NDSP: Student Placement and Exceptions to Policy Procedural Guidance

The following procedural guidance is effective immediately, and will be incorporated into future updates to existing and new policy related to NDSP.  Moving overseas can be overwhelming and filled with so many decisions.  Take the time to make and informed decision with this checklist about choosing the right school for your child.

Student Placement

Placement of students in locations not served by DoD schools as defined in Department of Defense Education Activity Use of Non-DoD Schools Regulation 1035.1, paragraph 4.10, is determined in the following placement priority order:

a. Elementary School Services / Placement (Grades K-5) Grades K-5, in priority order

i. Local public school delivering instruction in English and is tuition-free;

  • Exception for South Africa, Singapore, and Jamaica

ii. If not available then,

  • Home-based schooling/correspondence courses reimbursed by NDSP (parent option), or,
  • Local private day school delivering instruction in English -  tuition reimbursed by NDSP.

b. Middle School Services / Placement (Grades 6-8) Grades 6-8 in priority order

i. Local public school delivering instruction in English and is tuition-free;

  • Exception for UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, and Jamaica

ii. If not available then,

  • Home-based schooling/correspondence courses reimbursed by NDSP (parent option), or,
  • Local private day school delivering instruction in English -  tuition reimbursed by NDSP.

iii. If not available then,

  • Private boarding school
    Boarding school (OCONUS/CONUS) delivering instruction in English or any language acceptable to the parents within the established DSSR cap based on the sponsor's post location. "Boarding School" is defined as a school providing residence halls on campus and meals in addition to an education.

c. High School Services / Placement (Grades 9-12) Grades 9-12 in priority order

i. Local public school delivering instruction in English and is tuition-free;

  • Exception for UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, and Jamaica

ii. If not available then,

  • Home-based schooling/correspondence courses reimbursed by NDSP (parent option), or,
  • Local private day school delivering instruction in English  – tuition reimbursed by NDSP.

iii. If not available then,

  • Private boarding school (see “Notes” below)

For more information please submit any requests to NDSP.Management@hq.dodea.edu

Exceptions to Policy

a. Requests for an exception to policy are reviewed and responded to by the DoDEA Director's designee. Any requests to exceed provisions established by DSSR require review and approval from the DoDEA Director.

b. Requests for exceptions must be submitted in writing to NDSP Department DoDEA Headquarters.

i. All exception requests must include:

  • Assignment orders
  • DoDEA Form 610
  • NDSP 620 pre-screening questionnaire
  • Verification of Command Sponsorship (if Dependents are not listed on orders)
  • A letter that addresses the extenuating circumstances for which the sponsor is requesting an exception to policy.
  • Command endorsement

ii. Exception requests may take up to thirty days to process depending on the complexity.


c. Exception to policy request for English-speaking countries

i. BEFORE requesting an exception to policy, sponsors must demonstrate that they have applied and/or registered their children for local public school system as outlined in DoDEA Regulation 1035.1, "The Department of Defense Education Activity Use of Non-DoD Schools," paragraph 4.6.2.

ii. Sponsors assigned to the United Kingdom may apply and be reimbursed for one private school application fee in order to have an alternative in case a school "Satisfactory to the Secretary" cannot be secured. NDSP will not pay or reimburse deposits if the waiver is not granted.

iii. With required documentation, NDSP will consider exceptions to policy in situations related to access and safety. All requests must follow the procedures as outlined above, and must be submitted in writing to the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) NDSP office.

  • Access
    • Documented non-availability of local public school.
    • Compromised continuity of education due to a student missing 15 or more days of school due to inability to enroll.
    • Education available that is not considered "Satisfactory to the Secretary." Documentation from an educational report or study, school accountability report, or other scholarly researched-based report must be referenced. In the UK, the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) report will be used for documentation. Sponsors requesting a waiver under this circumstance must provide their public school application to show application was made to "satisfactory" schools (OFSTED 1, 2 or 3).
  • Safety
    • Documented instances that while enrolled in a local public school the child experienced difficulties compromising safety, educational opportunity or emotional well-being.

iv. Documentation to support waiver request may include, but are not limited to:

  • Access:
    • Statement of non-availability
    • Council/school application
    • Council/school assignment
    • School accountability report. The OFSTED report will be used in the UK.
  • Safety and Security:
    • Incident reports from school
    • Letter from mental health provider
    • Police report
    • Statement from school leadership

d. Exception to policy for Personnel Exchange Program (PEP) and Department of State (DOS) assigned personnel allows for dependents whose DoD sponsors are either independently assigned to a Department of State activity or in a personnel exchange program status to a host nation program, be afforded the same educational allowance provided to Department of State employees or to members of the host nation program to which the DoD sponsor is assigned or attached up to the published DSSR rate.

i. Sponsor orders must state your PEP or DOS assignment and sponsors must annotate PEP or DOS eligibility during online registration process.


Appeals Process

a. NDSP will carefully consider all the information before any decisions are made. A letter will be sent to sponsor providing the decision and an explanation for the decision. If you do not agree with the decision, or have further evidence to present, you may appeal the decision.

b. Appeals will include a complete review of your claim by a third party reviewer. The reviewer will look at all the evidence submitted when the original decision was made, plus any new evidence.

c. Sponsors wishing to appeal must do so in writing within 30 days from the date you received the decision letter.

i. All appeals, with the exception of exceeding the DSSR, must be made in writing to Director, DoDEA.

ii. When appealing a denial to exceed the DSSR, you must make your request in writing to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness and Force Management, through the Director of DoDEA.


d. Sponsors are not authorized to the enrollment, services, or other NDSP funded resource during the appeals process.


Important Overarching Concepts to Remember

a. NDSP must authorize services in writing in order for service members/parents to be eligible for reimbursement.

b. Parents must be registered in NDSP and understand their entitlements prior to enrolling in a school.

c. It is the parent's responsibility to obtain written authorization for services from NDSP officials.

d. Any costs that exceed the DSSR are the responsibility of the parent.

e. Any additional services require NDSP pre-approval (i.e. special education services, tutoring, supplemental coursework, and etcetera).

 

To request an exception to policy, please submit documentation to: