MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, NC, UNITED STATES
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Getting children back to school can be a challenge for many parents, but there are options aboard the air station to help make the transition easier.
A challenge for military families is that school season often coincides with parents receiving orders to new duty stations.
Moving can be stressful enough.
“The schools here are super military friendly, they’re used to getting kids at all different times of the year and they’ll help make the transition easy,” said Donna Bagley, the local school liaison at Cherry Point. “One of the things these families don’t realize is that we have some year-round schools here.”
Where the kids go to school is one of the top issues Bagley helps with when working with military families, and she said, in the past many parents had trouble with the registration process.
The parents would make portfolios on their own, much like someone would do when applying for a job, but problems arose because parents would often put too much or too little information in the packets. So, school liaisons on the East Coast came together to design a portfolio with a list of information necessary for the registration process.
The portfolio, called the School Transition Folder, contains a list of documents needed by the students and their parents, a list of resources for anyone with questions and a list of all the school liaisons.
Also required in the folders are the children’s immunization records, a copy of their birth certificate, school transcripts, most recent report cards, proof of residency and picture identification.
Some tips she gave were that parents should contact the school and schedule an appointment to meet with the principal and teachers to let them know that they're coming. Children and parents can take a tour of the school to get to know the facility and get involved with school programs.
“The kids typically feel more comfortable if they can get a walk-through ahead of time,” said Bagley. “Involving the parents is beneficial because it’ll put the kids more at ease with the process.”
Bagley said it would be especially important for students with special needs to contact the schools ahead of time so the school can prepare.
Lastly, she advised that anyone planning a move in the future should do research about the new area they will be moving to.
“Children who have a sense of community are going to do well in all other areas because they’ll feel comfortable,” said Bagley.
“Some kids are super resilient, some are not. But I would advise that they get connected to things on the installation and local area.”
Getting your child involved in a club or local sports team is a great way to help them through the transition process, she said.
For more information contact the local school liaison or visit the school liaison website at http://www.usmc-mccs/school.
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This work, Back to school: Avoid the pains of getting children back in the classroom, by LCpl Glen Santy, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.