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Amid pandemic, DoD says goal is to open as many schools as possible

The Pentagon serves 70,000 children of U.S. military personnel around the world. The rules need to be flexible to account for these students' locations.

WASHINGTON — Figuring out what to do about reopening schools in the mist of a global pandemic is hard enough for civilian educators.

It is also a major challenge for the military.

Department of Defense Education Activity has 70-thousand students in 160 schools in 11 countries, seven states and two U-S territories.

The pandemic is forcing a transition from in-person to remote and virtual learning.

The plan, going forward, is to try to reopen as many schools as possible - where it is safe - but to give parents choices when it comes to choosing in-person instruction, versus remote or virtual learning.

"The best education is face-to-face in a classroom," said John Thomas Brady, Director of the Department of Defense Education Activity, speaking Thursday at the Pentagon.

He continued: "Our priority is to open every classroom that we can, safely. And, flexibly. Because, there's a remarkable myriad of situations that we're facing around the world. And unless we're flexible, we won't be successful."

As of now just two of 64 schools in Europe will be operating remotely.

In the Pacific, 19 of 45 schools will be remote.

And 25 of 50 schools in the United States are doing remote learning.