Policies & Procedures
The Department of Defense (DoD), in collaboration with the National Center for Interstate Compacts and the Council of State Governments, has developed an interstate compact that addresses the educational transition issues of children of active duty military-connected families. Currently, all 50 states, DoDEA and the District of Columbia participate in this interstate compact, which provides uniform policy for resolving the educational challenges experienced by military-connected children as they transition between school systems.
We encourage all of our families preparing to transition, to, from or within a DoDEA and/or stateside school system to engage with the School Liaison (SLO) from the sending and receiving locations. The SLO is the local contact for schools and has valuable information about school calendars, hybrid learning, early enrollment, student services, how to manage quarantine requirements and more.
“Call your SLO before you go”
In order to prepare records for your students school transition.
A directory of School Liaisons is updated annually and can be found at: https://www.dodea.edu/education/partnership-and-resources
The Compact ensures that mobile children of military families are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children. States participating in the Compact work to coordinate graduation requirements, transfer of records, course placement, unique learning needs, assessments and other administrative policies.
For additional information or transition support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Partnership office at 571-372-6026.
If the principal permits a school to operate a limited open forum by maintaining a practice of allowing any single non-curriculum-related student group access to school facilities, the principal shall ensure that all of such student groups (including activities of religious nature) are permitted equal access to meet on school premises and use school facilities during non-instructional time. Access to groups may be denied if the principal determines that a student or student group has or is likely to substantially interfere with good order or discipline or violate any Federal, state, or local law, or DoD or DoDEA regulation/policy.
For the protection of students and staff, all visitors must report to the school’s front office immediately upon arriving at the school. A visitor is any person (to include parents, sponsors, and legal guardians) not enrolled or assigned to the school requesting entry to the building.
Visitors must provide authorized identification to gain access to the DoDEA school. The visitor will be issued a visitor badge that must be displayed above the waist while on DoDEA school property. The school administrator has the final determination on visitors authorized to be at the school. While on DoDEA school property, visitors may go only to the approved area indicated as their destination when signing in at the school’s front office. Any change to the designated location must be approved by the school’s front office before the visitor can access a different location within the school. When leaving the school, visitors must sign out and return the visitor's badge to the school’s front office.
Parents are welcome to visit the school and classrooms to observe the school’s programs for brief periods of time that do not interfere with instruction. Approval by the school administrator is required for this type of visitation.
DoDEA school administrators, in partnership with sponsors/family members, students, and military leaders, promote communication through the establishment of advisory committees to address issues (school initiatives, procedures and policies) locally. This is a system-wide way for parents to get involved in their child’s local school. Consult your child’s school to learn more about school advisory committees.
Proof of Eligibility: The sponsor does not need to be present at registration, as long as the parent or other adult registering the child has all the necessary paperwork, in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 1342.13, “Eligibility Requirements for Education of Elementary and Secondary School-Age Dependents in Overseas Areas,” September 20, 2006, as amended, and DoD Instruction 1342.26, “Eligibility Requirements for Minor Dependents to Attend Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS),” March 4, 1997.
The following documents are necessary to complete the registration process:
- Proof of age;
- Medical records, including information on medical conditions, medications, and all dates and types of immunizations;
- Official documents to support eligibility (e.g., letter of employment, contract, permanent change of station [PCS] orders, etc.); and
- Proof of on-base residence (applies to students enrolling in DoD domestic schools).
Contact the registrar at your child’s school to update your child’s information or visit your school's registration page for more information on enrollment.
A waiver for immunization exemption may be granted for medical or religious reasons. Philosophical exemptions are not permitted. The applicable DoD Command must provide guidance on the waiver process.
A statement from the child’s health care provider is required if an immunization cannot be administered because of a chronic medical condition wherein the vaccine is permanently contraindicated or because of natural immunity. The statement must document the reason why the child is exempt. This request for immunization exemption from specific vaccines due to vaccine contraindications or natural immunity must be completed and submitted to the school at the beginning of the child’s enrollment or when a vaccine is due. Request for exemption only needs to be completed one time for the duration of the child’s enrollment at the school.
If an immunization is not administered because of a parent’s religious beliefs, the parent must submit an exemption request in writing, stating that he or she objects to the vaccination based upon religious beliefs. The immunization waiver request must be completed and submitted to the school at the beginning of every school year. For students arriving after the school year has started, this request/written statement must be submitted at the initial enrollment and at the beginning of every school year.
During a documented outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease (as determined by local DoD medical authorities), a student who is attending a DoDEA school program under an immunization waiver for that vaccine will be excluded from attending. This is for his or her protection and the safety of the other children and staff. The exclusion will remain in place until such time that the DoD Command determines that the outbreak is over and that it is safe for the student to return to school.
Kindergarten and grade 1 placements are determined by minimum age requirements, in accordance with Enclosure 2 of DoDEA Regulation 2000.03, “Student Grade Level Placement,” March 2, 2010. A student who will reach his or her fifth birthday on or before September 1 of the school year is eligible to be enrolled in kindergarten in DoDEA. In addition, a student who will reach his or her sixth birthday on or before September 1 of the school year is eligible to enroll in grade 1 in DoDEA. Placement in grades 2–8 is predicated upon completion of the preceding year. Students entering a DoDEA school (kindergarten through grade 8) from a non-American or host nation school will be placed in the grade level corresponding to their ages, assuming yearly progression from grades 1–8.
Grade-level status (grades 9, 10, 11, and 12) will be determined by the number of course credit units earned by the student, in accordance with Section 2 of DoDEA Regulation 2000.3, “Student Grade Level Placement,” March 2, 2010. Students entering grade 9 must have successfully completed grade 8 and/or been previously enrolled in grade 9 and earned less than 6 credits. Students entering grade 10 must have successfully completed grade 9 and earned a minimum of 6 course credits. Students entering grade 11 must have successfully completed grade 10 and earned a minimum of 12 course credits. Students entering grade 12 must have successfully completed grade 11 and earned a minimum of 19 course credits.
