A new school facility was officially opened last week by Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Sir James Everard. The school is designed for children of Canadian and the United Kingdom armed forces members stationed at NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Casteau, Belgium. The new facility has approximately 300 students already enrolled for the 2018/2019 school year.
The facility is the newest addition to the SHAPE International School, which has been providing education to children of military families posted to SHAPE for more than 50 years. The international school currently provides education for children from more than 17 allied nations.
“This new building at the SHAPE International School further reinforces the spirit of cooperation between the Canadian Armed Forces and our fellow NATO nations. This school will provide first-rate educational facilities for our military families while realizing economies of scale by partnering with our allies from the United Kingdom,” says Lieutenant-General Charles A. Lamarre, Commander, Military Personnel Command
Students attending the new facility will have the option to conduct their studies in both English and French as part of the program that follows Ontario Curriculum standards. A variety of sports teams, clubs and activities will be available that will contribute to a positive and enriching school community.
Resources are also available to Canadian military children to lessen the potential impact of frequent relocation and education. Children’s Education Management provides guidance counselling services, educational screening, and allowances and benefits to Canadian Armed Forces families, in Canada and abroad.
“Working with our British allies to make this new school a reality means so much more than having a new building for our students. Children from more than 17 NATO nations have helped develop a school community that values diversity, respect, and teamwork. The goal of this new facility is to ensure that children of these military family members, like all Canadian citizens, are able to pursue a rich education and enjoy the same multitude of educational opportunities that Canadian schools have to offer,” says. Commodore Sean N. Cantelon, Director General Morale and Welfare Services
The Department of National Defence manages overseas schools at both the AFNORTH International School in Brunssum, the Netherlands and the SHAPE International School in Casteau, Belgium. Access to these overseas schools is one of the many services provided to children of Canadian Armed Forces personnel.