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Public school for my 4 1/2 year old in Brussels for September 2013!

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DesperatelyMoving Tue 14-May-13 17:06:08

Hi everybody,

I just signed up and am new to this site. Hello!:-) I spend all evening yesterday reading all the good advices for choosing schools in Brussels, but I still lack some answers as to how to get my son, who is 4 1/2, into a good public school in Brussels. I hope you guys can help me out.

Some info: We are moving to Brussels in the beginning of September 2013. Our son is 4 years old, born mid January 2009. I speak Danish, my husband Italian and we have all of my son's life lived in English speaking countries, so he is tri-lingual. And now we are moving to a bi-lingual country, although with two new languages! Aiuto! Therefore, and because we thought that we would have education costs covered (which we still do not know of we will), we had decided on, and got a spot at a bi-lingual (English/French) Montessori school, so at least his familiar English would still be one of the languages spoken to him. However, as we are not certain we will have education costs covered - and because we actually prefere (good) public schools in order to better integrate into the local community, we are looking into what are the possibilities for getting our son into a (French speaking) public school.

My questions are these:

1) What are the best (French speaking) schools in the areas of Ixelles, Etterbek or zip code 1000 area? (And are these areas all French speaking areas?) (These are the areas where we will most likely live)

2) Do you ned to live in the area of the school (or can you also get into "out of boundary/area" schools?)

3) How do you apply for getting into a public school? Can you get/reserve a spot before you have an address (residency) and before having a Belgian ID card? In other words, can I call a school here from the US where we live now and reserve a spot before we even move there? (My husband will go there on pre-mission in June or July and would be able to go and visit the schools then). We will as mentioned only be moving there in September when the school starts, and I am nervous that we won't get a spot, then, if we can only apply the same month as he is supposed to start...

4) I read yesterday on different threads that the good public schools are difficult to get into, especially if you do not get in from the "start", i.e. when your kid is 3. Does this mean that I can wave goodbye to the hope of getting my 4 year old into a good public school?

5) Do "pre-schools" and "Maternelle" refer to the same type of schools - I have found both expressions used in different threads...?

Thank you so much in beforehand for your help!

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