The United States Sections (K-12) operate under the support of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools - Europe Region (DODDS-Europe) Wiesbaden, Germany.
A district coordinating office (Brussels District) is located in Brussels, Belgium.
The US elementary section
The U.S. Elementary Section has an enrolment of approximately 600 students (Preschool- Children disabilities - Grade 6). American children compose approximately 66% percent of the student population. The rest are dependents of military members of other NATO nations. The physical plant is composed of three buildings, 703, 715 and four rooms in 708. The gymnasium and cafeteria are shared with the other sections.
There is a staff of 28 classroom teachers, 18 resource teachers and 11 support personnel. All teachers are fully qualified. The Host Nation teacher was trained in Belgium. All other teachers have been educated in the United States.
The resource educators include: Reading Recovery teachers, speech therapist, Special Education Teachers, Host Nation Teacher, Guidance Counselor, Media Center Specialist, Physical Education Teacher, Art Teacher, Music Teacher, Teacher for the gifted, Compensatory Education Teacher, English as a 2nd Language Teacher, Health Educator and Psychologist.
A traditional American curriculum is offered: reading/language arts, math, social studies, science, health, etc In addition, students study Belgian culture and have an introduction to French. Other activities which enrich the students' educational program on a regular or seasonal basis include: Student Council, Art Enrichment, International Sports Day, Chorus, Environmental assemblies, and field trips to coal markets, towns, festivals, museums and areas as far as the Ardennes.
The U.S. Elementary Section is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The US secondary section
The U.S. Secondary Section, located in buildings 706 and 707, accommodates students in grades 7-12. The Middle School is specifically for grades 7 and 8, while the High School is for grades 9-12. Students follow a traditional American college-preparatory high school curriculum, dictated by the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activities (DoDEA) in Arlington, VA, and coordinated by the Brussels District Superintendent's Office. A variety of courses are offered in the following curricular areas which, together with the high expectations of the school overall, strongly support the concept that "SHAPE American High School is the Harvard of DoDDS."
LANGUAGE - English, English Honors, Advanced Placement (AP) English, Shakespeare, Drama, Yearbook, Journalism; French and AP French; Spanish and AP Spanish; German and AP German; and Greek.
MATHEMATICS - Pre-algebra, Introduction to Algebra, Algebra I, Introduction to Geometry, Geometry, Algebra II, Math analysis, and AP Calculus.
SCIENCE - Biology, AP Biology, Chemistry, AP Chemistry, Physics, Science & Technology in Society, and General Science.
SOCIAL STUDIES - World Regions, World History, U.S. History, AP History, U.S. Government, Model United Nations, Canadian History, Psychology, Contemporary Issues, Sociology, and Economics.
The ARTS - AP Music Theory, Instrumental Music, Jazz Band, Chorus, Humanities, Art, and AP Studio Art.
MISCELLANEOUS - Home Economics, Vocational Technology, Auto Repair, Business Education (including accounting), JROTC (Junior Reserved Officer Training Corps), Computer Science (including Distance Learning), Physical Education, Advanced Physical Education, and Health.
Although dependents of the United States military and civilian employees make up the majority of the student body, approximately 30% are dependents of military members of other NATO countries. While the U.S. Secondary Section enjoys students from eighteen different nations speaking sixteen different languages, the primary language of instruction is American English. Two diplomas are issued at a formal graduation upon the student's completion of grade 12: U.S. Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) diploma and SHAPE International School diploma.
The US Secondary Section is staffed by a Principal, an Assistant Principal, two Guidance Counselors, approximately 40 teachers (which include a Special Education Teacher, a Nurse, a Librarian, a Psychologist, a Case Study Committee Coordinator), and support staff (which include three secretaries, a Data Entry Technician, a Supply Technician, and two Educational Aides).
There are approximately twenty-two general purpose classrooms, five science labs, and laboratories for home-economics, vocational technology, computer science, and business education. There are an IBM-compatible writing center on the second floor.
Additionally, most classrooms have computers for both students and teachers to use during class time. The Library also is computerized and has computers available for students to do research and for distance learning.
The secondary gymnasium and the cafeteria are under the auspices of SHAPE International School. The gymnasium is shared with the Belgian International Secondary Section and German Secondary Section. The cafeteria is shared by all eleven sections.
Field trips are a major component of an American High School curriculum. These include visits to the opera, theater, and museums; the annual AP English 12 Hemingway-in-Paris trip; 2nd language excursions to France, Germany, England and Spain; and the SHAPE International School Study Trips in the spring. Required by all Middle School students are Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education, and Health. As well, all Middle School students have the opportunity to participate for one week in an Outdoor Experiential Educational Program conducted by the U.S. Secondary Section at a special site in Wales.
Extracurricular activities include opportunity for students to participate in Model United Nations, Model NATO, speech and drama events, theatrical productions, pep band, jazz band, chorus, Brain Bowl, Geography Bee, Audio-Visual Aid Club, Home-Economics Club, Art Club, Student Council, Homecoming activities, class activities, National Honor Society, Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, Odyssey of the Mind, Varsity Club, and others.
The three sports seasons, while coordinated and funded by DoDDS, are open to all high school students in the three secondary sections. The following sports are included:
Autumn - Cross Country (running), American Football, Volleyball,
Tennis, Cheerleading, and Swimming (sponsored by S.I.S.)
Winter - Basketball, Wrestling, Cheerleading, and Swimming (SIS)
Spring - Track and Field, Soccer, Baseball, and Softball.
A strong support network exists in the SHAPE Community which provides financial, educational, and personnel resources to the school. The School Advisory Council (SAC), which acts like a School Board without the power to hire or fire, provides recommendations and advice to the school administration to help run the school; the Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA) provides funding for special programs and events; the Boosters' Club supports the athletic program; the Scholarship Committee works all year toward raising approximately $ 30,000 to be awarded as individual scholarships to deserving 12th grade students; the School-Home Partnership strives to increase parent involvement in and support of the school and the students; and the Volunteer Program, coordinated by the U.S. Secondary Section Receptionist, provides parent and other community volunteers for special events, such as Norwegian student's visits; visiting sports teams from other schools; food for bake sales, nutrition breaks; and chaperones for dances and field trips.
The international influence, camaraderie, and sense of "family" felt at the U.S. Secondary Section enhance its already excellent reputation and make it a focal point for all students, the faculty and staff, and the community.