- Helping schools understand the challenges military Families face
- Informing parents about local school policies
- Giving Families information about local schools, graduation requirements, after school programs, youth sponsorship and homeschooling
- Connecting units and schools through partnership initiatives
- Conducting workshops to help parents navigate educational transition and advocate for their children
- Providing an array of resources that benefit military youth and improve school experiences
- Here is an additional resource for returning back to in-person learning.
- When Do I Need a SLO?
Getting ready to move:
- Information about your upcoming duty station and educational options in your new community
- Connection to a youth sponsor who can answer your child’s questions from a youth’s perspective
- Assistance with the steps to prepare for your children’s departure from their current schools
Once you arrive:
- Assistance with school registration and transition
- Help with questions about compliance and solutions regarding the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
- Two way communication between the school and parent
- Connection with homeschool co-ops or support groups
During your assignment:
- Answers to your questions about schools, homeschooling, special education, scholarships, transitions and more.
- Parent education opportunities about college and career readiness, preparing for transition and the Interstate Compact
To ease the transition, contact your SLO as soon as you get orders.
- Finding a School
Finding a new school and registering your child can be confusing.
We can help.
Our SLOs give you information on local schools so you can find the best fit for you and your family. They can also help you with everything you need to register – and can answer other questions, too. Contact our office and to get more detailed information.
Research-based Characteristics of Quality Schools
Most schools share fundamental characteristics that prepare students for the future. Research shows that the most effective schools are more alike than they are different. Here is some information about what to look for in quality schools:
- Five Key Features of Effective Schools
- Effective Schools Research Base
- What is Effective School Research?
- The United States Department of Education provides detailed information about choosing a school and offers a great number of resources to help you make an informed decision when choosing a school for your child.
Virginia Department of Education School Report Card (Web): Please reference the state report card so you may be informed and inquire when touring your school. Virginia has Standards of Learning and does not follow the Common Core. Every state has its own Department of Education which determines its own accreditation and standards. Because of this, it is not possible to compare to schools outside of the state. Where you live determines where your children attend school. Military waivers do not exist for the elementary school on Fort Belvoir.
- Fairfax County School Boundary Locator
- Fairfax County Public School Military Families
- Fairfax County Public Schools FAQ’s for Military Families
- Prince William County School Boundary Locator
Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children (Web): These Virginia Code of Law provisions are to assist military dependents moving from public education in one state to public education in another state.
There are several resources to support military connected children and youth while their parents have duty assignments.
The Fairfax County Office of Children Centers (Web) located at your child’s school follow the School District Calendar.
Prince William County Schools (Web) contract care through Minnieland Academy who follows their School District Calendar.
Military Child Care Fee Assistance
- Army Fee Assistance Family Handbook (PDF)
- Army Fee Assistance (Web)
- Other Branches of Service (Web)
- US Army Child & Youth Services, USAG Fort Belvoir (Web)
Virginia Council for Private Education (Web): oversees accreditation of nonpublic preschool, elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth. A peer review process and an annual reportingrequirement have been developed to monitor the standards. Please refer to the link for a list of private schools currently approved by the Virginia Council for Private Education:
Important Fact for School Transitions: Accreditation through a VCPE Approved State Recognized Accrediting Member guarantees the transfer of student credits from the state recognized accredited private school to a public school and ensures recognition of teacher licensure credits for time served in an accredited private school.
- Youth Sponsorship
Does your child have 101 questions about your next duty station? Let a youth sponsor answer them!
Youth sponsors connect with children before arrival at a new duty station, provide them with information about their new communities and answer questions from a youth perspective – while being guided by adults in the CYS youth program and the schools.
Once you arrive, a youth sponsor will meet your child and can arrange community and school tours.
If you're preparing for a PCS move, contact your SLO today to sign up for a youth sponsor.
Military-Specific and Government Academic Support
MilitaryOneSource (Web): You can access Military OneSource free non-medical anonymous counseling online, on the phone, or in person. Twelve free sessions may occur in individual, couple, family or group settings.
Military Family Life Consultants (PDF): MFLCs are available to meet in-person on or off the military installation. The free non-medical anonymous sessions may occur in individual, couple, family or group settings.
Youth sponsorship emulates the Department of Defense Military Sponsorship Program. These programs are peer led with adult supervision and provide support especially during times of transition.
