On Guam, home schoolers are subject to 17 GCA Chapter 6, Section 6108, which reads:
Children not attending a private full-time day school and who are being instructed in study and recitation for at least three hours a day for one hundred seventy days each calendar year by a private tutor or other person, in the several branches of study required to be taught in public schools of this Territory and in the English language, shall be exempted from attending public school.
This is commonly referred to as an equivalency statute, requiring the home schooled child to be taught the same subjects as are taught in the public schools. No notification of any government agency, including military agencies, is required of those parents home schooling their children.
DoD Domestic Dependent Elementary Secondary Schools (DDESS)
Eligibility of dependents to attend DDESS schools on Guam is established by the Secretary of Defense for the following categories:
Space Required, Tuition Free
Dependent children of U.S. Military members, National Guard, and Coast Guard who are on active duty, stationed or homeported on Guam or assigned to a remote location or unaccompanied tour of duty and residing in permanent quarters on a military installation.
Dependent children of full-time civilian employees of Federal Government who are paid from appropriated funds or non appropriated funds assigned to Guam and residing in permanent quarters on military installation.
Space Available, Tuition Free
Dependent children of U.S. Military, National Guard, and Coast Guard members, who are on active duty, stationed or homeported on Guam or assigned to a remote location or unaccompanied tour and not residing in permanent quarters on a military installation.
Dependent children of full-time civilian employees of the Federal Government assigned to transferable positions in Guam and not residing in permanent quarters on a military installation. Dependent children may not be enrolled for more than 5 consecutive school years if the dependent is otherwise qualified for enrollment unless extended by the Secretary of Defense for good cause or are Dependent children of full time, permanent excepted service employees of DDESS.
Dependent children of full-time federal employees in the excepted service (as defined in Section 2103 of title 5) assigned to Guam and not residing in permanent quarters on a military installation.
DoDEA has changed its Early Child Hood Education programs entrance requirements for all DoD Schools for Calendar Year 2009-2010. Age requirement are:
- Sure Start and Pre-Kindergarten Programs, a child must be 4 years of age by September 1.
- Kindergarten Programs, a child must be 5 years of age by September 1.
- First Grade, a child must be 6 years of age by September 1.
If you have any questions about exceptions, contact DoDEA.
Lunch can be purchased by the students. However, breakfast is not available in the DoD school system. Parents may apply for reduced/free meal program, which is income-based.
School clubs in the elementary and middle schools offer after school activities. After school sports program is also available for both middle and high school students.
There are 2 grading scales used in the DoD schools. The letter grades (A, B, C, D, F) are used for students in Grades 4 thru 12. Developmentally appropriate ratings (met,needs improvement, etc) are used for students in early childhood (K-3).
Special Education Program
The Guam District Special Education program provides students with special needs an opportunity to succeed in the least restricted environment. Programs offered are based on the student's Individual Education Program (IEP). Screening is required for military members with special needs children for consideration in proper placement.
Guam DDESS Schools are fully accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.
Guam DDESS District has a student enrollment of 2500. Students attend school in one of four (4) schools: Andersen Elementary (K-5); Andersen Middle School (6-8) at Andersen AFB; McCool Elementary/Middle School (K-8) at Apra Heights; and Guam High School (9-12) at Nimitz Hill.
The DDESS Guam District adheres to the DoDEA curriculum and the National Standards in Education. The programs of the school system are comprehensive with a balanced co-curriculum and extra curricular programs comparable to a majority of the school districts in the United States. The curriculum and the operation of the school system are supported by the DoDEA Community Strategic Plan and the District School Improvement Plan that is focused on high expectations and increasing student achievement. The district and schools have school improvement teams that represent all stakeholders in the development, implementation and monitoring of student success.
Standardized test scores for the Guam District are available through the DoDEA Data Center.
All new students will need to accompany their sponsor to the Student Transportation Office and bring a copy of their student registration form 600 for initial in-processing of transportation. For further information contact the STO office at 671-344-9574/76.
The school board is an elected body of parents of students attending Guam DDESS Schools. Board members serve a two (2) year term of office. The Guam DDESS School Board operates in an advisory capacity to the Superintendent.
The Andersen Air Force Base and Navy Base Guam education offices offer degree programs through the University of Maryland and Central Texas College for undergraduate studies. Both colleges offer instructino in avariety of academic fields. University of Oklahoma and University of Phoenix offer courses towards Masters Degree program. Contact the Andersen Education Office 671-366-3170 or the Navy College 671-339-8291.