In accordance with DoDI 1342.29, “Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children,” January 31, 2019, for students transitioning from a sending school system to a DoDEA school, at the time of transition and regardless of the age of the student, the DoDEA school shall enroll the transitioning student in the same grade level as the student’s grade level (i.e. in kindergarten through grade 12) in the sending state’s local educational agency. For kindergarten, the student must have been enrolled in and attended kindergarten class in order to assure continued attendance in kindergarten in a DoDEA school. Students who have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite grade level in the sending school system will be eligible for enrollment in the next higher grade level in the DoDEA school, regardless of the student’s age.
All DoDEA students, including students with disabilities, English language learners (ELLs), and students with accommodation plans, should be afforded the opportunity to participate in the standard DoDEA secondary curriculum, as appropriate, based upon their individual circumstances.
Student records and transcripts may be requested from several different sources, depending upon the student’s last date of attendance or graduation date. Parents/sponsors of current and prospective elementary/middle/high school students should contact the school’s registrar directly for assistance. For further information, please visit the DoDEA Student Records Center (dodea.edu/StudentServices/transcripts.cfm). You may also consult with the counseling department at your child’s school for issues regarding student records.
An English language learner (ELL) is a student whose first language is not English and is in the process of acquiring English as an additional language. In accordance with DoDEA Regulation 2440.1, DoDEA’s English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program is designed to teach ELLs to acquire English language and literacy proficiency through content. The ESOL Program builds students’ social, cultural, and academic skills so that identified ELLs succeed in an English language academic environment that provides equitable access to college- and career-ready opportunities as their English-speaking peers.
The ESOL Program involves teaching listening, speaking, reading, writing, and study skills at the appropriate developmental and English language proficiency levels. This is accomplished by teaching language through a standards-based, high-quality academic content that pursues the student’s orientation within the United States culture. The ESOL Program’s instruction can be delivered in a variety of settings and program configurations. The scope and amount of ESOL instruction provided is determined by the student’s age, grade level, academic needs, and an English language proficiency evaluation. DoDEA’s ELLs may receive instruction both through the ESOL Program and within the main classroom setting.
In accordance with the policy stated in DoDEA Regulation 2095.01, “School Attendance,” August 26, 2011, as amended, school attendance is mandatory. All students are required to attend school to ensure continuity of instruction and that they successfully meet academic standards and demonstrate continuous educational progress. School attendance is a joint responsibility between the parent or sponsor, student, classroom teacher, school personnel, and, in some cases, the Command. Students with excessive school absences (or tardiness) shall be monitored by the Student Support Team to assist in the completion of all required work and successful mastery of course objectives.
Daily student attendance is identified based upon a quarter of the school day formula. Students will be identified as present or absent, based on the following criteria:
- Absent up to 25% of the school day = absent one-quarter of the school day
- Absent between 26%–50% of the school day = absent one-half of the school day
- Absent 51%–75% of the school day = absent three-quarters of the school day
- Absent 76%–100% of the school day = full-day absence
DoDEA considers the following conditions to constitute reasonable cause for absence from school for reasons other than school-related activities:
- Personal illness;
- Medical, dental, or mental health appointment;
- Serious illness in the student’s immediate family;
- A death in the student’s immediate family or of a relative;
- Religious holiday;
- Emergency conditions such as fire, flood, or storm;
- Unique family circumstances warranting absence and coordinated with school administration;
- College visits that cannot be scheduled on non-school days; and
- A pandemic event.
Unexcused absences may result in school disciplinary actions. An absence from school or a class without written verification from a parent or sponsor will be unexcused. Student attendance is calculated based upon the date of enrollment in a DoDEA school, which may occur anytime during the school year. Student attendance monitoring is designed to provide a continuum of intervention and services to support families and children in keeping children in school and combating truancy and educational neglect. Parents should notify the school of their child’s absence 30 minutes after the start of the school day. Too many unexcused absences may trigger the Student Support Team to convene.
The Principal may authorize an accelerated withdrawal of a student who must withdraw from school 20 or less instructional days prior to the end of a semester, in accordance with Section 3.1.d, of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1367.01, “High School Graduation Requirements and Policy,” [TBD]. Accelerated withdrawal will only be considered if the parent/sponsor presents PCS orders. The parent or sponsor must present verification of the date required for the student to depart from the school (e.g., PCS orders). All of the conditions of an accelerated study program outlined by the student’s teachers must be met prior to withdrawal in order for grades to be assigned and credit to be granted. Students who withdraw prior to the 20-day limitation of the accelerated withdrawal policy will receive “withdrawal” grades rather than final grades. In this case, the sponsor/parent should notify the school two weeks prior to the date of withdrawal.
DoDEA recognizes that home schooling is a sponsor’s right and may be a legitimate alternative form of education for the sponsor’s dependent(s). Home-school students who are eligible to enroll in a DoDEA-Europe, DoDEA-Pacific and DoDEA-Americas school are eligible to utilize DoDEA auxiliary services without being required to either enroll in or register for a minimum number of courses offered by the school. Eligible DoD home-school students using or receiving auxiliary services must meet the same eligibility and standards of conduct requirements applicable to students enrolled in the DoDEA school who use or receive the same auxiliary services. Any student, including eligible DoD dependent home-school students, who has not met the graduation requirements to earn a DoDEA diploma may not receive DoDEA commencement regalia, the DoDEA diploma, nor participate (walk) in a DoDEA commencement ceremony.
Students who enroll in DoDEA schools are required to meet specific immunization requirements (DoDEA Regulation 2942.01, "School Health Services," September 2, 2016). These requirements represent the minimum and do not necessarily reflect the optimal immunization status for a student. Acceptable forms of official proof of immunization status may include, but are not limited to:
- Yellow international immunization records;
- State agency-generated immunization certificates;
- School-generated immunization certificates; and
- Physician, clinic or hospital-generated immunization records.
It is the responsibility of the sponsor/parent/guardian to provide their child's most current immunization record at the time of enrollment and when immunizations are updated. Parents of incoming students are allowed up to 30 days from the date of enrollment to obtain documentation of any missing required immunization(s). If the missing required immunization is a series, then the first dose of the series must be administered, and documentation must be provided to the school within the required 30 days. Students who have immunization(s) due during the school year will have 10 calendar days from the due date to receive their vaccine(s) and to submit documentation to the school. The due date of a vaccine is on the date the student reaches the minimum recommended age for vaccine administration.
