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Parents are being urged to register children who will attend DODDS schools in Europe next school year.

Many schools in Europe have begun accepting registration for pupils who already attend the schools. But registration also is under way for those who are moving to Europe, and for those who previously were not automatically eligible to attend Department of Defense Dependents Schools, such as the children of contractors and other civilian employees at U.S. military bases.

In addition, pupils who live in the U.S., Asia and other locations who will be coming to Europe are being asked to preregister online.

“It’s to the benefit of the parents and their children to preregister and register their children as early as they can,” said David Ruderman, a DODDS-Europe spokesman. “We compile those numbers, and they drive the train on the allocation of resources, where we spend money to hire staff, to buy textbooks (and other supplies).”

In the past, areas such as Stuttgart and Hohenfels, Germany, had been unable to accommodate all the children of non-military personnel. They could attend the schools only on a space-available basis. But a new policy requires DODDS to make room for the children of U.S. contractors and full-time appropriated fund and nonappropriated fund employees. Those parents now do not have to wait until the end of the summer to see if their local DODDS schools have enough seats for their children.

Contractors would have to pay tuition for their children to attend DODDS schools, while others would get to go to school tuition-free.

“We understand that contractors have become a critical element to the military mission,” said Ed Atterberry, a spokesman with the Bavaria District, which includes Stuttgart and Hohenfels. “So we have done our best to open up our classes to them.”

Parents of pupils transferring into Europe can preregister their children by going through the DODDS Europe Web site at Parents also are being asked to check with their local schools for registration times and specific information on eligibility.

The Bavaria District has sent teams to Fort Lewis, Wash., to register the large number of pupils who would be moving this year to the area around Vilseck, Germany. Others from the U.S., Asia and elsewhere who are coming to Europe are being prompted to check for further information at the DODDS-Europe Web site and the Web site of the garrison to which they are moving.

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