Lester MS Mascot

Providing Opportunities Today For Success Tomorrow

School Address and Contact Information

Unit 35015
Camp Lester
FPO, AP 96373-5015
Okinawa, Japan
Phone: 098-970-7787
Fax: 098-970-7211
DSN Phone: 315-645-7787
DSN Fax: 315-645-7211
From US: 011-81-98-970-7787
From the US Fax: 011-81-98-970-7211


Our Mission

"Educate, Engage, and Empower each student to succeed in a dynamic world."

Our Purpose

ifelong learners in a diverse, 21st century, global society
asters of the skills necessary for adapting in an ever-changing world
uccessful college and/or career ready learners

Contact Information

Tuesdays are Early Release days

Students arrive: 0705 (1st bell 0715)

Grade Regular Hours Tuesday Hours
Office Hours 0700 - 1515 0700 - 1515
Instructional Day 0720 - 1400 0720 - 1250




Classroom Teacher


or 098-970-7787 (From cell)

Team Leader


or 098-970-7787 (From cell)

Assistant Principal


or 098-970-7787 (From cell)

Ms. Nedra Jones, Principal                               
645-7787 or 098-970-7787 (From cell)

District Superintendent’s Office      
634-1204 or 098-961-1204 (From cell)

We ask that you follow the chain of command when possible. Meet with the classroom teacher or set up a phone conference. During the conference:

1. Specify the concern/problem

2. Create a plan

3. Create a timeline.

See Home and School Communication Partnership for more details.

*Parent/Teacher Conferences: contact the office.

DoDEA encourages all communication take place through official school email accounts.

School Contacts

Name Staff Position Phone
DSN: 645-7787
School Psychologist
DSN: 645-0504
School Nurse/Health Aide
School Counselor: 7th & 8th
School Counselor: 6th
Public Affairs Officer
DSN 645-3799
DSN: 645-7787
School Webmaster
DSN: 645-7787/2124
Information Specialist
DSN: 645-7769
School Advisory Council


Handbook Contents

School Calendars
Admin Bios
General Information
High School Graduation
Report Card and Testing Information
Special Education
Reporting Abuse Neglect Suicide Risk and Threats
School Counseling Services
School Health Services
Student Rights and Responsibilities
School Security
Student Conduct and Discipline
Student Transportation
School Procedures

School Handbook

Director's Message: Mr. Thomas M. Brady

Thomas M. Brady

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

As we begin School Year 2022 / 2023, I feel a tremendous sense of optimism. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, DoDEA experienced disruptions and obstacles unlike anything in our organization’s history. While the past few years have been difficult, they also highlighted the remarkable way that our DoDEA community can rally together to create novel solutions to unique challenges, demonstrate flexibility and compassion, and work collaboratively to support our students and families. 

The health and safety of our students is always our top priority. The pandemic is not over yet, and we as a school system must continue to remain prepared and agile. We have learned a great deal since COVID-19 first appeared, and we are prepared to respond quickly and dynamically to whatever may come our way. 

Please take a moment to review our DoDEA COVID-19 Operational Guidelines and Protocols, Version X. 

These operational guidelines are a key part of DoDEA’s role in total force and the warfighter’s mission readiness. DoDEAs goal is to protect the health and safety of our military communities and to maximize students in school learning. We will continue to use an integrated package of prevention and control measures to avoid COVID-19 transmission in our schools.
As a result of our response throughout the pandemic, infection rates among students and staff remained remarkably low. Through cooperation, mutual support, and adherence to our operational guidelines, we will continue to learn within a safe and healthy environment, without sacrificing our rigorous educational standards.   

School Year 2022 / 2023 will also be the first year in which the full suite of College and Career Readiness Standards are fully implemented. This is the product of countless hours of innovative and collaborative work from dedicated professionals throughout DoDEA. The investment of time and resources into our College and Career Readiness Standards has positioned us to further and more fully embody our mission to Educate, Engage, and Empower military-connected students to succeed in a dynamic world. 
Now, more than ever, I am consistently impressed with the dedication, passion, and commitment of our staff, our students, and our families to continuously adapt to each new challenge and overcome every obstacle. By working together to support one another we have continued to thrive academically and as a community.  
We cannot always predict what challenges the world will place before us on our path, but with dedication and teamwork we can know that we will continue to fulfill our vision to ensure Excellence in Education for Every Student, Every Day, Everywhere.  

Lester Middle School Philosophy

This policy applies to Lester MS

The Lester Middle School Community is committed to striving for student academic achievement through individual and collaborative work, fostering student self-worth by emphasizing social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs, and developing student potential to become productive and valued members of a global society. The faculty of Lester Middle School recognizes the intrinsic worth of every student and the right of each student to develop self-respect, self-understanding, and self-confidence. We believe that our students should have an optimal environment for developing patriotism, citizenship, and intellectual and moral values consistent with our society. We recognize the diverse nature of our society, with respect to a wide variety of races, cultures, religious and social groupings and believe that our students must have the opportunity to develop an understanding of their place within this complex society. The faculty believes that our students should have maximum opportunities to develop competency in basic skills of reading, writing, and mathematics, so that they can openly express original ideas while maintaining their integrity and respect for others. We recognize the values of creative and critical thinking and the benefits of independent development. We believe in developing the character qualities and command of social skills necessary to live a self-fulfilling life that displays responsible behavior. The faculty recognizes the requirements of an ever-changing society and the need for a citizenry that is capable to adapting to new and different demands.

Student Activities

This policy applies to Lester MS

The activities program at Lester Middle School is designed to be in harmony with the middle school philosophy and its goals and strategies as stated in our philosophy. Care is taken to avoid emulating the high school activity program, especially in regard to athletics and those activities surrounding athletics. Students have an opportunity to explore a wide variety of activities in a non-threatening environment. The activities include both group and individual participation. These activities are selected to help the student make the transition from playtime activities to group and individual participation in areas of interest both now and possibly in the future. Clubs that may be offered:

STEM Club, National Junior Honor Society, Student Council, Yearbook, Intramural Sports, Instrumental Music, Writing, and Academic Success Clubs. Students may participate in some high school sports activities requiring a sport physical. Check with administration for specific programs. Students participating in an after-school activity must report to the appropriate area no later than 1355 hours. Any late arrivals to the activity will not be able to participate that afternoon and must immediately leave the campus. Students who are not participating in an authorized after-school activity must leave the campus. Once a student leaves the campus, they are not allowed back on after school hours.

Only those students currently enrolled at LMS may attend school dances. The School’s dress code will be maintained. Loitering in the parking lot or other areas of the school campus will not be allowed. All students are to depart the school campus no later than 15 minutes past the ending time of the dance. Once a student leaves the dance, the student will not be permitted to re-enter and must immediately leave the campus. Parents are responsible for students’ transportation home immediately after school dances. In the rare case where a parent does not pick up their child in a reasonable amount of time, PMO will be contacted to assist.

Supply List

This policy applies to Lester MS

6th - 8th Grade Supply List SY 2023-24


 Backpack/book bag big enough to fit a file folder/large books. No wheels please.
 1 binder (3 inch, 3 ring binder)
 1 package 8 tab notebook dividers
 Supply pouch for binder
 1 pack pens(blue/black)
 1 pack of No. 2 pencils
 Rubber erasers
 1 pack highlighters
 1 pack Loose-leaf paper
 4 pocket folders
 1 pack colored pencils
 1 pack washable colored markers
 8 glue sticks
 4 bound composition notebooks
 3 One subject spiral notebooks
 1 ruler
 1 pair of scissors
 1 pair personal headphones (plug in)
 1 mask


  • 1 bottle of hand sanitizer or 1 pack hand sanitizing wipes (60% or more alcohol)
  • 1 box of tissues


  • Please label all supplies with your child’s name.
  • Teachers may have a more specific list for their classrooms. Please save your receipts, as all teachers may not require every item.
  • All students are required to wear pants/shorts and gym shoes during PE class.
  • All students are required to wear closed-toed shoes for science labs.
  • Any lunch or snacks your child brings to school shared

Home and School Communication Partnership

This policy applies to Lester MS

When parents have questions or concerns to discuss with a teacher, they should call the school office and leave a message for the teacher. The parent may also contact the teacher via e-mail. The parent and teacher should create a plan that addresses the needs of the student to make the student more successful. If that plan does not work, it is appropriate to solicit the help of the grade level guidance counselor as well to mediate the situation. If the issue involves any other staff member, parents are asked to discuss this directly with that person, and then contact one of our counselors before referring it to an administrator. If the concern is still not resolved, parents should ask for the assistance of a school administrator. Any problems, which cannot be resolved by discussing them with the teachers or administrators, may be referred to the office of the District Superintendent.


This policy applies to Lester MS

The curriculum at Lester Middle School is designed to meet the needs of students who are making the transition from childhood to adolescence. The curriculum provides for continued emphasis on the basics and for opportunities to explore new subject areas and develop emerging personal skills.
Reading/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies are emphasized during the three years. The exploratory and elective program allows students to experience different subjects, yet provides for individual interests. Algebra I, Japanese, and Spanish language classes are offered for high school credit.

Resource Programs

This policy applies to Lester MS

Education Student Services (ESS) is an integral part of the total education program. The ESS Department includes DoDEA school nurses, school counselors, school psychologists and school social workers (located only in certain locations). The ESS staff members at each DoDEA school partner with parents, community, students and other educators to assist in creating an educational environment conductive of academic, personal, social and career growth of all students. Please visit the Education Student Services Website for further instruction based on your situation or discuss with an administrator at your student’s school.

School counselors are here for students. They also work with teachers and administrators to assist students in acquiring the skills necessary to lead productive and fulfilling lives. They may see their counselor for academic and personal concerns and for educational testing. Class time can be made available for students to visit the counselor when appropriate arrangements have been made.
Students are responsible for any class work missed while meeting with the counselors. Please telephone the counseling office if you have concerns regarding the Guidance Program or if you would like to make an appointment with a counselor (645-7768/098-970-7768).

The guidance counselors assist students and in developing the programs that will best suit their individual needs. Students should be aware that once they are enrolled in a course, that course might only be dropped for valid reasons determined by and with the recommendation of a staff member, placement committee, parent, or the administration. Final approval rests with the principal.

A Student Success Team exists to collect data, discuss referrals, and make recommendations for program interventions and student placement. This committee will make recommendations to the administration regarding any class placement, which is not routine. They will review student progress to determine what strategies will better meet the needs of the students. Final decisions on grade and program placement are the responsibility of the principal.

AVID is designed to address the needs of students who are currently shown to be underrepresented in four-year colleges and universities. It is a voluntary program for students with college potential that provides the skills, tutorial support, and encouragement necessary for students to succeed in the rigorous courses required in high school and meet college entrance requirements. Students who are accepted into the AVID program must meet specific requirements to be eligible.


Lester Middle School has the resources and staff to accommodate the needs of a variety of special needs. Students who are eligible for an Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be provided with the special education and related services they require in order to experience educational success.

In order to implement the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) compliance with Public Law 94-142 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (PL 101-476), Lester Middle School has established a Case Study Committee (CSC). The CSC refers to a multidisciplinary team of special educators, speech and language therapist, regular educators, related services personnel (counselors, nurse, Medically Related Services, school psychologist), administrators and parents, where appropriate. The Core CSC is personnel who are responsible for a variety of activities involved with the effective functioning of the special education program. They meet to consider referrals, plan and conduct assessments, determine eligibility, and develop programs for students who may need special education and related services.

Child Find is the ongoing process used by DoDEA and the Medically Related Services department of the armed forces to seek and, with consent of parents, identify individuals (from birth to age 21, inclusive) who are eligible to receive special education and related services (speech/language, learning, physical, emotional). Child Find activities include the dissemination of information to the public as well as screening, referral and identification procedures. All referrals are confidential.
Anyone who has a concern about such youth should contact the Guidance Counselors.


