Department of Defense Education Activity

For Immediate Release — August 24, 2011 | HQ

ARLINGTON, VA — August 24, 2011 — School Year 2011-2012 is beginning for nearly 84,000 students of the Department of Defense Education Activity's (DoDEA) 194 schools around the world. DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality, public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, the United States, Cuba, Guam and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Education Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.

DoDEA is a DoD field activity operating under the direction, authority and control of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

With 194 schools in 14 districts located in 12 foreign countries, seven states, Guam, and Puerto Rico, all schools within DoDEA are fully accredited by U.S. accreditation agencies. DoDEA employs approximately 8,700 educators in its schools.Current enrollment is just under 84,000 students.

DoDEA-Americas (Domestic Dependents Elementary and Secondary Schools - DDESS), headquartered in Peachtree City, Ga., is composed of six districts, with 70 in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Cuba. DoDEA Americas employs approximately 4,100 people, and nearly 25,000 students attend its schools. While Guam is officially a DDESS school, it is managed on a daily basis by DoDEA Pacific.

DoDEA Europe (Department of Defense Dependents Schools - DoDDS), headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany, operates 79 schools within five districts throughout Europe. DoDEA Europe employs more than 5,000 people and almost 34,000 students attend its schools.

DoDEA Pacific (Department of Defense Dependents Schools - DoDDS), headquartered in Okinawa, Japan, operates 49 schools across four districts and serves over 24,000 students within the Pacific. DoDEA Pacific employs more than 3,000 people. While DoD schools on Guam are officially DDESS schools, they are managed on a daily basis by DoDEA Pacific.

Note: Enrollment figures are as of August 19 and will change as enrollments continue.

School Leadership

Acting Director for DoDEA

Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald is theActing Director of the Department of Defense Education Activity, Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald has oversight of all 194 DoDEA schools, in the U.S. and overseas.

Area Director for DoDEA Americas Schools

Dr. Linda L. Curtis is the Acting Area Director for DoDEA Americas Schools. Appointed as the Acting Area Director in May 2011, Dr. Curtis oversees the operations of 70 schools in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. DoDEA schools in the Americas region are structured into 6 districts and employ more than 4,000 people. Nearly 25,000 students attend DoDEA Americas schools.

Area Director for DoDEA Europe Schools

Dr. Nancy Bresell is the Area Director for DoDEA Schools in Europe. Assigned as the Area Director in July 2009, Dr. Bresell oversees the operations of 79 schools located in Bahrain, Belgium, England, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Turkey. DoDEA Schools in Europe are structured into 5 districts and employ more than 5,000 people. Nearly 34,000 students attend DoDEA Europe schools.

Area Director for DoDEA Pacific Schools

Ms. Diana Ohman is the Area Director for DoDEA schools in the Pacific. Assigned as the Area Director in July 2009, Ms. Ohman oversees the operation of 49 schools located in Guam, Japan, Okinawa and South Korea. DoDEA Schools in the Pacific are structured into four districts and employ more than 3,000 people. Over 24,000 students attend DoDEA Pacific schools. While DoD schools on Guam are officially DDESS schools, they are managed on a daily basis by DoDEA Pacific.

Commitment to Education

The Department of Defense and DoDEA are committed to ensuring that all children of military families are provided a world class education that prepares them to be successful in their careers, leading contributors in their communities and productive citizens in the 21st century.

DoDEA knows that a rigorous curriculum and high standards are the foundation for a student body that is academically and socially prepared and positioned for success in life. DoDEA students, kindergarten through 12th grade, have a world of academic opportunities available to them through the doors of study in foreign languages and culture; technology, mathematics, a virtual high school and Advanced Placement courses.

DoDEA schools are consistently ranked in the top ten states for student performance on nationwide assessments such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the TerraNova Multiple Assessments. DoDEA students' performance reflects the emphasis and delivery of increased academic rigor and a challenging curriculum despite the unique circumstances the system faces every year through transition, deployments, and an annual 1/3 student population turnover.

On average, DoDEA students score at or above the 65th percentile in core subjects on national assessments. They have the smallest minority–white achievement gap in reading and math as compared to their national counterparts.The sum of scholarships, financial aid, and grants offered to DoDEA seniors in 2010 was $44.9 million.

School Year 2011-2012 Calendars

DoDEA schools begin School Year 2011-2012 on different dates in each area. School breaks vary in each area as well. School calendars can be viewed at:

New Schools to Open in School Year 2011-2012

As DoDEA begins school year 2011-2012, the doors will open for the first time at five new schools.Three new schools will open in the United States.Heroes Elementary School at Camp Lejeune will greet more than 500 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 5.Fort Bragg will be home to two new schools – Shugart Elementary and Shugart Middle Schools.Shugart Elementary School will be home to more than 650 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten - 5 and Shugart Middle School will welcome 500 students in grades 6-8.

Overseas in the Pacific Region, Daegu High School will open in Korea, welcoming 250 students in grades 9-12.In Germany DoDEA partnered with the Army community in Schweinfurt to open a high school for 170 students in grades 9-12.This new high school eliminates long commutes for nearly 200 students who have had to travel to the Bamberg military community for the past three years.

The total cost of constructing these new schools is $82.9 million.

DoDEA's 21st Century Schools and Facilities Renovation and Construction Initiative

During the 2011-2012 school year DoDEA will continue to move forward with its military construction initiative.In School Year 2010-2011 DoDEA launched an aggressive and comprehensive program to completely renovate or replace 134 of its 194 schools worldwide.The Department of Defense programmed $3.7 billion over five fiscal years (FY 2011-2016) and Congress appropriated nearly $400 million of the programmed funds in fiscal year 2011 to begin renovation and reconstruction projects.

