Department of Defense Education Activity

Message from the Pacific Region Director

August 16, 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:

Thank you again for your continued support. 

For more information regarding DoDEA’s response to COVID-19, go to:  

Yours in education,

Lois Rapp

DoDEA Pacific Region

DoDEA COVID-19 Operational Guidelines and ProtocolsDoDEA COVID-19 Operational Guidelines and Protocols (Version 7c, July 2021)

The DoDEA Operational Guide provides district and school leaders with general guidelines and protocols for establishing and maintaining safe school environments that reduce the risk of COVID-19 virus spread. Each school, in coordination with their district, will have the flexibility to implement the guidelines and protocols in a manner that best meets the health and safety needs of the school staff and students while minimizing the impact on teaching and learning.

hand sanitizer

Continuity of education is a critical quality of life component for military families and communities. We recognize that school operations impact on the readiness of our military partners to complete their mission. Our teachers and the routines of school provide an important element of stability for our students which adds significantly to their success. In-classroom Instruction is the optimal learning environment for our military-connected students. We will seek to provide as much in-school instruction as possible for all students every day to the best of our ability, and in accordance with official health guidelines.

DODEA has put in place numerous safety requirements and precautionary measures that follow CDC and DOD guidance to the greatest extent possible to ensure employees and students are protected. Social distancing, face coverings, and other mitigations are important tools to protect the health of our students, staff, and families as we pursue our mission.

DoDEA leadership at all levels has established protocols to safeguard employees and mitigate potential hazards in our schools through both active and passive strategies.

We remain flexible to meet any contingency. In the event that schools cannot fully reopen due to local health conditions, all students will move to the remote environment and receive remote education from their classroom teachers. While we are confident in our capacity to protect our students and staff by enacting mitigation strategies that support local installation guidance and conditions, we will also provide a virtual platform for students to continue learning virtually. Employees who are in “high risk” categories (as defined by the CDC) will be able to work with supervisors to implement risk controls or reasonable accommodations.

We continue to work in close coordination with our military community partners and military public health officials throughout this process. Even in this pandemic, our guiding visions remains excellence in education for every student, every day, everywhere. The safety and well-being of our students and employees is paramount and will always be our first consideration.