Military Youth on the Move (Web): The Department of Defense designed Military Youth on the Move as one-stop shop for parents and students with moves and deployment.
Military Kids Connect (Web): The Department of Defense formed the National Center for Telehealth & Technology to offer this online community for military connected students which provides access to age appropriate resources dealing with unique challenges of military life.
- Special Education Information
If you have a child with special needs, we can help you find the resources available in your school district. We can also connect you with your local installation’s Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) office.
- Additional References & Resources for Special Education
Highly mobile children are entitled to an expedited process, including: a) evaluations in 30 days instead of 60 days, b) removed delays due to school district schedules for Families moving during incomplete screenings, c) continued Extended School Year for students moving in the summer. The United State Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services outlines these requirements for State Directors of Special Education.
The Center for Parent Information and Resources offers parent education, acronyms, tools, webinars and a directory of local Parent and Information Training Centers to appropriately advocate for their children, proactively supporting personal accountability. Funded by OSEP.
Military OneSource has a range of resources in caring for a family member with special needs: education, health care, legal, financial, points of contact (EFMP, School Liaisons, etc.)
Military Community & Family Policy-Office of Special Needs provides directory of age-specific resources and States at a Glance for state education special education resources and parent resources.
DirectSTEP provides no-cost, Army sponsored online training for educators and parents on a host of special education topics such as understanding federal requirements, best practices for behavior management, IDEA eligibility, IEPs and more. Through the eCourses parents and educators learn how to apply education laws in order to obtain positive outcomes associated with critical education issues. Access the course listing and registration page through the links below.
- Home School
Home schooling has become mainstream and widely-used. We offer resources and information to help you provide quality home-based education.
Home School Legal Defense Association provides information on home school law, and general support and information about homeschooling.
Virginia Requirements for Home Instruction (Web): August 15th is for the Notification by Parent to provide home instruction. For families moving to the county during the school year, submission must be within 30 days of setting up residence. It is required for all students to demonstrate evidence of progress either through a composite score in/above the 4th stanine on nationally standardized achievement test (3rd grade/above) or a) subject portfolios for each quarter b) transcripts from distance learning program or college.
- Transition Support
We understand that military transitions for children include much more than school plans and enrollment. We have a number of resources to help make your move as easy as possible for the kids, including:
Military Kids Connect provides online age-appropriate resources to help parents, teachers and children cope with the unique challenges of military life.
The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (MIC3) addresses key transition issues military Families experience, including enrollment, placement, attendance, eligibility and graduation. All 50 states have signed the compact and are in varying stages of implementation and/or compliance. The compact applies to children of Active Duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members on active duty orders and members or veterans who are medically discharged or retired within past year.
If you feel that you have an issue that the Compact can help address talk with your SLO. The SLO is able to assist by connecting with both the sending and receiving school to assist in resolving the issue. If it is not possible to resolve the issue locally, the SLO will help you work with the state commission, and if needed, the national office.
Partners In Education, USAG Fort Belvoir
To support school learning communities by collectively improving systems for transition predictability for military-connected and other highly mobile students. Together, the school districts and the installation use the guiding principles outlined by superintendents, school board members, and commanders in the US Army Secondary Education Transition Study (SETS) to accomplish comprehensive outreach, create a network of professional development, and enhance educational activities. Fairfax County Public Schools and Prince William County Schools are signatories of the (SETS) Memorandum of Agreement.
- Post - Secondary Support
Our support doesn’t end with elementary education. If you have children preparing for academic life after high school, we can help you find information about testing opportunities, scholarships and military-specific resources that can help you plan.
The US Department of Veteran’s Affairs provides information about Military-Specific and Government Academic Support G.I. Bill
The Transferability of Educational Benefits for the Post 9/11 GI Bill are very specific. The Defense Manpower Data Center, through MilConnect will guide you through the transfer process and your eligibility to do so. Speak with an Education Counselor prior to making this election in order to ensure you understand the benefit.
In-State Tuition Programs for Military: Service-members, active duty for a period of more than 30 days and their dependents are eligible to receive in-state tuition at many public colleges and universities in the state where they reside or are permanently stationed. An enrolled dependent may pay in-state tuition as long as he or she remains continuously enrolled at the institution, even if the service-member is reassigned outside of the state. Regulations outlined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act, 2008 (P.L 110 - 135) and the Higher Education Act of 1965 (pdf) apply.