STUDENTS IN NON-COMPLIANCE AFTER 10 DAYS MAY BE DISENROLLED UNTIL PROOF OF COMPLIANCE OR APPROVED EXEMPTION IS PROVIDED.
Report Card and Testing Information
At the beginning of each course or grade level, every DoDEA teacher shall make available information regarding grading policy and course requirements to parents and students. This information will be provided to parents and students by the end of the first month of the school year or by the end of the first month of the semester in the case of a semester course.
If any student demonstrates unsatisfactory progress or achievement, teachers must notify parents with enough time to correct the deficiency. Notification must occur as soon as unsatisfactory achievement is evident, and not later than the midpoint of the nine-week grading period.
Timely and accurate reporting of student progress shall be accomplished for students in grades 4–12, using the approved DoDEA Electronic Gradebook (EGB) System. All assignments (e.g., quizzes, tests, examinations, homework, speeches, etc.) that are used to assess and report student progress shall be promptly evaluated and/or graded, posted in the EGB, and returned to the student. The normal period of evaluation and posting should be no longer than ten calendar days from the day the assignment is collected, with reasonable exceptions for large projects. At a minimum, one assignment or grade should be recorded per week in the EGB System. To create an account and access the EGB System, please visit the DoDEA SIS Gradebook for instructions.
A traditional letter grading system will be used for grades 4–12 report marks.
90 – 100
Excellent: Outstanding level of performance
80 – 89
Good: High level of performance
70 – 79
Average: Acceptable level of performance
60 – 69
Poor: Minimal level of performance
0 – 59
Failing (No credit awarded)
For purposes of calculating a student’s high school GPA, the following scales shall be used:
|Unweighted Standard Scale||Weighted Advanced Placement (with AP exam)|
In accordance with the policies and procedures in DoDEA Regulation 1377.01, “Student Progress Reports,” September 4, 2018, it is DoDEA policy to issue a progress report every 9 weeks for any student present or enrolled for at least 20 instructional days or more in a marking period. Any written comments by teachers on progress reports should be stated objectively. The comments should be based on evidence about the student and should not represent opinions that cannot be supported by evidence
Achievement codes will be given at the end of the second, third and fourth marking periods for students in grades K–1. Grades will be given at the end of each of the four marking periods for students in grades 2–12. Achievement codes or grades on report cards will be determined by the degree to which students are achieving established program objectives or standards. For students in grades K–12, unsatisfactory achievement of program objectives or standards will be reported to parents during each marking period as soon as evident, but no later than the midpoint of the nine-week grading period to allow sufficient time for a student to correct the problem.
All DoDEA schools should encourage parents to meet with their child’s teacher for parent-teacher conferences. Parent-Teacher Conferences (dodea.edu/parents/conferences.cfm) allow parents the opportunity to ask questions about their child’s classes or progress in school. Parent-teacher conferences are also a great way to discuss how parents and teachers can work together to help students perform at their best in school. Parents/sponsors who plan to attend a parent-teacher conference scheduled by the teacher or school should inquire on the amount of time allowed before attending. If more time is required or the parent/sponsor wants to meet with the teacher again, the parent/sponsor should notify the teacher at the end of the conference. Please contact your child’s school for details regarding scheduling of parent-teacher conferences. DoDEA encourages all communication to take place through official school email accounts.
All DoDEA students in grades or programs identified for system-wide assessments shall be included in the DoDEA Comprehensive Assessment System (DoDEA-CAS), in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 1301.01, “Comprehensive Assessment System,” October 4, 2018. Students who have been identified as having disabilities or are ELLs shall participate using either the standard DoDEA assessments, with or without reasonable and appropriate accommodations, or through the use of the appropriate DoDEA alternate assessment, as per their Individual Education Plan (IEP), 504 Accommodation Plan, or English Learner Plan. All assessments selected for use within DoDEA shall:
- Align to clearly defined standards and objectives within the content domain being tested
- Be valid and reliable and controlled for bias
- Be one of several criteria used for making major decisions about student performance/achievement.
The results of each assessment shall be used as one component of the DoDEA-CAS for major decisions concerning a student’s future learning activities within the classroom setting.
For more information about the DoDEA-CAS, including the testing administration matrix, test descriptions, and testing calendar, please refer to: dodea.edu/assessments.
Homework is one means of developing the necessary skills of independent study and learning for present and future use. Homework promotes organizational skills and a sense of responsibility. It is also an opportunity for parents to become actively involved in their child's learning and for each child to reach his/her full potential. Through homework, students are given the opportunity to complete additional practice and application to strengthen skills; to expand and/or enrich regular class work; to complete work started in class; to make up work due to absence.
Teachers may assign homework as determined necessary to enhance student learning that is taking place in the classroom. Each child works at his/her own pace, so the amount of time needed to complete specific assignments may vary. The types of homework may vary to enable the student to have experience/practice in reading, writing, computational skills, and other subject areas during a given week. Frequency and length of assignments will be grade appropriate. At a very minimum, a child should read or be read to 15-20 minutes nightly
Students are responsible for ensuring that they:
- Understand the homework assignment.
- Take home all books and materials needed to do the assignment.
- Complete the homework in the assigned format and turn it in when it is due.
- Participate actively and cooperatively in the evaluation of their homework when appropriate.
Parents are encouraged to provide an environment which fosters the development of life-long learning skills.
- A quiet place to work.
- Necessary materials.
- A regular study time.
- Review the student planner.
- Encouragement and praise.
For grades K–3, achievement codes rather than letter grades will be used.
Consistently Displayed: Student exhibits the skills/behaviors independently with minimal teacher support.
Developing/Progressing: Student exhibits the skills/behaviors with teacher guidance and support.
Not Yet Evident: Student exhibits the skills/behaviors in isolated or rare instances, or with a great deal of support. The performance is inconsistent and below the normal range of expectancy for a student at this grade level.
Not addressed: The knowledge, skills, and practices embodied in the grade-level standards were neither taught nor evaluated this marking period.