University of Guam offers undergraduate and graduate degrees within five colleges: The College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Business and Public Admininstration, and the College of Nursing and Health Science.
Guam Community College offers two-year degrees and certificate programs in 50 areas of study in vocational-technical fields. GED, adult education and continuing education courses are also offered.
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredits both the University of Guam and Guam Community College.
How do I choose a school?
Choosing the right school for children is a priority for military families. Whether you are assigned living quarters or have a choice of where to live, it is important to explore all educational options to discover the proper match for each child. All parents want the best possible education for their children. Students have different learning styles and needs. Children within the same family may not learn in the same way or at the same rate. Finding the right educational setting for each child requires a careful examination of various options that are available to students and their families.
"Choosing a School for your Child", a publication of the U.S. Department of Education offers a series of checklists and pertinent questions to assist parents in making the right choices.
What schools are in my area (or in the area where I may move)?
Several high quality commercial tools are available to assist in making decisions about which school to choose for your child.
GreatSchools offers listings of 200,000 public and private schools serving students from preschool through high school and more than 800,000 parent ratings and reviews. GreatSchools also has a new program called College Bound, an online approach to helping parents raise college-ready high school graduates.
Designed for military students, their families and the caring professionals who support them, SchoolQuest is an educational resource tool from the Military Child Education Coalition. It is meant to facilitate the search for new schools and centralize resources.
It's also a secure storage site for students' educational, extra-curricular, award, volunteer and work information. Please note, though, that is NOT a replacement for a school transcript. It can be viewed as a safe, centralized virtual "file drawer" where a student (or parent) can keep track of all the details that are so difficult to organize, but so necessary when students move or apply for college, jobs or military service.
In addition, SchoolQuest guests are granted access to research and time-tested information about successful educational transitions.
Military OneSource is a free service provided by the Department of Defense to service members and their families to help with a broad range of concerns including money management, spouse employment and education, parenting and child care, relocation, deployment, reunion, and the particular concerns of families with special-needs members.
How can I help plan for a successful transition in this new school and for my child's school career?
Parents often want to know about the availability of extracurricular activities and sports, or the availability of advanced classes. For these questions, it is best to contact the schools directly. It is important to ask the right questions. The following resources can help with these questions and others.
Overseas Schools -- What You Should Know
Moving your family from one installation to another in the U.S. can be challenging enough; but moving your family overseas presents an even more complex situation. One of the most important challenges can be summed up by this question, "Where are my children going to go to school?"
This article will provide resources to help guide military families through the many questions and decisions regarding local schools abroad.
Where do I start?
Start with the information on your new installation. Visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS and review the installation's Education - article. All of the overseas installations have dedicated a portion of the Education article to discussing the education options available in the local community as well as the DoD schools located on the installation, if available. Most installations overseas that allow accompanied family travel have one or more DoD schools.
What is the difference between a DoD school and an international or national school?
DoDEA is the Department of Defense Education Activity. DoDEA operates DoD schools in 12 foreign countries, Guam and Puerto Rico. All DoDEA schools are fully accredited by U.S. accreditation agencies and maintain high academic standards with well-rounded educational programs. Visit the DoDEA School Report Card website to find a detailed discussion of each DoD School.
In addition to DoDEA, the U.S. Department of State's Office of Overseas Schools mission is to promote quality educational opportunities for dependents of American citizens overseas at the elementary and secondary level. If a DoD school is not available on your installation there may be a school in the local community that is an American-Sponsored Elementary and Secondary School.
International schools are English-language schools whereas National schools are schools where coursesare taught in the native language. The curriculum and grading system of an International school tends to be similar to the traditional American education system. This is a consideration if your family will be returning to the U.S. prior to your child or children graduating high school. Remember, when choosing a school it is best to try to match the school with your child's needs and expectations.
Where can I find a list of International schools in the country where my family is moving?
The Internet can be an excellent resource for finding International Schools overseas. You can find a complete directory of overseas schools on the International Schools Services' website.
In addition, the World Wide Schools website is an excellent resource. From the homepage you can select the country. Once you have done this, a list of schools will appear and you can then choose which one you are interested in researching. All of the information appearing on this website is provided by the schools directly. Some of the information you may find on a school includes: a background summary about the school, the school's address, phone number, website, and even the email address of the director of the school. This information should be explored so that you can make comparisons with other International schools in the area to determine the best place for your child/children.