Primary responsibility for a student's health belongs to the parents. Students who are ill or injured should remain at home, or, if necessary be seen by a health care provider. Students should not be sent to school with instructions to go to the school nurse. Students who are ill cannot learn effectively. The school nurse provides services for students who become ill or injured during the school day. Students who are ill or injured should get a pass from their teacher or a lunch monitor.
The school nurse shall take the following measures:
• Ensure appropriate care of students concerning necessary medical attention;
• Contact sponsors and/or family members concerning a student’s medical concern; and
• Give immediate first aid as well as seek immediate medical referral(s) where deemed necessary.
All measures taken will be documented on accident form DS 4801.
The School Nurse does not diagnose or treat any non-school related injury or illness, including Youth Services sports injuries, non-specific rashes and other vague skin conditions, or allergic symptoms, or dispense any over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, Motrin, cough drops, etc. nor excuse students from participating in physical education.

Important Dates SY 23-24

This policy applies to Lester MS

Student Advisory Committee (All meetings begin at 2:30) Meeting Dates:





Okinawa District Advisory Committee Meeting Dates:

10/ 4 @ 18:30

12/ 6 @ 18:30

1/ 17 @ 18:30

3/ 6 @ 18:30

5/ 1 @18:30

School Parent Teacher Conference Date:

10/27 All day

Principal's Corner

Welcome to Lester Middle School!

The Lester Middle School Community is committed to striving for student academic achievement through individual and collaborative work, fostering student self-worth by emphasizing social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs, and developing student potential to become productive and valued members of a global society..

The faculty of Lester Middle School recognizes the intrinsic worth of every student and the right of each student to develop self-respect, self-understanding, and self-confidence. We believe that our students should have an optimal environment for developing patriotism, citizenship, and intellectual and moral values consistent with our society. We recognize the diverse nature of our society, with respect to a wide variety of races, cultures, religious and social groupings and believe that our students must have the opportunity to develop an understanding of their roles within this complex society. The faculty believes that our students should have maximum opportunities to develop competency in basic skills of reading, writing, and mathematics, so that they can openly express original ideas while maintaining their integrity and respect for others. We recognize the values of creative and critical thinking and the benefits of independent development. We believe in developing the character qualities and command of social skills necessary to live a self-fulfilling life that displays responsible behavior. The faculty recognizes the requirements of an ever-changing society and the need for a citizenry that is capable to adapting to new and different demands.


About Our School

Welcome to Lester Middle School!


Hours of Operations

  • Main Office: 0700-1515
  • School Day: 0715-1350
  • Early Release Tues: 0715-1250

School Lunches

Mon, Wed, Thurs, Friday:

  • A- Lunch 1050-1120
  • B- Lunch 1120-1150
  • C- Lunch 1150-1220

Tues- Early Release

  • A- Lunch 1005-1035
  • B- Lunch 1035-1105
  • C- Lunch 1105-1135

Summer Hours:

  • June 12-16:  0700-1515
  • June 20 - August 17 :  0800-1500
  • August 18 :  Resume normal hours

Signing In and Signing Out

Students who arrive to school after the first bell must be signed in by a parent/sponsor in the front office. Tardiness due to an appointment or illness will be excused. Likewise, students who leave school during the school day must also be signed out by a parent/sponsor and signed back in upon return that day. Students will not be allowed to leave campus without a parent to sign them out, or without prior arrangements made with the administration.

Lester Middle School is a closed campus. Students are not permitted to leave the campus for any reason unless they have permission to leave school with the proper school permission form. Once students come on to campus, either by car, bus, or foot, they are to remain on campus until the end of the school day. Those students who leave campus during the day without authorization will face appropriate disciplinary action.

Excused/Unexcused Absences or Tardiness

Parents or sponsors must inform the attendance office by phone, 645-7787/098-970-7787, before 0720 hours on the day a student will be absent from school if the absence is due to illness, appointment, or other short-term reasons. If an emergency prevents you from informing the school of short-term absences before 0720, please do so as early in the school day as possible.


Lester Middle School opened in August of 1992 with grades 7 & 8. In 2008, the 6th grade was added to Lester Middle School. Lester Middle School is named after Hospital Apprentice First Class Fred Faulkner Lester, U.S. Naval Reserve, who was born on April 29, 1926, in Downers Grove, Illinois.

During the Second World War, he served as a Medical Corpsman with an Assault Rifle Platoon attached to 1st Battalion, 22d Marines, 6th Marine Division, during the Okinawa Campaign. During a fierce battle on 8 June, 1945 for a strategic Japanese-held hill, HA1c Lester moved beyond the front lines to aid a wounded Marine. As he crawled toward the casualty, HA1c Lester was struck by enemy fire but continued on. Despite heavy fire and painful wounds, he pulled the wounded Marine toward safety but was again struck by the incoming fire before reaching cover. Refusing to succumb to his wounds, HA1c finally managed to pull the man to safety. Too seriously wounded to administer aid, he instructed two Marines in the proper treatment of the wounded man. Then, realizing his own injuries were fatal, HA1c Lester refused medical aid and instead gathered his remaining strength to give instructions on the treatment of two more wounded Marines. For his selfless devotion to duty, HA1c Lester was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Our school proudly bears the name of this war hero who put the welfare of others before his own well-being.


Pacific South District Map SY22-23


School Calendars


DoDEA Pacific : School Year  2022 - 2023 Calendar

Standard DoDEA Pacific School Calendar

Note: Calendar based on 190 day teacher workdays including:

5 Teacher Orientation/Pre-service/Professional Learning Days

4 Professional Learning Days

4 Teacher Work Days

2 District Continuous School Improvement Days (+1 for districts going through accreditation)

Reporting date for non-administrative educator personnel

Monday, August 15, 2022 Reporting date for non-administrative educator personnel for CCR training, orientation and classroom preparation (15-19 August)

School Year 2022-2023 (175 Instructional Days and 190 Teacher Work Days)

First Semester (84 Instructional Days)
Monday, August 22, 2022 First Day of School, with the exception of Andersen ES, Andersen MS and E. J. King HS which will start on Wednesday, August 24th.
Monday, September 5, 2022 Labor Day: Federal Holiday
Monday, October 10, 2022 Columbus Day: Federal Holiday
Thursday, October 27, 2022 End of First Quarter (45 Instructional Days)
Friday, October 28, 2022 No School for Students - Teacher Work Day
Friday, November 11, 2022 Veterans Day: Federal Holiday
Thursday, November 24, 2022 Thanksgiving Day: Federal Holiday
Friday, November 25, 2022 Friday: Recess Day
Monday, December 19, 2022 Begin Winter Recess (19 December – 2 January)
Sunday, December 25, 2022 Christmas: Federal Holiday
Sunday, January 1, 2023 New Year’s Day: Federal Holiday
Monday, January 2, 2023 New Year’s Day Observed
Thursday, January 12, 2023 End of Second Quarter and First Semester (39 Instructional Days)
Friday, January 13, 2023 No School for Students – Teacher Work Day
Monday, January 16, 2023 Martin Luther King Day: Federal Holiday
Second Semester (91 Instructional Days)
Tuesday, January 17, 2023 Begin Second semester and Third Quarter
Monday, February 20, 2023 Presidents’ Day: Federal Holiday
Thursday, March 23, 2023 End of Third Quarter (45 Instructional Days)
Friday, March 24, 2023 No School for Students – Teacher Work Day
Monday, March 27, 2023 Begin Spring Recess (27 March – 31 March)
Monday, May 29, 2023 Memorial Day: Federal Holiday
Wednesday, June 7, 2023 End of Fourth Quarter and Second Semester (46 Instructional Days)
Thursday, June 8, 2023 No School for Students – Teacher Work Day


Admin Bios

Parents are encouraged to follow the chain of command when issues/concerns arise: please speak with your child’s teacher first, then administration.

Ms. Nedra A. Jones - Lester MS Principal

Ms. Nedra A. Jones

Ms. Jones was born in Heidelberg, Mississippi. After graduating from high school, Ms. Jones attended Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi where she received a Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary and Secondary Education with a Minor in Special Education. Ms. Jones received a Universal Special Education Certification from the University of Houston in Houston, Texas and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Research from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Ms. Jones has served as an administrator across the spectrum; elementary, middle and high school. Before beginning her career in administration, Ms. Jones teaching experiences included Early Childhood Special Education, Learning Impairment Specialist, Language Arts and Reading Specialist, Literacy Support Specialist and General Education teacher. Ms. Jones’ teaching experiences have been both in state- side schools and in the Department of Defense Schools in Europe and the Pacific.

Ms. Jones has held numerous leadership roles throughout her educational career. She has served as chairperson for Continuous School Improvement, Partnerships-in-Education, School Climate and Culture Committees and various Mentorship Programs. In addition, she has served as a Curriculum Implementation Facilitator, Professional Staff Developer, Teacher Mentor and Graduate Study Group facilitator. Ms. Jones has served on the School Advisory Council and PTO board.

Ms. Jones has two daughters that are graduates of DoDDS Schools both Europe and Pacific Regions. She enjoys outdoor sports and activities. Ms. Jones is an enthusiast of whole living which allows her to pursue her love of cooking, fitness, travel, family and friends.

Ms. Jones served as Acting Principal and Lester Middle School and is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue the work with the students, teachers, parents and the community on Camp Lester. Together as a team we thrive for excellence and the overall success of our students.


Ms. Paloma Bemis - Lester MS Assistant Principal

Ms. Paloma Bemis

Ms. Bemis began her DODEA career in 2011 in Okinawa, Japan as a paraprofessional. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication, Ms. Bemis knew she wanted to pursue a career where she could make an impact in the way students communicate, work with each other, and overcome roadblocks that impede learning. She completed a Master of Arts degree in Special Education, which led to a middle school teaching position at Spangdahlem Middle School in Germany. During her years in Germany, Ms. Bemis took on many leadership roles to include Case Study Committee Chairperson, ReThink leader, math lead, Safe Crisis Management Trainer, and Testing Coordinator. These leadership roles sparked a desire to continue to grow in this area of expertise where she felt she could make the biggest impact in empowering students and increasing their achievement. She completed her second Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership.

Ms. Bemis is passionate about teaching social and emotional skills to students. Since 2019, she has worked as the Emotionally Impaired teacher at Maxwell Elementary and Middle school on Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama and EC Killin on Camp Foster, Okinawa. This position has allowed Ms. Bemis to work closely with all stakeholders to provide training and support needed to address behavioral concerns, proper coping skills and strategies, and to empower staff to make effective behavioral changes in their students that promotes a healthy and safe learning environment for all.

Ms. Bemis has four wonderful boys of her own that keep her busy. She loves to travel the world, spend quality time with family and friends, and enjoy the beautiful island of Okinawa.

Ms. Bemis is excited to join the Wildcat family as their new Assistant Principal. She looks forward to serving the students, staff, and families at Lester Middle School. She believes in the whole child approach to education and works hard to ensure all students and staff members have the resources and tools they need to reach their fullest potential.


School Handbook

Dr. Melissa Hayes - Pacific South District Superintendent

Dr. Melissa Hayes

Dr. Hayes joined DoDEA in 2000 and has served as an Instructional Systems Specialist, principal, and most recently Community Superintendent for DoDEA Europe West in Belgium.

“Dr. Hayes is a career educator and educational leader with extensive experience serving military-connected communities,” Ms. Rapp said. “Her dedication and commitment to our students, families, staff, and military partners make her a great fit to lead the Pacific South District.”

Dr. Hayes holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood from Auburn University and master’s degrees in Early Childhood and Educational Leadership, both from Troy University.

“I am honored to be selected as the new superintendent for DoDEA Pacific South,” Dr. Hayes said. “I look forward to beginning this new adventure and building partnerships with stakeholders to ensure Pacific South continues to provide the very best educational opportunities for our military-connected students.”

Dr. Hayes began her career in 1981 teaching kindergarten, first and third grades in Alabama. In 1997, she was named Lanett City Schools Teacher of the Year.