Here are some additional web resources to assist you with your child’s education:
Tutor.com for U.S. Military Families makes live tutors available online 24/7 to help with more than 40 core subjects and standardized test preparation.
Homework Support: Army Child Youth & School Services provides Homework Labs in before/after school programs for elementary students at the School Age Center, and for middle and high school students at the Youth Center.
A personalized learning resource for all ages Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, SAT and more.
School Support Services include information about other programs you can use for support and resilience-related issues.
Military Family Life Counselors (MFLCs) are available to meet in-person on or off the military installation. The free nonmedical sessions are anonymous and may occur in individual, couple, family or group settings. Child Behavioral Specialists are located on the installation in Child, Youth and School Services programs, and in highly impacted schools located on and off the installation.
Military OneSource has access to free nonmedical counseling that’s anonymous and available online, on the phone or in person. Twelve free sessions may occur in individual, couple, family or group settings.
Ready and Resilient Workshops for youth and educators are offered through the SLO and Youth Center programs. These workshops provide educators and students with the same tools Soldiers receive through their Ready and Resilient training. As Master Resilience Trainers SLOs strive to develop a common language around resilience for educators, youth and their parents.
For information on how to attend a class contact your local SLO.
College and Career Readiness Resources:
College and career readiness includes the content knowledge, skills and habits that students must have to be successful in postsecondary education. It also includes training that leads to a sustaining career. A student who is ready for college and career can qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses without needing remedial or developmental coursework. These links have tools that will help you plan for your child’s college and career readiness:
Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) provides STEM opportunities for military connected youth. The website provides information about AEOP programs available to youth, scholarship opportunities, news, and ways to get involved.
Military.com Scholarship Finder Military.com provides a search engine to help you find money for your child’s higher education needs. Search over 1000 scholarships intended for military youth. They also have a Military Scholarship Handbook.
School Support Services Scholarship Database Listing of crowd sourced scholarships for military connected youth. Scholarships are listed in alphabetical order and provide information on deadlines and qualifications.
Provides a description of federal student aid programs from the U.S. Dept. of Education and how to apply for them.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Apply for federally funded financial assistance for education beyond high school.
Get Ready for College - College Planning, Financial Aid
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Unique Military Child Identifier? Numerous states have enacted a voluntary report-only self-identification of military children within their public school systems. This data collection would allow monitoring of critical elements such as academic progress and proficiency, special and advanced program participation, mobility and dropout rates. Requirements and method of collection vary from state to state.
Many local school districts across the United States include within their boundaries parcels of land that are owned by the Federal Government. They must provide a quality education to the children living on the Indian and other Federal lands while sometimes operating with less local revenue than is available to other school districts, because the Federal property is exempt from local property taxes.
Congress has provided financial assistance to these local school districts through the Impact Aid Program. Each year Military members and Federal employees complete a Survey Form. The amount of Impact Aid – or federal assistance –received is determined by the number of eligible parents/guardians who complete the survey form. It partially compensates school districts affected by federal activity for local tax losses resulting from tax-free federal installations.
Impact Aid Fact Sheet (we will provide a hand out to link to)
Impact Aid Website
At overseas/international locations where there is not a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school, NDSP supports a variety of options for your children, ranging from public or private schools to homeschool programs. NDSP has a team of education specialists who are available to provide transition and educational support and coordination for all students, including those with special needs. Sponsors are encouraged contact the NDSP as soon as possible for specific school information.
School Support Services provides Army school-aged youth with educational opportunities, resources and information necessary to achieve academic success. A branch of Child & Youth Services (CYS), School Support Services features School Liaison Officers (SLOs), who help schools, installations and Families work together for student achievement.
SLOs are your best support in the area of education, schools and military transitions. SLOs are knowledgeable in current education news and policies. They act as the conduit between the school community – including local public school districts, private schools and home school Families – and the installation.
How do they do it? By
Click on the video below to find out even more about School Liaison Officers (SLO). The Facebook Live event was presented by Military OneSource featuring a panel of School Liaison experts from each Service, explaining the benefits of the School Liaison program!