I graduated from a Dodds school in Panama.
I found the school to be very well organized with dedicated teachers and staff.
Yes we had athletics, but being in a foreign country limits the competition levels compared to what one may experience stateside.
One of the things that struck me, now that I have a child in school, was the emphasis that my school put on physical education compared to what my Daughter recieves. I had PE for 1 hour every day from JR High all the way through High School with a minimum of 3 years in High School (although I took it all 4 years). My daughter gets 1 hour a week (which I believe is an absolute crime against our fat kids).
Because my school was dependents of military families, these parents weren't about to tolerate fat kids or kids with discipline issues. The military folks with school age children were generally career Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Air Force and the majority of them were senior officers and senior enlisted personnel. They took their children's education seriously and were committed.
Another side benefit to this was that my experience is vastly different, in that there wasn't a huge disparity of economic levels that you find in many communities. It helped remove cliques and racism. Because the children are a product of their environment, they are raised in a very culturally diverse background. There was definately group dynamics (as there will be anywhere) but it wasn't necessarily divided by socio economic class, or race.
While I've been removed from HS many years now, I can't envision this changing based on the background culture that the military instills upon their parents from day one.
Also, my mom taught for Dodds for 4 years. She claims it was the best 4 years of her 30+ year teaching career.
[This message has been edited by Say Chowdah (edited 12/14/2010 9:48a).]