- Helping schools understand the challenges military Families face
- Informing parents about local school policies
- Giving Families information about local schools, graduation requirements, after school programs, youth sponsorship and homeschooling
- Connecting units and schools through partnership initiatives
- Conducting workshops to help parents navigate educational transition and advocate for their children
- Providing an array of resources that benefit military youth and improve school experiences
- When Do I Need a SLO?
Getting ready to move:
- Information about your upcoming duty station and educational options in your new community
- Connection to a youth sponsor who can answer your child’s questions from a youth’s perspective
- Assistance with the steps to prepare for your children’s departure from their current schools
Once you are arrive:
- Assistance with school registration and transition
- Help with questions about compliance and solutions regarding the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
- Two way communication between the school and parent
- Connection with homeschool co-ops or support groups
During your assignment:
- Answers to your questions about schools, homeschooling, special education, scholarships, transitions and more.
- Parent education opportunities about college and career readiness, preparing for transition and the Interstate Compact
To ease the transition, contact your SLO as soon as you get orders.
- Finding a School
Finding a new school and registering your child can be confusing.
We can help.
Our SLOs give you information on local schools so you can find the best fit for you and your family. They can also help you with everything you need to register – and can answer other questions, too. Contact our office and to get more detailed information.
Research-based Characteristics of Quality Schools
Most schools share fundamental characteristics that prepare students for the future. Research shows that the most effective schools are more alike than they are different. Here is some information about what to look for in quality schools:
Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools serve families stationed in Europe.
For areas with limited numbers of families where DoDEA schools are not available, families are served through the Non DoD Schools Program (NDSP).
DoDEA Registration & Eligibility Information
Dependent Online Registration System (DORS)
(Please complete online registration (DORS) prior to arrival. If there are multiple schools your registration will beavailable to the registrar in which ever school zone you live.
- Provide link to school report card website.
- Kindergarten Enrollment Requirements
- School Registration Information
- Immunization Information
- Student Transportation
- Student Transfer Information
- Graduation Requirements
- Local area information/links
- Charter School information/link
- Bus Transportation & School Meal Program
A bus pass is required to ride. Contact the transportation office for school bus stop locations and to get a bus pass. Families are encouraged to consider current bus routes when making off post housing selections.
- Student Transportation
- Transportation for Non-DoD School Program (NDSP) students
- Army Europe Supervision of Children Guidance Command policy in Europe regarding walking to school, bus stops, unattended play and being home alone. (Garrisons may have additional requirements)
School Meal Program
- Student Meal Program Overview / Instructions
- Student Meal Program accounts
- Payments To register, select “Exchange”. Signing up for My Payment Plus is free and will allow you to receive an email notification when your child's lunch account dips below a certain amount. MPP flyer
Sponsors/Families must ensure that their Student Meal Program account (debts or credits from the school lunch program) has been cleared before departing the garrison.
A breakfast program is being piloted in several schools with plans to eventually implement Europe-wide.
Free and Reduced Meal Program
Applications are made through an online application on the AAFES site. Do not include housing allowance or COLA in your total income! You MUST include base pay and
BAS! Applications must be made each school year starting 1 July.
For questions and assistance contact the SLO.
- Private & International Schools
Some families elect to enroll their children in private, international, or host nation schools while in Europe. In some locations DoDEA schools for your child’s grade might not be available in commuting distance of your duty station, so your child may possibly attend an international school (public or private) through the Non-DoD Schools program (NDSP). Be aware that restrictions apply. In some instances boarding schools and home schooling is also financed through NDSP. See the NDSP website for more information or contact your SLO. For families moving to remote areas with no SLO, please contact the Europe SLO for support.
International school attendance is not funded for family members stationed in areas with appropriate DoDEA school availability within commuting distance of the duty station. Enrollment is an option to families willing to cover the costs involved.
Host Nation Schools
Some families consider sending their children to local host nation public schools. This can be a wonderfully enriching and rewarding experience. For some families the benefits are worth the adjustments to an unfamiliar system. Be aware that school calendars, schedules, and dress may vary greatly from American schools. In addition, systems are different and transferring credits especially at the high school level can be challenging sometimes. Learning new language skills and culture are reasons some families choose this option. This is a personal decision and should be made considering the needs and personality of each child. This is certainly not an option in all areas. Families who are accepted must understand that all information and communication with the schools may not be in English, so be prepared to use an interpreter if need be. Military One Source offers free translations of transcripts. Acceptance of non-local national students varies from location to location.
