn, makes recommendations to the Board.
SHAPE International School (SIS) Philosophy
The two basic principles guiding the policies of SHAPE International School are that:
- When pupils leave the SIS to return to their countries, they are able to resume their studies with no significant problems of readjustment.
- Every opportunity should be used to acquaint students of SIS with persons of other nationalities, to study their cultures and understand their point of view.
This principle stems from Article 15 of the Agreement between SHAPE and the Kingdom of Belgium, which states:
"For the teaching of languages, handicrafts, music, art, drama, physical training, and similar courses, the exchange of teachers among the various units will be encouraged."
This is accomplished primarily through the functioning of three groups:
- The integrated SIS Staff Association (SISSA)
The International Teachers Advisory Committee (ITAC)which sponsor activities designated to promote closer relationships among the various faculties and to integrate their pedagogical activities
- The International Student Council (ISC), which is composed of student leaders from the three secondary sections and which sponsors activities designed for students of all three sections. The ISC also plans activities with students of other International Schools
Enrolment in the SIS is limited to children of SHAPE members or other authorized personnel and is controlled by the administration of the individual section in which the child is to study. Applications should be submitted directly to the secretariat of that section. Students whose nations have attached sections to the SIS normally attend these units but may attend any other on acceptance by the Principal of that section. Students from countries not having a national section in the SIS may attend the Belgian Section or, on acceptance by the Principal concerned, any other section of the School.
Todays Alliance has new partners and gets ready to welcome new members. SHAPE International School keeps up with this development by opening its doors to the new partners and future members. Indeed, the school currently meets the needs of students from 18 new countries, in addition to those from NATO countries.
SIS students may eat their lunch in the school cafeteria which serves a complete hot meal as well as snack foods. This facility is also used for other school activities such as meetings, assemblies, dances etc...
An infirmary, with a qualified nurse in attendance during all school hours, is located on the school grounds. All SHAPE International School students undergo a thorough annual examination conducted by the SHAPE Medical Center or by the "Centre Psycho-Medico-Social" in Mons.
There are two well equipped international gymnasia in the SIS - one for the primary level students and one for secondary level students. These are used for physical education lessons by the national units and for international activities. Use of these gymnasia and other nearby facilities allows for participation in programs of soccer, US football, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, weight-lifting, swimming, bowling, volley-ball, track, badminton, table-tennis, floor hockey, and tennis.
The school maintains parking lots for teachers and staff members. Parents driving their children to school may use the parking lots to drop off or pick up their children. Automobiles using the parking lots must be registered with the secretariat of Common Services Unit, which issues parking stickers to be displayed on the rear window.
Teachers, parents and visitors using the parking lots or other school facilities do so at their own risk, and the school assumes no liability for damage to their cars or loss of property.
The School is financed by:
- An international budget granted by the SHAPE School Budget Committee (SSBC). This group consists of members appointed by the Governments of all nations whose students attend the SHAPE International School. These members have the power to commit their Governments to expenditures for the School. All decisions of this Committee must be unanimous.
- The nations themselves who provide the classroom material, furniture and who pay the salaries of their staff.
Belgian law requires that all school children subscribe to a policy of accident insurance covering physical injury and third party liability. Such coverage can be purchased through the School's policy for a cost of 8 € per year. Subscription of this policy is arranged through the secretariat of the student's section and is usually included in the provisions of this insurance. More information is available at each section's secretariat and at Common Services . Students in the BE sections are covered by policies paid for by their Government and need no additional insurance.