She attended the Georgia State University’s Reading Recovery training program, graduating in 1998 and becoming a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader for DeKalb County Schools, GA. While in DeKalb County, Dr. Hayes trained Reading Recovery Teachers, provided professional development, and worked with the District Superintendent’s Office in providing Balanced Literacy training to teachers in 26 elementary schools. Dr. Hayes was a speaker for regional and national Reading Recovery conferences in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.

As a DoDEA Instructional Systems Specialist for Reading Recovery in Fort Benning, Ga., she taught students, trained teachers, and provided ongoing professional development for educators. While at Fort Benning, Dr. Hayes facilitated numerous workshops for teachers in the areas of balanced literacy, writing, teaching reading in the content areas, and teaching struggling readers. She developed, organized, and implemented Fort Benning’s Parent Academy as well as very successful summer reading camps for students. Dr. Hayes was awarded the General’s Award for Excellent Service to the Fort Benning Community.

In 2005, Dr. Hayes became principal of Dexter Elementary School, located at Fort Benning. While principal, the school received the Partnership of the Year Award from the Muscogee County Partners in Education program. The school also received an International Reading Association award for having the best reading program for the state of Georgia.

In 2006, Dr. Hayes became principal of Maxwell AFB Elementary School in Montgomery, Ala. As a military child, Dr. Hayes attended Maxwell – to be selected as its principal was a special honor. While principal at Maxwell, the school received numerous honors and awards. During the 2008-2009 school year, Dr. Hayes served as principal at both Maxwell Elementary and Robins AFB Elementary. In 2010, Dr. Hayes was tasked with implementing a middle school, which made Maxwell a DoDEA Unit School with grades PreK-8.

In 2012, Dr. Hayes was named as principal of Aviano Elementary School in Aviano, Italy. Under her leadership, Aviano Elementary School fully embraced the merging of Continuous School Improvement with College Career Readiness Standards. Through professional development, Dr. Hayes built capacity within the organization and assisted teachers in becoming facilitators in adult learning. Under her leadership, the school enhanced its STEM program, infusing opportunities for students to develop technology skills such as coding and robotics.

Since 2016, Dr. Hayes has served DoDEA as a Community Superintendent in Europe.


Dr. Vann M. Lassiter - Pacific South Chief of Staff

Dr. Vann M. Lassiter

Dr. Vann M. Lassiter began his career as a business, marketing, computer, and global studies teacher in Edenton, North Carolina. His enthusiasm and dynamic teaching style were unique; combining music, movement, discussions, technology, and a focus on the use of data to drive instruction assisted in raising state assessment scores in the career and technical education department of his school. He also co-developed an exchange program with a school in Demark and founded the school’s first National Technical Honor Society for Career and Technical Education. Dr. Lassiter was selected as the 2010-2011 North Carolina AT&T Northeast Regional Teacher of the Year and the 2013 North Carolina Technology in Education Society Outstanding Leader Award.

After serving in the classroom, Dr. Lassiter was selected as the district Instructional Technology Coordinator and Educator-on-Loan with the Division of Digital Teaching and Learning at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. As technology coordinator, he supported schools in his district with the integration of technology aligned to standards and led research and implementation of a one-to-one computing program grant. As an Educator on Loan, he provided professional learning and support for students, teachers, and administrators throughout the state of North Carolina.

In 2015, he began his career in administration and served as the Director of Innovation and Technology for a school in Silver Spring, Maryland. In this role, he supported the implementation of a new standardized assessment, oversaw a department in spearheading the refinement of systems and processes, technology capital campaigns, professional learning, and served as a community partner liaison with universities, businesses, and non-profit organizations. He also developed the first Google Bootcamp for the school to support teachers in earning their certification. Dr. Lassiter joined DoDEA in 2018 and served as the Education Research Analyst for the DoDEA Europe Center for Instructional Leadership. He has been instrumental in the standardization of the school action planning process and supported other regional initiatives such as increasing access and equity to Advanced Placement courses and organizational initiatives such as the Learning Walkthrough and Focused Collaboration, using research and data to drive decisions and the delivery of professional learning. In November 2021, he joined Pacific South’s DSO as the Chief of Staff.

Dr. Lassiter graduated from North Carolina State University as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Marketing Education (Business Management Minor) and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. He earned a Ph.D. in Occupational and Technical Studies from Old Dominion University and holds a graduate certificate in School Leadership. An educator, author, and conference speaker, he passionately believes that one person can make a difference in the world using their gifts. His motto, “Live in and on purpose,” fuels his love for continually learning and growing and inspiring others to do the same.


School Handbook

General Information

Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

The Department of Defense (DoD), in collaboration with the National Center for Interstate Compacts and the Council of State Governments, has developed an interstate compact that addresses the educational transition issues of children of active duty military-connected families.  Currently, all 50 states, DoDEA and the District of Columbia participate in this interstate compact, which provides uniform policy for resolving the educational challenges experienced by military-connected children as they transition between school systems.

We encourage all of our families preparing to transition, to, from or within a DoDEA and/or stateside school system to engage with the School Liaison (SLO) from the sending and receiving locations.  The SLO is the local contact for schools and has valuable information about school calendars, hybrid learning, early enrollment, student services, how to manage quarantine requirements and more. 

“Call your SLO before you go”
In order to prepare records for your students school transition.

 A directory of School Liaisons is updated annually and can be found at: https://www.dodea.edu/Partnership/index.cfm

The Compact ensures that mobile children of military families are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children.  States participating in the Compact work to coordinate graduation requirements, transfer of records, course placement, unique learning needs, assessments and other administrative policies.

For additional information or transition support, please contact or call the Partnership office at 571-372-6026.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1325.01: DoD Impact Aid Program for Local Educational Agencies, Change 2
1342.29: Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

Access to School Facilities

If the principal permits a school to operate a limited open forum by maintaining a practice of allowing any single non-curriculum-related student group access to school facilities, the principal shall ensure that all of such student groups (including activities of religious nature) are permitted equal access to meet on school premises and use school facilities during non-instructional time. Access to groups may be denied if the principal determines that a student or student group has or is likely to substantially interfere with good order or discipline or violate any Federal, state, or local law, or DoD or DoDEA regulation/policy.


For the protection of students and staff, all visitors must report to the school’s front office immediately upon arriving at the school.  A visitor is any person (to include parents, sponsors, and legal guardians) not enrolled or assigned to the school requesting entry to the building.

Visitors must provide authorized identification to gain access to the DoDEA school.  The visitor will be issued a visitor badge that must be displayed above the waist while on DoDEA school property.  The school administrator has the final determination on visitors authorized to be at the school.  While on DoDEA school property, visitors may go only to the approved area indicated as their destination when signing in at the school’s front office. Any change to the designated location must be approved by the school’s front office before the visitor can access a different location within the school.  When leaving the school, visitors must sign out and return the visitor's badge to the school’s front office. 

Classroom Observations

Parents are welcome to visit the school and classrooms to observe the school’s programs for brief periods of time that do not interfere with instruction. Approval by the school administrator is required for this type of visitation.

Learn more about volunteering at your school's Get Involved page.

School Advisory Committees

DoDEA school administrators, in partnership with sponsors/family members, students, and military leaders, promote communication through the establishment of advisory committees to address issues (school initiatives, procedures and policies) locally. This is a system-wide way for parents to get involved in their child’s local school. Consult your child’s school to learn more about school advisory committees.

Learn more about SAC's at your school's Get Involved page.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1342.15: Educational Advisory Committees and Councils
1358.01: School Boards, Advisory Committees, and Dependents Education Council

DoDEA Pacific South Consolidated Calendar

This policy applies to Lester MS

DoDEA Pacific South District
School Year Calendar at a Glance 2023-2024



Monday, August 14 Report Date for ALL Educator Personnel
First Semester
Monday, August 21 Begin 1st Quarter and 1st Semester (Grades 1-12) (except Bechtel ES & Ryukyu MS)
Wednesday, August 23 Begin 1st Quarter and 1 Semester Bechtel ES & Ryukyu MS
Monday, August 28 First Day Kindergarten
Monday, September 4 Labor Day – Federal Holiday (No School)
Tuesday, September 5 Professional Development Day (No School for ALL students)
Wednesday, October 4 ODAC Meeting @ 1730
Thursday, October 5 CI Training Day (No School for ALL students)
Friday, October 6 Qtr. 1 CCR Professional Development Day (No School for ALL students)
Monday, October 9 Columbus Day – Federal Holiday (No School)
Thursday, October 19 End of 1st Quarter (40 Inst Days)
Friday, October 20 Teacher Workday – (No School for ALL students)
Monday, October 23 Begin 2nd Quarter
Thursday, October 26 Parent Teacher Conferences – (No School ELEMENTARY students)
Friday, October 27 Parent Teacher Conferences – (No School for ALL students)
Friday, November 10 Veteran’s Day – Federal Holiday (No School)
Thursday-Friday, November 23-24 Thanksgiving – Federal Holiday and Recess Day – (No School)
Wednesday, November 29 Accelerated Withdrawal (1st Semester) Prior Approval Required
Monday-Monday, December 18 – January 1 Begin Winter Recess (No School)



Tuesday, January 2 Instruction Resumes
Friday, January 5 Qtr. 2 CCR Professional Development Day (No School for ALL students)
Thursday, January 11 End of 2nd Quarter and End of 1st Semester (44 Inst Days)
Friday, January 12 Teacher Workday (No School)
Monday, January 15 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Federal Holiday (No School)
Wednesday, January 17 ODAC Meeting @ 1730
Second Semester
Tuesday, January 16 Begin 3rd Quarter and 2nd Semester
Friday, February 16 Qtr. 3 CCR Professional Development Day (No School for ALL students)
Monday, February 19 President's Day – Federal Holiday (No School)
Tuesday, February 20 Professional Development Day (No School for ALL students)
Wednesday, March 6 ODAC Meeting @ 1730
Thursday, March 21 End of 3rd Quarter (45 Inst Days)
Friday, March 22 Teacher Workday – (No School for ALL students)
Monday-Friday, March 25- March 29 Begin Spring Recess – (No School)
Monday, April 1 Instruction Resumes – Begin 4th Quarter
Monday, April 8 Qtr. 4 CCR Professional Development (No School for ALL students)
Wednesday, May 1 ODAC Meeting @ 1730
Wednesday, May 8 Accelerated Withdrawal (2nd Semester) w/ PCS Orders (Active Duty)
Monday, May 27 Memorial Day – Federal Holiday (No School)
Wednesday, June 5 End of 4th Quarter and End of 2nd Semester (46 Inst Days) HALF-DAY*
Thursday, June 6 Teacher Workday – Last day for Educator Personnel (No School)


For more information, please contact DoDEA Pacific South Office at DSN: 315-634-1204


Registration Process

Proof of Eligibility: The sponsor does not need to be present at registration, as long as the parent or other adult registering the child has all the necessary paperwork, in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 1342.13, “Eligibility Requirements for Education of Elementary and Secondary School-Age Dependents in Overseas Areas,” September 20, 2006, as amended, and DoD Instruction 1342.26, “Eligibility Requirements for Minor Dependents to Attend Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS),” March 4, 1997. 

The following documents are necessary to complete the registration process:

  1. Proof of age;
  2. Medical records, including information on medical conditions, medications, and all dates and types of immunizations;
  3. Official documents to support eligibility (e.g., letter of employment, contract, permanent change of station [PCS] orders, etc.); and
  4. Proof of on-base residence (applies to students enrolling in DoD domestic schools).

Contact the registrar at your child’s school to update your child’s information or visit your school's registration page for more information on enrollment. 

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1342.13: Eligibility Requirements for Education of Elementary and Secondary School-Age Dependents in Overseas Areas, Change 3
1342.26: Eligibility Requirements for Minor Dependents to Attend Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS)

Immunization Requirements

health services immunizationStudents who enroll in DoDEA schools are required to meet specific immunization requirements (DoDEA Regulation 2942.01, “School Health Services,” September 2, 2016).  These requirements represent the minimum and do not necessarily reflect the optimal immunization status for a student. Acceptable forms of official proof of immunization status may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Yellow international immunization records;
  2. State agency-generated immunization certificates;
  3. School-generated immunization certificates; and
  4. Physician, clinic or hospital-generated immunization records.