DoDEA realizes schools of the future must be flexible and adaptable, facilitating new and innovative ways in delivering instruction and meeting the needs of all students. DoDEA's 21st Century schools takes into consideration innovation in education, curriculum delivery, use of technology, and the growing expectations for sustainability and energy conservation. The schools that will be built over the next five years will be in use for the next 45 years.

DoDEA's Student Transportation Program

A great deal of planning and coordination is involved in operating DoDEA's worldwide student transportation system. More than 50,000 DoDEA students are registered bus riders. These students travel nearly 56,000 miles every day on 1,500 separate routes. DoDEA also provides transportation support for students traveling to and from curricular and co-curricular activities, after-school activities and clubs, sports practices and events, and other special school events. DoDEA provides special needs students with dedicated transportation services that are supported with trained safety aides on board every school transportation vehicle. Security attendants also ride every bus route traveling off military installations and this service extends to include all after-school activity buses.

DoDEA's Student Meal Program

DoDEA's Student Meal Program is approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This means that the program follows the same regulations and guidelines as schools throughout the United States for nutrition and meal portions. School menus follow USDA nutritional requirements. Students who qualify under federal guidelines are provided free and reduced-price meals. Over 7 million meals are served annually in DoDEA schools in the United States and overseas.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), now The Exchange, provide student meals to students in kindergarten through 12th grade on Army and Air Force Installations throughout Europe and the Pacific. AAFES serves more than 24,000 meals daily in 92 schools for a total of 4.4 million meals each school year. The AAFES school meal program is approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and follows the same regulations, guidelines and nutritional requirements as schools throughout the United States. AAFES provides Free and Reduced-Price meals for students who qualify under Federal Guidelines.

The Student Meal Program in DoDEA schools in the United States is operated independently at each community by a Child Nutrition Director who oversees the cafeterias at each school within the community. The schools participate in the USDA National School Lunch Program receiving reimbursements for Free and Reduced Students as well as federal commodities.

For more information on the AAFES School Meal Program in Europe and the Pacific, visit

Reduced-priced meals will remain at 40 cents.The adult lunch rate will be, at a minimum, the per meal cost.It must cover the cost of the meal per federal regulations.

Assessments and Student Performance

In support of a challenging curriculum, DoDEA continues to measure student performance with a variety of assessments, such as the TerraNova, the PSAT, and the SAT. At the end of the year parents received the scores for the TerraNova, and parents are encouraged to contact schools how these results are used this year and how they can help at home.

DoDEA average test results continue to show achievement above the national average in Reading, Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies in all grades tested. From 2010 to 2011 DoDEA scores have shown also show gains in most grades and subject areas.

DoDEA will participate this year in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the Nations Report Card, for 4th and 8th graders. The purpose of this nationwide test is to provide comparisons of student achievement in Reading, Math, Writing, and Science with national performance and the performance in each state of the nation.

All DoDEA schools will participate in the continuous school improvement process to ensure continued accreditation by a prestigious National Accreditation Institution. The accreditation process certifies that our schools adhere to challenging standards that support excellence in education of all students. This year more than 40 schools will receive visits from the accreditation agency to confirm excellence and continuous improvement of services for our students.

Initiatives for School Year 2011-2012

Virtual High School

The DoDEA Virtual High School begins its second year serving students of military families as a fully accredited, comprehensive diploma-granting institution.Approximately 50 courses will be offered to nearly 1,000 enrolled students.Military dependent students can benefit from virtual courses because the flexibility that virtual school courses offer addresses their transition needs.

For more information about the Virtual High School, visit

New Mathematics Curriculum

DoDEA will introduce new mathematics curriculum programs that will span the kindergarten through 12th grade spectrum.Plans will also be initiated to increase high school math requirements for the freshman class of school year 2012-2013.This new program will require high school students to take four math units and to complete Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II.This initiative will align DoDEA with national trends in math education.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Courses

DoDEA will pilot four new STEM courses this year.Classes in biotechnology engineering;

gaming technology engineering, green technology engineering and robotics will be introduced at ten high schools throughout the system.

After School Activities

After school activities vary by school. DoDEA offers a full range of interscholastic athletics programs in our high schools. All schools offer a range of academic clubs and activities to address a wide variety of student interests. Check with your school to see specific availability for after-school activities.

DoDEA's Educational Partnership

DoDEA's Educational Partnership is devoted to assisting partnering local education schools and districts in providing a quality education for all military students. Approximately 92% (1.2 million) of children of military families do not attend DoDEA schools. The Educational Partnership is working collaboratively with the Department of Education to ease the transition of military children and provide resources to LEAs that educate military children.

The Educational Partnership is also focused on transforming the responsiveness of educators to support children with deployed parents. Continued support of resources will enable DoD to build the capacity to improve the social and emotional climate of schools as well as increase student achievement.

Educational Partnership Initiatives for School Year 2010-2011 include:

The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

DoDEA represents DoD as an ex-officio member to the Council of State Governments' Interstate Commission on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.DoDEA is committed to ensuring its own school policies and procedures mirror those in the Compact guidelines, and related rules to the extent permitted by law.

The Compact governs member states in several areas, including school placement, enrollment, records transfer, and graduation for children of active-duty military families.Currently 39 states are members of the Compact.


In the past three years, the Partnership Program has awarded 140 three-year grants to public school districts to support improved academic programs for military children.This year, 26 grants have been awarded.The majority of grants focused on STEM.DoDEA will continue to work with the districts who have received grants to ensure expected outcomes are realized.