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The DODEA High School Experience

The DODEA High School Experience

DODEA is the Department of Defense Education Activity, civilian and military/government affiliated kids attend these schools for elementary, middle and high school. These schools are splayed all over the world in tons of different countries.

Throughout the world there are around 160 DODEA schools. Eleven foreign countries in the Pacific and Europe, 2 territories and 7 states in the US contain these schools. As it is already made clear DODEA, and public schools are not the same nor in particularly close relation.

Lakes high school is filled with both civilian students as well as military brats, quite a few of these students have lived in different countries and previously attended these schools.

One student who has attended both American and DODEA schools said…

“The people are definitely different in a DODEA school, meaning both students and teachers. The way they teach or interact with students as well. Moving from a DODEA school to a public school as a kid was weird to me since not everyone was military or knew how it was.”

— New Student

Being a student associated with military or contractor families sometimes means multiple moves a year. This not only impacts their environment but also has an effect on their ability to adjust. When switching in between schools you have a lot of exposure to different kinds of people and culture. As you attend a DODEA school, you can usually see new places and countries because of how close they are. While switching back to American schools you have the chance to meet new people who have tons of experiences whether they have lived in the same place their whole life or not.

Another new student to Lakes this year went into more depth and explained that their switch to DODEA was…

“Definitely a strange experience, I had never lived in another country before. I moved during covid so when I got to my new home, I went back to in person school. There was a large difference in understanding about moving from place to place and the fast pace it is. The education there seems to be a little quicker, but you can really take a lot of great opportunities through the school. I was able to take classes online that didn’t fit in my schedule as well as be exposed to lots of different teachers. The move back was simple, but it always starts out slow when you switch between different school types. It was one of the coolest experiences I have had though.”

— New Student

The academic side of things comes into play very quickly. When you attend DODEA schools you get the chance to take a large number of classes that usually are not offered through public schools. When you are in the DODEA system you have access to DODEA Schoology which is an online educating site where students can attend school online as well as take classes both online and in person. This site becomes a useful tool when certain classes you need don’t fit in your schedule. You could take classes like Global studies, AP Statistics, AP Psychology, digital photography, and so much more. Dual enrollment is also an option.

The overall DODEA high school experience is not only impactful to education but also allows students and their families to live their lives from a new perspective in a new place.


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About the Contributor
Quinn Stout, Reporter, Editor
My name is Quinn Stout. I’m a part of the class of 2025, I just moved back here from Wiesbaden Germany. I am a military brat and I have lived all over, this is my second time back in Lakewood/JBLM. This is my first year in journalism and I am really looking forward to researching and writing for the ledger.I play Softball, Volleyball, and I throw/jump for track. I enjoy reading and going to the gym in my free time.

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    Lizzie MorganNov 3, 2023 at 10:59 am

    such an important thing to talk about in our Lakes community!!