Over the course of the summer, the military community sees moving trucks come and moving trucks go. Which means when the school year rolls around there are many, many new faces. For those who are experiencing a new school year, or even have children starting school for the first time in a new place, there are so many questions and concerns. When you add the military to this equation, it can quickly become a circus.
We’ve talked to some teachers, administrators, and parents and put together a few things that may ease your mind as you look to the school year.
Forms & Lists
In this technological age, most of the preliminary registration can be done online. But don’t let that fool you into thinking you’re done. As you enter into a new school district, you’ll also need to fill out several pages in person, and for each child. They range from media releases to internet conduct policies. And don’t forget the immunization records that must be on the correct state’s form. In case you were wondering, no Georgia will not accept a Florida form with the same information on it. Because that would be easy.
Shopping for school supplies can often seem like trying to hit a moving target. Yes, there are lists online and in the local stores, but is that really what teachers want? Try to talk to the PTO/PTA or the school and make sure ahead of time. Usually, those lists are pretty accurate, and you might as well pick up some cleaning wipes and boxes of tissues because the teachers need those too!
If your child is going to ride the bus (and let us be honest, who has time for car loop?) you’ll want to familiarize yourself and your child with the practice. Make sure you know what time the bus is coming and where it is picking up. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the neighbors as well! Also, learn the procedures for what the bus will do if you are not home to meet the bus or if your child misses their stop. You may also want to talk to the bus driver on that first day, so they get to know you.
Talking to the Teacher
Upon the first day of school, or the orientation day, you’ll want to let the teacher know that you are a military family who just moved here. This will help that teacher help your child, particularly if a deployment or separation is looming. It will also start your parent-teacher relationship off on the right foot. Don’t feel bad if you can’t volunteer for field trips or come into the class every day, the teacher wants your support, and they can get that in many different ways.
Don’t forget, if you have any questions or concerns regarding the school district, the school itself, or the teacher, don’t forget you have a School Liaison Officer on the nearby installation. Most schools close to installations are ready for military children, at any time of the year.
Talk to the Teacher by MilKidsEd
Seasons of My Military Student: Practical Ideas for Parents and Teachers by Amanda Trimillos and Stacy Allsbrook-Huisman
Military Child Education Coalition
Written by Rebecca Alwine exclusively for Military Crashpad.