The purpose of special education is to enable students to successfully develop to their fullest potential by providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).Special education is specially designed instruction, support and services provided to students with an identified disability who require an instructional program that meets their unique learning needs. The purpose of special education is to enable these students to successfully develop to their fullest potential by providing FAPE in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as implemented by DoD Manual (DoDM) 1342.12, “Implementation of Early Intervention and Special Education Services to Eligible DoD Dependents,” June 17, 2015.
In DoDEA, special education and related services are available to eligible students, ages 3 through 21 years of age. To be eligible for special education:
- The child must have an identified disability;
- The disability must adversely (negatively) affect the child's educational performance; and
- The child must require a specially designed instructional program.
If found eligible for special education and related services, DoDEA students are provided FAPE in accordance with an IEP, with services delivered in the least restrictive environment and with procedural safeguards, in accordance with the requirements of DoDM 1342.12.
Please contact your child’s school to discuss your concerns if you suspect your child may have a disability and be in need of special education services. The Case Study Committee chairperson will provide you with specific details relating to the evaluation process and can explain eligibility requirements further.
Apart from special education, a student with a disability, or who has a record of a disability, or is regarded as having a disability, shall not be excluded from participating in, or be denied the benefits of, any DoDEA education program or activity or be subjected to discrimination based solely on a disability. In accordance with DoDEA Administrative instruction 2500.14, “Nondiscrimination and 504 Accommodation on the Basis of Disability in DoDEA Conducted Education Programs and Activities,” April 29, 2009, as amended, students with disabilities shall be provided a FAPE and shall participate with students without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate to ensure equal access to educational opportunities. This means that a student with a disability that does not require specialized instruction may be eligible for accommodations to ensure participation in school programs and activities. Please contact your child’s school for specific details.
Reporting Abuse Neglect Suicide Risk and Threats
In accordance with the policy in DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1356.01, “Family Advocacy Program Process for Reporting Incidents of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect,” November 5, 2018, all DoDEA personnel will participate in the identification and reporting of incidents of child abuse and neglect. School personnel shall report all suspected or alleged child abuse to the local Family and Advocacy Program (FAP) office, child welfare service agency (if available) and their immediate supervisor within 24 hours. All employees shall cooperate with the FAP process. The DoD FAP provides for the identification, treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect.
In order to prevent violence, suicide and other harmful acts among children and adults in schools, the need for reliable ways to identify persons who may require assistance is a critical step. All DoDEA employees must notify the DoDEA school administrator when a DoDEA student has made any statement or engaged in actions that may indicate threat of harm towards self or others.
Any indication of student suicidality must be immediately reported to the DoDEA school administrator. The DoDEA student who exhibits suicidal ideation or behavior, or who makes a statement or engages in actions that may indicate self-harm or suicidal thoughts, shall be immediately assessed to obtain specific information to determine the risk level. The results of that assessment shall be communicated to the DoDEA school administrator and documented. Regardless of the level of risk reported, in all cases, a DoDEA school administrator or designated member of the Case Management Team must directly notify parents or legal guardians of the concern. For additional assistance in this process, please contact the district school psychology instructional systems specialist.
If a parent or legal guardian disagrees with school recommendations for evaluation of a student’s dangerousness to self, or refuses to take parental or legal guardian responsibility for the safety of their child, the DoDEA school administrator must inform the parent or legal guardian that DoDEA policy requires that school personnel protect the safety and health of the students. Parent or legal guardian refusal to address identified medical needs may necessitate a report to the local FAP office and local Child Protective services if neglect is suspected, as outlined in DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1356.01.
When a DoDEA student makes an explicit or implicit threat, or if the student’s behavior indicates that a threat is serious and reasonably likely to be acted upon, the DoDEA school administrator shall take action based on the level of the threat. Certain types of serious threats require immediate notification to local law enforcement entities without regard to the level of threat yielded. The DoDEA school administrator shall immediately report the following student behaviors to the local law enforcement entity:
- A threat that involves stalking of any person on a school bus, on school property or at a school-sponsored activity;
- Threats to bomb, burn, kill, or harm school personnel; and
- Threats of death or bodily injury to a person or members of his or her family or threats to commit serious bodily harm to persons on school property.
The DoDEA school administrator shall also immediately report any act that may constitute a criminal offense to the parents or legal guardians of minor students involved in the act and shall report that the incident has been reported to local law enforcement, as required by Federal, state, or local law. The DoDEA school administrator may report other threats to the local law enforcement entity, as necessary and appropriate. The DoDEA school administrator shall inform the parents or legal guardians that they may contact local law enforcement for further information, as necessary and appropriate.
School Counseling Services
DoDEA school counselors provide comprehensive counseling programs to all students in grades K–12, in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 2946.1, “School Counseling Services,” July 13, 2009, and DoDEA Manual 2946.2, “Department of Defense Education Activity School Counseling Services,” January 1, 2006. Counseling programs are designed to foster a foundation for lifelong learning by removing barriers to students’ academic success. Early identification and intervention of students’ academic and social/emotional needs is essential in removing barriers to learning and promoting academic growth. School counselors provide direct and indirect student services and curricular activities to increase the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for students to achieve their potential academically, socially, emotionally, and physically for life, college, and career readiness.
Elementary school counseling programs are crucial in supporting students’ attitudes and personal views toward school, self, peers, and social groups. In elementary grades, school counseling programs support and provide education on prevention and intervention services, promoting positive academic skills, career awareness, and social-emotional development — skills students need to be competent and confident learners.
Secondary school counseling programs are designed to meet the rapidly changing needs of students in grades 6–12, while preparing them for high school and beyond. College and career exploration and planning are emphasized at the secondary level. As middle school students learn to manage more independence and responsibilities, school counseling programs are designed to connect learning to practical application in life and work, support personal/social skills, and foster effective learning/study skills.
High school counseling programs are designed to foster student preparation and readiness for successful college and career pathways after high school. All secondary students create and manage a four- to six-year plan with their counselor. The four- to six-year plan is managed in SchooLinks and is designed to teach students how to create and attain their graduation, college, and career goals, while taking into account their interests, aptitudes, and graduation requirements.
Please contact your school counselor for additional information regarding the school counseling program.
