Department of Defense Education Activity

DoDEA CSP - Volume I

Message from the Director

Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Members of Our Community,

I am pleased to present to you our Community Strategic Plan (CSP) for school years 2013/14–2017/18. This five-year plan is our roadmap for advancing the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) on a unique path to new levels of excellence. It is our commitment to go to extraordinary lengths to continue to improve the educational opportunities for each of the Nation’s 1.2 million school-age, military-connected children.

The plan is a product of a community-wide effort. We assembled a leadership team of DoDEA and community senior leaders to serve as the primary architects of the plan’s framework. Through a deliberate and thoughtful process, the leadership team developed a comprehensive planning approach that focused on establishing long-term direction, solutions and tangible results. The leadership team’s work culminated with the establishment of the plan’s foundational elements—the vision, mission, core values, goals and performance measures. The plan, therefore, is a fitting triumph of the entire DoDEA community, demonstrating that improvement in a school system is best achieved through a collaborative, shared commitment to doing what is best for our students.

The community strategic planning process is a driving force for our organization, motivating us to scrutinize and refine our programs and practices to achieve better outcomes for our students. By adopting this plan, we enter into a performance contract with our students, parents, staff and community, where our success is measured by the progress we make towards the achievement of our goals. It is through this process that we commit to becoming one of the Nation’s most respected and recognized education systems. We are meant to be and aim to be an accountable activity. Ensuring accountability and trust means we must be open and answerable to those we serve. Therefore, each year, we will review and report the progress made towards achieving our goals to remain transparent and demonstrate we are doing all we can to provide our students a high-quality education.

It is our honor and privilege to contribute to the education of the children of all of our Nation’s heroes. Their children’s education must not be among the sacrifices our country asks of them. The school environment must be a special place for our children to learn and grow to achieve their full academic, social and emotional potential, and I ask all members of our community—students, parents, members of our military community and DoDEA staff and faculty—to passionately commit to this end. It is only through our collective efforts that we will achieve our new, ambitious vision “to be among the world’s leaders in education, enriching the lives of military-connected students and the communities in which they live.”

In the interest of all children,

Marilee Fitzgerald

Marilee Fitzgerald
Director, DoDEA


We are DoDEA

DoDEA has the honor and privilege of educating over 84,000 children of our Nation's Service members and the civilians who support them in twelve nations, seven states and two territories. We also provide support to more than one million military-connected students who attend public schools throughout the United States.

DoDEA operates 194 schools in the United States, Europe and the Pacific. In the United States, DoDEA schools operate under the Domestic Dependents Elementary and Secondary Schools system. In Europe and the Pacific, DoDEA schools are organized under the Department of Defense Dependents Schools.

The educational experience of military-connected students is unique. As a school system, we are committed to meeting not only the academic needs of our students but also their social and emotional needs as well. Through close coordination with the United States Department of Education, the Military Services, and other agencies and organizations focused on the needs of military-connected children, we seek ways to alleviate the challenges students may face as a result of frequent transitions and parental deployments.

Through legislative authority, DoDEA's Educational Partnership Program enables the sharing of knowledge, resources and expertise with public school systems across the Nation to improve educational opportunities for all military-connected, school-age children. Understanding that a significant element of military family readiness is the availability of quality schools, DoDEA's partnership program capitalizes on our vast portfolio of resources to improve the ability of public school systems to also meet the unique academic, social and emotional needs of military-connected children.

DoDEA Schools

DoDDS Schools DDESS Schools
Country No. of Schools State/Territory No. of Schools
Bahrain 2 Alabama 3
Belgium 4 Georgia 10
Cuba 1 Kentucky 17
Germany 47 New York 2
Italy 10 North Carolina 18
Japan 34 Puerto Rico 4
Korea 12 South Carolina 5
Netherlands 2 Virginia 5
Portugal 1 Guam 4
Spain 3
Turkey 2
United Kingdom 9
TOTAL 126 68

As of April 1, 2013.

CSP Relevance as a Catalyst for Change
CSP-Catalyst-for Change - Biy Reading

DoDEA is committed to providing 21st century, student-centered learning environments tailored to meet the unique needs of military-connected children.

DoDEA is committed to providing 21st century, student-centered learning environments tailored to meet the unique needs of military-connected children. To this end, over the next five years, the CSP will focus on achieving new levels of excellence in: student achievement, school performance, talent management, organizational effectiveness and community outreach. Although the CSP’s primary purpose is to chart the strategic course for achieving excellence in each of the goal areas, its relevance as a catalyst for the organization achieving new levels of excellence depends on the success with which it performs its other key functions. For DoDEA to realize each of its goals, the CSP and/or CSP planning process must:

  1. Foster a common understanding and passion for what DoDEA stands for (core values), why we exist (mission) and our path to the future (vision). In doing so, the plan serves to reaffirm the organization’s pursuit of a common vision and inspire the achievement of positive outcomes for military-connected children.
  2. Achieve accountability throughout the organization. The plan must effectively delineate responsibilities to DoDEA’s organizational components, and the process must foster a culture of organizational and individual accountability. Our long-term success requires that our organization not only commit to a common vision but also willingly accept ownership of and execute assigned responsibilities at every level.
  3. Implement CSP annual review and reporting processes that: 1) validate progress in each goal area; 2) identify the need to modify the plan to account for changes in organizational priorities and/or DoDEA’s strategic environment; and 3) determine organizational priorities for the next year. The annual review process is designed to recognize that long-term success requires the ability to make short-term adjustments to leverage or minimize the effects of environmental changes. The accountability report process is supported by a comprehensive measurement and assessment framework that serves to inform all DoDEA stakeholders of the organization’s progress towards attaining each goal.
  4. Form the foundation for all DoDEA operational planning to ensure a well-synchronized continuous improvement effort throughout the organization. At the school level, continuous school improvement plans are tailored to not only ensure congruency with the CSP but to also meet the specific needs of each school’s students, faculty and community.
  5. Obtain and incorporate input from our community stakeholders. It is only through the collective efforts of our community that DoDEA will be successful in its mission to “Educate, Engage, and Empower each student to succeed in a dynamic world.”