It is the responsibility of the sponsor/parent/guardian to provide their child’s most current immunization record at the time of enrollment and when immunizations are updated.  Parents of incoming students are allowed up to 30 days from the date of enrollment to obtain documentation of any missing required immunization(s).  If the missing required immunization is a series, then the first dose of the series must be administered, and documentation must be provided to the school within the required 30 days. Students who have immunization(s) due during the school year will have 10 calendar days from the due date to receive their vaccine(s) and to submit documentation to the school. The due date of a vaccine is on the date the student reaches the minimum recommended age for vaccine administration.


Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

2942.01: School Health Services

Immunization Exemptions

A waiver for immunization exemption may be granted for medical or religious reasons. Philosophical exemptions are not permitted. The applicable DoD Command must provide guidance on the waiver process.

A statement from the child’s health care provider is required if an immunization cannot be administered because of a chronic medical condition wherein the vaccine is permanently contraindicated or because of natural immunity. The statement must document the reason why the child is exempt. This request for immunization exemption from specific vaccines due to vaccine contraindications or natural immunity must be completed and submitted to the school at the beginning of the child’s enrollment or when a vaccine is due. Request for exemption only needs to be completed one time for the duration of the child’s enrollment at the school.

If an immunization is not administered because of a parent’s religious beliefs, the parent must submit an exemption request in writing, stating that he or she objects to the vaccination based upon religious beliefs. The immunization waiver request must be completed and submitted to the school at the beginning of every school year. For students arriving after the school year has started, this request/written statement must be submitted at the initial enrollment and at the beginning of every school year.

During a documented outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease (as determined by local DoD medical authorities), a student who is attending a DoDEA school program under an immunization waiver for that vaccine will be excluded from attending. This is for his or her protection and the safety of the other children and staff. The exclusion will remain in place until such time that the DoD Command determines that the outbreak is over and that it is safe for the student to return to school.

DoDEA Immunization Requirements

Grade-level Placement

Kindergarten and grade 1 placements are determined by minimum age requirements, in accordance with Enclosure 2 of DoDEA Regulation 2000.03, “Student Grade Level Placement,” March 2, 2010. A student who will reach his or her fifth birthday on or before September 1 of the school year is eligible to be enrolled in kindergarten in DoDEA. In addition, a student who will reach his or her sixth birthday on or before September 1 of the school year is eligible to enroll in grade 1 in DoDEA. Placement in grades 2–8 is predicated upon completion of the preceding year. Students entering a DoDEA school (kindergarten through grade 8) from a non-American or host nation school will be placed in the grade level corresponding to their ages, assuming yearly progression from grades 1–8.

Grade-level status (grades 9, 10, 11, and 12) will be determined by the number of course credit units earned by the student, in accordance with Section 2 of DoDEA Regulation 2000.3, “Student Grade Level Placement,” March 2, 2010. Students entering grade 9 must have successfully completed grade 8 and/or been previously enrolled in grade 9 and earned less than 6 credits. Students entering grade 10 must have successfully completed grade 9 and earned a minimum of 6 course credits. Students entering grade 11 must have successfully completed grade 10 and earned a minimum of 12 course credits. Students entering grade 12 must have successfully completed grade 11 and earned a minimum of 19 course credits.

In accordance with DoDI 1342.29, “Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children,” January 31, 2019, for students transitioning from a sending school system to a DoDEA school, at the time of transition and regardless of the age of the student, the DoDEA school shall enroll the transitioning student in the same grade level as the student’s grade level (i.e. in kindergarten through grade 12) in the sending state’s local educational agency. For kindergarten, the student must have been enrolled in and attended kindergarten class in order to assure continued attendance in kindergarten in a DoDEA school. Students who have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite grade level in the sending school system will be eligible for enrollment in the next higher grade level in the DoDEA school, regardless of the student’s age.

All DoDEA students, including students with disabilities, English language learners (ELLs), and students with accommodation plans, should be afforded the opportunity to participate in the standard DoDEA secondary curriculum, as appropriate, based upon their individual circumstances.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1342.29: Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
2000.03: Student Grade Level Placement

Transcripts/Records Policy/Access to Student Records

Student records and transcripts may be requested from several different sources, depending upon the student’s last date of attendance or graduation date. Parents/sponsors of current and prospective elementary/middle/high school students should contact the school’s registrar directly for assistance. For further information, please visit the DoDEA Student Records Center (dodea.edu/StudentServices/transcripts.cfm). You may also consult with the counseling department at your child’s school for issues regarding student records.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)/Language Services

This policy is currently under review

An English language learner (ELL) is a student whose first language is not English and is in the process of acquiring English as an additional language. In accordance with DoDEA Regulation 2440.1, DoDEA’s English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program is designed to teach ELLs to acquire English language and literacy proficiency through content. The ESOL Program builds students’ social, cultural, and academic skills so that identified ELLs succeed in an English language academic environment that provides equitable access to college- and career-ready opportunities as their English-speaking peers.

The ESOL Program involves teaching listening, speaking, reading, writing, and study skills at the appropriate developmental and English language proficiency levels. This is accomplished by teaching language through a standards-based, high-quality academic content that pursues the student’s orientation within the United States culture. The ESOL Program’s instruction can be delivered in a variety of settings and program configurations. The scope and amount of ESOL instruction provided is determined by the student’s age, grade level, academic needs, and an English language proficiency evaluation. DoDEA’s ELLs may receive instruction both through the ESOL Program and within the main classroom setting.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

2440.1: English as a Second Language Programs

Attendance Policy

In accordance with the policy stated in DoDEA Regulation 2095.01, “School Attendance,” August 26, 2011, as amended, school attendance is mandatory. All students are required to attend school to ensure continuity of instruction and that they successfully meet academic standards and demonstrate continuous educational progress. School attendance is a joint responsibility between the parent or sponsor, student, classroom teacher, school personnel, and, in some cases, the Command. Students with excessive school absences (or tardiness) shall be monitored by the Student Support Team to assist in the completion of all required work and successful mastery of course objectives.

Daily student attendance is identified based upon a quarter of the school day formula. Students will be identified as present or absent, based on the following criteria:

  1. Absent up to 25% of the school day = absent one-quarter of the school day
  2. Absent between 26%–50% of the school day = absent one-half of the school day
  3. Absent 51%–75% of the school day = absent three-quarters of the school day
  4. Absent 76%–100% of the school day = full-day absence

DoDEA considers the following conditions to constitute reasonable cause for absence from school for reasons other than school-related activities:

  1. Personal illness;
  2. Medical, dental, or mental health appointment;
  3. Serious illness in the student’s immediate family;
  4. A death in the student’s immediate family or of a relative;
  5. Religious holiday;
  6. Emergency conditions such as fire, flood, or storm;
  7. Unique family circumstances warranting absence and coordinated with school administration;
  8. College visits that cannot be scheduled on non-school days; and
  9. A pandemic event.

Unexcused absences may result in school disciplinary actions. An absence from school or a class without written verification from a parent or sponsor will be unexcused. Student attendance is calculated based upon the date of enrollment in a DoDEA school, which may occur anytime during the school year. Student attendance monitoring is designed to provide a continuum of intervention and services to support families and children in keeping children in school and combating truancy and educational neglect. Parents should notify the school of their child’s absence 30 minutes after the start of the school day.  Too many unexcused absences may trigger the Student Support Team to convene.

More about DoDEA Attendance Policy (dodea.edu/StudentServices/Attendance)

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

2095.01: School Attendance, Change 1

Accelerated Withdrawal

The Principal may authorize an accelerated withdrawal of a student who must withdraw from school 20 or less instructional days prior to the end of a semester, in accordance with Section 3.1.d, of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1367.01, “High School Graduation Requirements and Policy,” [TBD]. Accelerated withdrawal will only be considered if the parent/sponsor presents PCS orders. The parent or sponsor must present verification of the date required for the student to depart from the school (e.g., PCS orders). All of the conditions of an accelerated study program outlined by the student’s teachers must be met prior to withdrawal in order for grades to be assigned and credit to be granted. Students who withdraw prior to the 20-day limitation of the accelerated withdrawal policy will receive “withdrawal” grades rather than final grades. In this case, the sponsor/parent should notify the school two weeks prior to the date of withdrawal.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1367.01: High School Graduation Requirements and Policy
23-ED-001: Accelerated Withdrawal for Dependents with Permanent Change of Station Orders

Home-school Students

DoDEA recognizes that home schooling is a sponsor’s right and may be a legitimate alternative form of education for the sponsor’s dependent(s). Home-school students who are eligible to enroll in a DoDEA-Europe, DoDEA-Pacific and DoDEA-Americas school are eligible to utilize DoDEA auxiliary services without being required to either enroll in or register for a minimum number of courses offered by the school. Eligible DoD home-school students using or receiving auxiliary services must meet the same eligibility and standards of conduct requirements applicable to students enrolled in the DoDEA school who use or receive the same auxiliary services. Any student, including eligible DoD dependent home-school students, who has not met the graduation requirements to earn a DoDEA diploma may not receive DoDEA commencement regalia, the DoDEA diploma, nor participate (walk) in a DoDEA commencement ceremony.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1375.01: Home-School Students, Change 1

High School Graduation

Transferring Course Credits to a DoDEA School

DoDEA accepts the official courses, grades and earned credits of middle school (grades 7–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students who transfer to a DoDEA school from other DoDEA schools or who earn course credits in an accredited non-DoD system (public or private), correspondence, online, and/or home-school program. The accreditation for the sending school or school system must be from one of the six U.S. regional accrediting associations, one of the U.S. state education agencies, or by a public- or state-supported system of accreditation for public or private education programs in a foreign nation, in accordance with Section 4.7, of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1367.01. Please contact your child’s school for questions regarding course credit transfer process and approval.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1342.29: Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
1367.01: High School Graduation Requirements and Policy

Report Card and Testing Information

Grading Information

At the beginning of each course or grade level, every DoDEA teacher shall make available information regarding grading policy and course requirements to parents and students. This information will be provided to parents and students by the end of the first month of the school year or by the end of the first month of the semester in the case of a semester course.

If any student demonstrates unsatisfactory progress or achievement, teachers must notify parents with enough time to correct the deficiency. Notification must occur as soon as unsatisfactory achievement is evident, and not later than the midpoint of the nine-week grading period.

Timely and accurate reporting of student progress shall be accomplished for students in grades 4–12, using the approved DoDEA Electronic Gradebook (EGB) System. All assignments (e.g., quizzes, tests, examinations, homework, speeches, etc.) that are used to assess and report student progress shall be promptly evaluated and/or graded, posted in the EGB, and returned to the student. The normal period of evaluation and posting should be no longer than ten calendar days from the day the assignment is collected, with reasonable exceptions for large projects. At a minimum, one assignment or grade should be recorded per week in the EGB System. To create an account and access the EGB System, please visit the DoDEA SIS Gradebook for instructions.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1377.01: Student Progress Reports

Grading System (4-12)

A traditional letter grading system will be used for grades 4–12 report marks.