DoDEA school psychologists provide a range of services designed to support students’ learning, growth, and development. They are experts in student mental health and learning/behavior, and they partner with various stakeholders throughout the school and community to support students’ academic and emotional needs. School psychology programs are designed to foster safe, healthy and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between the school, home, and community. School psychologists aim to improve academic achievement, support diverse learners, promote positive behaviors and safe school climates, and strengthen school-family partnerships. Core functions of school psychologists include mental health interventions, behavior management, crisis intervention and response, assessment, and consultation and collaboration.
Please contact your school psychologist for additional information regarding the DoDEA School Psychology Program.
School Health Services
DoDEA School Health Services aims to optimize learning by fostering student wellness. The school nurse serves as the health service expert, providing health care to students/staff and implementing interventions that address both actual and potential health and safety conditions. The school nurse collaborates with the school administrator to promote the health and academic success of students and serves as the liaison between the school, community, and health care systems. This collaborative effort creates opportunities to build capacity for students' self-care, resilience, and learning.
The school nurse's responsibilities include:
- Providing leadership in promoting personal and environmental health and safety by managing communicable diseases, monitoring immunizations, and providing consultation and health-related education to students and staff to promote school health and academic success;
- Providing quality health care and intervening with actual and potential health problems through health screenings, health assessments, and nursing interventions, including the development of health care and emergency care plans to enable students to safely and fully participate in school;
- Providing case management services to direct care for students with chronic health conditions in order to ensure their safety and increase their access to the educational program; and
- Collaborating with school and community-based resources to reduce health-related barriers to student learning, improve access to health care and develop school-community partnerships to support academic achievement and student success.
As a general rule, the parent or sponsor will be notified by the school administrator or school nurse if a child has:
- Any illness or injury that causes concern or inability to participate in school activities;
- Eye, ear, or teeth injuries;
- Head injury;
- Second- or third-degree burns;
- Severe pain;
- Sprains or possible fractures;
- Temperature greater than or equal to 100 degrees Fahrenheit;
- Vomiting or diarrhea; and
- Wounds that may require stitches.
Do not send your child to school if he or she is ill. Staying home to get the proper rest, nutrition, and parental care is for your child's benefit as well as for the benefit of the other children in the school who may be unnecessarily exposed to a contagious illness. The following are examples of when a student should remain home:
- A temperature greater than or equal to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The student must be fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medication for 24 hours (a complete school day) before returning to school.
- Actively vomiting or has diarrhea.
- An illness which presents with contagious symptoms.
- Other symptoms interfering with learning or participation, such as abdominal pain; ear ache; itchy, painful eyes; light-sensitivity; or profuse exudate from the eyes necessitating frequent wiping.
- Severe uncontrolled coughing or wheezing, rapid or difficult breathing, and coughing lasting longer than five to seven days.
- Episodes of vomiting in the past 24 hours. A student must remain home until vomiting resolves (no further vomiting for 24 hours).
- Frequent, loose or watery stools compared to the student's normal pattern; not caused by diet or medication. A student must remain home if a) he/she looks or acts ill; b) he/she has diarrhea with temperature elevation of 100°F or greater; and c) he/she has diarrhea and vomiting.
- Blister-like lesions (impetigo, including streptococci, staphylococcus, and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infections) that develop into pustules with weeping and crusting. A student must be medically evaluated, remain home for at least 24 hours after initiation of medical treatment and remain home until determined not infectious by a medical provider. Lesions must be covered for school attendance.
- Ringworm lesions must be covered for school attendance.
- Thick discharge from eye, necessitating frequent wiping and may be accompanied by pain, redness to the white part of the eye and light sensitivity. Student must remain at home until symptoms clear or completion of 24 hours of medical provider-prescribed ophthalmic treatment.
- Measles, mumps, rubella, (German measles), chicken pox, pertussis (whooping cough), and influenza. A student must remain home until determined to be not infectious by a medical care provider.
If your child becomes ill during the school day, the school nurse will contact you to pick up your child. To return to school, your child must be without symptoms for 24 hours and fever-free without fever-reducing medications for at least 24 hours.
When medication must be administered during the school day, it must be delivered to the school nurse in the original container and properly labeled by the pharmacy or primary care manager/provider, stating the name of the student, the medication, dosage, route, time of administration, and current date of issue. Contact the school nurse for the required Medication Consent Form. This form must be filled out and signed by the prescribing state licensed medical provider and also signed by the sponsor/parent/guardian. The sponsor/parent/guardian needs to bring the signed form and the medication to the school nurse. If the school nurse is not present, the signed form and medication must be presented to the school principal, acting principal, or health aide for safekeeping. It is acceptable for parents to bring in self-purchased over-the-counter medication to be kept in the health office for their child's use at school, but the medication must be accompanied by a physician's prescription and signed parental consent form.
In some rare situations, students are allowed to keep their rescue or emergency medicine with them while in school or at school-related activities. The prescribing primary care manager must provide a written statement that the student must be in control of his or her medication due to a life-threatening medical condition. The parent must provide written consent for the medication to stay with the student. See the school nurse to obtain the appropriate form for medications to be administered during school hours or for a student to self-carry emergency medication.
Please inform the school nurse of any medical condition and health concerns your child may have to better serve and protect your child's welfare in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 2720.1, "First Aid and Emergency Care," September 8, 2003.
Food allergies (including peanut/nut allergies) are a significant health concern within the school environment. Allergic reactions can range from mild symptoms to life-threatening reactions. Ensuring a safe environment for all students and visitors is a primary focus for the school administration and staff. In an attempt to raise awareness and limit unnecessary exposure during school hours, the following steps have been implemented to address food allergies:
- Notify the school nurse of ANY allergy to food, drug, insects, etc., that your child may have;
- Provide the school nurse with medication/doctor's orders/emergency care plan/parent permission form;
- Teach children at home about their food allergies and the importance of not sharing any food with others in school or elsewhere; and
- Notify the classroom teacher about your child's allergens and check with the classroom teacher prior to bringing in any food for classroom celebrations.
