The Department of National Defence (DND) operates two schools overseas: AFNORTH1 International School in Brunssum, The Netherlands and SHAPE2 International School – Canadian Section in Casteau, Belgium. School operations of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Overseas Schools fall under Children’s Education Management (CEM).
CAF Overseas Schools – History
The two Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) schools in Europe provide children of military families with the opportunity to receive elementary and secondary schooling at the same level they would receive in Canada.
At both schools, we employ Canadian educators in the following positions: Principal/Vice-Principal and Teacher. Educators are hired on a 2-year Loan of Service Agreement (LOSA) from their Canadian school board. Each year, positions are available to replace staff members who are returning to their school boards in Canada at the completion of their LOSA. See our Teacher Recruitment page for more.
AFNORTH International School (AIS)
AIS was founded in September 1967 and provides education for the children of JFC HQ Brunssum and other NATO personnel serving at Headquarters and adjacent commands. Four nationalities sponsor the school: Canada, United Kingdom, United States of America and Germany. A Director, appointed by the Board of Governors, is responsible for the overall operation of the school.
Each of the national sections has its own principal or head teacher who bears responsibility for their section, reporting to both the Director and to their education authority. The Director and the principals are responsible for respecting the educational requirements of each nation. The mandate of the school is to attempt to standardize instruction, develop common courses, promote language learning and facilitate intercultural exchanges.
For Canadian students, AIS offers programming to students from kindergarten to grade 12 as follows: JK to grade 5 - English National Curriculum (British Canadian Section) and grades 6 – 12 - the Ontario curriculum (Middle-High School Section). Secondary students receive credits leading to completion of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. AIS has a Canadian principal at the secondary school and a vice-principal at the elementary level.
SHAPE International School (SIS)
SIS was founded in 1967 and provides education for the children of SHAPE and other NATO personnel serving in adjacent areas.
SIS has eleven sections: Kindergarten (Belgian), seven elementary schools (American, Belgian, Canadian, German, Italian, Norwegian and U.K.) and three high schools (American, Belgian, German). Three additional sections, Greek, Polish and Turkish, offer a partial national course of study to their students during or after school hours.
Each SIS section has its own Principal, Prefect or Head Teacher responsible for their section’s operation. The school has a Director General and a Deputy-Director who oversee the operation of the entire school campus in conjunction with the various national representatives.
SIS-Canadian Section offers first-language programs in both French and English for grades 1-8. French immersion is not offered. Programs follow the Ontario curriculum. Canadian teachers at SIS must be able to teach in both official languages. SIS-Canadian Section has a Canadian principal.
1. AFNORTH: Allied Forces Northern Europe Headquarters
2. SHAPE: Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe