posted August 18, 2020

DoDEA is not prepared to open schools safely and should heed calls for a fully remote opening of ALL its schools, while staffing issues for Virtual Schools and in-person learning are worked out.

It has become increasingly clear DoDEA does not have enough personnel on hand to properly staff its schools. By stretching resources too thin, DoDEA may end up placing students in overcrowded classrooms. This not only harms student learning but also presents serious health risks for those attending classes in-person. To do so will violate CDC guidelines to maintain six feet of social distancing in classrooms.

The staffing situation is just one of many risks FEA and FEA-Stateside Region have been raising with DoDEA as the Agency continues to push ahead with plans for in-person opening of schools at many locations. FEA and FEA-SR have repeatedly warned that other aspects of DoDEA's school reopening plans -- such as its expectation that teachers clean classrooms and the fact school buses will still operate at full capacity -- are not adequate to protect students and staff (and their families) from COVID.

Close to half of all DoDEA schools are now slated to open remotely due to the virus. As the virus continues its resurgence within the U.S. and abroad, it is very likely conditions will worsen at many of the bases still planning to open DoDEA schools in-person.

DoDEA is using an ill-conceived plan to rush toward a chaotic opening of schools. As a result, students and staff will unnecessarily be put at risk. The situation can easily be avoided by switching to a remote opening of all schools. Doing so would allow individual locations to ensure they have adequate staffing in place and that local health conditions do not present an unreasonable threat to health and safety.

To join our call for a safe, remote opening of schools to allow time for staffing and safety issues to be thoughtfully worked out, use the link below to demand action by Congress (federal employees should only use the link when they are off duty, off government property and not using government-provided computers or other equipment -- and they should not forward the information to anyone).

If you meet the above conditions, go to this page to call for a remote opening of DoDEA schools this year.