Department of Defense Education Activity

Welcome to Kadena ES!

Kadena Elementary School (KDES) is located on Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. A member of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), KDES provides a quality education to dependents of U.S. military service members and DoD civilians.

Opening its doors at the legacy location in 1954, Kadena Elementary moved to our new location in February of 2018. The school is a state of the art, 21st Century School which cover 194,000 square feet and caters up to 800 pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students. Learning spaces are organized around neighborhoods with open-concept classrooms with flexible and multi-use furniture which allows for meaningful technology integration and collaborative learning.

In spite of our size, KDES is a neighborhood school, with the majority of students living in the surrounding neighborhoods who walk to school, and with bus service to the Chibana, Sunabe, and Chatan Port areas. Our Sushi students and families represent a culturally and ethnically diverse population which is commensurate with the general military population.

A fully outfitted information center (library) is well stocked with fiction and non-fiction collections. We also have a robust catalog of online books, resources, and reference materials for use in the school and remotely. We have a large gymnasium and an auxiliary gym along with a large cafeteria with a stage. In addition, we have a large to a performance space for ceremonies, trainings, and community events. These spaces allow the scheduling of simultaneous activities.

The Kadena Elementary School’s student body represents families serving in the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and DoD civilians. Military assignments in Okinawa generally consist of a standard 3-year rotation, resulting in a similar pattern of turnover among the student population. Our military-connected students are an amazing group of learners. Consistent with overseas schools serving military dependents, KDES works to support our students, families, and staff members PCSing in and out of the area. At Kadena Elementary we say, “Once a Sushi, always a Sushi!”

The KDES faculty comprises over 82 professional level staff members, including full-time teachers, specialists and administrators with an additional 40+ paraprofessionals and office staff members for support and supervision. 73% of the professional staff and teachers possess advance educational degrees. The turnover among the professional teaching staff is low to moderate for a DoDEA school of this size, averaging between 5-15 reassignments per school year.

As a member of the Pacific South District of DoDEA, KDES is accredited by Cognia (formerly known as Advanc ED). Cognia works to assess the quality of institutions and helps schools meet the needs of every student. Cognia provides an explicit set of standards and criteria for accreditation and certification.

Kadena Elementary School is a great place to learn and to work. The school embraces the DoDEA mission: To Educate, Engage, and Empower military-connected students to succeed in a dynamic world. Welcome to Kadena Elementary School – Where Kids Come First!

Accreditation and Awards

"To learn more about our accreditation process, please visit  our DoDEA HQ Accreditation Site."

Kadena ES Mascot - right click to download lo-res png - click to go to home page

Kadena ES

Grades: SS - 5

Enrollment: 620

DoDEA Mission

Educate, Engage, and Empower each student to succeed in a dynamic world.

Kadena ES Vision

Knowledge Equals Success

Mascot: Sushi the Angel Fish

Motto: "Where Kids Come First"

Available Mascot Downloads
Kadena ES Colors

Primary Color: #0000FF

Secondary Color: #ffffff

Kadena ES Purpose

Develop adaptable learners for a changing world.

Kadena ES Key Goals

  • Organizational CCRSL Goal: Kadena Elementary School will implement College and Career Readiness Standards in Literacy (CCRSL).
  • Academic CCRSM Goal:  Kadena Elementary School students will show an increased level of proficiency in Mathematics. 

Accreditation and Awards

KDES is accredited by AdvancED.

Kadena ES

School Address
Unit 5166
Kadena AB
APO, AP 96368-5166
Okinawa, Japan
Phone: 098-961-1550/3441
DSN Phone: 315-634-1550/3441
From US: 011-81-961-1550/3441