Grade Numerical Range Description


90 – 100

Excellent: Outstanding level of performance


80 – 89

Good: High level of performance


70 – 79

Average: Acceptable level of performance


60 – 69

Poor: Minimal level of performance

F (failing)

0 – 59

Failing (No credit awarded)

For purposes of calculating a student’s high school GPA, the following scales shall be used:

Unweighted Standard Scale Weighted Advanced Placement (with AP exam)











Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1377.01: Student Progress Reports

Progress Reports/Report Cards

In accordance with the policies and procedures in DoDEA Regulation 1377.01, “Student Progress Reports,” September 4, 2018, it is DoDEA policy to issue a progress report every 9 weeks for any student present or enrolled for at least 20 instructional days or more in a marking period.  Any written comments by teachers on progress reports should be stated objectively.  The comments should be based on evidence about the student and should not represent opinions that cannot be supported by evidence

Achievement codes will be given at the end of the second, third and fourth marking periods for students in grades K–1.  Grades will be given at the end of each of the four marking periods for students in grades 2–12.  Achievement codes or grades on report cards will be determined by the degree to which students are achieving established program objectives or standards.  For students in grades K–12, unsatisfactory achievement of program objectives or standards will be reported to parents during each marking period as soon as evident, but no later than the midpoint of the nine-week grading period to allow sufficient time for a student to correct the problem.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1377.01: Student Progress Reports

Parent-Teacher Conferences

All DoDEA schools should encourage parents to meet with their child’s teacher for parent-teacher conferences.  Parent-Teacher Conferences (dodea.edu/parents/conferences.cfm) allow parents the opportunity to ask questions about their child’s classes or progress in school.  Parent-teacher conferences are also a great way to discuss how parents and teachers can work together to help students perform at their best in school.  Parents/sponsors who plan to attend a parent-teacher conference scheduled by the teacher or school should inquire on the amount of time allowed before attending.  If more time is required or the parent/sponsor wants to meet with the teacher again, the parent/sponsor should notify the teacher at the end of the conference.  Please contact your child’s school for details regarding scheduling of parent-teacher conferences.  DoDEA encourages all communication to take place through official school email accounts.

System-wide Assessment Program

All DoDEA students in grades or programs identified for system-wide assessments shall be included in the DoDEA Comprehensive Assessment System (DoDEA-CAS), in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 1301.01, “Comprehensive Assessment System,” October 4, 2018.  Students who have been identified as having disabilities or are ELLs shall participate using either the standard DoDEA assessments, with or without reasonable and appropriate accommodations, or through the use of the appropriate DoDEA alternate assessment, as per their Individual Education Plan (IEP), 504 Accommodation Plan, or English Learner Plan.  All assessments selected for use within DoDEA shall:

  1. Align to clearly defined standards and objectives within the content domain being tested
  2. Be valid and reliable and controlled for bias
  3. Be one of several criteria used for making major decisions about student performance/achievement.

The results of each assessment shall be used as one component of the DoDEA-CAS for major decisions concerning a student’s future learning activities within the classroom setting.   

For more information about the DoDEA-CAS, including the testing administration matrix, test descriptions, and testing calendar, please refer to: dodea.edu/assessments.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1301.01: DoDEA Comprehensive Assessment System


Homework is one means of developing the necessary skills of independent study and learning for present and future use. Homework promotes organizational skills and a sense of responsibility. It is also an opportunity for parents to become actively involved in their child's learning and for each child to reach his/her full potential. Through homework, students are given the opportunity to complete additional practice and application to strengthen skills; to expand and/or enrich regular class work; to complete work started in class; to make up work due to absence.

Teachers may assign homework as determined necessary to enhance student learning that is taking place in the classroom. Each child works at his/her own pace, so the amount of time needed to complete specific assignments may vary. The types of homework may vary to enable the student to have experience/practice in reading, writing, computational skills, and other subject areas during a given week. Frequency and length of assignments will be grade appropriate. At a very minimum, a child should read or be read to 15-20 minutes nightly

Students are responsible for ensuring that they:

  • Understand the homework assignment.
  • Take home all books and materials needed to do the assignment.
  • Complete the homework in the assigned format and turn it in when it is due.
  • Participate actively and cooperatively in the evaluation of their homework when appropriate.

Parents are encouraged to provide an environment which fosters the development of life-long learning skills.

This includes:

  • A quiet place to work.
  • Necessary materials.
  • A regular study time.
  • Review the student planner.
  • Encouragement and praise.

Special Education

Special Education Services

The purpose of special education is to enable students to successfully develop to their fullest potential by providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).Special education is specially designed instruction, support and services provided to students with an identified disability who require an instructional program that meets their unique learning needs.  The purpose of special education is to enable these students to successfully develop to their fullest potential by providing FAPE in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as implemented by DoD Manual (DoDM) 1342.12, “Implementation of Early Intervention and Special Education Services to Eligible DoD Dependents,” June 17, 2015.

In DoDEA, special education and related services are available to eligible students, ages 3 through 21 years of age.  To be eligible for special education:

  1. The child must have an identified disability;
  2. The disability must adversely (negatively) affect the child's educational performance; and
  3. The child must require a specially designed instructional program.

If found eligible for special education and related services, DoDEA students are provided FAPE in accordance with an IEP, with services delivered in the least restrictive environment and with procedural safeguards, in accordance with the requirements of DoDM 1342.12.

Please contact your child’s school to discuss your concerns if you suspect your child may have a disability and be in need of special education services.  The Case Study Committee chairperson will provide you with specific details relating to the evaluation process and can explain eligibility requirements further. 

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1342.12: Provision of Early Intervention and Special Education Services to Eligible DoD Dependents

Disability Accommodations and Nondiscrimination

Apart from special education, a student with a disability, or who has a record of a disability, or is regarded as having a disability, shall not be excluded from participating in, or be denied the benefits of, any DoDEA education program or activity or be subjected to discrimination based solely on a disability. In accordance with DoDEA Administrative instruction 2500.14, “Nondiscrimination and 504 Accommodation on the Basis of Disability in DoDEA Conducted Education Programs and Activities,” April 29, 2009, as amended, students with disabilities shall be provided a FAPE and shall participate with students without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate to ensure equal access to educational opportunities. This means that a student with a disability that does not require specialized instruction may be eligible for accommodations to ensure participation in school programs and activities. Please contact your child’s school for specific details.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

2500.14: Nondiscriminiation and 504 Accommodation on the Basis of Disability in DoDEA Conducted Education Programs and Activities, Change 2

Reporting Abuse Neglect Suicide Risk and Threats

Child Abuse and Neglect

In accordance with the policy in DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1356.01, “Family Advocacy Program Process for Reporting Incidents of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect,” November 5, 2018, all DoDEA personnel will participate in the identification and reporting of incidents of child abuse and neglect. School personnel shall report all suspected or alleged child abuse to the local Family and Advocacy Program (FAP) office, child welfare service agency (if available) and their immediate supervisor within 24 hours. All employees shall cooperate with the FAP process. The DoD FAP provides for the identification, treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1356.01: DoDEA Family Advocacy Program Process for Reporting Incidents of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

Suicide Risk and Threats Towards Others

In order to prevent violence, suicide and other harmful acts among children and adults in schools, the need for reliable ways to identify persons who may require assistance is a critical step. All DoDEA employees must notify the DoDEA school administrator when a DoDEA student has made any statement or engaged in actions that may indicate threat of harm towards self or others.

Suicide Risk

Any indication of student suicidality must be immediately reported to the DoDEA school administrator.  The DoDEA student who exhibits suicidal ideation or behavior, or who makes a statement or engages in actions that may indicate self-harm or suicidal thoughts, shall be immediately assessed to obtain specific information to determine the risk level.  The results of that assessment shall be communicated to the DoDEA school administrator and documented.  Regardless of the level of risk reported, in all cases, a DoDEA school administrator or designated member of the Case Management Team must directly notify parents or legal guardians of the concern.  For additional assistance in this process, please contact the district school psychology instructional systems specialist.

If a parent or legal guardian disagrees with school recommendations for evaluation of a student’s dangerousness to self, or refuses to take parental or legal guardian responsibility for the safety of their child, the DoDEA school administrator must inform the parent or legal guardian that DoDEA policy requires that school personnel protect the safety and health of the students.  Parent or legal guardian refusal to address identified medical needs may necessitate a report to the local FAP office and local Child Protective services if neglect is suspected, as outlined in DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1356.01.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1356.01: DoDEA Family Advocacy Program Process for Reporting Incidents of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

Threats Towards Others

When a DoDEA student makes an explicit or implicit threat, or if the student’s behavior indicates that a threat is serious and reasonably likely to be acted upon, the DoDEA school administrator shall take action based on the level of the threat.  Certain types of serious threats require immediate notification to local law enforcement entities without regard to the level of threat yielded.  The DoDEA school administrator shall immediately report the following student behaviors to the local law enforcement entity:

  1. A threat that involves stalking of any person on a school bus, on school property or at a school-sponsored activity;
  2. Threats to bomb, burn, kill, or harm school personnel; and
  3. Threats of death or bodily injury to a person or members of his or her family or threats to commit serious bodily harm to persons on school property.

The DoDEA school administrator shall also immediately report any act that may constitute a criminal offense to the parents or legal guardians of minor students involved in the act and shall report that the incident has been reported to local law enforcement, as required by Federal, state, or local law.  The DoDEA school administrator may report other threats to the local law enforcement entity, as necessary and appropriate.  The DoDEA school administrator shall inform the parents or legal guardians that they may contact local law enforcement for further information, as necessary and appropriate.

School Counseling Services

School Counseling Services

DoDEA school counselors provide comprehensive counseling programs to all students in grades K–12, in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 2946.1, “School Counseling Services,” July 13, 2009, and DoDEA Manual 2946.2, “Department of Defense Education Activity School Counseling Services,” January 1, 2006. Counseling programs are designed to foster a foundation for lifelong learning by removing barriers to students’ academic success. Early identification and intervention of students’ academic and social/emotional needs is essential in removing barriers to learning and promoting academic growth. School counselors provide direct and indirect student services and curricular activities to increase the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for students to achieve their potential academically, socially, emotionally, and physically for life, college, and career readiness.

Elementary school counseling programs are crucial in supporting students’ attitudes and personal views toward school, self, peers, and social groups. In elementary grades, school counseling programs support and provide education on prevention and intervention services, promoting positive academic skills, career awareness, and social-emotional development — skills students need to be competent and confident learners. 

Secondary school counseling programs are designed to meet the rapidly changing needs of students in grades 6–12, while preparing them for high school and beyond. College and career exploration and planning are emphasized at the secondary level. As middle school students learn to manage more independence and responsibilities, school counseling programs are designed to connect learning to practical application in life and work, support personal/social skills, and foster effective learning/study skills. 

High school counseling programs are designed to foster student preparation and readiness for successful college and career pathways after high school.  All secondary students create and manage a four- to six-year plan with their counselor. The four- to six-year plan is managed in SchooLinks and is designed to teach students how to create and attain their graduation, college, and career goals, while taking into account their interests, aptitudes, and graduation requirements.

Please contact your school counselor for additional information regarding the school counseling program.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

2946.1: School Counseling Services
2946.2: DoDEA School Counseling Services

School Psychology Services

DoDEA school psychologists provide a range of services designed to support students’ learning, growth, and development. They are experts in student mental health and learning/behavior, and they partner with various stakeholders throughout the school and community to support students’ academic and emotional needs. School psychology programs are designed to foster safe, healthy and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between the school, home, and community. School psychologists aim to improve academic achievement, support diverse learners, promote positive behaviors and safe school climates, and strengthen school-family partnerships. Core functions of school psychologists include mental health interventions, behavior management, crisis intervention and response, assessment, and consultation and collaboration.

Please contact your school psychologist for additional information regarding the DoDEA School Psychology Program.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

2946.03: School Psychological Services

School Health Services

School Health Services

Health Services School NurseDoDEA School Health Services aims to optimize learning by fostering student wellness.  The school nurse serves as the health service expert, providing health care to students/staff and implementing interventions that address both actual and potential health and safety conditions.  The school nurse collaborates with the school administrator to promote the health and academic success of students and serves as the liaison between the school, community, and health care systems. This collaborative effort creates opportunities to build capacity for students’ self-care, resilience, and learning. 