School personnel will administer first aid as efficiently as possible to the dependent student when needed to treat minor injury or illness, in accordance with the DoDEA Regulation 2720.1, "First Aid and Emergency Care," September 8, 2003. In accordance with Section 6 of DoDEA Regulation 2720.1, should a student sustain a more serious illness or injury, the school nurse will make a judgment call based on nursing assessment to determine if the student needs emergency medical care requiring a response by an emergency medical team (EMT) and possible transportation for treatment at a health care facility. If a student needs emergency medical care requiring an ambulance, the school will make reasonable efforts to contact the sponsor/parent/guardian or emergency contact. In the absence of a parent, a school administrator or designee may accompany the student to the medical treatment facility.
The EMT, health care facility, or attending health care provider(s) may be non-U.S. or non-military facilities or providers, especially if the dependent student is located overseas. Treatment decisions will be made exclusively by the health care provider(s) if the nature of the dependent student's injury or illness requires immediate health care, in accordance with their standard operating procedures regarding the delivery of emergency care for the dependent student.
It is very important for the school to have a current address, home phone number, mobile phone numbers, duty phone number, and the phone number of another adult to act as emergency contact in case parents cannot be contacted.
Contact your school nurse for additional information regarding the DoDEA School Health Services Program.
The DoDEA School Meals Program (SMP) supports academic achievement by providing nutritious meals to your students through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.
- The School Meals Program is a budget friendly and convenient program for parents that can save time, energy, money and reduce stress.
- Households must reapply every school year for free and reduced-price meals, beginning no earlier than July 1st.
- All meals must be paid for in advance or at the point of sale.
- A best practice is to fund your child’s account every pay day through the next pay day.
Visit your school's School Meals Program page for more information and the latest school menus.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Students are expected to actively participate in the educational process, including school-sponsored activities in and outside of the classroom, as deemed appropriate. Students should bring to the attention of a school employee behavior or activities that may endanger the safety and well-being of themselves or others.
- Comply with policies, procedures and standards for student behavior;
- Refrain from conduct or behavior that is disruptive;
- Respect the rights and human dignity of other students and all school employees;
- Attend school and classes regularly, and punctually and make a conscious effort in all classes;
- Participate in and take advantage of educational opportunities provided by DoDEA schools;
- Assist school employees in operating a safe school by abiding by the laws of the United States, the local military installation, the host nation, and DoDEA policies, regulations, and procedures;
- Properly maintain school property and use school property and equipment for educationally authorized purposes;
- Promptly bring to the attention of a DoDEA school employee behavior or activities that may endanger the safety and well-being of themselves or others and to cooperate with school threat assessment procedures; and
- Promptly report to the DoDEA School Principal, or another DoDEA school employee, incidents or complaints, including, but not limited to, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or non-sexual harassment, based on race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation or status as a sponsor, parent or legal guardian; intimidation, hazing, bullying (including cyberbullying), or retaliation against persons who report or participate in the investigation of such incidents herein.
No DoDEA student shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, be subjected to, or be permitted to subject others to discrimination in any DoDEA-conducted education and training programs and activities on the basis of their race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, or status as a parent, which is commonly known as their protected class, in accordance with DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1443.01, Volume 1, “Executive Order 13160 Administration: Compliance Requirements and Appeals,” February 22, 2019.
Although DoDEA cannot guarantee every student a learning and activities environment free from annoyances, petty slights, or minor offenses, DoDEA is committed to creating and maintaining an environment free from unlawful discrimination and will not tolerate incidents of discriminatory unequal treatment, hostile environments (including those created by sexual assault and sexual harassment [discussed in greater detail below under “Student Conduct and Discipline”]), or impermissible disparate impact based on a student’s protected class, or retaliation against anyone because they have made a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation related to an allegation of discrimination.
Students are responsible for their own scholastic integrity by neither giving nor receiving assistance (written, oral, or otherwise) on tests, examinations, final evaluations, or class assignments that are to be graded as the work of an individual. Any suspicion or evidence of forging, cheating, or plagiarizing the work of others will be investigated. Any student who is in violation will receive no credit. There will be an appropriate consequence for the particular assignment, and a letter will be sent home to be signed by the parents and returned to the teacher. A copy of the letter will be filed in the student’s discipline folder for the period of the school year.
According to Section 3.6 of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1353.01, “Student Rights and Responsibilities,” April 6, 2021, students may observe religious practice in school, such as celebration of religious holidays, engaging in private prayer, saying grace before meals, and wearing yarmulkes and head scarves, as long as the practice does not violate student standards or cause substantial disruption. Students may engage in independent religious discussion to the same degree that they may engage in other types of permissible speech. The freedom to engage in religious expression in school does not include the right to compel other students to participate in religious practices or discussion. Students may express their beliefs about religion in the form of homework, artwork, presentations, and other written and oral assignments, free from discrimination by school faculty or other students based on the religious content of their submissions. Such assignments and submissions shall be assessed by curricular standards or other relevant instructional criteria in accordance with Section 4 of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1353.01.
In accordance with DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1443.01, Volume 1, “Executive Order 13160 Administration: Compliance Requirements and Appeals,” February 22, 2019, all high school students, and middle school students in some cases, are provided the opportunity to participate in the Interscholastic Athletic Program without unlawful discrimination based on their race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, status as a parent, or other factors unrelated to that participation. There are equitable uniform eligibility policies for participants in all athletic programs. Please refer to your regional Interscholastic Athletics Program policy for details relating to your school. For DoDEA-Americas schools, please consult your state of residence athletic policies and the school athletic director for specifics regarding state regulations and requirements.
