Coffee with the Commander SPecial Back to School: Answers to Questions

Click here to see the notes from the freshly brewed version of the USAG Benelux Town Hall, now called Coffee with the Commander. 

As DoDEA-Europe prepares for the 2020-2021 school year, they wanted to update you on their Back-to-School efforts. To the maximum extent possible, they will operate brick-and-mortar schools on a regular full-time schedule when installations are in Health Protection Conditions Alpha or Bravo.

Additionally, DoDEA is offering a Virtual Learning Option for students in kindergarten through grade 12 for the first semester. You can find specific information about the upcoming school year at the DoDEA Return to School at

Student registration for the virtual option is open from July 15 to July 28. For more information about these options and parent considerations visit the DoDEA Return to School Website.

Also, the Department of Defense has protocols for public health emergencies known as health protection conditions, or HPCONs. Commanders review and update these HPCONs based on risk levels within a local community and in cooperation with local, state or host nation guidance. DoDEA uses HPCON to guide actions taken in response to a health threat. For more information, visit DoDEA's Ensuring a Safe and Health Return to School guide at and DoDEA Return to School at

In-person learning in DoDEA schools & HPCON status:

  • School environment will be determined based on the local HPCON level.
  • DoDEA has worked with military leadership to identify mitigation strategies for HPCON A and HPCON B that allow for students and employees to safely return to school facilities.
  • Extracurricular activities may be impacted by HPCON changes.
  • As per current DoD guidance, if an installation is in HPCON Charlie, schools will be closed to students, and we will begin the year in remote learning.
  • Schools will be open in brick and mortar in HPCON A and B.

Read how health protection conditions (HPCON) apply to school reopenings

Read more about the virtual learning option.

The Department of Defense Education Activity is offering a Virtual Learning Option for the first semester of the 2020-2021 academic year for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Learn more by reading the file here or visit

NOTE: Student registration for the virtual option is open now through July 28.

Read a fact sheet on the virtual learning option.

For a fact sheet on the virtual learning option, click here.

Read a statement from Installation Management Command - Europe on the re-opening schools for 2020-2021

IMCOM-Europe statement on the DoDEA Europe 2020-21 school year:

Last week, DoDEA-Europe schools announced their plan for the upcoming school year. As they did when our fight against COVID-19 began in March, schools' leadership and the local and district levels, together with senior military leadership across Europe, developed plans for the upcoming school year, with the safety of students, Families and communities as a top priority.

DoDEA put great thought and effort into developing these plans, and continues to do so as the school year draws closer. We ask parents to consider a few important points to prepare their students and themselves for the upcoming school year.

First, this is a sound plan, based on the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health authorities. The schools will continue to work diligently to ensure they are taking every precaution possible to protect the students, staff, Families and community. We support this plan and ask parents to monitor their children's health and do their part to keep our schools safe.

Second, our schools closed as quickly as the hosts' schools did in March, depending on the community, and they will mark the return to school – in some cases several weeks – behind their host nation schools.

Third, all levels of military leadership have been involved in the schools' decision, and DODEA has sought our input and support in these decisions without exception. We support DODEA Europe and will continue to cooperate and collaborate as the school year approaches, begins and continues.

Finally, all of our parents have the opportunity to work with the schools on a virtual learning option. These opportunities would allow students to receive the classroom curriculum from their teachers through digital programs. Every parent has that choice available and simply needs to engage with the school to participate and help students succeed.

For all of us, the safety and wellbeing of our children, teachers and staff, and larger communities are our first and primary consideration. We continue to thank DoDEA for their dedication and look forward to a successful and enriching school year.

For more information, please visit: