For School Leaders

Girl in a classroom


  • Understand the differences between the various military branches and protocols
  • Understand the unique needs of a military child
    • Family locations, demographics, and needs
    • Social/emotional attributes of military children
    • Academic needs of military children
  • Understand how the Department of Defense supports schools
    • DoD Impact Aid Programs
    • DoDEA Educational Partnership
    • Military Family Life Consultants
    • Military Assistance Programs
      • Joint Family Support Assistance Program
      • Operation Military Kids
  • Understand how the U.S. Department of Education Impact Aid works
  • Understand how best to support military students’ needs
    • Easing academic risks
    • Building resilience/supporting Psychological Health
    • Ways to increase parent involvement
    • Collaboration best practices
  • Basic Military Terms and Acronyms

An average military child moves six to nine times during their school years. Yet, children of military families are often more independent, adaptable, and able to relate better to those of diverse backgrounds. Nonetheless, their mobile lifestyle and the impacts of parental deployment means that they may struggle to develop deep and lasting relationships. They may also suffer from depression or have more difficulties concentrating than their classmates. All the while these children are attempting to learn to read, manage their friendships, and maintain their grades so that they can graduate from school.

Schools can be impacted by large-scale military moves or the occasional relocation of a family. The following information is intended to help school leaders understand the needs of military families, the resources they require, and the Federal and local resources available to help ease the transition. Consider the benefits to smooth student transitions:

  • Better preparation for additional staffing and fewer overcrowded classrooms
  • Ability to guide new parents and students through school policies and procedures, which supports the school community at large, as well
  • Quicker assessment of new students’ academic support needs, aiding general school goals to meet AYP
  • Better ability to establish appropriate supports for students with special needs or for English Language Learners
  • Stronger partnerships with local installation leaders, who can help provide policy and community support