Department of Defense Education Activity

Message from the Pacific Region Director

May 4, 2020

Dear DoDEA Pacific families and employees,

DoDEA Pacific has been working in direct and close coordination with senior military partners during the COVID-19 pandemic to monitor local environmental conditions and determine whether school facilities will be able to reopen to students this school year.

After much consideration, the following decisions have been made regarding the remainder of the 2019-20 school year:

  • School buildings in Japan, Okinawa, and Guam will stay closed to students. Online learning and teaching will continuein all DoDEA schools across the Pacific; and
  • School buildings in Korea are closed to students and maintaining online teaching and learning will remain the focus;however, we will keep a flexible approach that could allow any of the eight schools on the Korean peninsula to reopenbefore the end of the school year if conditions established jointly by the command and DoDEA are satisfied.

While the last day of instruction for graduating seniors will be two school days prior to the graduation ceremony, the last day for all remaining students will be June 9, as scheduled. Specific information detailing end-of-year procedures will be forthcoming from your school principal. 

Our teachers and administrators in all locations will continue to work diligently to maintain digital learning programs in order to ensure continuity of education for our amazing students. These programs continue to evolve and differ slightly for each community and school, but the goal is the same – to provide Excellence in Education for Every Student, Every Day, Everywhere. 

We know that this decision may be disappointing to our staff, students and families alike. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect every community across the Pacific Theater. The health and safety of our students, staff and communities is our highest priority. 

This is an extraordinarily challenging and concerning time for all of us. Watching our teachers, students and communities come together to ensure continuity of education for our military-connected students under these circumstances has been incredibly inspiring. Please continue to work diligently and cohesively to ensure that we build upon our successes to this point. Communication, moving forward, will be critical to the maintenance and evolution of these digital learning programs. Feel free to communicate all needs and concerns related to these programs to your teachers and principals. This type of feedback is important to the education process. 

We are also proud to share a parent resource for learning in a remote setting that was developed by the Pacific regional leadership team in partnership with DoDEA headquarters. Please take a moment to visit the site as it is a resource to lean on for parents to best support student’s current school experience.

Remote Learning Guide for Parents Website: https://sites.google.com/student.dodea.edu/pacificparentresource 

Thank you again for your continued support. 

For more information regarding DoDEA’s response to COVID-19, go to: https://www.dodea.edu/Coronavirus.cfm.  

Yours in education,

Lois Rapp

Director
DoDEA Pacific Region

 

DoDEA Pacific COVID-19 Update -March 31, 2020

To: Pacific East and Pacific South Parents and Employees


I know you have many questions regarding the reopening of our school facilities to students. The Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific region, in coordination with U.S. Forces Japan, will continue to monitor the environment and reopen schools when it is safe and appropriate to do so. Due to the current health protection conditions in our communities, we will not be able to resume our normal operations on April 13. 

Teachers will continue to provide meaningful virtual instruction to students until we are able to reopen our school buildings. Please know that our goal is to make sure students meet the required standards to move on to the next grade level and for seniors to graduate as scheduled, whether that accomplishment is celebrated in person or virtually. 

While our teachers continue to provide instruction online, district leaders are working closely with local custodial service providers to ensure schools are cleaned and disinfected according to CDC recommendations.  We've modified contracts so that all schools receive a thorough cleaning during the closure, which would not have been possible while students are in the buildings.  This cleaning will include the sanitation of surfaces frequently touched by students and employees such as doorknobs and light switches.  We are also working to ensure that our schools have the equipment and supplies they need to reopen, such as hand soap and disinfectant surface cleaners.

Families, I thank you for your support as we provide our students with continuity in education through this virtual setting. Please reach out to your child’s teacher or principal if you have any questions, concerns, or access issues. 

We look forward to welcoming our students back into our classrooms and will be prepared to open as soon as we can do so safely.

Sincerely,
Lois Rapp
Director for Student Excellence
DoDEA Pacific