posted July 10, 2020

FEA applauds DoDEA's decision to delay the opening of schools in the Southeastern United States. The increased infection rate of COVID-19 in that part of the country, along with the continued uncertainties about having adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other protective measures in place would have made reopening these schools on schedule an unnecessary risk to students and staff.

DoDEA, in the information it sent to the Association, said the reason for delaying the openings was twofold:
"1) the shifts in the SY 2020/21 school calendars enable the schools to better meet the demands of returning to brick and mortar school operations in a persistent COVID-19 pandemic; and
2) the shifts better align the DoDEA school openings with similar delayed- opening decisions by the adjoining local school districts."

Furthermore, the information from DoDEA stated the length of the school year for the delayed school districts would not be shortened due to the delay.

In addition, management emphasized that, at all locations, DoDEA intends to return to brick-and-mortar operations with a full-time virtual option.

Wednesday evening (Eastern Time), management sent notice to the Association that it intended to begin offering a full-time virtual school option for all families and proposed timelines and practices for allowing educators to apply for the virtual schools, determining who will be assigned to those virtual schools, etc.

Of course, it remains the position of the Association that any changes to working conditions must be bargained with FEA and FEA-Stateside Region, as per terms of the legally valid contracts for Overseas and Stateside members, respectively.

The delayed openings announced by DoDEA Friday affect the bases listed below. At this time, no other delays have been announced for other locations. The Association will continue to raise concerns and press for answers from management to safeguard the health and safety of our members, their students and the military families served by our schools.

Summary of school calendar shifts for Americas Southeast District Schools:

1. Ft Campbell Schools - shift start date from AUG 3 to AUG 24 2020.
2. Ft Knox Schools - shift start date from AUG 3 to AUG 24 2020.
3. Ft Benning Schools - shift start date from AUG 10 to AUG 17 2020.
4. Ft Rucker Schools - shift start date from AUG 10 to AUG 24 2020.
5. Maxwell AFB School - shift start date from AUG 10 to AUG 24 2020.
6. Ft Stewart Schools - shift start date from AUG 3 to AUG 17 2020.
7. Ft Jackson Schools - shift start date from AUG 18 to AUG 24 2020.
8. Laurel Bay Schools - shift start date from AUG 17 to AUG 24 2020.