The school nurse’s responsibilities include:

  1. Providing leadership in promoting personal and environmental health and safety by managing communicable diseases, monitoring immunizations, and providing consultation and health-related education to students and staff to promote school health and academic success; 
  2. Providing quality health care and intervening with actual and potential health problems through health screenings, health assessments, and nursing interventions, including the development of health care and emergency care plans to enable students to safely and fully participate in school;
  3. Providing case management services to direct care for students with chronic health conditions in order to ensure their safety and increase their access to the educational program; and
  4. Collaborating with school and community-based resources to reduce health-related barriers to student learning, improve access to health care and develop school-community partnerships to support academic achievement and student success.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

2942.01: School Health Services

Student Illness

health services illnessDo not send your child to school if he or she is ill. Staying home to get the proper rest, nutrition, and parental care is for your child’s benefit as well as for the benefit of the other children in the school who may be unnecessarily exposed to a contagious illness. The following are examples of when a student should remain home:

  1. A temperature greater than or equal to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  The student must be fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medication for 24 hours (a complete school day) before returning to school.
  2. Actively vomiting or has diarrhea.
  3. An illness which presents with contagious symptoms.
  4. Other symptoms interfering with learning or participation, such as abdominal pain; ear ache; itchy, painful eyes; light-sensitivity; or profuse exudate from the eyes necessitating frequent wiping.
  5. Severe uncontrolled coughing or wheezing, rapid or difficult breathing, and coughing lasting longer than five to seven days.
  6. Episodes of vomiting in the past 24 hours. A student must remain home until vomiting resolves (no further vomiting for 24 hours).
  7. Frequent, loose or watery stools compared to the student’s normal pattern; not caused by diet or medication. A student must remain home if a) he/she looks or acts ill; b) he/she has diarrhea with temperature elevation of 100°F or greater; and c) he/she has diarrhea and vomiting.
  8. Blister-like lesions (impetigo, including streptococci, staphylococcus, and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infections) that develop into pustules with weeping and crusting. A student must be medically evaluated, remain home for at least 24 hours after initiation of medical treatment and remain home until determined not infectious by a medical provider.  Lesions must be covered for school attendance.
  9. Ringworm lesions must be covered for school attendance.
  10. Thick discharge from eye, necessitating frequent wiping and may be accompanied by pain, redness to the white part of the eye and light sensitivity.  Student must remain at home until symptoms clear or completion of 24 hours of medical provider-prescribed ophthalmic treatment.
  11. Measles, mumps, rubella, (German measles), chicken pox, pertussis (whooping cough), and influenza. A student must remain home until determined to be not infectious by a medical care provider.

If your child becomes ill during the school day, the school nurse will contact you to pick up your child.  To return to school, your child must be without symptoms for 24 hours and fever-free without fever-reducing medications for at least 24 hours.

Parent Notification

As a general rule, the parent or sponsor will be notified by the school administrator or school nurse if a child has:

  1. Any illness or injury that causes concern or inability to participate in school activities;
  2. Eye, ear, or teeth injuries;
  3. Head injury;
  4. Second- or third-degree burns;
  5. Severe pain;
  6. Sprains or possible fractures;
  7. Temperature greater than or equal to 100 degrees Fahrenheit;
  8. Vomiting or diarrhea; and
  9. Wounds that may require stitches.

Allergies and Chronic-Acute Conditions

health services conditionsPlease inform the school nurse of any medical condition and health concerns your child may have to better serve and protect your child’s welfare in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 2720.1, “First Aid and Emergency Care,” September 8, 2003.

Food allergies (including peanut/nut allergies) are a significant health concern within the school environment. Allergic reactions can range from mild symptoms to life-threatening reactions. Ensuring a safe environment for all students and visitors is a primary focus for the school administration and staff. In an attempt to raise awareness and limit unnecessary exposure during school hours, the following steps have been implemented to address food allergies:

  1. Notify the school nurse of ANY allergy to food, drug, insects, etc., that your child may have;
  2. Provide the school nurse with medication/doctor’s orders/emergency care plan/parent permission form;
  3. Teach children at home about their food allergies and the importance of not sharing any food with others in school or elsewhere; and
  4. Notify the classroom teacher about your child’s allergens and check with the classroom teacher prior to bringing in any food for classroom celebrations.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

2500.14: Nondiscriminiation and 504 Accommodation on the Basis of Disability in DoDEA Conducted Education Programs and Activities, Change 2
2720.1: First Aid and Emergency Care

Medication at School

health services medicationWhen medication must be administered during the school day, it must be delivered to the school nurse in the original container and properly labeled by the pharmacy or primary care manager/provider, stating the name of the student, the medication, dosage, route, time of administration, and current date of issue. Contact the school nurse for the required Medication Consent Form. This form must be filled out and signed by the prescribing state licensed medical provider and also signed by the sponsor/parent/guardian. The sponsor/parent/guardian needs to bring the signed form and the medication to the school nurse. If the school nurse is not present, the signed form and medication must be presented to the school principal, acting principal, or health aide for safekeeping. It is acceptable for parents to bring in self-purchased over-the-counter medication to be kept in the health office for their child’s use at school, but the medication must be accompanied by a physician’s prescription and signed parental consent form.

In some rare situations, students are allowed to keep their rescue or emergency medicine with them while in school or at school-related activities. The prescribing primary care manager must provide a written statement that the student must be in control of his or her medication due to a life-threatening medical condition. The parent must provide written consent for the medication to stay with the student. See the school nurse to obtain the appropriate form for medications to be administered during school hours or for a student to self-carry emergency medication.

First Aid and Emergency Care

health services injurySchool personnel will administer first aid as efficiently as possible to the dependent student when needed to treat minor injury or illness, in accordance with the DoDEA Regulation 2720.1, “First Aid and Emergency Care,” September 8, 2003. In accordance with Section 6 of DoDEA Regulation 2720.1, should a student sustain a more serious illness or injury, the school nurse will make a judgment call based on nursing assessment to determine if the student needs emergency medical care requiring a response by an emergency medical team (EMT) and possible transportation for treatment at a health care facility. If a student needs emergency medical care requiring an ambulance, the school will make reasonable efforts to contact the sponsor/parent/guardian or emergency contact. In the absence of a parent, a school administrator or designee may accompany the student to the medical treatment facility.

The EMT, health care facility, or attending health care provider(s) may be non-U.S. or non-military facilities or providers, especially if the dependent student is located overseas. Treatment decisions will be made exclusively by the health care provider(s) if the nature of the dependent student’s injury or illness requires immediate health care, in accordance with their standard operating procedures regarding the delivery of emergency care for the dependent student.

It is very important for the school to have a current address, home phone number, mobile phone numbers, duty phone number, and the phone number of another adult to act as emergency contact in case parents cannot be contacted.

Contact your school nurse for additional information regarding the DoDEA School Health Services Program.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

2720.1: First Aid and Emergency Care

School Meals Program

The DoDEA School Meals Program (SMP) supports academic achievement by providing nutritious meals to your students through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.  

  • The School Meals Program is a budget friendly and convenient program for parents that can save time, energy, money and reduce stress.  
  • Households must reapply every school year for free and reduced-price meals, beginning no earlier than July 1st.
  • All meals must be paid for in advance or at the point of sale.
  • A best practice is to fund your child’s account every pay day through the next pay day.

Visit your school's School Meals Program page for more information and the latest school menus.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1015.5: DoD Student Meal Program

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Students are expected to actively participate in the educational process, including school-sponsored activities in and outside of the classroom, as deemed appropriate. Students should bring to the attention of a school employee behavior or activities that may endanger the safety and well-being of themselves or others.

Students shall:

  1. Comply with policies, procedures and standards for student behavior;
  2. Refrain from conduct or behavior that is disruptive;
  3. Respect the rights and human dignity of other students and all school employees;
  4. Attend school and classes regularly, and punctually and make a conscious effort in all classes;
  5. Participate in and take advantage of educational opportunities provided by DoDEA schools;
  6. Assist school employees in operating a safe school by abiding by the laws of the United States, the local military installation, the host nation, and DoDEA policies, regulations, and procedures;
  7. Properly maintain school property and use school property and equipment for educationally authorized purposes;
  8. Promptly bring to the attention of a DoDEA school employee behavior or activities that may endanger the safety and well-being of themselves or others and to cooperate with school threat assessment procedures; and
  9. Promptly report to the DoDEA School Principal, or another DoDEA school employee, incidents or complaints, including, but not limited to, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or non-sexual harassment, based on race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation or status as a sponsor, parent or legal guardian; intimidation, hazing, bullying (including cyberbullying), or retaliation against persons who report or participate in the investigation of such incidents herein.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1353.01: Student Rights and Responsibilities, Change 1

Discrimination-Free Education Programs and Activities

No DoDEA student shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, be subjected to, or be permitted to subject others to discrimination in any DoDEA-conducted education and training programs and activities on the basis of their race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, or status as a parent, which is commonly known as their protected class, in accordance with DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1443.01, Volume 1, “Executive Order 13160 Administration: Compliance Requirements and Appeals,” February 22, 2019.

Although DoDEA cannot guarantee every student a learning and activities environment free from annoyances, petty slights, or minor offenses, DoDEA is committed to creating and maintaining an environment free from unlawful discrimination and will not tolerate incidents of discriminatory unequal treatment, hostile environments (including those created by sexual assault and sexual harassment [discussed in greater detail below under “Student Conduct and Discipline”]), or impermissible disparate impact based on a student’s protected class, or retaliation against anyone because they have made a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation related to an allegation of discrimination.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

Scholastic Integrity

Students are responsible for their own scholastic integrity by neither giving nor receiving assistance (written, oral, or otherwise) on tests, examinations, final evaluations, or class assignments that are to be graded as the work of an individual. Any suspicion or evidence of forging, cheating, or plagiarizing the work of others will be investigated. Any student who is in violation will receive no credit. There will be an appropriate consequence for the particular assignment, and a letter will be sent home to be signed by the parents and returned to the teacher. A copy of the letter will be filed in the student’s discipline folder for the period of the school year.

Freedom of Religious Expression

According to Section 3.6 of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1353.01, “Student Rights and Responsibilities,” April 6, 2021, students may observe religious practice in school, such as celebration of religious holidays, engaging in private prayer, saying grace before meals, and wearing yarmulkes and head scarves, as long as the practice does not violate student standards or cause substantial disruption. Students may engage in independent religious discussion to the same degree that they may engage in other types of permissible speech. The freedom to engage in religious expression in school does not include the right to compel other students to participate in religious practices or discussion. Students may express their beliefs about religion in the form of homework, artwork, presentations, and other written and oral assignments, free from discrimination by school faculty or other students based on the religious content of their submissions. Such assignments and submissions shall be assessed by curricular standards or other relevant instructional criteria in accordance with Section 4 of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1353.01.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1353.01: Student Rights and Responsibilities, Change 1

Interscholastic Athletics

This policy is currently under review

In accordance with DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1443.01, Volume 1, “Executive Order 13160 Administration: Compliance Requirements and Appeals,” February 22, 2019, all high school students, and middle school students in some cases, are provided the opportunity to participate in the Interscholastic Athletic Program without unlawful discrimination based on their race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, status as a parent, or other factors unrelated to that participation. There are equitable uniform eligibility policies for participants in all athletic programs. Please refer to your regional Interscholastic Athletics Program policy for details relating to your school. For DoDEA-Americas schools, please consult your state of residence athletic policies and the school athletic director for specifics regarding state regulations and requirements.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

Student Dress Code

Students are expected to dress in a manner that complies with the school’s dress code policy as directed in DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1353.01, “Students Rights and Responsibilities,” April 6, 2021. Please refer to your school’s Web site or school handbook for specific dress code policy.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1353.01: Student Rights and Responsibilities, Change 1

School Security

Search and Seizure

General, non-individualized searches of school property (e.g., desks, lockers, storage spaces, and school computers, including data and internet access records), may be conducted by the principal on a periodic or random basis. The school affords students and parents adequate prior notice of its general search policy through the issuance referenced above and this handbook. The search shall be conducted by the principal in the presence of another school employee who will serve as a witness. General searches of school spaces and property may be conducted in cooperation with the appropriate installation authorities or military police, including dogs trained to detect the presence of contraband. Evidence found during a general search, or a dog sniff, that alerts authorities to potential contraband may provide reasonable suspicion sufficient to conduct an individualized search.

