Europe school closings won’t affect registration
DARMSTADT, Germany — The closing of nine schools across Europe this summer won’t affect next year’s pupil registration, school officials said Thursday.
The process is the same whether parents are in districts that are contracting, expanding or disappearing, Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe spokesman David Ruderman said.
“Locally, all of the administrators and parents know what is going on,” Ruderman said. “They know if the school is closing or expanding and when to register.”
Portals opened this month to allow parents to enroll children for the 2007-08 school year. Parents have a couple of options — start the paperwork online at the DODDS-E Web site and finish at the school, or attend one of the mass registration events being scheduled.
“Parents are doing their children a favor by registering as soon as possible, because it allows for the most rational allocation of resources,” Ruderman said. “It helps DODDS-E assure that there’s a teacher, a classroom space and the necessary books and other materials for every child present when school opens.”
At Darmstadt — where the middle school is being consolidated into the elementary school — next year’s numbers are still “up in the air,” which makes registration important for planning, said Laura Lynn Elgin, assistant principal of the elementary school who also will be assistant principal at the consolidated school.
“It’s really important to get registration early so we have the correct staffing,” she said.
The school already has received online registrations, especially from parents who are moving to Darmstadt from the States, she said.
The school will host a mass registration event April 20, but so far, Elgin said, the consolidation hasn’t prompted any more questions than usual.
“I think we’ve done a nice job of communicating to parents about the consolidation,” Elgin said. “We’ve had meetings and our parents are aware of what’s going on.”
Schools slated to close are Giessen elementary and middle/high school, Butzbach Elementary School, Darmstadt Middle School, Würzburg Middle School, Volkel Elementary School, London Central elementary/high school, Livorno High School and La Maddalena Elementary School.
Schools slated to combine are Darmstadt elementary/middle school and Würzburg elementary/middle school.
The 2007-08 school year begins Aug. 27, Ruderman said.
To streamline school registration, start online
Starting the Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe registration process online can save time, but parents need to know two things before they start:
1. Pressing “send” doesn’t mean their child is registered. Parents still have to visit the school to complete the registration.
2. The Web site is organized by school, not community, so parents have to know which school their child is attending to use it.
“Glitches” occur when people new to the area register online without knowing where their child should be enrolled, DODDS-Europe spokesman David Ruderman said.
“In small communities, where there’s one high school or one elementary school, that’s not a problem, but in the Kaiserslautern-Ramstein area, for instance, where there are two elementary schools, two high schools, etc., parents have to determine their residence before knowing which school their child or children will attend,” Ruderman said.
Also, because the transformation in Europe is ongoing, DODDS-E Chief of Transformation John Crongeyer encouraged parents to check with the military units on questions about school closings.
“A lot of things are still in planning mode and haven’t been announced yet,” Crongeyer said. “Getting in touch with the unit is the best place for parents to start.”
After submitting the online portion of the registration, parents still need to complete the process in person at the school, Ruderman said.
“The benefit of doing as much as possible online in advance is that it saves the time of waiting in the school office to fill out the balance of the paperwork,” Ruderman said.
“One of these days, the process will be more automated and centralized, but we’re not there yet,” Ruderman said.
To start the enrollment process, visit http://www.eu.dodea.edu/schoolregister.htm.
— Allison Batdorff