- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The 160 schools for military dependents managed by the Pentagon in 11 different countries will be open for classes in the fall if health conditions are stable. But parents can still opt for a virtual option for the first semester, officials said.

The Department of Defense Education Agency will operate “brick and mortar schools” to the maximum extent possible on a regular full schedule when military bases are in at least threat condition alpha or bravo, DoDEA officials said.

Under Threat Condition Alpha, frequently touched objects and surfaces require regular cleaning and disinfection while Threat Condition Bravo mandates social distancing and restrictions on unnecessary contact.

But defense officials acknowledge some parents may still be concerned about their child returning to the classroom.

“We understand that some families may have circumstances where they do not wish to or are unable to send their children to the brick-and-mortar setting,” said Judith Minor, director of students services for the education agency’s U.S.-based schools. “While we have confidence in our communities to enact mitigating measures in conjunction with local health and CDC guidance, we will also provide a virtual platform for higher-risk students to continue to learn virtually.”

The expansion of the online learning program is expected to last through the first semester, officials said.

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