- Public Schools Germany
- Public Schools Netherlands
- Public Schools Belgium
- Public Schools Italy
- Private International (English Speaking) Schools in Germany
- Private International (English Speaking) Schools in Belgium
- Private International (English Speaking) Schools in the Netherlands
- Private International (English Speaking) Schools in Italy
Private host nation preschool/kindergartens are also sometimes attended by Americans. Tuition is the responsibility of the family. For more information regarding the possibility of enrollment in local host nation public or private schools in your area, please visit or contact your SLO.
- Youth Sponsorship
Moving to Europe is an adventure, but can also be overwhelming. Having a local youth sponsor to provide information and make a personal connection prior to arrival can make the move easier. Contact your School Liaison Officer (SLO) to request a youth sponsor and get information to make the move smoother. Some locations offer local cultural orientation classes and trips as well. Youth Centers are great places to connect with other local
students as well as get involved in activities right away. Parents may wish to complete CYS registration for use of the centers prior to arrival. If your child is already enrolled in CYS the registration can be transferred from your current location. Contact Parent Central Services for more information.
- Special Education Information
If you have a child with special needs, we can help you find the resources available in your school district. We can also connect you with your local installation’s Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) office.
Moving with a special needs child can be smoother with some planning and communication. It is recommended that families with special needs children plan sufficiently prior to a PCS to ensure that all required services are available, prepared and in place prior to arrival at new duty station.
Special Education support in the DoDEA schools varies by location. If your child has a special need it is important to make sure that the level of support your child needs is available in your new duty station. EFMP clearance, and communication with a SLO prior to arrival can make the move smoother.
If you have a special needs child that is younger than the required age of school attendance and is at least 3 years old, he/she may still be eligible for services through the school district. Contact the school or the School Liaison Officer for details.
Installation SLO would provide information and links to district specific information.
Link to local installation EFMP program
- Additional References & Resources for Special Education
Highly mobile children are entitled to an expedited process, including: a) evaluations in 30 days instead of 60 days, b) removed delays due to school district schedules for Families moving during incomplete screenings, c) continued Extended School Year for students moving in the summer. The United State Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services outlines these requirements for State Directors of Special Education.
The Center for Parent Information and Resources offers parent education, acronyms, tools, webinars and a directory of local Parent and Information Training Centers to appropriately advocate for their children, proactively supporting personal accountability. Funded by OSEP.
Military OneSource has a range of resources in caring for a family member with special needs: education, health care, legal, financial, points of contact (EFMP, School Liaisons, etc.)
Military Community & Family Policy-Office of Special Needs provides directory of age-specific resources and States at a Glance for state education special education resources and parent resources.
DirectSTEP provides no-cost, Army sponsored online training for educators and parents on a host of special education topics such as understanding federal requirements, best practices for behavior management, IDEA eligibility, IEPs and more. Through the eCourses parents and educators learn how to apply education laws in order to obtain positive outcomes associated with critical education issues. Access the course listing and registration page through the links below.
- Special Education in DODEA
- Special Education Relocation DoDEA
- Procedural Safeguards
- Parent Special Education Handbook-DoDEA
- DoDEA Special Education Directory – List of services by site. Be sure to complete EFMP screening to determine if services needed by your child are available.
- DODEA Dispute Management Form
- Procedure for Independent Educational Evaluation
- DoDEA 504 Accommodation Plans
- Education Directory for Children With Special Needs
- Home School
Some parents elect to homeschool their children while OCONUS. This is a legal option open to all SOFA sponsored active duty military, DoD civilians, and contractors. No state or federal government permission isrequired.
Be aware that for German citizens home schooling is illegal and homeschooling is not common or recognized inother countries. You should be mindful of potential “looks” if you are out and about off post with your children during "normal school hours". In addition, to prevent unwarranted interest by local authorities you should use discretion when conducting "non-academic" activities or allowing children to be unsupervised outside the home during "normal" school hours. The Netherlands does not have a SOFA agreement. Instead, they have a "Friendship Agreement" which does not address homeschooling. Homeschooling is not "recognized" by the Dutch government. The Compulsory Education Act, Article 2, paragraph 1, states that school attendance is mandatory, so there may be challenges for homeschoolers going to Schinnen. Homeschool families moving to
Europe should check with the School Liaison Officer (SLO) for more information about homeschooling in their country or region.
School Liaison Officers may also connect homeschool families to local homeschool groups that sometimes share in field trips, PE, parties, curriculum fairs, science fairs, workshops and other educational and social activities.
Child & Youth Services (CYS) also offers special events/programs.