How do I decide what school is best for my child?
This process is much the same as it would be in the U.S. You may not have as many choices but it is important to make a list of possible schools and then begin to ask around. This is a daunting task since it is likely that there will be a language barrier. However, talk to the Relocation Personnel in the Family Center and your sponsor at your new installation who may be able to put you in touch with other families with children around the same age as your child/children. Always contact the school directly and ask for references.
Once you have narrowed down your options, interview the school or schools directly. This is best done in person, if possible. Ask about: attendance, atmosphere, curriculum; grading system, tuition, accreditations, the staff and administration; as well as other practical details such as, does the school provide meals, what types of extra curricular programs are available, is there transportation, holidays and schedule, sports programs, before and after school care programs, and how is the facility maintained.
Now that I have chosen a school, how do I successfully facilitate the transition for my child?
A successful transition should be a priority during planning the move and once the move has been completed. The more knowledge you provide your child with, the more confident he/she will feel once he/she arrives at the new school. Allow your child to be a part of the decision making process, if he/she is old enough, and take his/her opinions into account.
MilitaryStudent provides several valuable tools to facilitate the transition process. Although many of these tools are not geared specifically to an international move the resources provided do apply to any military student transitioning to a new school in the U.S. or overseas.
College/ Technical Training
Installation Education Center
In addition to the Adult Education program on Andersen AFB, there are continuing life enrichment, certification, and ongoing professional seminars offered outside the installation. The Andersen Education Center is located in Building 21000, Room 721.
Testin services include: College Level Examination Program (CLEP),Defense Activity for Non Traditional Education Support (DANTES), ACT (College Entrance Exams)and PEP, Graduate Record Examination (GRE), General Education Development (GED), Extension Course Institute (ECI) electronic tests. If these acronyms are confusing, stop by the center and pick up a description. Most of these tests are free to active-duty members; civilians must pay a fee. Many tests are in stock, which means there is no waiting to test, but the education centers cannot stock some tests. Students completing correspondence courses, either from a civilian institution or from a military school, can take their exams in the testing room.
AFAS Spouse Tuition Assistance Program assists eligible spouses with tuition for approved university and trade programs. The STAP is only for spouse of active-duty Air Force member. Contact the AFAS Officer at 671-366-3170 for more information.
Central Texas College is a recent addition to Andersen AFB and offers associate degrees.
University of Maryland offers a bachelor's degree and provides classes on Andersen AFB.
University of Phoenix offers a master's degree program on Andersen AFB.
Air Force Library Programs
Air Force Libraries provide an avenue for Airmen and their families to continue their professional and self-developmental educational pursuits, as well as resources for productive use of leisure time. Air Force Libraries also procure mission-essential technical publications to support job requirements of military personnel. Many online products, including downloadable audio books, e-books, and college level practice tests, are available from base library web pages and on the Air Force Portal. These libraries house a variety of print and audio-visual materials for check-out to eligible customers. In addition, Air Force libraries offer customer-use computers with Internet access, free of charge, and most have wireless Internet capabilities. Most base libraries conduct special programs, such as story hours and summer reading programs for youngsters, and offer a variety of classes, author and book talks, and holiday or Air Force heritage events.
The Air Force Library and Information System consists of 103 libraries (80 general, 9 academic, and 14 scientific and technical) as well as one Library Service Center at Ramstein AB in Germany, and nine Learning Resource Centers in Southwest Asia. The Air Force library program also oversees procurement and distribution of educational and recreational materials to over 280 remote sites and contingency operations in 40 countries around the globe. Air Force libraries serve over 12.6 million customers annually and house a total of 9 million + print, audio, video and online resources.
Military OneSource On-Line Library
Our mobile military members often don't have the resources of a brick and mortar library on hand to provide entertainment, learning or solace. The Online Library provides those resources while the members are in transit or deployed. One-stop shopping for all library resources in print, electronic and downloadable format are available online, 24/7. The library provides recreation, lifelong learning, reference, and career resources for all ages and interests. All resources including audio and eBooks are free. Resources are available anywhere in the world where there is access to the internet.
Military OneSource On-Line Library provides 24/7 access to library materials that include:
- Ability to download free books from thousands of fiction and non-fiction titles, including animated children's books, or request a free paperback or digital Playaway book from Military OneSource.
- Access to data bases to pursue education, research careers, fix cars or home appliances, maintain or remodel apartments or homes, and more.