Individualized, reasonable suspicion or targeted searches may be conducted by a principal of a student’s personal belongings (including bags, personalized electronic mobile devices (PEMD) and the interior of student vehicles on school property) and in a student’s desk, locker, storage space, school computer, or other property of the school when there is reasonable suspicion to believe the student possesses a prohibited item. Targeted searches may be conducted whenever the student is involved in a school-sponsored or school-supervised activity or event so long as there is reasonable suspicion to conduct the search.

A targeted search of a student’s person shall only be conducted under exigent circumstances. When possible, a targeted search of the student’s person shall be conducted in a private room, or non-public area, and by a school official of the same sex as the student. Reasonable efforts to locate the student and to notify the parent shall be made prior to a targeted search or as soon as is practicable under the circumstances.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1353.01: Student Rights and Responsibilities, Change 1

Standard Response Protocols

DoDEA has implemented action-based standard response protocols (i.e., lockout, lockdown, evacuate, and shelter) that can be performed during any emergency incident.

lockout logoLockout is directed when there is a threat or hazard outside of the school.  Use the mass notification system or public address system, stating: “Lockout! Secure the perimeter.”  Who actually conducts this task will vary based upon the school and incident taking place.


lockdown logoLockdown is called when there is a threat or hazard inside the school building.  Use the mass notification system or public address system, stating: “Lockdown! Locks, Lights, Out of Sight!”  Who actually conducts this task will vary based upon the school and incident taking place; however, all school staff shall have the ability to call for a lockdown.  Contact local emergency services, or 911, as appropriate.


evacuate logoAn Evacuation is called when there is a need to move students from one facility to another.  The action will vary based upon the type of evacuation.  Other directions may be invoked during an evacuation, and student and staff should be prepared to follow specific instructions given by staff or first responders.


shelter logoShelter is called when the need for personal protection is necessary.  Hazards that could generate the need to Shelter include tornado, earthquake, tsunami, and a hazardous materials incident.  Use the mass notification system or public address system, stating: “Shelter [identifying the hazard]!”  This command is typically called by the DoDEA designated official but may be called by students, teachers or first responders.


The Standard Response Protocols are incorporated into the school’s Force Protection Plan.  For more information on the Standard Response Protocols and how they apply within DoDEA, refer to DoDEA Administrative Instruction 5205.02, Volume 6, “DoDEA Force Protection Program:  Standard Response Protocols,” July 24, 2018.

Student Conduct and Discipline


Management of student behavior is a responsibility shared by students, sponsors/parents/guardians, teachers, and the military command and school communities in general, in accordance with DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1353.01, “Student Rights and Responsibilities,” April 6, 2021. Student behavioral management consists of teaching and reinforcing positive student attitudes and behaviors. Students shall treat teachers, administrators, and other school staff with courtesy, fairness, and respect; and teachers, administrators, and other school staff shall treat students with courtesy, fairness, and respect. All students will be disciplined in a fair and appropriate manner. School administrators shall operate and maintain a safe school environment that is conducive to learning. School administration will ensure prompt investigation and response to incidents or complaints involving students made by students, parents, teachers, or DoDEA staff members.

In accordance with the policy stated in DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1347.01, “Student Disciplinary Rules and Procedures,” April 7, 2021, discipline shall be progressively and fairly administered. Disciplinary actions include, but are not limited to, verbal reprimands, conferences, detention, time-out, alternative in-school placements, school service programs, community service and counseling programs. Other behavior management techniques will be considered prior to resorting to more formal disciplinary actions that remove a student from school for a suspension (short or long term). Long-term suspension or expulsion following a first offense may be considered when a student poses an immediate threat to his or her safety or the safety of others (e.g., offenses involving firearms or other weapons, fighting or violence, or the possession, use, or sale of drugs). Additional rules and procedures can be reviewed in DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1347.01.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1347.01: Student Disciplinary Rules and Procedures, Change 1
1353.01: Student Rights and Responsibilities, Change 1

School Bus Behavior

Riding school buses is a privilege that may be suspended or revoked if a student does not behave in a safe and proper manner in accordance with DoDEA behavior expectations, which is in accordance with Section 7 of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1347.01, “Student Disciplinary Rules and Procedures,” April 7, 2021.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1347.01: Student Disciplinary Rules and Procedures, Change 1

Prohibited Sexual, Sex-Based, and Other Related Abusive Misconduct

DoDEA does not allow any form of sexual harassment, sexual assault, problematic sexual behavior in children and youth (PSB-CY) and other related abusive misconduct of, or by, employees, students, or anyone participating in DoDEA-conducted/sponsored education, training programs, and activities, committed both on and off DoDEA premises.

All DoDEA students are responsible for not committing acts of sexual harassment, sexual assault, PSB-CY, and other related abusive misconduct, in accordance with DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1443.02, “Prohibited Sexual, Sex-Based, and Other Related Abusive Misconduct Reporting and Response,” February 21, 2019 (DoDEA AI 1443.02, and for cooperating with any investigations and resolution of complaints made in accordance with this Issuance. Students who violate this policy are subject to discipline in accordance with DoDEA Administrative Instruction, “Student Disciplinary Rules and Procedures,” April 7, 2021.

The right to be free from other related abusive misconduct includes physical and/or emotional misconduct that does not qualify as sexual assault or sexual harassment, but that is still intended to make a student feel pressured, uncomfortable, physically threatened, in pain, embarrassed, or offended. It also includes the right to be free from an adult, or another student, trying to exploit their position of authority or influence over a student to force or manipulate them into an inappropriate personal and/or sexual relationship, even if the student does not think it is harmful. DoDEA does not recognize sexual or romantic interactions between any student and a DoDEA employee or volunteer to ever be consensual, even if the student is of the lawful age of consent.

Students who are experiencing sexual assault, sexual harassment, PSB-CY, or other related abusive misconduct should report it, in accordance with Sections 4 and 5 of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1443.02, “Prohibited Sexual, Sex-Based, and Other Related Abusive Misconduct Reporting and Response,” February 21, 2019.

It is extremely important that a student not suffer in silence or be allowed to be exploited or manipulated into an inappropriate relationship. If such is happening to a student personally, or to someone they know, the student should let an adult know about it right away. The student may tell someone he/she feels comfortable with and trusts, such as their parent, teacher, nurse, or coach, or go directly to the school principal or program director, at any time. When a DoDEA employee or volunteer becomes aware of a violation of this DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1443.02, they are required to report it to their school principal or program director, with the possible exception of certain disclosures made during confidential communications not otherwise subject to mandatory reporting requirements in accordance with Issuance.

Students may visit DoDEA’s Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention Web page (dodea.edu/sexualharassment) to learn more.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1347.01: Student Disciplinary Rules and Procedures, Change 1
1443.02: Protecting Against Sexual Harassment Based on Conduct of a Sexual Nature

Prohibited Items Policy

This policy applies to DoDEA Pacific
This policy is currently under review

Some items prohibited at school include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Toys and electronic games
  • cell phones or other portable communication devices
  • iPods or MP3 players
  • skateboards, scooters, roller blades, roller skates, wheelies or skate shoes
  • stink bombs
  • chewing gum or betel nut
  • cigarette lighters and matches
  • tobacco products; e.g., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, smokeless tobacco, snuff
  • firecrackers
  • weapons and/or ammo (real or pretend)
  • laser light pointers

Bully Prevention

In the wake of school violence throughout the world, it is important to analyze the causes of violence and implement preventive measures to assure that every student and adult will feel secure in the school environment. DoDEA implemented a system-wide Bully Prevention program as a part of the Safe Schools and Character Education program.

Stop Bullying now

Bullying is defined as a means to have power over another and it takes many forms: physical, verbal, and indirect such as gossip and isolation. Bullying leaves long-lasting scars for its victims. Bullies have a higher incidence of antisocial behavior, domestic violence and crime as adults. Society pays a heavy toll for tolerating bullying behavior and bullies.

In DoDEA schools and community, bullying will not go unchallenged and will not be tolerated. All students, staff members, parents and the community play vital roles to ensure our children are not bullied, do not act as bullies, and will not allow others to bully. Our schools have a moral obligation to provide our students and the school community with the proper information, prevention strategies, and defenses to create a safe, accepting and caring environment for all.


Computer Access/Internet Policy/Electronic Devices

Each student, together with the student’s parent or guardian (if applicable), shall acknowledge and sign Form 700, “Use of DoDEA Internet and Use of Information Technology Resources,” before he or she is assigned a user account. In accordance with Enclosure 4 of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 6600.01, “Computer Access and Internet Policy,” February 16, 2010, the following are required of all students:

  1. Students shall use DoDEA information technology (IT) resources, including computers, electronic mail, and internet access, only in support of education and for research consistent with the educational objectives of DoDEA; 
  2. Students shall respect and adhere to all of the rules governing access to, and use of, DoDEA’s IT resources; 
  3. Students shall be polite in all electronic communication;
  4. Students shall use courteous and respectful language and/or images in their messages to others;
  5. Students shall not swear, use vulgarities, or use harsh, abusive, sexual, or disrespectful language and/or images;
  6. Students who misuse DoDEA IT resources are subject to disciplinary measures; and
  7. Students’ accounts will be deactivated upon transition out of a DoDEA school.

The signed agreement (Form 700) is to be retained in the administrative office at the student’s school for the duration of the student’s enrollment. A copy will be provided to the student and, if applicable, the student’s parent or guardian.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

6600.01: Computer Access and Internet Policy

Role of Social Media

Use of personal social media between parents/teachers/students is discouraged.  The only acceptable form of social media communication between parents/teachers/students is through official school social media.

Student Transportation

Student Transportation Services

Student transportation is defined as the transportation of students from their assigned bus stop to school at the beginning of their school day, during the mid-day and for return to their assigned bus stop at the end of the normal scheduled school day.  DoDEA principals are responsible for monitoring student loading/unloading zones when students are coming and going from school sites, including administering discipline.  A school bus or any device operating to provide student transportation will function as an extension of the school.  The walking distance for students in grade 6 and below should not exceed one mile from the student’s primary residence to the school or designated bus stop.  Students in grades 7–12 may walk up to 1.5 miles from their primary residence to the school or designated bus stop.  These distances may be slightly expanded or contracted to conform to natural boundaries such as housing areas or neighborhoods.  In locations having middle schools, which include grade 6 (i.e., grades 6–8), the walking distance criteria shall be the same as the criteria for grades 7–12.  

Transportation is not authorized to take students to their homes or to eating facilities for their mid-day meal.  No other transportation between the assigned bus stop and the school will be charged to commuting transportation unless stated in a special education student’s IEP and/or required by Section 504 guidelines.  “Curb-to-curb” only applies to students with disabilities who require such service as documented in the student’s IEP.  DoDEA District Superintendents, in coordination with the District Logistics Chief and the supporting military installation commanders, will establish a commuting area to determine eligibility for transportation of dependent students.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

4500.02: Student Transportation Services

School Procedures

Cell Phones

This policy applies to DoDEA Pacific
This policy is currently under review


It is recognized that cell phones have become a parent's tool to help to monitor their children's whereabouts. During the school day student's cell phones should be in silent or manner mode. Interruption of classroom routines due to cell phone use could result in the phone being brought to the office for a parent to pick up. This includes students making outgoing calls, playing games, sending texts. Should a student need to contact a parent the school has phones for student use.

Athletics Policy

This policy applies to DoDEA Pacific

Eligibility Rules for Interscholastic Athletic Competitions

School administrators, athletic directors, and coaches shall ensure that the eligibility rules are observed in all DoDEA interscholastic athletic competitions in accordance with in DoDEA Manual 2740.1 and the Far East Programs Procedural Guide (FEPPG) - 15 May 2023

Student Travel Eligibility

DoDEA Manual 2740.1 and the Pacific Area Interscholastic Athletics Program Manual provide a uniform interscholastic athletic program and guidance on student travel eligibility. This policy extends to both academic and athletic events.