Support within the DoDEA Schools for Homeschoolers
Homeschool families may request special education evaluation and services in the DoDEA schools. Homeschool families also have the option of benefitting from “auxiliary services” (activities or classes within the DoDEA schools). For example, a homeschool student may wish to participate in an extracurricular activity, take just an art or math course at the school, complete standardized tests, have access to online learning program memberships the school has, take select virtual school classes, or use school textbooks. All these options are open to eligible Dependent homeschoolers through the on post schools on a space-available basis. Students must have completed registration paperwork with the school
and commit to regular participation in any chosen activity to allow for proper planning on the part of the teachers or activity sponsors. For more information contact the school or the SLO.
- Transition Support
We understand that military transitions for children include much more than school plans and enrollment. We have a number of resources to help make your move as easy as possible for the kids, including:
Military Kids Connect provides online age-appropriate resources to help parents, teachers and children cope with the unique challenges of military life.
The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (MIC3) addresses key transition issues military Families experience, including enrollment, placement, attendance, eligibility and graduation. All 50 states have signed the compact and are in varying stages of implementation and/or compliance. The compact applies to children of Active Duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members on active duty orders and members or veterans who are medically discharged or retired within past year.
If you feel that you have an issue that the Compact can help address talk with your SLO. The SLO is able to assist by connecting with both the sending and receiving school to assist in resolving the issue. If it is not possible to resolve the issue locally, the SLO will help you work with the state commission, and if needed, the national office.
Parents can find out more about living in Europe, sponsorship, and their new installation.
- Post - Secondary Support
Our support doesn’t end with elementary education. If you have children preparing for academic life after high school, we can help you find information about testing opportunities, scholarships and military-specific resources that can help you plan.
--SAT/ACT Prep opportunities and available materials
The US Department of Veteran’s Affairs provides information about Military-Specific and Government Academic Support G.I. Bill.
The Transferability of Educational Benefits for the Post 9/11 GI Bill are very specific. The Defense Manpower Data Center, through MilConnect will guide you through the transfer process and your eligibility to do so. Speak with an Education Counselor prior to making this election in order to ensure you understand the benefit.
In-State Tuition Programs for Military: Service-members, active duty for a period of more than 30 days and their dependents are eligible to receive in-state tuition at many public colleges and universities in the state where they reside or are permanently stationed. An enrolled dependent may pay in-state tuition as long as he or she remains continuously enrolled at the institution, even if the service-member is reassigned outside of the state. Regulations outlined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act, 2008 (P.L 110 - 135) and the Higher Education Act of 1965 (pdf) apply.
Testing for College
PSAT – high school and select middle school students - Colleges invite students to apply based upon these scores.
ACT – high school - Please provide link and description
SAT – high school - Please provide description
***The College Board has recently reduced the SAT testing schedule overseas. Please check the “international registration” section of the College Board website for overseas testing date schedule to plan ahead!
ASVAB – high school students seeking to join the military. Visit a recruiter for more information.
College Board - please add discription for link.
CLEP- College Level Examination Program - Get college credit for what you already know and save tuition costs.
Transportation to OCONUS Location from College
Military Travel Benefit -The student is authorized two one-way tickets per year, as the government is accepting responsibility for providing transportation from the OCONUS location to the school at the beginning of the year and then from the school back to the OCONUS location at the end of the year. However, the regs do not specify that the travel has to be used in that way, allowing military families to use the travel allowance in the way that is the most beneficial to their situation. Students can also ship up to 350 lbs. and request summer storage of items left at school location. Recommendation is that you make request a minimum of 30 days prior to intended departure.
Civilians with a transportation agreement must contact their CPAC office to make request. Dependents of these civilians have access to government funded transportation, but some regulations and procedures are different for civilians. Check with your CPAC office for more details.
Tuition-Free Universities in Germany
As of October 2014, all Universities in Germany will not charge any tuition fees for undergraduate studies for all students including international students. In some Federal States, Universities will charge a semester contribution (about 50 euros) and/or administration fees (about 50 euros). This tuition fee structure can change in the future, you should check for updated information on tuition fees in different federal states in Germany.
More information Deutsches Studentwerk
See the list of German Universities and Colleges.
Also see the list of Scholarships in Germany for International Students
Attending an International College in Italy
Top International (English Speaking) Universities in Italy
On Post Colleges
All options not available in all locations-visit your installation SLO, Education Center, or a local on-post college office for more information and local options.
Here are some additional web resources to assist you with your child’s education:
Tutor.com for U.S. Military Families makes live tutors available online 24/7 to help with more than 40 core subjects and standardized test preparation.
Homework Support: Army Child Youth & School Services provides Homework Labs in before/after school programs for elementary students at the School Age Center, and for middle and high school students at the Youth Center.
A personalized learning resource for all ages Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, SAT and more.
School Support Services include information about other programs you can use for support and resilience-related issues.
