On this page you will find DoDEA Pacific’s return to school plan for the 2020-21 school year in Korea, mainland Japan, Okinawa and Guam. Our schools will look a bit different due to COVID-19; however, I am confident our plan will allow us to safely provide continuity of education to all of our students. At this time, we are finalizing coordination and plans with military leadership in Guam.
I’d like to take the opportunity to thank our local military leaders, who collaborated with us to ensure our Return to School Plan is in line with local installation guidance and also adaptable to shifts in local environmental conditions. It is vital to us that our reopening plan supports the needs of our military partners and families, whom we are here to serve. The thoughts and concerns our stakeholders shared with us comprised a crucial component to our planning process.
Throughout the Pacific, the reopening of schools will be dependent on local environmental conditions. We know that students learn best in the classroom environment, with face-to-face instruction from their teachers. In HPCON B, students will return to school for full-time instruction with the mitigation strategies outlined in our return to school plan. Employees will receive training on COVID-19 medical protocols and mitigation strategies prior to the return of students to school facilities. Teachers will integrate Google Classroom into face-to-face class instruction throughout the school year so that students are familiar with the platform in the event local conditions necessitate a transition to remote learning.
Instruction will be provided virtually at installations in HPCON C. During our spring implementation of remote learning, we received resounding feedback from families that the use of multiple platforms was challenging. Moving forward, our region will use Google Classroom as the sole platform for online learning in the event brick-and-mortar schools must operate remotely.
In addition to the brick-and-mortar school setting, DoDEA will offer a full-time virtual school option for all students in grades K-12 who have health vulnerabilities or do not feel comfortable returning to the traditional school setting. For more information about this virtual option, visit the DoDEA Return to School page. To enroll your child in the full-time virtual school, please fill out the Parent Form. This form must be submitted by July 31 at 0700 JST to ensure appropriate staffing. Please note that this change does not affect the sign up deadline of July 28 for teachers interested in teaching in the virtual school.
We have received many questions regarding the number of courses high school students will be able to take in the virtual school. While the DoDEA Virtual School has found that high school students who take more than 5 online courses struggle to be successful, if families want their high school student(s) to be enrolled in 6 virtual school courses they will be allowed to do so in order to receive a full year of credit. Students can also opt to take two courses over the summer to remain on track to graduate. Please see the memorandum from Mrs. Rapp regarding the extension of the deadline for parents and two FAQ documents.
Families can expect to receive detailed, school-specific information from their child’s principal about what the “new normal” will look like at their school closer to the start of the school year. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate reopening school together. We look forward to welcoming your child into the learning environment that you determine is the best fit for your family.
Yours in Education,
DoDEA Pacific Region Director
DoDEA Pacific is prepared to provide students with continuity of education during the 2020-21 school year. Watch this video to learn more about what school will look like.