DoDEA Schools

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Any of you active duty types have your kids in DoD schools? They are currently looking to hire assistant principals, and I'm thinking of applying. What are the schools like? Do they do the same NCLB/bureaucratic stuff that normal state schools do, or do they have some more autonomy? Do the high schools have athletic programs? Is their curriculum rigorous? Any info you could provide would be very helpful.

Thanks in advance.

Greutzmachers -- Goin' commando!
Endo Ag
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I don't know a lot. They are supposed to be very good overseas. There are not a ton of DOD schools left stateside. Some east coast and I know Ft. Sam Houston. I read about a consolidation of districts a little while ago that would have parts of GA, SC and FL under one superintendent.

My wife worked at Ft. Sam Houston Alternative school for a while and had good things to say for it.

They do have athletics...Shaq graduated from Cole HS in San Antonio, I think.
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I worked for a DODEA school as a teacher for four years (2000-2004) in Germany. The overseas schools are DoDDS and the stateside schools are DDESS. I was a 'local hire' which means my husband was assigned locally to a military base, and I was hired once I arrived in country. They try to do this to cut cost . . . if hired stateside you get a very nice housing allowance . . . and to hire spouses of military. I got lucky and arrived at a time where the population in the area was growing . . . it was much easier to hire someone there versus someone in the states.

I really loved working at the school as a teacher and it was the BEST job I have ever had. I have found it difficult to make the transition to a local school even though I love my job. I have tried to get back into the system, but it has been difficult to get hired as a stateside hire now. I really miss the working environment and living abroad too.

There have been many school closures in Europe (where I was) so the jobs aren’t as many as they once were. I know some teachers still in the system that have tried for admin jobs and haven’t been able to get one. I think if you don’t limit where you want to go and say you will go anywhere you might have a better chance. Once in the system, you can always put in for a transfer. I thought they tried to admin in the same job for at least 3-5 years so that might limit the time frame.

The staff was so diverse and from all over the states. We had a real bond yet were all so different. It was a great experience for me and was very sad to leave. It was a decision that I had to make at the time and honestly have a little regret but no real choice at the time.

I don't know much about the stateside school except there are very few as most are now in local systems. At one point I remember West Point being on the list but that was six years ago when I left the system.

Good Luck . . . if you have questions feel free to ask.
Say Chowdah
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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).]
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my kids have gone to stateside DOD schools and i have found they reflect the pulic school system the post is near; i have middle and elementary school kids; however we have been stationed at the biggest posts and some smaller ones and none of them had highschools and the public schools they would have to go to if you live on post are HORRIBLE; on post schools definitly have a military mentatlity or keep the military sprirt, no questions asked for missed school days (spouse got back from a deployment, we took a trip, no biggie; we pcs'd and missed 10 days of school, no biggie; now they are in public off post schools and you miss one hour and you would think you murdered someone)also parents were required to attend conferences on post and were told by their commander if they didnt
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