The mission of the School Liaison is to mobilize and use community resources to reduce the impact of the mobile military life style on military school-age children and families; to implement predictable support services that assist school-age children with relocations, life transitions and achieving academic success.
USMC School Liaisons support transitioning families in obtaining educational information and assistance from local school districts. The School Liaisons role is very comprehensive and is adapted at each installation according to the needs of the community.
Implementation of the School Liaison is assurance that USMC Leadership considers a quality education “is a Marine priority by working to ‘level the playing field’ for Marine families.”
Baseline Services Include
School transition support services
School and community partnership initiatives
Home school linkage/support
Post-secondary preparation opportunities
School Liaisons network, educate, and work in partnership with local schools to provide caring adults to enhance school-age education experience. The School Liaison provides military commanders with the support necessary to coordinate and advise military parents of school-aged children in education issues and needs and to assist in solving education-related problems. This support includes:
- Maintaining information on the availability and access of education services available in their areas
- Providing resources to parents, students, schools, commanders and communities that facilitate school transitions and relationships
- Educating local schools and communities about the needs of military school-age children and the military lifestyle.
- Mobilizing community resources to reduce the impact of the mobile military lifestyle on military school-age children.
- Serving as communicator and facilitator that assist parents and commanders in interacting with local schools an in responding to education transition issues for all school ages.
- Identifying barriers to the academic success and smooth transition of Marine school-age children and develop solutions to barriers.
- Referring families to support programs to ensure that military families receive responsive support with a minimum of referrals and paperwork.
- Promoting parent and community involvement in youth education
- Developing school and community partnership initiatives
Common Core Standards Adoption
Between February 2010 and November 2011, nearly all states adopted the common-core standards. By 2013, some states were debating to keep them, but as of mid-April 2014, only one state, Indiana, had formally reversed its adoption. For more information about common core standards across the U.S., please click here.
USDA Summer Food Service Program
The Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth/Special Needs recently met with representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services to discuss the 2014 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Childhood hunger is a problem that affects almost every community in this country. Approximately 21 million children in the United States receive free and reduced-price lunches through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). A challenge in this effort is ensuring children, even during the summer months, receive the nutrition they need. The SFSP was established to ensure eligible children, including military children, continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Through SFSP, free, nutritious meals are provided to all children at approved sites. The summer feeding program currently reaches only about 16 percent of eligible children nationally.
For more inforamtion, please visit whyhunger.org
Online Education Directory
Although named ‘Directory for Children with Special Needs,’ we have found that the directory can and is used by many families who are transitioning with a school-age child. The directory has assisted them in identifying school districts (on or near an installation) responsible for the provision of educational services to military children. Knowing the districts and schools is helpful when a family is considering where to live – especially if they will reside off the installation. The Directory is designed so that all the user has to do is select the state, and then the installation the sponsor will be assigned to in order to get a list of the early intervention agencies and school districts. Links then take them to the early intervention agencies’, school districts’ and schools’ websites.
Visit today at militaryonesource.com
One of the greatest challenges military families face is creating educational continuity while living a mobile military lifestyle. There are often variances in educational programs between states, because education is a function of the state rather than a federal system. In response, military families have begun to explore the option of homeschooling as a means of providing stability and flexibility for their children.
Some items to keep in mind if you are considering homeschooling:
- Homeschooling is also a function of the state
- The laws and regulations you need to follow will depend on the state in which you physically reside, not your military state of residence.
- If you do decided to homeschool your children, you MUST withdraw them from their last school and request their records.
The California Education Code provides that “all children between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend public full-time school unless otherwise exempted.” (section 48200) This “compulsory schooling law” has two statutory exemptions.
- The private tutoring exemption (section 48224) for children who are instruction for a least three hours each day, 175 days a year by a teacher who holds a valid California teaching credential for the grade taught, and
- The private school exemption (section 48222) for children who are enrolled in a full-time private school. There are no laws that establish the minimum standards for the teachers or curricula of private schools. The only legal requirement for private schools is that they file a Private School Affidavit (section 33190) with their local County Superintendent of Schools.
Those three sections of Education Code are the entire law of homeschooling in California. As you can see by reviewing the Code, homeschooling is not explicitly forbidden or allowed in California. Practically speaking the vagueness of the law affects few of California’s 60,000 or more homeschool kids. These families are confident in their legal right to homeschool their children.