Military Family Life Counselors (MFLCs) are available to meet in-person on or off the military installation. The free nonmedical sessions are anonymous and may occur in individual, couple, family or group settings. Child Behavioral Specialists are located on the installation in Child, Youth and School Services programs, and in highly impacted schools located on and off the installation.
Military OneSource has access to free nonmedical counseling that’s anonymous and available online, on the phone or in person. Twelve free sessions may occur in individual, couple, family or group settings.
Ready and Resilient Workshops for youth and educators are offered through the SLO and Youth Center programs. These workshops provide educators and students with the same tools Soldiers receive through their Ready and Resilient training. As Master Resilience Trainers SLOs strive to develop a common language around resilience for educators, youth and their parents.
For information on how to attend a class contact your SLO.
College and Career Readiness Resources:
College and career readiness includes the content knowledge, skills and habits that students must have to be successful in postsecondary education. It also includes training that leads to a sustaining career. A student who is ready for college and career can qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses without needing remedial or developmental coursework. These links have tools that will help you plan for your child’s college and career readiness:
Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) provides STEM opportunities for military connected youth. The website provides information about AEOP programs available to youth, scholarship opportunities, news, and ways to get involved.
Military.com Scholarship Finder Military.com provides a search engine to help you find money for your child’s higher education needs. Search over 1000 scholarships intended for military youth. They also have a Military Scholarship Handbook.
School Support Services Scholarship Database Listing of crowd sourced scholarships for military connected youth. Scholarships are listed in alphabetical order and provide information on deadlines and qualifications.
Regulations and Policies
- Parent Involvement
Studies show that parental involvement has a positive impact on student performance in school. Following are ways parents can stay involved in their child’s education in the DoDEA schools.
Gradespeed - Keep on top of your child’s performance, attendance, etc. with this helpful online program.
Schoolology - Get assignments and keep up to date. Participating schools can provide login
School Newsletters Check with the main office at your child’s school to ensure you are on the mailing list for this great resource.
DoDEA Chain of Command Parents are encouraged to speak with teachers and then administrators if they have concerns that need to be addressed. Beyond the school is the Local School District, then Europe Area Office, then the Headquarters in Washington, DC.
Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE)
ICE is a tool you can use to share comments and suggestions with DoDEA leadership. Individual schools have their own ICE accounts. It is recommended that you include your contact information for a reply to your concern.
Educational Committees and Advisory Councils
Advisory Committees and Councils explained from school level on up.
DoD Instruction 1342.15 information on rules for advisory committees and councils.
European Schools Council (ESC) - is a council of EUSECOM leadership and Component
Command leadership along with DoDEA Europe Leadership that addresses issues and concerns. Meets bi-annually. ECI 1900.01 A.
Dependents’ Education Council is a council of military leadership and DoDEA leadership that addresses issues and concerns. Meets bi-annually. Local Installation Advisory Committee Information.
(SLO adds local committees’ information, schedule, agendas, & minutes etc.)
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Unique Military Child Identifier? Numerous states have enacted a voluntary report-only self-identification of military children within their public school systems. This data collection would allow monitoring of critical elements such as academic progress and proficiency, special and advanced program participation, mobility and dropout rates. Requirements and method of collection vary from state to state.
Many local school districts across the United States include within their boundaries parcels of land that are owned by the Federal Government. They must provide a quality education to the children living on the Indian and other Federal lands while sometimes operating with less local revenue than is available to other school districts, because the Federal property is exempt from local property taxes.
Congress has provided financial assistance to these local school districts through the Impact Aid Program. Each year Military members and Federal employees complete a Survey Form. The amount of Impact Aid – or federal assistance –received is determined by the number of eligible parents/guardians who complete the survey form. It partially compensates school districts affected by federal activity for local tax losses resulting from tax-free federal installations.
Impact Aid Fact Sheet (we will provide a hand out to link to)
Impact Aid Website
At overseas/international locations where there is not a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school, NDSP supports a variety of options for your children, ranging from public or private schools to homeschool programs. NDSP has a team of education specialists who are available to provide transition and educational support and coordination for all students, including those with special needs. Sponsors are encouraged contact the NDSP as soon as possible for specific school information.
Installation SLO will provide location specific questions and answers.
School Support Services provides Army school-aged youth with educational opportunities, resources and information necessary to achieve academic success. A branch of Child & Youth Services (CYS), School Support Services features School Liaison Officers (SLOs), who help schools, installations and Families work together for student achievement.
SLOs are your best support in the area of education, schools and military transitions. SLOs are knowledgeable in current education news and policies. They act as the conduit between the school community – including local public school districts, private schools and home school Families – and the installation.
How do they do it? By