Tis the season!
Moving house is tough, especially when it happens every three or so years.
It’s hard for school-aged kids:
- saying good-bye to ALL their friends
- leaving their school and teachers
- having to make new friends
- going to a brand new school, all alone
But there are ways to make it easier
Keep reading to learn how to make your military PCS smoother!
1. Request ALL school records
Make sure that this includes all state/local test scores, health screenings, and report cards that your child accumulated while at the school.
Ask for two sets. One you should hand-carry to your next school. The other you should mail to the school right now. Classes are being formed, and you want to make sure your child is accounted for now.
2. Ask your child’s teacher for a letter of recommendation
Even if the new school doesn’t have an admissions process, it is helpful for future teachers to have insight into your child from an academic standpoint. Let the teacher know that the letter will be confidential, meaning that you won’t sneak a peek! Don’t worry, though, anything related to academics is part of your child’s education record and is available to you at any time.
3. Get legal
This is especially true for students with an IEP/504 Plan, or those in gifted programs.
For special education, federal laws govern the big issues. But states, and even districts, do things slightly differently. For example, in District A, they use IEP software program 123. But in District B, they use program 568. The IEPs will hold the same legal weight, but might be worded differently, be formatted differently, or have different categories.
Gifted education mandates and rules vary district to district, even within the same state or county. Although Susy might have been qualified for the GT program where you are currently living, there might be higher standards in your new district, or they use a different test, or they don’t accept GT qualifications from other districts at all!
4. Get an advocate!
Your first instinct upon reaching a barrier in your child’s education might be to raise a fuss or cause a ruckus or to just haunt the office until you get your way.
But here’s the thing: doing these things may get you your way; it will also get you a reputation. And not a good one.
The better choice is to hire an education expert. Someone who speaks “teacher” and can finesse the situation. Someone who knows the specific needs of your family and your child. When an advocate is on your team, they can cut through the jargon and put it into plain English.
Want some education help? Contact me! I have years of experience on both sides of the desk!
How do you make your PCS moves smoother?
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Chris A says