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With only two weeks of summer vacation left, Department of Defense Dependents Schools officials estimate that more than 11,000 pupils across Europe have not been registered for the new school year.

Because schools need accurate enrollment numbers to predict class sizes, staffing needs and how many textbooks and other supplies to buy, DODDS officials are urging parents to come in and sign their kids up for classes.

“We are around 75 percent of our projection [of pupils to be registered] right now,” said David Ruderman, a DODDS-Europe spokesman. “This is just a little bit behind than normal.”

This year, DODDS-Europe will operate 109 schools in 10 countries with a projected pupil population of 45,457. If 25 percent of the students haven’t signed up yet, that’s roughly 11,360 kids.

“Some parents might think we are on vacation, but we (schools) are open for business Monday through Friday,” Ruderman said. “The sooner they do it, the sooner school administrators can start making these decisions.”

Most schools in Europe open Aug. 29, though schools in Brunssum and Volkel, Netherlands, and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe schools in Belgium start Aug. 22; Kleine Brogel, Netherlands, on Aug. 23; and Geilenkirchen, Germany, and Bahrain on Aug. 24.

Parents can visit the DODDS-Europe Web site at www.eu.dodea.edu for information they’ll need in order to register their children, Ruderman said. There are also registration forms on the Web site that parents can download and fill out at home, he said.

But parents must register their children in person at the school.

Ruderman suggested that parents contact the school registrar’s office to find out what information to bring with them.

“That way, they can find out what they need to bring in and just do it once,” Ruderman said.

Some of the documents required are records from the pupil’s former schools, vaccination records, Social Security numbers, and a copy of the parents’ military orders.

If the parent is new to the community and did not bring school records with them, they should provide the name of the child’s former school and a fax number for it, Ruderman said.

Tanya Bynum, an attendance clerk at Patch American High School in Stuttgart, said registering shouldn’t take too long.

“It depends on how long it takes them to fill out the paperwork,” Bynum said. “Maybe 10 or 15 minutes is all.”


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