Resources for SC Military Families
Department of Defense Education Activity provides professional development training in a webinar format for school liaison officers. This information is also helpful for local school districts to understand the needs of students and how to support them in a comprehensive manner. DoDEA’s Website “Keeping Students at the Center” http://slmodules.dodea.edu/.
School Liaison Officers serve as a primary point of contact for students and their families transitioning to new communities and schools. They are also a resource for schools and school districts. To view a list of school liaison officers by branch, go to http://www.dodea.edu/Partnership/schoolLiaisonOfficers.cfm.
Fort Jackson MWR School Liaisons provide ongoing educational support for military connected schools. This comprehensive website provides information about public and private schools, homeschooling, and local school districts. http://www.fortjacksonmwr.com/school_liaison
Military Impacted School Association is a national organization of school superintendents. MISA supports school districts with a high concentration of military children by providing detailed, comprehensive information regarding impact aid and resources for families and schools. http://militaryimpactedschoolsassociation.org/
The Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) provides consistent policy in every school district and in every state that voluntarily joins MIC3. MIC3 addresses key educational transition issues such as enrollment, placement, attendance, eligibility and graduation. http://www.mic3.net
For more information about South Carolina’s role in MIC3, go to http://ed.sc.gov/agency/lpa/mic.cfm.
South Carolina Operation: Military Kids (OMK) is part of the National OMK initiative designated to provide support to the children and youth of families that are impacted by global contingency operations. This includes those served by Army installations, Air Force, Navy and Marine bases, and those families, children and youth who are geographically dispersed. www.operationmilitarykids.org www.scomk.org
The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) focuses on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition. A 501(c)(3) non-profit, world-wide organization, the MCEC performs research, develops resources, conducts professional institutes and conferences, and develops and publishes resources for all constituencies. http://www.militarychild.org/
Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members, and their families. Information includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, spouse employment and education, parenting and childhood services. It is a virtual extension to installation services. The program also provides free resources to schools, including books and videos with relevant topics that help students cope with divorce and deployment. www.militaryonesource.mil
South Carolina Programs
The International Baccalaureate Program helps students develop skills to create a better and peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. For more information, including a list of South Carolina schools participating in the IB Program, go to http://ed.sc.gov/agency/programs-services/127/.
Full and half-day four-year-old kindergarten is available in the state and is offered in public schools and private child care centers. State-funded prekindergarten for four-year-olds serves children in the “most at-risk” category, where family income falls 185% below poverty level. Families may also be eligible for services such as Even Start, Head Start, state-funded family literacy programs, Social Security, food stamps, Medicaid or temporary assistance to needy families (TANF). Children also qualify in case of a documented developmental delay, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) requiring pre-kindergarten, incarceration of a parent, placement in a foster home, or a child who is homeless. Documentation of family or child “most at-risk” conditions must be kept on file for review. Children who participate in free and reduced meal programs at the center/school they attend may also qualify, if income eligibility is verified on each child and records are kept on file for review. Some districts use local funds to serve children who are not in the “at risk” category. Several districts serve all children who request services. A few districts charge a fee for non-qualifying children, but state regulations prohibit any fees for “at risk” children. State law says that “students may enter kindergarten in the public schools of this State if they will attain the age of four on or before September first of the applicable school year.”