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Saturday, October 8, 2011

DODD's Schools...

So transition to DODD's schools have been interesting.  The school building is all grades although it's split in half, one for the elementary school and the other a middle high school.  They each have their own administration.  There are a lot of things I love about school here, Oak Harbor was on the right track in some areas, but never got to the end result and then in other ways is so off it's any wonder that our kids are hurting in public schools these days. 

Here is what I love about DODD's, for those of you from Oak Harbor you know about planners!  Oak Harbor never enforcing using it.  For example, every instructor here at Sigonella, checks for certain things being listed everytime, it's THE tool to get information home and it's enforced.  Second, the whole "no student left behind" thought process is absurd in Washington!  Kyle is already struggling with serious bad habits from Oak Harbor class work and homework.  Oak Harbor wouldn't fail a student, they do here and they hold them back, in Oak Harbor homework can be late and tests under 70% re-taken...not here!  After the first quarter of 7th grade, no late homework at all!  During the 1st quarter, only 1 day late, no more and even then they only get 50% which is an F.  No re-taking tests for better scores.  There are other things too, but I'm so glad we're out of Washington for Kyle's sake.

They have 8 classes, A days and B days, so only 4 classes per day.  Kyle has two electives instead of one.  He has video production and band.  He's in 8th grade math/Pre-Algebra and loves it!  The 8th class is Advisory, kind of like the Read to Succeed in Oak Harbor, except that unlike Mrs. Harrington who needs to retire, Kyle actually can go to classes and get help from teachers! I love all of Kyle's teachers except Language Arts, that teacher needs to go...let's hope this school year goes fast cause it could get ugly!

Elementary school seems to be similar in every respect and Brooke loves her class.  I love that they can wear sandals and some other dress standards aren't as strict. 

The kids ride buses to school since the school is located on the other base.  They ride tour buses which is really cool.  They are escorted with a bus monitor and if security levels are increased they have been known to send an armed escort.  The kids both have bus passes that have been issued by the transportation office verifying their eligibility to get on and off base.

What I don't like about DODD's is because they don't have nearly the number of students as in the states, there are no middle sports except running club which is a little frustrating since Kyle will be in 8th grade next year, technically as old as most of the 9th graders, but too young to play high school sports and too old for recreation sports through MWR.  It's a good thing we have out in town soccer!

I don't like that they changed the policy on attendance this year...absences for travel will be un-excused!  Seriously, should we just hunker down on base all year and not show our children the world...stupid rule!  That's okay, they'll just be sick! 

I also don't like that I have to buy lunch tickets for the kids at the exchange, no money can be sent to the school, but that's a minor thing, just annoying.

Overall, if I had a choice, I would keep my kids in DODD's until they graduated for sure.  I think public schools in the states need to develop a similar policy to DODD's!  A couple of pictures to share!

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