News: MCLB Barstow Marines return to school
Story by Pfc. Samuel Ranney
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE BARSTOW, Calif. - For some military families, signing their young ones up for school and transporting them there and back poses a challenge; however, the School Liaison and Exceptional Family Member Program on Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., simplifies these issues.
“There are 116 schools in the High Desert,” said Deborah McGough, the School Liaison and Exceptional Family Member Program manager here. “These schools include nine private schools and 10 charter schools.”
McGough further explained although families may apply for their child to attend any school of their choice, Montara Elementary School is the designated kindergarten through sixth grade school for service members living on base. Barstow Junior High School and Barstow High School are the designated schools to attend. Transportation is provided to and from base for both schools. Those who live off base are designated to attend whatever school district they are zoned to attend.
The bus for Montara Elementary School picks students up at 7:51 a.m., at the Youth Activities Center, Clara McKinney Complex on base and they are dropped off after school at 3:22 p.m. Barstow Junior High School and High School students are picked up at 6:34 a.m., also at the youth center; they are dropped off at 2:41 p.m.
“The bus is available for all children of military and civilian employees who work on base,” added McGough.
Aside from the designated schools, tax payers who live in the district have first priority to attend schools. Families who choose to attend other schools have to be accepted and provide their own transportation to and from school for their child, explained the Anchorage, Alaska, native.
For the families who use the designated schools and take the bus on base, Brian Korves, safety specialist here, has a few tips for kids to stay safe at the bus stop.
•Always walk on the sidewalks to the bus stop
•Wait for the bus in a safe place, do not play in the road
•Do not speak, or get in a car with any strangers
•Only get off the bus at your designated stop
•Keep aisles clear in the bus
•Do not horse play
For the safety of children and the convenience of parents here, the base family care branch offers before and after school care at the School Age Care located at the Clara McKinney Complex, Bldg. 63, explained Kristi Baker, assistant director of the Child Development Center. This provides a safe place where children can wait for their parents to get off of work.
“Care is offered at 5:45 a.m., until the bus comes to pick them up in front (of McKinney Youth Center),” Baker said. “After school care starts at 2 p.m., the children get dropped off depending on what time their school ends and are able to stay until 5:45 p.m.”
The youth center and the designated schools work together with scheduling, said McGough. If the school has an early release day, school age care will adjust their hours to accommodate the children.
The School Liaison Program and Exceptional Family Member Program works to address issues with registration, school transitions, academic success, local school policies, and also provides school supplies, concluded McGough.
For more information, the MCLB Barstow School Liaison Program Resource Book is available at the base library.