Solutions to the Challenges Military Children Face During PCS Moves and Transitions!

The average military child moves approximately six to nine times within their school career. With each relocation brings academic challenges, they often face midyear transitions, extra classes to reach achievement standards, single parent to dual parent transitions when the active-duty member is away, relationship transitions, as well as medical record updates for school protocols. The military students challenges are unparalleled to the general student population.

Here are some critical Points to Pay Attention to:

       

 Meet school liaison officer is important!!!

·         Focus and Fleet and family service center, Family readiness center

·         Student to Student clubs on campus

o   Welcomes new student to school

·         Anchor for life program

o   Lunch on first day of school

·         Layers of support  are necessary

·         Social, academic, and emotional resources are needed with assessments, interventions, counseling and extracurricular activities available for children to properly adjust.

·         Understand military student ratio's for school s important to ensure DOD support

·         Overseas DOD schools are more geared to help transitioning military students

·         Schools need to ensure teachers assess and are able to help kids catch up if necessary

·        When kids come in from different areas they are typically not as a tentative because they're trying to fit in.

·        Empower children transitioning from new locations by allowing them to speak about their past experience with moves. What they liked and learn. This will help the as a tentative because they're trying to fit in.

·        Empower children transitioning from new locations by allowing them to speak about their past experience with moves. What they liked and learn. This will help make them more interesting to other students who have been in one location for years.

·        Parents providing IEP individual education program information on assessment to allow for them to get support and build on their strengths

  • ·         EFMP allows for better access to programs

·         School liaison officers are the ones providing resources, referral and coordination between third-party assistance.

·        San Diego educational system is creating creating wellness centers at six schools that include Crawford, Rankin, Maurice, Sierra.

·        Attendance for military children typically suffer more than civilian students because they don't feel the engagement at their new school or with the servicemember getting underway and coming back parents are more likely to allow the child to stay home for family time that will be a mess when the servicemember is gone.

·        Education on attendance to parrots is important because there are educational differences from when the parents were in school because there are collaborative environments in the classroom becoming more prevalent that cannot be teaching at home or with independent study.

·        During a PCS transition getting kids enrolled quickly is very important because wall not enrolled they are not being tracked and not in the system to ensure compliance and updating.

·        There is a new program called military interstate compact also known as Mic3 which includes all 50 states plus Washington DC. www.mic3.net that assist with:

  • ·         Core sequencing
  • ·         Extracurricular involvement and research
  • ·         Educates school staff to include administrators and educators
  • ·         Return and reunion assistance

·        There are plenty of programs available to assist military children transitioning. The challenge is consistency of awareness for these programs to the military families and children throughout each school district and school itself.

·        Military school liaison officers are critical points of contact in which all military families need to be aware of. Bottom line, proactivity is going to lead to success for the children.

The identified gaps and ways to get ahead include:

·         Youth

o   Financial assistance and affordability

o   Military culture in schools

o   Awareness of programs available

o   Literacy gaps and proper placement

o   Fun activities and classes (high school)

o   Communication with parents, school and child

o   Lack of parent support 

·         Parents

o   Connectedness with the school staff

o   Helping their kids catch up where appropriate

o   Transportation

o   Information/awareness

o   Before and after care

o   Start and end times

o   Social media sharing

·         Family

o   No family time (see busywork)

o   Take time off for PTO meetings Communication with family

o   PTA/PTO’s are very clicky and tough to get involved unless aggressive in many cases

o   Activities to bring families together

o   Awareness of programs 

·         Schools

o   Funding in staffing

o   Numbers of students (learning styles/levels)

o   State tests are all different and cause problems in levels of education from state to state

o   Proactivity before a crisis new

o   Different perspectives/different generations