Athletic Contests: Students must participate in ten days of practice prior to competing in any athletic contest. Athletes participating in consecutive athletic seasons are exempt from the 10-practice rule as long as 10 days have not passed between active participation in the preceding sports season. Students transferring from another school may begin participating in contests immediately if the 10-day practice requirement has been met.

Far East Tournaments: Students may participate in the Far East Tournament if they have been a member of the team/activity for at least one-half of the season. Before departure for any Far East event another parent/player meeting will occur to review the Code-of- Conduct and to discuss expectations while attending the event. Players whose parents do not attend this meeting will not travel to the Far East event and/or participate in any games at the event.

Attendance Prior to Events: Students who do not attend school will not be permitted to participate in or attend any school- sponsored event that same school day, which includes a practice or game. Principals are authorized to make exceptions to this policy. (DoDEA Administrators’ Manual – 1005.1).

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

2740.1: Interscholastic Athletic Program

Information Center Policies

This policy applies to Lester MS

The Lester Information Center (IC) provides students with access to a variety of resources, print, non-print, and electronic. The mission of the Information Center is to encourage students and staff to become more effective users of information and to promote a love of reading.

Students may check out a maximum of three items at a time for a two week period. Items may be renewed if necessary. If an item is lost or damaged the borrower is responsible for replacing it, please contact the Information Specialist.

The IC is open to students from 0705 until 1400. LMS encourages students to come to the IC on a regular basis. Students coming to the IC from another class are required to have a signed pass.
Students may use the IC during lunch and sign in on arrival.

Parent and Student Information

This policy applies to Lester MS

All students are entitled to an educational program comparable to those offered in public schools in the United States. Students are entitled to enjoy the opportunity to participate fully in school unabridged and unimpaired because of race, religion, sex, creed, national origin, disability or intellectual ability, or marital status. All students will be extended equal opportunities to participate in educational and school-sponsored activities. Additionally, students shall be free from verbal, physical, visual, and psychological sexual harassment, including uninvited sexual advances, from other students and adults.


Student involvement in the educational process is a basic right. Active involvement of students in their education, including planning and evaluation, fosters a spirit of inquiry in which students may freely express their own views and listen to and evaluate opinions of others. Basic to this belief is the concept of mutual respect between faculty and students. The school staff, parents or sponsors, installation commanders, and students have the responsibility of working together so that all students have the opportunity to develop to their full potential under a democratic system.

The role of parent participation in the education of our children is an important one. In order to prepare our students for success in a dynamic global environment we need to form a strong bond between home and school. To this end, Lester Middle School has several organizations and activities that encourage parental involvement including School Advisory Council, PTO, and community events.
Lester Middle School would like to extend an invitation for Parents and Guardians to take advantage of our open door policy. A 24-hour notice to administration and teachers is required if you wish to shadow your student for any part of the school day. Lester Middle School would like to extend an invitation for Parents and Guardians to take advantage of our open door policy. A 24-hour notice to administration and teachers is required if you wish to shadow your student for any part of the school day. All visitors must sign in at the office before they proceed to shadow their student.

There are a variety of avenues that LMS uses to communicate with students and parents which include newsletters, Facebook, the school web page, AT HOC, LED sign at the front of school, and speaker system. School information, articles, news and special events will be announced using one of these options. Parents are encouraged to call the school if you have any questions or concerns.

General Information

This policy applies to Lester MS

School telephones are for official school business only. Students may be granted permission to use the phone by the front office staff. Please help us avoid unnecessary classroom interruptions by planning your day prior to sending your children to school.

It is important that classes not be interrupted when instruction is in progress. Messages from home can be accepted. Students will be called out of class to answer for emergencies. Non-emergency messages will be passed on to the student at the end of the school day. Parents should ensure that students know how they are getting home before they leave home in the morning and what their after-school options are.

Any student who must is in the halls, other than at passing times, must have a pass or other approved authorization in the student’s possession that states student’s name, date, time, destination, and teacher’s signature or a designated hall pass. This includes before school, during classes, during lunchtime, and after school. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain an appropriate pass.

Books, keys, coats, etc., which are found in the building or on the campus should be turned in to the office. Larger lost items are placed in the supply room. Smaller lost items, such as keys or glasses, can be claimed in the office. Unclaimed lost and found items will be given to charity organizations at the end of each quarter. Parents and students are strongly encouraged to mark clothing, especially hats and jackets, and school supplies with the student’s name. Loss of personal property due to thefts by other students is a serious matter. Students should take all possible precautions to safeguard their property. At all times, lockers (book and PE) must be secured. Students should not share their lock combinations with peers. Additionally, they should not leave personal items unattended. If a theft does occur, it should be reported immediately to the main office. Standard procedure is to attempt to resolve issues of this nature at the school level. In our experience, the majority of items lost or stolen are located within twenty-four hours. The military police will only be called when the administration deems it appropriate. However, parents may wish to file an official report with the military police on their own. The school will cooperate fully in investigations involving theft of personal property.

Each student is assigned an individual locker that may not be shared at any time for any reason. Use of the locker is both a privilege and a requirement. Proper locker use minimizes the possibility that property and books are misplaced or stolen. Students should not share their lock combinations. The school is not responsible for personal property kept in lockers. Students are not allowed to paint, attach stickers, mount permanent pictures, or deface the locker in any manner (inside or outside).
Students who violate this rule will be held responsible for the destruction of government property and face disciplinary action. Lockers must be maintained properly and must be locked at all times. A locker may be opened by a school official or the Military Police, to search for stolen or prohibited items, may also be opened by the sponsor, or in the case of reasonable suspicion. Locker checks may be randomly conducted throughout the school year.

Book bags must be of reasonable size and easily able to fit in a student’s locker. Once students arrive at school book bags, tote bags, or any other carrier, must be left in the student’s assigned locker until they leave campus. This procedure provides personal and property safety. Students will be expected to organize their daily routines to best meet their schedule needs.

Textbooks are furnished free of charge. However, students are held financially responsible for loss or damage of these books. For any missing textbook or library book lost, a loss of government property letter will be issued to the sponsor with DD Form 1131. Payment for missing books will be due within three weeks at the Disbursing Office of Accounting and Finance (Bldg. 721, Kadena Air Base) with the DD Form 1131 for lost or damaged books. If the book is found, parents must bring the book and paid receipt to the school supply office for paperwork that must be taken back to the Finance Office on Kadena for reimbursement. Students are required to sign for books and must return the same numbered books when withdrawing or at the end of the school year. Sponsors are also responsible for payment in case of loss or damage to laboratory equipment, audiovisual equipment, computer materials, musical instruments, and any other school property or equipment that may be lost or damaged.

Students may ride bicycles/scooters/skateboards to school but not on school grounds during the school day, before school, or at dismissal. Students are to get off their bicycles at the curb by the street and walk them to the bike racks. Bicycles must be locked. The school is not responsible for bicycles ridden to school or parked on school grounds. Any student who chooses not to follow these rules will lose the privilege of riding a bicycle to school. Skateboards and scooters are not allowed on school grounds. Athletic equipment, such as basketballs, soccer balls, tennis balls, etc., are considered non-educational items. Balls may be brought to school and stored in students’ lockers for use at break in designated areas. They are not to be used in the courtyard and/or hallways. Students violating this policy will have their equipment taken to the front office for pick up by parent/guardian. Skateboards can be stored in the front office.

Students are to exercise prudence and NOT walk between the busses when coming to school in the morning or departing in the afternoon. Students who walk or ride bikes to school should arrive no earlier than 0705. Additionally, they are to depart from school grounds before 1355 and must use the crosswalks only. Students are not allowed to loiter for any reason and should maintain movement via the crosswalk nearest the front of the school, toward their final destination, until reaching that final destination. Students must not play or ride skateboards/scooters/rollerblades/roller shoes/bicycles/etc. in any area near the school grounds, even if off school grounds, as busses are departing. This is a school safety issue for students even if they are off campus. Repeated offenses will result in disciplinary action.

The school is inspected regularly for compliance with fire and safety regulations. Evacuation drills for storm, fire, and/or bomb threats, which are required by military and DoDDS regulations, are held by month through the year. In case of fire drill, fire, or other emergency evacuation procedure, a loud continuous ringing bell will be sounded. Each office and instructional area has a posted evacuation plan. Students will follow the evacuation plan posted in the room and leave the room in an expeditious, orderly and quiet manner. Students are not to return to classrooms during or after emergency evacuation procedures until given permission by an appropriate authority. Emergency evacuation procedures will be practiced every week during the first month of school and every other month thereafter. The school is provided security protection at the level currently in force or the military community.

Schools shall allow equal access to school facilities being used for student sponsored non- curriculum related activities, if a school allows any such group access to its facilities.

Parents and/or guardians must supply the school with a copy of any type of court order that may affect the student (e.g., who is allowed to visit the child, who has legal custody, etc.). These orders will be maintained in the student’s cumulative file. If any changes take place during the school year with the court order, the school must be notified immediately. Teachers will be notified of any restrictions that affect students in their classes.


Some events such as induction ceremonies, band and choir concerts, AVID events, drama performances, and dances will occur after school hours. The dissemination of this information will vary depending upon the intended audience. Activities for all students will be announced by teachers and over the intercom at the end of the school day.

Student Dress Code

This policy applies to PAC-South

The Pacific South District Okinawa Schools believe that student dress is a shared responsibility between parents, students, and the schools. It is understood that students express themselves via the clothing they choose to wear. All students are expected to respect the school community by dressing appropriately for a K-12 educational setting. Student attire should facilitate participation in learning activities, along with the health and safety of all students.


  1. Clothing must cover areas from one armpit across to the other armpit, down to no shorter than 8 inches above the knee cap. (see images below). Tops are to have at least 2 inch wide shoulder straps. Rips or tears in clothing should be lower than 8 inches above the knee cap.
  2. Midriffs should not be visible at any point in time. This includes bending over, sitting down, or reaching over your head.
  3. Shoes must be worn at all times and should be safe for the school environment.
  4. See-through or mesh garments must not be worn without appropriate coverage underneath that meet the minimum requirements of the dress code.
  5. Headgear including hats, hoodies with the hood up, and caps are not to be worn inside the building.
  6. Hoodies with the hood down are allowed.
  7. Specialized courses may require specialized attire, such as sports uniforms or safety gear.

Clothing Parameters:

  1. Clothing may not depict, imply, advertise, or advocate illegal, violent, or lewd conduct, weapons, or the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other controlled substances.
  2. Clothing may not display or imply vulgar, discriminatory, or obscene language or images.
  3. Clothing may not state, imply, or depict hate speech/imagery targeting groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, or any other protected classification.
  4. Sunglasses may not be worn inside the building.
  5. Clothing and accessories that endanger students or staff safety may not be worn.
  6. Apparel, jewelry, accessories, tattoos, or manner of grooming that, by virtue of its color, arrangement, trademark or any other attribute, denotes membership in a gang that advocates illegal or disruptive behavior is prohibited.

The administration at each school reserves the right to determine what constitutes appropriate dress. Upon seeing a suspected dress code violation, a teacher or other staff member will send the student to an administrator to address the suspected violations. The administrator will determine whether the student is in violation of the dress code and address the violation as discreetly as possible between classes or at lunch in order to minimize the loss of instructional time. Students who do not adhere to these guidelines are required to correct the dress code infraction before returning to class. Parents will be called if appropriate clothing is not available, or if the student refuses dress-code appropriate clothing. Students may be subject to discipline for violating the dress code, particularly for repeat offenses, and for refusing to cooperate with teacher or administrator requests to bring the student into compliance with the dress code.

Related DoDEA Policies & Regulations

1353.01: Student Rights and Responsibilities, Change 1