Kids Of America's Heroes Need to Be Observed
Military kid issues, especially education, have increasingly been in the news over the last few years. And for good reason! Right now, keeping track of military-connected students and connecting them to resources is often difficult. Kids slip through the cracks and miss out on opportunities that might have made a major difference in their lives.
Many Moves Leads to Missed Info, Gaps
Children of active duty troops move, on average, every 1-3 years. That means new schools, often located in entirely different states. Keeping track of academic success and trouble spots becomes more difficult with each move. The different education laws, various forms, and even acronyms for the same programs change from state to state, sometimes district to district.
Kids who are teetering on the edge of needing help or support might be missed, simply because records haven’t caught up with them or are on the “wrong” form.
Adding a Military Child Identifier to the public school enrollment process is important. It will let teachers and administrators know to look deeper into the transferred records for additional info.
Brings Overlooked MilKids Into Loop
There are a lot of services available for kids of active duty troops, but not quite so much support for the children of veterans, Guard or reserve service members.
Military-connected children don’t stop needing services when their parent ends active duty. The impact of frequent moves, multiple school districts, and even the trickle-down of repeated parental deployments is long-lasting.
CT is smart to include military-connected children of veterans, Guard and reserve troops. This proposed policy will make it easier for them to understand their rights and benefits, too.
Increased Awareness of Military-connected Kids Needs at Public Schools
Unless a public school is located near a military base, the staff and teachers are likely not frequently involved in MilKid issues. But with veterans, Guard, and reserve troops living in every community across Connecticut, every school and district should keep these concerns on their radar.
Schools should be the warehouse of information about support programs for military-connected children of any affiliation. Teachers, administrators, and school staff would be required to keep such information on hand and offer to help connect families to services.
This policy decreases the divide between the civilian and military communities simply by raising awareness.
Still Room for Improvements
Identification of military-connected students enrolled in public schools statewide. These kids will then be connected to appropriate support resources to help them succeed at school.
And that’s a great thing.
But there is still room for improvement:
Training of teachers at districts close to active, reserve, and Guard duty stations about Military-connected Kids specific issues
School Liaison Officers (SLOs) provided to help bridge the gap between the civilian and military communities, assist with enrollment and transfer
Tracking of student data with the Military-connected Kids identifier to monitor the long-term progress and success of this highly mobile population
At KOAH, we are committed to highlighting the Military-connected Kids struggle - and success!
There are a lot of services available for kids of active duty troops, but not quite so much support for the children of veterans, Guard, or reserve service members.