Students MUST wear:
- Tops with sleeves (sleeveless tops/dresses are permitted for school sponsored formal events such as prom)
- Solid clothing (not transparent or translucent) that fully covers the top and bottom from armpit to mid-thigh
- Shoes (shoes must be safe for the school environment)
- Bedroom slippers shall not be worn, except for school activities approved by the principal
- Open toe shoes with a strap across the heel are allowed
Students CANNOT wear clothing with:
- Language or images promoting violence
- Language or images that depict, promote, or advocate the illegal use or sale of drugs, alcohol or tobacco products; violent conduct; curse words; pornography; that contain threats or expressions which are violent, discriminatory, lewd or obscene; or that advocate or promote any other illegal item or activity or the use of same
- Derogatory speech/imagery targeting groups based on race/color, ethnicity/national origin, sex/gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or any other characteristic protected by law
- Headgear that obscures the face (except as a religious observance or health purpose); clothing items with hoods attached can be worn but must not cover the head
* Teachers/courses can require certain attire as part of the curriculum (for example: physical education, culinary) that may include specific dress
* DoDEA issued athletic uniforms and athletic practice attire outside of the DoDEA school dress code is permitted when worn by participants during athletic practices and sports events
General, non-individualized searches of school property (e.g., desks, lockers, storage spaces, and school computers, including data and internet access records), may be conducted by the principal on a periodic or random basis. The school affords students and parents adequate prior notice of its general search policy through the issuance referenced above and this handbook. The search shall be conducted by the principal in the presence of another school employee who will serve as a witness. General searches of school spaces and property may be conducted in cooperation with the appropriate installation authorities or military police, including dogs trained to detect the presence of contraband. Evidence found during a general search, or a dog sniff, that alerts authorities to potential contraband may provide reasonable suspicion sufficient to conduct an individualized search.
Individualized, reasonable suspicion or targeted searches may be conducted by a principal of a student’s personal belongings (including bags, personalized electronic mobile devices (PEMD) and the interior of student vehicles on school property) and in a student’s desk, locker, storage space, school computer, or other property of the school when there is reasonable suspicion to believe the student possesses a prohibited item. Targeted searches may be conducted whenever the student is involved in a school-sponsored or school-supervised activity or event so long as there is reasonable suspicion to conduct the search.
A targeted search of a student’s person shall only be conducted under exigent circumstances. When possible, a targeted search of the student’s person shall be conducted in a private room, or non-public area, and by a school official of the same sex as the student. Reasonable efforts to locate the student and to notify the parent shall be made prior to a targeted search or as soon as is practicable under the circumstances.
DoDEA has implemented action-based standard response protocols (i.e., hold, secure, lockdown, evacuate, and shelter) that can be performed during any emergency incident.
Hold is used when there is a need to remain in a classroom or area, even during class transitioning. Use the mass notification system or public address system, stating: “Hold! In your room or area.” This can be used for such events as a medical emergency, unruly students in the hallway, or whenever an incident requires all students and staff to remain in their current positions. Who conducts this task will vary based upon where in the school the incident is taking place.
Secure is directed when there is a threat or hazard outside of the school. Use the mass notification system or public address system, stating: “Secure! Get inside, lock all outside doors.” Who conducts this task will vary based upon where in the school the incident is taking place.
Lockdown is called when there is a threat or hazard inside the school building. Use the mass notification system or public address system, stating: “Lockdown! Locks, Lights, Out of Sight!” Who conducts this task will vary based upon where in the school the incident is taking place.;
however, all school staff shall have the ability to call for a lockdown. Contact local emergency services, or 911, as appropriate.
An Evacuation is called when there is a need to move students from one facility to another. The action will vary based upon the type of evacuation. Other directions may be invoked during an evacuation, and student and staff should be prepared to follow specific instructions given by staff or first responders.
Shelter is called when the need for personal protection is necessary. Hazards that could generate the need to Shelter include tornado, earthquake, tsunami, and a hazardous materials incident. Use the mass notification system or public address system, stating: “Shelter [identifying the hazard]!” This command is typically called by the DoDEA designated official but may be called by st
udents, teachers or first responders.
The Standard Response Protocols are incorporated into the school’s Emergency Action Plan. For more information on the Standard Response Protocols and how they apply within DoDEA, refer to DoDEA Administrative Instruction 5205.02, Volume 6, “DoDEA Force Protection Program: Standard Response Protocols,” 27 June 2023.-
Student Conduct and Discipline
Management of student behavior is a responsibility shared by students, sponsors/parents/guardians, teachers, and the military command and school communities in general, in accordance with DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1353.01, “Student Rights and Responsibilities,” April 6, 2021. Student behavioral management consists of teaching and reinforcing positive student attitudes and behaviors. Students shall treat teachers, administrators, and other school staff with courtesy, fairness, and respect; and teachers, administrators, and other school staff shall treat students with courtesy, fairness, and respect. All students will be disciplined in a fair and appropriate manner. School administrators shall operate and maintain a safe school environment that is conducive to learning. School administration will ensure prompt investigation and response to incidents or complaints involving students made by students, parents, teachers, or DoDEA staff members.
In accordance with the policy stated in DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1347.01, “Student Disciplinary Rules and Procedures,” April 7, 2021, discipline shall be progressively and fairly administered. Disciplinary actions include, but are not limited to, verbal reprimands, conferences, detention, time-out, alternative in-school placements, school service programs, community service and counseling programs. Other behavior management techniques will be considered prior to resorting to more formal disciplinary actions that remove a student from school for a suspension (short or long term). Long-term suspension or expulsion following a first offense may be considered when a student poses an immediate threat to his or her safety or the safety of others (e.g., offenses involving firearms or other weapons, fighting or violence, or the possession, use, or sale of drugs). Additional rules and procedures can be reviewed in DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1347.01.
Some items prohibited at school include, but are not limited to the following:
- Toys and electronic games
- cell phones or other portable communication devices
- iPods or MP3 players
- skateboards, scooters, roller blades, roller skates, wheelies or skate shoes
- stink bombs
- chewing gum or betel nut
- cigarette lighters and matches
- tobacco products; e.g., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, smokeless tobacco, snuff
- weapons and/or ammo (real or pretend)
- laser light pointers
DoDEA does not allow any form of sexual harassment, sexual assault, problematic sexual behavior in children and youth (PSB-CY) and other related abusive misconduct of, or by, employees, students, or anyone participating in DoDEA-conducted/sponsored education, training programs, and activities, committed both on and off DoDEA premises.
All DoDEA students are responsible for not committing acts of sexual harassment, sexual assault, PSB-CY, and other related abusive misconduct, in accordance with DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1443.02, “Prohibited Sexual, Sex-Based, and Other Related Abusive Misconduct Reporting and Response,” February 21, 2019 (DoDEA AI 1443.02, and for cooperating with any investigations and resolution of complaints made in accordance with this Issuance. Students who violate this policy are subject to discipline in accordance with DoDEA Administrative Instruction, “Student Disciplinary Rules and Procedures,” April 7, 2021.
