This Web site outlines the important policies, procedures, and best practices that will enable military families, military leaders, and school leaders to provide military-connected children the best possible support for success. For the purpose of this guide, the following are definitions of the three audiences using this Web site:
Military family: An all-inclusive term representing the parents and guardians of school-age children of military members.
Military leadership: A military or civilian leader of any Military Service who has the responsibility for the quality of life of military families.
School leadership: A term representing Local Education Agencies (LEA), school administrators, superintendents, principals, school board members, counselors, and educators in a school system.
Throughout the Web site there are also references to the importance of partnerships among each stakeholder group, including specific suggestions for collaboration. Evidence has shown that children are more likely to succeed when adult stakeholders find ways to collaborate on common goals. When military leaders are aware of the school options near their installation, and have positive communication with local school leaders, they can provide accurate and credible information for service members and installation personnel. Likewise, when schools and parents partner with the military, the children under their care are provided a greater level of support and advocacy.
This Web site was produced to lead the user to basic information and relevant resources. While key definitions and foundational information are provided here, a vast array of resources is available through online and print publications to supplement the Web site. The information is presented in five sections:
1 – Foundational Information for All Stakeholders
The first section will offer a basic understanding, for military leaders, parents, and school leaders, of the systems and policies they will encounter when supporting a child’s school experience. The laws, policies, and trends that help to establish our current educational system will be reviewed, as will the ways in which the Department of Defense has created partnerships to support the academic success of military children.
2 – Military Families
In this section, parents and guardians will find resources to support their children through all phases of their education, including practical information about making quality school and academic enrichment choices. This section will also help families to better understand their rights in the academic system and what to expect during times of transition.
3 – Military Leaders
This section will help military leaders understand how to best advocate for and support service members searching for quality education for their school-aged children. The section also incorporates discussion on the need to provide unique support for academic success while transitioning to a new installation, remaining stationed at a current installation or during family changes during deployment or recovery from family crisis as a result of service. This section also includes best practices for partnering with local school districts—which are central to providing effective support for military-connected children.
4 – School Leaders
Whether superintendent, school board member, principal, counselor, or educator, this section will provide a sound understanding of the military family, including descriptions of the various branches, standard protocols, and the unique experience of being a child in a military-connected family. To support school efforts, best practice tips are included based on the experience of school leaders in urban, rural, and suburban settings.
5 – Resources
The last section is a summary of the online and print resources referenced on this Web site. It is a comprehensive, annotated Web site intended to offer more in-depth information on topics of interest to military families, military leaders, and school leaders, alike.