By Mr. Kenneth David Hall (IMCOM)March 25, 2009
HUMPHREYS GARRISON - Humphreys American School is on track with Department of Defense Education Activity standards, according to DoDEA director Dr. Shirley A. Miles during a visit here March 19.
Miles toured Humphreys Garrison to see its transformation progress - particularly noting the status of the new Education Center going up right across the street from HAS.
"For the Pacific region, Korea's been chosen to be the Pacific region virtual school studies hub for asynchronous coursework instruction 24-7 and I'm very pleased with the transformation progress at Humphreys because it will be a state-of-the-art installation," said Miles. "This is my second trip to this area but first time I've been to HAS, and the classrooms look great."
Miles said she doesn't just visit classrooms but takes a comprehensive look at everything taking place. "I see a lot when I walk around, like collaboration among teachers with hands-on activities which is a wonderful idea because it helps students with their future studies."
Students enrolled in VS will be able to see their instructors but won't be able to see other students in the class. "We have a virtual school in Germany, where we have a teacher than can be accessible from all over the world," she said.
In a summary statement provided by Doug Kelsey, Interim Superintendant, DoDDS-Korea, the intent of the DoDEA VS is to expand access to education and provide curricular options similar to programs delivered through traditional DoDEA schools. Delivered via the Internet to DoDEA eligible students, the course of study includes increased opportunities for active engagement and synchronous support where the teacher and students are separated by time and space.
"The first VS courses offered from the new Humphreys Education center are scheduled to begin on the first day of school in August, 2009," said Kelsey during a phone interview. "The courses that will be offered have yet to be determined, but we plan on having four VS instructors at Humphreys to begin the VS program here, and as many as ten more by the following school year, and high school students from Humphreys will also be eligible to enroll in courses there."
Kelsey said Humphreys is the second of three planned VS sites, (the first site in Wiesbaden, Germany began VS instruction at the onset of the 2008-2009 school year) and the third location will be in the U.S. It is the intent of the three VS sites to offer virtual education to all eligible DoD students no matter where they may be located.
"I think it's the wave of the future for our students that are not only in permanent change of station status but also students who are home schooled, in transition, credit recovery, and credit earning," said Miles.
"The advantage for students is they can access different classes and courses that are not available where they may be stationed at, and also maintain coursework progress during transitions.
"When students travel from each area, in the DoDEA system, they will have access to the same opportunities and that's what's really important," she said. "The technology across DoDEA needs to be shored up, and the new Education Center at Humphreys will be a shining example of progress but my main concern is that we get all the schools built that are necessary to support the number of students coming in during the Humphreys transformation."
According to their web site, www.dodea.edu, DoDEA's mission is to plan direct, coordinate and manage education programs for eligible dependents of U.S. military personnel and Civilian personnel of the DoD. As the Director of DoDEA, Miles has oversight of all DoDEA schools in the U.S. and overseas.