Schools Serving Military Families Strive to Make Children Feel Welcome

first_imgAs schools across the country prepare to track the academic progress of military kids under education legislation passed in December, a number of districts already have programs in place to support the children of service members.Silver Strand Elementary School in the Coronado Unified School District, outside of San Diego, has a full-time military family life counselor and eight part-time specialists who work closely with small groups of students on reading, writing and math, reported EdSource. The tutors are funded by federal grants; the counselor is paid for by the Navy.“We want students to feel, first and foremost, welcome and secure,” said Principal Bill Cass.Five other schools in Southern California are part of the Welcoming Practices consortium, a DOD initiative of the University of Southern California aimed at helping schools develop support systems for military children. The schools have adopted practices such as prominently displaying military family photographs and establishing a welcome center to ease the registration process for newly arrived military kids.At Chula Vista’s Veterans Elementary School, a mobile app developed by the consortium helps military families connect to programs and after-school activities run by their school district, the community and DOD, according to the story.Starting in the 2017-18 school year, students from military families will be assigned an identification number that will allow schools to monitor test scores, graduation rates and other results.About 60,000 military dependents live in California, but in many cases school districts don’t always know which students are from military families or how to address the challenges facing them. The problem is especially prevalent in “outlier districts where there isn’t a concentration of military-connected children,” said Kate Wren Gavlak, chair of the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img

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