- An Intro to School Support Services
School Support Services (SSS) provides Army school-aged youth with educational opportunities and information necessary to achieve academic success. At SSS, School Liaison Officers (SLOs) help deliver educational resources and information for your child.
We specialize in K-12 education transitions, ensure incoming and exiting families have information about local schoools, graduation requirements, after-school services/programs, youth sponsorship, and home schooling. We help parents better understand the education process and school organization.
- Finding a School
Schools on Okinawa
Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Schools
The Department of Defense (DoD) offers high quality, tuition-free education for authorized dependents of DoD personnel assigned overseas. They also provide enrollment on a space-available, tuition-paying basis for others identified and prioritized by the Secretary of Defense (i.e. contractors).
There are 13 DoDEA Schools on Okinawa. Among these are 8 Elementary, 3 Middle, and 2 High schools. These schools are located on Kadena Airbase and Marine Corps bases.
Some families choose to send their children to a non-DoDEA school located off-base. Families are responsible for paying tuition fees and arranging school transportation on their own if they enroll their child at these schools.
- How to Register for School
Three Easy Steps
There are three easy steps to register for Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Schools.
Step 1 • Register Online
Visit the DoDEA online registration for students (DORS) to begin your child's enrollment. To access DORS, visit here. Begin this process before or after your arrival to Okinawa.
Step 2 • Receive Housing Orders
Students go to school based on where they live. Report to your Housing Office to receive housing orders. If in a temporary lodging facility (TLF), your child will attend a TLF-assigned school until you receive housing orders. Contact any DoDEA school to identify your child's school zone or click here.
Step 3 • Visit Your Child's School
Visit your child's school with the following paperwork in hand.
- Sponsor's Orders
- Child's Passport
- Child's Immunization Records
- Child's School Records (copy or original)
- Housing Orders, Off-Base Lease Agreement, or TLF receipt
IMPORTANT: Documents 1-4 should be hand-carried with you during your move. Upon arriving to Okinawa, the school may ask to view these documents.
Good to Know
- School Zones
Students are assigned a school based on where they live. To identify your child's school zone, contact the front desk of any Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school or view the school zone roster online. Since this roster does not identify acronyms for school names, an acronym key has been provided for you.
Homeschooling in Japan
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) neither encourages nor discourages sponsors from homeschooling their children. DoDEA recognizes homeschooling as a sponsor's right, and can be a legitimate alternative from of education for their dependents.
A host nation, state, commonwealth, territory, or possession where a DoD sponsor is stationed may impose legal requirements on home-schooling practices. Sponsors are responsible for complying with applicable local requirements and should consult with installation Staff Judge Advocates concerning these requirements. Contact your local Legal Office.
Support for Homeschoolers
DoDEA offers resources for homeschooling students. Eligible dependents may use or receive auxiliary services at DoDEA schools. Auxiliary services include the use of academic resources, library access, after hours use of school facilities, and participation in music, sports, and other extracurricular and interscholastic activities. Eligible homeschool students may also participate in a DoDEA commencement ceremony. For more information on DoDea homeschool support, visit here.
There are also independent community homeschooling groups. Most groups establish Facebook pages to generate more members.
- Moving Mid-School Year?
Sometimes military children must move to a new place before the semester ends. A Principal may grant an early withdrawal from school with full semester credit 20 or less instructional days before the semester ends.
Justification must be provided to the school (e.g. PCS orders). Sponsors are encouraged to keep their Command informed of this option. For more information, contact your child's school.
*This program applies to DoDEA schools only.
Early School Withdrawal Dates
- SY 2021-22 Semester 1 • 3 December 2021
- SY 2021-22 Semester 2 • 10 May 2022
- School Transition Checklist for Sponsors
If sponsoring a family with school-aged children, below are resources to share:
Unaccompanied with Children (INBOUND)
- State Legislation that Helps Your Child
What is the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children?
The Compact addresses challenges of military children and their frequent relocations. It allows for uniform treatment as military children transfer between school districts and states. Military families may utilize the Compact to gain additional leverage from school administrators to improve their child's situation when affected by military life. The Compact addresses such challenges as:
- Transfer of Records
- Course Sequencing
- Graduation Requirements
- Exclusion from Extra-Curricular Activities
- Redundant or Missed Entrance/Exit Testing
- Kindergarten and First Grade Entrance Age Variances
- Power of Custodial Parents while Parents are Deployed
Students Covered Under the Compact
- A student enrolled in K-12 in the household of a full-time duty status in the active uniformed service of the United States.
- Members of veterans of the uniformed services who are severely injured and medically discharged or retired for a period of one year after medical discharge or retirement.
- Members of the uniformed services who die on active duty or as a result of injuries sustained on active duty for a period of one year after death.
For more information, check out this reader-friendly Parents Handbook.
- Special Education Information
If you have a child with special needs, we can help you find the resources available in your school district. We can also connect you with your local Installation's Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) office.
Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP):
DODEA Special Education Programs and Services:
DODEA Preschool For Children with Disabilities (PSCD):
How are schools in Okinawa impacted by COVID-19?
DoD Education Activity (DoDEA) Schools in Okinawa provide in-person instruction during Health Protection Condition (HPCON) B or lower. COVID-19 mitigation procedures (ex. face masks) are implemented at schools for students and teachers to follow during in-person instruction. During HPCON C and higher, students will transition to virtual instruction.
To view what in-person instruction might look like for your student, view the DoDEA Return to School video.
Parents may choose to enroll their student into the “full-time” virtual school option offered by DoDEA. Seats are limited for this option and may require a commitment up to one school year. For more information about virtual school, visit the DODEA Virtual School webpage.
Where will my child go to school?
Your housing location will determine your school zone. Once you accept housing, contact the front desk of any school to verify your child's school zone or go to the School Zone tab on this page. For school phone numbers, click here.
