Procedural Safeguards in Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) Schools

Parent Centers know the Procedural Safeguards in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Did you know that Department of Defense Activity (DoDEA) Schools have their own processes? If you work with military families who have a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) to or from these locations or work in the following locations (whose children attended or plan on attending a DoDEA school) this information will be particularly helpful for you. 

Here are the specific locations (in alphabetical order) of DoDEA Schools: Maxwell AFB and Fort Rucker, AL; Cuba; Fort Benning and Fort Stewart, GA; Fort Knox and Fort Campbell, KY; Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg, NC; West Point, NY; Puerto Rico; Fort Jackson and MCAS Beaufort, SC; Quantico and Dahlgren, VA.

While the Department of Defense (DoD) has accepted IDEA 2004, there are separate requirements for requesting records and for the complaint process. Another important difference to note is that although IDEA lists 13 different disability categories, DoDEA lists 15. Those can be found on the DoDEA website under the section for Special Education or in the DoDEA Parent Handbook on Special Education. For more information on IDEA in DoDEA schools visit our resource called Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) School System
 
For information on specific DoDEA schools, search through these links based on your geographic location – Mid-Atlantic Region and Southeast District.  

Here are two DoD publications that cover information you may need:  

  1. DoD Instruction 1342.12 authorizes Early Intervention and Special Education Services for DoDEA schools and is called “Provision of Early Intervention and Special Education Services to Eligible DoD Dependents“. 
  2. The accompanying Manual details the necessary steps for a child to receive services in DoDEA schools. 

Requirements for requesting records

Does the family you are helping need guidance in getting their child’s school records from a DoDEA school? You can share information on the Department of Defense Freedom of Information Act Program with the family. However, if the family is coming to a DoDEA school from a DoDEA school then a “release of records” will not need to be signed by the parent.  

With this information you can also consider the impact from the hurricanes over this past year. Students who attended DoDEA schools in Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida may relocate to your community and will need your advice and assistance with navigating a new system.  

Complaint Process in DoDEA Schools 

The Manual covers the complaint process beginning with an administrative level complaint and moving through mediation and due process. The manual is a good “roadmap” as it identifies the positions and offices inside DoDEA or DoD to whom a complaint must be addressed. The exact information needed for any level of complaint is explained, and the internal DoDEA or DoD process is described. The Glossary and Acronyms sections at the end of the Manual may be particularly helpful! 

Significant differences in DoDEA’s Procedural Safeguards, compared to those of IDEA, surround military culture. Yes, it is all about following a chain of command. That means that the DoDEA complaint process must always be followed as described in the manual.Becoming familiar with the different processes used at DoDEA schools will help you and those you work with in your parent center to effectively assist families coming from, or going to, a DoDEA school.

Links from this article: 

DoDEA Schools in the Mid-Atlantic Region 

DoDEA Schools in the Southeast District 

DoDEA website under the section for Special Education

DoDEA Parent Handbook on Special Education

Department of Defense Instruction 1342.12, “Provision of Early Intervention and Special Education Services to Eligible DoD Dependents“. 

Department of Defense Manual 1342.12, “Implementation of Early Intervention and Special Education Services to Eligible DoD Dependents” 

Branch resource, Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) School System