How do homeschooling families comply with education code, if it does not mention homeschooling?
They comply with the compulsory school law in one of four ways.
- They establish a private school in their own home.
- They enroll their children in a private school that offers a satellite program for homeschooling (PSP).
- They employ a private tutor or hold a California teaching credential themselves.
- They send their children to a public school that offers independent study.
Option 1: Private School Affidavit
Many Californian families choose to comply with the state’s compulsory attendance law by establishing a private school in their own home. These families file the private school affidavit (see section 33190) with their local county board of education just like their local Waldorf, Catholic, or college-preparatory school does. Since the Education Code allows anyone to establish a private school of any size, with any philosophy, employing whatever teachers they choose, parents use this legal provision to homeschool. Many years ago, the California Department of Education used to question the legality of these very small private schools, but for the last five years has explicitly agreed with our interpretation that the law permits parents to form these schools.
Option 2: Virtual Academy
There are several virtual academies and charter schools available in the area from which to choose. These schools provide online instruction and printed materials, as well as individual support to parents via telephone and in person through an assigned teacher (usually monthly). This option also provides support for record keeping and curriculum, which may be helpful for first time homeschool parents.
Option 3: ICE
You may utilize the ICE (Independent and Continuing Education) Program available through the Barstow Unified School District. ICE offers flexible weekly support from a state certified teacher and all materials are provided to parents at no cost. The program will assist you in record keeping and provide parents with support in teaching their children at home. For more information contact:
- Barstow Unified School District at (760) 255-6063
- Silver Valley Unified School District at (760) 254-2715
Option 4: Private Tutor
According to California Home School Network, a parent with a California teaching credential may school their children under the private tutorial exemption. The parent may only school children in the grade levels and subjects covered by the credential. Parents may also hire a credentialed tutor. Students using this option must receive instruction for a least three hours a day, 175 days per school year, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm.
Can I really do this?
Thousands of parents of all educational backgrounds are successfully homeschooling. Fortunately, the decision you make is also yours to change.
- There is no homeschooling bureaucracy
- There are no committees to pass judgement
- There are no forms to fill out in triplicate
You are not alone! For support, contact www.meetup.com.
For more information on homeschooling laws and regulations by state, please visit www.hslda.org/laws.
For more information on homeschooling organizations across the world, please visit www.hslda.org/orgs.
Knowledge Adventure has been making educational games for kids for over two decades. Working with child experts, developmental psychologists and educators, it produces games loved by parents and children alike. The fun educational games created by Knowledge Adventure have won many awards, including the iParenting Media Award, the Toy Man Award of Excellence and the National Parenting Seal of Approval, to name a few. Visit www.KnowledgeAdventure.com to play one of the hundred fun, free online education games for kids.
Lakeshore is dedicated to creating innovative educational materials that spark you imaginations, instill a sense of wonder and foster a lifelong love of learning. With materials for infants & toddlers through the 6th grade, they help children reach developmental milestones and achieve educational goals – while still having fun! Lakeshore knows that each child is unique, and they strive to develop materials that appeal to children of all interests, backgrounds and abilities. All of the products they carry must meet stringent quality & safety standards – so the products are strong enough for daily use in a classroom and safe enough for use by babies and children. Visit www.LakeshoreLearning.com for free flashcards, e-cards, word search, clip art, calendars, templates, writing practice and printables.
A good education is like a savings account; the more you put into it, the richer you are. This collection of educational resources has been created to add a little fun to your children’s learning. Some were created to help their own children to grasp a particular concept of deepen their understanding of something they were being taught in school. Others were created in response to suggestions from their friends and visitors to Activity Village, some of them looking particularly for home school resources. For more information visit www.ActivityVillage.co.uk.
Military Child Education Coalition
The work of the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) is focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition. A 501(c)(3) non-profit, world-wide organization, the MCEC performs research, develops resources, conducts professional institutes and conferences, and develops and publishes resources for all constituencies. For more information visit www.MilitaryChild.org.
Scholarships for Creative Teens
Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the exceptional vision of our nation’s youth, and they provide a singular opportunity for students to be noticed for their creative talents. Each year, increasing numbers of creative teens submit their work, and they become part of a community – young artists and writers, filmmakers and photographers, poets, and sculptors, and countless educators who support and encourage the creative process. For more information visit www.ArtandWriting.org.
