"On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again…"
No, you're probably not singing that song when word comes, forcing you to PCS before the school year ends. There is something so frustrating about those military orders with a report day of mid-April. A mid-year move is bad enough, but why can't Human Resource Command think about the school calendar?
Anyway, you have military orders,you are moving, and the kids will have to leave school early. What's a military parent to do?!
MILITARY ORDERS BEFORE SCHOOL IS OUT
Here are some experiences from those who have done it a time or three before.
"It's up to the principal of the new school whether they will accept the grades from the previous school if they cannot attend a new school for more than two weeks," says Jenny, who is PCSing to Korea from Arizona.
There is a magic number of days the child must attend to get full credit. "When I was teaching, we could not promote a child on the fourth quarter report card if they had not attended a specific number of days," remembers Missi, a military spouse and mom who has taught in several states.
Another mil-spouse recommends prolonging the military move until mid-May, or the last physical day the schools will give full credit, if at all possible.
When Amanda and her family left Georgia two weeks before school ended, she had to register her oldest in New York because they had two more months of school left. Although her son had perfect attendance and straight A's, he had to essentially repeat the last two months of the same grade.
MILITARY INTERSTATE CHILDREN'S COMPACT COMMISSION
In August of 2014, all 50 states joined this compact, essentially created to make it easier for military kids to switch schools throughout their parents' career. Department of Defense Schools cannot join the compact, but work hand-in-hand with students and families.
This compact is supposed to make it easier for children to switch schools, but it doesn't always work. At the Annual Association of the United States Army Conference in 2015, General Mark Milley commented, "If it isn't working or you run into problems, please tell us," he said. "Otherwise we have no way of knowing what is happening."
Of course, it isn't all smooth sailing. That would just be too easy. It seems as though populations with lots of military kids are easier to work with, including those schools on overseas military installations. Katie, a Marine spouse, had a really hard time when leaving Texas. "Texas wouldn't release the kids from school unless they registered elsewhere, Virginia wouldn't allow us to register them because there wasn't enough time left in their school year, so we were stuck. I withdrew the kids and sent them to my sister-in-law in Georgia to finish out the school year," she relays.
Sherri had a different challenge when leaving Germany. "We stayed a week after so the boys would hit the magic date to complete the school year," she remembers. "School was no issue but the Army side of it was far more complicated."
SCHOOL LIAISON OFFICER
Did you know each installation has a school liaison officer? I reached out to School Liaison Officer Erin Schnitger at Fort Huachcua. "Know your rights," is what she suggests first and foremost. "All 50 states have signed the Interstate Compact. This is a HUGE tool for military families. Just today, I had to use that document at the high school when they were not supporting a military impacted junior."
She also recommends these additional steps for military families with military orders:
- Hand carry your student's records – although schools may push back on this, the Compact authorizes military families to do so. (Don't pack them, keep them with you!)
- Have the old school's address, point of contact, and phone number written down.
- Know the state laws on education for both the state you are leaving and the state you are entering.
- State assessments are something you want to make sure you learn about, particularly for high school students.
- For special needs students, make sure you have the current IEP, all benchmark evaluations, and the contact information for the support they received in the school and medically.
Most families agree if it is possible to delay a move until the summer, that would be the first choice. Perhaps sending your service member ahead for a week or two may also be an option. Barring that, it can be an uphill battle to ensure your military child is getting everything they are entitled to. Educate yourself and don't be afraid to ask for help.
This post sponsored by PCSgrades.
The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.
"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"