Department of Defense Education Activity

About Our School

 DoDEA Mission Statement: Educate, Engage, and Empower each student to succeed in a dynamic world.

SAES Purpose Statement: Empowering student to learn and engage in a dynamic world.

Continuous School Improvement Goal: The students at SAES will demonstrate improvement in writing mechanics, sentence structure, and editing.


Seoul American Elementary School is a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school located on U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan. The garrison is 630 acres located in Seoul, South Korea and is home to the headquarters for the U.S. military presence in South Korea, known as United States Forces Korea (USFK) and Installation Management Command Pacific Region under the command of General Vincent Brooks.

SAES began welcoming students in 1959. The SAES campus consists of nine buildings. Our cafeteria is shared with the middle and high school. The main building houses primary classrooms, the Information Center, the Dolphin Theater, reading and math labs, foreign language rooms and computer labs. Grades 2, 3, 4 and 5 and some Pre-K and kindergarten classrooms are located in outlying buildings. Seoul American Elementary School (SAES) is the second-largest school in DoDDS-overseas and ranked as one of the highest in academic performance. There are 960 students enrolled at Seoul American Elementary School.

Our school educates students Pre-Kindergarten- 5th grade students. The racial/ethnic composition of the school is American Indian/Alaskan Native: 1%; American Indian/White: 1%; Asian/Black/White: 1%; Asian/Black: 2%; Asian/Pacific Islander: 1%; Asian/White: 15%; Asian: 23%; Black/White: 3%; Black: 13%; Decline to State: 5%; Pacific Islander: 1%; Pacific Islander/White: 1%; and White: 33%.

The majority of our families have at least one family member serving in the Army (60%), and our next largest group is the civilian support population (23%).

Our student turnover, or mobility rate, averages 31% each year. We have approximately 7% of our student body enrolled as English Language Learners; 15% of our students qualify for free/reduced price meals. Our special needs population consists of 9% of our student enrollment. SAES is staffed with 4 administrators, 90 professionals, and 29 support staff members. Our student classroom teacher ratio is 18:1 for Pre-K -3, and 25:1 grades 4-5.

The faculty at SAES is committed to students actively learning every day successfully, which is our vision statement: S.tudents A.ctively Learning E.veryday S.uccessfully. Our support staff receives trainings with credit and certificates, throughout the year. Additional support staff providing services for our students and families are four school guidance counselors, a school psychologist, a Student Study Team, Child Study Committee, six literacy and math support specialists, nine teachers of special education, two information specialists, two teachers for students for whom English is a Second Language program, two educational technologist teachers, and a gifted-ed teacher. Our exemplary educators have led our students to perform at the highest achievement levels in our region, earning our school recognition as a NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL, 2016. Each staff member is dedicated to ensuring that each student receives the highest quality education, and is learning at his/her optimal instructional level.

SAES leadership works closely with our stakeholders and local community to ensure a shared partnership that fosters highest student achievement. All stakeholders are invited to join our PTO, to our School Advisory Council (SAC), to volunteer in classrooms, and are invited to partner with the school with community events such as Literacy Night, STEAM night, as together we educate, engage, and empower each student to succeed in a dynamic world.