Can I still enroll my child before I have accepted housing?
Yes. Families living in TLF for an extended amount of time can send their child to the nearest school until permanent housing is solidified. Once assigned permanent housing, you child will be reassigned to the school zoned for that area. Contact any DoD school to identify which school your TLF is assigned to.
Do DoDEA schools offer bus transportation?
Students enrolled in DoDEA schools may be eligible to ride the school bus depending on where they live. Please contact your child's school for more information.
At what age can I enroll my child in Kindergarten or first grade?
Students must turn age five for Kindergarten and six for first grade by 1 September.
Are there preschool programs available?
DoDEA schools offer a Sure Start program for students who turn age four by 1 September. Sure Start requires an application which can be picked up at elementary schools between April and August. Spaces are extremely limited.
What if my child has an Individual Education Plan (IEP)?
Provide a current copy of your child's IEP to the school during registration. Schools have special education programs for mild to moderate disabilities, while others provide specialized programs for moderate to severe. Your child may attend different schools if services require. Transportation is available. For more information about special education resources provided by DoDEA schools, visit here.
Is there a gifted education program?
Yes. Teachers and parents may refer a child for evaluation at the school.
I am a contractor and do not qualify for free-tuition at DoDEA Schools. What are the current tuition fees?
Click here for current tuition fees. Tuition rates are subject to change. Contact the District Registrar at DSN 634-8995/1204 for assistance.
What are high school graduation requirements for DoD Education Activity (DoDEA) Schools?
View DoDEA graduation requirements here.
When is the first and last day of the school year?
The school year begins late August and ends in mid-June.
To view the school year calendar, visit here.
- Free Resources
Free Document Translation Services
Children who transition to or from a foreign national school may require their school transcript to be translated. Active military personnel and their family members can receive free document translation services in more than 150 languages for school transcripts. Translations can also be certified, notarized, and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For details, visit Military One Source or dial "145" on an installation telephone to contact a One Source operator.
Free or Reduced Price School Lunch Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers free and reduced priced lunches to students who qualify and attend Department of Defense schools. Elibility is determined by income. Click eligibility guidelines to see if your child qualifies for this program, note Okinawa follows Alaska guidelines. Guidelines are subject to change. Apply online.
Free Online Tutoring
Since military families frequently move from one place to the next, Tutor.com is custom fit for military kids. You get an expert tutor whenever you need help, and you work one-on-one with your tutor in their online classroom on your specific problem until it's done. You never need to make an appointment. Subjects include: math, science, social studies, writing, standardized test prep, language, and much more.
Teen centers and schools have unique ways of welcoming new students. Some have new student orientations while others have student-led welcoming committees. Ask what programs they have to help your child transition smoothly into their new community. Here is a high school youth sponsorship program that Department of Defense schools offers new students. For more information on Youth Sponsorship, go here.
On-Campus Behavioral Health Counseling
DoD Education Activity (DoDEA) schools have Military & Family Life Consultants (MFLC) readily available on campus to support students and their family members. The MFLC program provides non-medical short term, situational problem-solving counseling.
School Advisory Committee (SAC)
All DoDEA schools operate their own SAC. At this committee, parents and teachers can advise the Principal on school matters. This is an useful tool for parents to raise concerns, offer suggestions, and promote positive change at their child's school. SAC is held quarterly and after school. Contact your child's school on how you can get involved. Military One Source also has access to free non-medical counseling that's anonymous and available online, on the phone, or in person. Twelve free sessions may occur in individual, couple, family or group settings.
DoDEA organizes an annual College Night at Kadena or Kubasaki High School. This event invites stateside colleges to market their school to college-bounc students. Interested individuals with base access are welcome to attend. DoDEA schools also have guidance counselors to help prepare students for college. Encourage your teen to get to know their guidance counselor at school.
Free Academic Resources:
March2Success provides an online study program to help students prepare for standardized tests, improve school work, and review materials.
Khan Academy is a personalized learning resource for all ages offering practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empowers learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. Tackles math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, SAT and more.
Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) provides STEM opportunities for military connected youth. The website provides information about AEOP programs available to youth, scholarship opportunities, news, and ways to get involved.
Military.com provides a search engine to help you find money for your child's higher education needs. Search over 1000 scholarships intended for military youth. Check out their Military Scholarship Handbook.
School Support Services Scholarship Database Listing of crowd sourced scholarships for military connected youth. Scholarships are listed in alphabetical order and provide information on deadlines and qualifications.
For more post-secondary resources, view our Post-Secondary Resources Parent Guide. This guide, equipped with a table of contents, is a directory of college and career readiness resources collected from Army School Liaison Officers stationed at OCONUS locations in Europe and the Pacific.
Support K-12 Students of Military Families
Schools are always looking for motivated volunteers to support an event, mentor a child, beautify the school, or assist school faculty. If you are a Soldier or family member, contact a school directly for upcoming school volunteer opportunities.
Some commands enjoy adopting a particular school or school event through a Partners In Education (PIE) agreement. PIE provides positive volunteer experiences for Soldiers while giving back to the community. Commands may provide volunteers to support a school field day, read to students, tutor at homework club, encourage or monitor safety, or help beautify the school. Contact your School Liaison Officer for more details.
If your program or department is looking to increase community outreach efforts, spreading your expertise or good will at a school is a great place to invest your time and energy. If your goal is to spread community awareness, topics related to science, technology, engineering, math, career, college, military, or public health and safety are popular at schools. Groups or programs seeking community service hours for their members are also welcome to support a school cause or event. Contact your school liaison officer for more details.
Here are examples of Army volunteers in action.
School Support Services
School Support Services
Dial +81(98)970-5555 then enter ext 652-4703
Military DSN (315)652-4703