The right to be free from other related abusive misconduct includes physical and/or emotional misconduct that does not qualify as sexual assault or sexual harassment, but that is still intended to make a student feel pressured, uncomfortable, physically threatened, in pain, embarrassed, or offended. It also includes the right to be free from an adult, or another student, trying to exploit their position of authority or influence over a student to force or manipulate them into an inappropriate personal and/or sexual relationship, even if the student does not think it is harmful. DoDEA does not recognize sexual or romantic interactions between any student and a DoDEA employee or volunteer to ever be consensual, even if the student is of the lawful age of consent.
Students who are experiencing sexual assault, sexual harassment, PSB-CY, or other related abusive misconduct should report it, in accordance with Sections 4 and 5 of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1443.02, “Prohibited Sexual, Sex-Based, and Other Related Abusive Misconduct Reporting and Response,” February 21, 2019.
It is extremely important that a student not suffer in silence or be allowed to be exploited or manipulated into an inappropriate relationship. If such is happening to a student personally, or to someone they know, the student should let an adult know about it right away. The student may tell someone he/she feels comfortable with and trusts, such as their parent, teacher, nurse, or coach, or go directly to the school principal or program director, at any time. When a DoDEA employee or volunteer becomes aware of a violation of this DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1443.02, they are required to report it to their school principal or program director, with the possible exception of certain disclosures made during confidential communications not otherwise subject to mandatory reporting requirements in accordance with Issuance.
Students may visit DoDEA’s Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention Web page (dodea.edu/sexualharassment) to learn more.
In the wake of school violence throughout the world, it is important to analyze the causes of violence and implement preventive measures to assure that every student and adult will feel secure in the school environment. DoDEA implemented a system-wide Bully Prevention program as a part of the Safe Schools and Character Education program.
Bullying is defined as a means to have power over another and it takes many forms: physical, verbal, and indirect such as gossip and isolation. Bullying leaves long-lasting scars for its victims. Bullies have a higher incidence of antisocial behavior, domestic violence and crime as adults. Society pays a heavy toll for tolerating bullying behavior and bullies.
In DoDEA schools and community, bullying will not go unchallenged and will not be tolerated. All students, staff members, parents and the community play vital roles to ensure our children are not bullied, do not act as bullies, and will not allow others to bully. Our schools have a moral obligation to provide our students and the school community with the proper information, prevention strategies, and defenses to create a safe, accepting and caring environment for all.
Riding school buses is a privilege that may be suspended or revoked if a student does not behave in a safe and proper manner in accordance with DoDEA behavior expectations, which is in accordance with Section 7 of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 1347.01, “Student Disciplinary Rules and Procedures,” April 7, 2021.
Use of personal social media between parents/teachers/students is discouraged. The only acceptable form of social media communication between parents/teachers/students is through official school social media.
Each student, together with the student’s parent or guardian (if applicable), shall acknowledge and sign Form 700, “Use of DoDEA Internet and Use of Information Technology Resources,” before he or she is assigned a user account. In accordance with Enclosure 4 of DoDEA Administrative Instruction 6600.01, “Computer Access and Internet Policy,” February 16, 2010, the following are required of all students:
- Students shall use DoDEA information technology (IT) resources, including computers, electronic mail, and internet access, only in support of education and for research consistent with the educational objectives of DoDEA;
- Students shall respect and adhere to all of the rules governing access to, and use of, DoDEA’s IT resources;
- Students shall be polite in all electronic communication;
- Students shall use courteous and respectful language and/or images in their messages to others;
- Students shall not swear, use vulgarities, or use harsh, abusive, sexual, or disrespectful language and/or images;
- Students who misuse DoDEA IT resources are subject to disciplinary measures; and
- Students’ accounts will be deactivated upon transition out of a DoDEA school.
The signed agreement (Form 700) is to be retained in the administrative office at the student’s school for the duration of the student’s enrollment. A copy will be provided to the student and, if applicable, the student’s parent or guardian.
Student transportation is defined as the transportation of students from their assigned bus stop to school at the beginning of their school day, during the mid-day and for return to their assigned bus stop at the end of the normal scheduled school day. DoDEA principals are responsible for monitoring student loading/unloading zones when students are coming and going from school sites, including administering discipline. A school bus or any device operating to provide student transportation will function as an extension of the school. The walking distance for students in grade 6 and below should not exceed one mile from the student’s primary residence to the school or designated bus stop. Students in grades 7–12 may walk up to 1.5 miles from their primary residence to the school or designated bus stop. These distances may be slightly expanded or contracted to conform to natural boundaries such as housing areas or neighborhoods. In locations having middle schools, which include grade 6 (i.e., grades 6–8), the walking distance criteria shall be the same as the criteria for grades 7–12.
Transportation is not authorized to take students to their homes or to eating facilities for their mid-day meal. No other transportation between the assigned bus stop and the school will be charged to commuting transportation unless stated in a special education student’s IEP and/or required by Section 504 guidelines. “Curb-to-curb” only applies to students with disabilities who require such service as documented in the student’s IEP. DoDEA District Superintendents, in coordination with the District Logistics Chief and the supporting military installation commanders, will establish a commuting area to determine eligibility for transportation of dependent students.
Per DoDEA AI 1347.01 and 4500.02:
Riding school buses is a PRIVILEGE that may be suspended or revoked if a student does not behave in a safe and proper manner. The time students spend going to and from school is an extension of their school day. School buses are an extension of the school campus. As such, principals are equally as responsible for discipline on school buses as they are on school campuses. Principals may take disciplinary action for school bus misconduct consistent with Attachment 2 or may process them in accordance with procedures available for other school discipline. Nothing in this handbook precludes the principal from exercising appropriate discipline, including suspending the student from school or from school related activities, for misconduct on school buses.
All students are expected to adhere to the bus rider rules outlined below and throughout this Student Transportation Handbook.
It is recognized that cell phones have become a parent's tool to help to monitor their children's whereabouts. During the school day student's cell phones should be in silent or manner mode. Interruption of classroom routines due to cell phone use could result in the phone being brought to the office for a parent to pick up. This includes students making outgoing calls, playing games, sending texts. Should a student need to contact a parent the school has phones for student use.