School Family is the only website focused exclusively on helping parents help their kids make the most of their school year. By providing families with expert insight, information and resources, School Family serves to help parents set their school-age children for year-round success in school. For more information visit www.SchoolFamily.com.
This annual event provides school supplies and backpacks to school-aged children (PreK-12) of active duty and activated Reserve or National Guard families assigned to, or living aboard MCLB Barstow. School supplies for active duty service members and their spouses who will be attending school are also provided. Backpacks and school supplies are not provided to civilian patrons.
The Superintendents from Barstow Unified School District and Silver Valley Unified School District are normally in attendance during this annual event to help register your child for school and to answer any questions you may have. There are also representatives from nearby schools as well as other MCLB programs. The information tables are available to ALL patrons of MCLB.
For questions regarding this annual event or any other local school information or assistance, please the School Liaison Officer at (760) 577-5854.
School Liaison Directory
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) list 13 separate categories of disabilities under which children may be eligible for special education and related services. The handicapping conditions are:
Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance.
Deaf-Blindness means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or child with blindness.
Deafness means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistics information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Emotional disturbance is defined as a condition exhibiting on or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:
- An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual sensory, or health factors
- An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers
- Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances
- A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression
- A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems
The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.
Hearing impairment means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating that adversely affects a child’s educational performance but that is no included under the definition of deafness in this section.
Mental retardation means significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Multiple disabilities means concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation – blindness, mental retardation – orthopedic, etc) the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairment. The term does not include deaf-blindness.
Orthopedic impairments means a sever orthopedic impairments that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital abnormality (e.g. clubfoot, absence of some member, etc), impairments caused by disease (e.g. poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc), and impairments from other causes (e.g. cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).
Other Health Impairments
Other health impairments means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickly cell anemia and adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Specific Learning Disability
Specific learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal; brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, or emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
Speech or Language Impairment
Speech or language impairment means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injury means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affect a child’s educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgement; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries by birth trauma.
Visual Impairment Including Blindness
Visual impairment including blindness means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. There term includes both partial sight and blindness.
Checklists for Transferring Students and for Exceptional Family Members in EFMP
These lists will provide a great starting point to serve as reminder for important documents to keep on hand during your move and not be packed away. You can also involve your child in the moving process by giving them important things to do that contributes to the process.
- Activities Record (such as co/extracurricular)
- JROTC Records
- Letters of Recommendation (especially for senior students)
- Writing Samples (if available)
- At-Risk or Action Plans for Classroom Modifications (if available)
- Portfolios (if available)
- Accelerated Reader Points (if available)
- Service Learning Hours (if available)
If there were special needs interventions in place, these items will help to communicate this to the new district:
- Request a copy of child’s complete educational records. Be sure you have a copy of the child’s latest Individualized Educational Program (IEP).
- Obtain a copy of all assessment information and medical records used by local school to plan for child’s special needs.
- Meet with child’s teacher and review the progress that child has made since the last IEP was developed. Ask for any suggestions that may help you and the staff at the new school plan a program for your child.
- Write the director of special education for the state to which you are going for a copy of the special education guidelines and policies. Get in touch with the director of special education in the local school system. Give the name of your child that is transferring and current educational placement, and ask what might be done before the transfer is made to the new area. If you are going overseas, the appropriate DoDDS special education regional coordinator should receive information to facilitate your child’s placement throughout the military or civilian EFMP coordination process.
- Contact the Parent Training and Information Center in the new state.
- Take any special equipment, medication refills, or supplies which your child may need in the next two months.
- Hand carry all information on your child’s educational program to the new duty station.
- Upon arriving at your new duty station, make an appointment to meet with the local director of special education or DoDDS principal and visit the installation EFMP manager.
School of Arts in Barstow!
Barstow Unified School District has opened the Barstow Fine Arts Academy magnet school. Working together, staff, parents, and community members are committed to supporting an exceptional educational program for all students in a safe and positive environment where exploration of fine arts, servant leadership, creative thinking, and achievement will foster student academic, artistic, and social success.
District of Attendance
California Education Code 48200 provides that a pupil shall attend school in the district in which the parent or legal guardian resides, unless otherwise exempted. The Governor of California approved the bill AB306 regarding interdistrict transfers which establishes school of choice options for Active Duty Service Members across California.