Department of Defense Education Activity

Message from the Superintendent

August 13, 2021

Welcome back to school!  We are very excited to open schools for the coming school year.

We know that we have some challenges to address with CoVID-19, be we are confident in the mitigation strategies we have in place.  These strategies were very successful during last school year and with our increased understanding of the virus, we are better able to mitigate the risks.

We are proud to open two new school buildings this year.  Bob Hope Elementary School opens in August 2021.  Then in January 2022, E.C. Killin Elementary School will move into their new facility as we come back to school after the winter break.  We will also be renaming the former Bob Hope Primary School as Ralph F. Stearley Primary School to honor the legacy of General Ralph F. Stearley.

The faculty and staff at all our 13 schools are looking forward to welcoming students into the buildings and providing the best we have to offer to each of our 6,000+ students. 

This school year, the Pacific South District will undergo an external accreditation visit during the fall of 2021.  The accreditation process involves an external team that reviews our processes and procedures in relation to our continuous improvement and attainment of our goals.  Those identified goals for Pacific South District are:

  1. To make effective use of teacher collaboration time.
  2.  To increase the mathematics performance for all our students.
  3.  To improve our content literacy in all curricular areas.

We are going to have a great school year here in Okinawa.

Jim Journey
Pacific South
District Superintendent

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.