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The Department of Defense Education Activity — Strong Foundations for Military-Connected Children

With frequent moves for military families, finding the right school for your child is a crucial way to ease the transition. Department of Defense Education Activity, or DODEA, schools provide outstanding education for children of service members and Defense Department civilians, from pre-K through high school.

School liaisons can assist with your child’s school transition.

School liaisons are your primary point of contact for all school-related matters, especially a school transition. Let your school liaison help you and your family navigate school selection during this time of change.

If you’re considering a DODEA school for the first time or you’re wondering if it’s the right choice for your children, consider what these schools have to offer:

  • Teachers, administrators and staff are trained to recognize the needs of military-connected students and their challenges, including frequent moves, transitions and separations from parents.
  • DODEA schools are ranked well above the national average in standardized test scores.
  • The web-based GradeSpeed program allows you to email with your child’s teachers and check grades and attendance.
  • You can access your child’s academic records online.
  • Eligible high school students can take classes online with DODEA Virtual School, including during transitions to a new school, to support continuity of education.
  • Advanced Placement classes are offered either in person or online.

Where can you find DODEA schools?

There are currently 160 schools in 11 foreign countries, seven states, Guam and Puerto Rico. That’s a big area to cover, so the schools are grouped into three regions:

  • Americas
  • Pacific
  • Europe

Visit the DODEA website and use the “Find Your School” search tool to get a list of school districts in your region. Explore the search results to learn more about individual schools and check out details on school policies.

Is your child eligible to attend a DODEA school?

In the continental United States, students are eligible for tuition-free enrollment if they are:

  • In grades pre-K through 12
  • Dependent children of service members living in permanent housing on base
  • Children of federal government civilians living in permanent housing on base

Children of service members or federal government civilians living off base can be accepted if space and resources allow.

Outside the continental United States, students are eligible for tuition-free enrollment if they are:

  • In grades pre-K through 12
  • Command-sponsored children of service members
  • Command-sponsored children of DOD civilians

Other children may qualify on a tuition-paying basis if space is available:

  • Children of defense contractors whose contract allows for the education of dependent children in DOD schools
  • Children of non-DOD federal employees
  • Children of foreign national military members serving on the installation

To confirm whether your child qualifies for enrollment, visit the DODEA website for eligibility and enrollment information.

You’re overseas but nowhere near a DODEA school

In these cases, the DOD supports students through the Non-DOD Schools Program. Your options include:

  • Homeschool
  • Private school
  • Public school

You must register and receive approval from the Non-DOD Schools Program office. Find more information on the Non-DOD Schools Program page.

Contact your local school liaison to explore your children’s schooling options in these situations and to select a school at the international location. School liaisons are located at each installation and support children grades pre-K through 12, parents, and educators who serve military students. School liaisons provide a wide variety of services which includes addressing educational concerns, challenges and issues. School liaisons can assist with transition support such as school selection and transfer of credits. They can also connect you to the Exceptional Family Member Program and your school’s special education department, as well as help you navigate your new school district’s special education program.

Learn more about how you can help your child change schools as well as your children’s education options.

Military OneSource has your back to help you navigate these school choices. Military OneSource consultants are available 24/7/365 to help. Call 800-342-9647, set up a live chat or view overseas calling options to schedule a free and confidential education specialty consultation.

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