A Few Questions to Ask:

  1. Do you want a public or private school?

  2. Do you need after school care?

  3. Do you need a school with transportation provided or can you drive your children?

  4. What is the average test scores for the school?

  5. What extra-curricular activities do they offer? How much do they cost?

  6. Does the school offer classes like art, PE, music?

  7. What is the average class size?

  8. Are their options for gifted children?

  9. Are their options for special needs children?

  10. How do they handle IEP/504 plans?

  11. Is this school using Common Core or have they opted out?

  12. What information does the school need to register?

  13. What, if any, placement exams does your child need to take?

  14. Does your new district have magnet schools, language immersion programs or the ability to transfer schools you are not zoned to go to?

  15. What are the graduation requirements? How is rank determined?

 

Child's Education Portfolio:

  • Some examples of their school work (reading, writing, math, science, etc).

  • Report Cards

  • Assessment & Test Results

  • Teacher Comments (get your current teach to write a letter to the new teacher, updating them on your child's current academic status).

  • Notes from Conferences

  • Copies of IEP

  • Copies of 504 Plan

  • Immunization Records

  • Speech or Occupational Therapy Evaluations

  • Letters from teachers

  • Unofficial Transcript

  • List of Awards or Special Programs (IB, AP, etc).

Educate.

 

Military families need to know the rights of their children when transferring between schools, this is very important to the top-notch educational experience all children deserve.

 

Policies such as the Interstate Military Children's Compact protect your child's ability to have choices when it comes to classes, teachers, tryouts, and auditions. Additionally, it includes legislature that outlines what is required to makes sure that all credits are properly recognized to ensure on-time graduation.

 

In order to help with the PCSing process, we included an important check list.  We are also here to help you and support you should you have any questions or concerns.

 

  1. Research: We look for housing based on good schools, so start you search on the internet using sites, like www.greatschools.org or www.schoolquest.org, Facebook, local spouse groups, PTA group pages, etc. Ask lots of questions, most people are willing to assist and want to help our military families.

  2. Reach Out: Contact your new locations School Liaison Officer and Family Readiness Center. They are there to help make your transition easier, and answer your questions.

  3. Questions, Questions, & More Questions: Start a list of questions that you want to know from each choice, as well as questions you and your spouse might want to discuss (just a few questions to get you started below).

  4. Compare Your Schools: Unfortunately, there are major differences between schools in different parts of the country, and you need to understand how that will effect your child's education. By anticipating whether your child might be ahead or behind, you can work to supplement their current workload to help with an easier transition once they arrive. Visit the school district's and school's websites to help determine what level of proficiency is expected at each grade level.

  5. Create a Portfolio: By having some examples of your child's school work on hand you can use it to help compare where they are currently at to the expecations of the next school. You can also find similarities or differences in the curriculum being used (recommended items for your portfolio under the question list).

  6. Get Guidance: Once you have baselined your child's current academic proficiency, contact the guidance counselor(s) at the school(s) of your choice and speak with them about possible gaps in your child's record. Start to create a plan for bringing your child up to speed, or if your child is ahead, then work with the guidance counselor to ensure that your child will be adequately challenged in their new environment.

  7. Connect: One of the hardest parts of moving for a child is losing friends and connections. If your child is moving before summer starts, but after school gets out, see if the school has any opportunities to meet children over the summer, like camps. If they are moving during the school year, set up a one-on-one appointment with the teacher before they start class, so they will know at least one friendly face in the room.

  8. Stand Up for Your Rights: Leverage commissions like the Interstate Military Child Compact to ensure that your child has equal access to classes and extra-curricular activites (http://www.mic3.net/). Work with your school liaision, they are there to help and want to help you.

  9. Get to Know Your New School: Create a binder or digitial folder of information on your new school, like the calendar, summer hours, parent nights, fundraising events, opportunities to volunteer, etc. The quicker you can become involved with your child's school, the sooner both your child will make friends, and so will you!

  10. You've Arrived: Upon arrival ensure that you enroll your child immediately (some schools do fill up), go through the educational binder with your child's teacher, take a tour of the school, try to meet some of the other children/families, and start to establish yourself within the community.

 

 

Before you know it, you will be the resources being asked these questions, and you will be able to give back to another military family!

 

They Serve 2 is available to help with ensuring a smooth educational transition for your family by advocating on your behalf, educating your family on the Interstate Military Child Compact, providing transition baskets & back packs to start your child's experience off right!

 

http://militaryspouse.com/family/a-parents-pcs-checklist-for-changing-schools/

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