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Back to school at Osan

During the town hall, leaders discussed the plans and processes for the start of the 2021-22 school year and beyond.

Col. Jonelle Eychner, 51st Mission Support Group commander, speaks with Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Osan Complex Schools faculty during a town hall at Osan Middle High, Aug. 18, 2021. During the town hall, leaders discussed the plans and processes for the start of the 2021-22 school year and beyond. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

Since the onset of COVID-19, teachers have found safe and healthy way to feed students with adequate amounts of space and dividers.

The cafeteria at Osan Middle High is sanitized for the start of the new school year at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug. 18, 2021. Since the onset of COVID-19, teachers have found safe and healthy way to feed students with adequate amounts of space and dividers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- --

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea – Wing leaders met with Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Osan Complex Schools faculty at Osan Middle High for a “Let’s Talk About It” town hall to discuss the start of the 2021-22 school year.

To engage the Osan community, DoDEA educators took a short break from preparing lesson plans and sanitizing classrooms to answer questions from parents and military leadership via Facebook Live.

“On behalf of Col. Joshua Wood, the Osan Air Base installation commander, we are proud and excited to partner with DoDEA schools,” said Col. Jonelle Eychner, 51st Mission Support Group commander. “We’re all excited to start school in person and in order to stay that way, we really need to make sure that parents aren’t sending their children to school if their child isn’t feeling well.”  

Since the onset of COVID-19, teachers have found creative ways to share lesson plans outside and inside of the classroom. One teacher shared an example of how four students would use small dry erase boards to communicate within the safe distances instead of working alongside each other. She implied it was just one of the many safety precautions to ensure students maintain safe social distancing.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of DoDEA schools and services for Department of Defense families and their dependents. During this span, the DoDEA has experienced hurricane evacuation plans, earthquakes and many other natural disaster recovery strategies to provide students the best scenario for learning, but nothing like a global pandemic. The Osan Complex Schools stands ready to receive students with plans to ensure the safety of each student.

“We have created an environment that follows our motto, ‘Welcome to our house’, said Mrs. Gates, 7th and 8th grade math teacher. “This means that we’re a family. This is our house, feel loved here, feel cheerful here. We want each of our students to feel at home both at their home and at our school.”

The Osan Complex School staff kick-off their school year with an open house Aug. 20. The staff will greet more than 400 students on Aug. 25. for the first day of school since the early months of 2020.

“We’ve been doing virtual school for some time and it has given us a chance to prepare activities that are both safe and interactive for the students returning to the classroom,” said Dr. Wanda L. Brady, Osan Middle High principal. “We’re going full blast with sports, education and more. We’re excited to have students back and I know they’re just as excited to be back with us.”