CAMP LEJEUNE, NORTH CAROLINA — April 29, 2022 — The Department of Defense Education Activity approved Camp Lejeune Community Schools for a three-year pilot program to open enrollment to children of full-time, active-duty service members living off base.
"Our families, especially those who live remote from the installation, are often challenged to match their duty schedules to their children's school and childcare hours. This is especially difficult for our single service members and those who are dual military. Having Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River included as part of DoDEA's Pilot Program will allow some flexibility to bring children closer and allow parents to engage with schools," said Brig. Gen. Andrew M. Niebel, commanding general, Marine Corps Installations East - Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
The pilot program, authorized by the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, allowed DoDEA to select four sites to gauge interest and expand options for military-connected children. To be eligible for the pilot program, students must be a dependent of a full-time, active-duty service member with orders to MCB Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River, North Carolina.
This pilot program expands education options for MCB Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River parents and increases family readiness. Family readiness is defined as families who are prepared and equipped with the skills and tools to successfully meet the challenges of the military lifestyle.
The Department of Defense long has recognized the significance of family readiness and its impact on overall military readiness, performance, retention and recruitment. Education is a stabilizing influence in the lives of children and their families and an overall element in the readiness, retention and morale of America’s Force.
“Military-connected kids face unique challenges, from managing the stress of deployment to relocating with their parent. DoDEA has the know-how to support these kids, which it has been doing for 75 years,” said Ryan Smith, the Department of Defense Education Activity community superintendent for Camp Lejeune Community Schools. “We hope this new program supports our Marine community and increases family readiness.”
The pilot program at Camp Lejeune supports family readiness in many ways, such as making it easier for parents to 1) meet with educators, 2) attend after-school events, and 3) acquire before- and after-school care.
The application for off-base dependents of an active-duty service member opens May 16 at 6:30 a.m. EST and is available here ; the website needs to be accessed via a personal computer or personal wireless device due to security limitations with Department of Defense computers. The application will remain open, and administrators will periodically review applications as school enrollment changes. Decisions will be made based on space available at the school for each grade level. Administrators will contact parents directly if their child was selected for the program.