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“LET’S WORK TOGETHER TO HELP OUR MILITARY CHILDREN” Empowering Effective Parent–School Collaboration “We aren’t keeping the good kids at home” Presented.

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Presentation on theme: "“LET’S WORK TOGETHER TO HELP OUR MILITARY CHILDREN” Empowering Effective Parent–School Collaboration “We aren’t keeping the good kids at home” Presented."— Presentation transcript:

1 “LET’S WORK TOGETHER TO HELP OUR MILITARY CHILDREN” Empowering Effective Parent–School Collaboration “We aren’t keeping the good kids at home” Presented by Dr. D. E. Baumeister, LCSW, C-SSWS, LMFT, LPCC

2 Workshop Agenda Topic Introduction Problem Identification Problem Solution Sample Vignettes Summary and Conclusion

3 Presentation Goals & Objectives * Workshop attendees will be able to identify a widely under-served student population; Workshop attendees will have some working knowledge of the Interstate Compact on Education Opportunity for Military Children; Workshop attendees will leave with an additional resource to help “reduce the educational difficulties encountered when the children of military personnel are required to transfer from schools in different states;” School social workers will now be better able to serve military families with school-age children; and Eligible students will not lose self-esteem or course credits on their way to earning a high school diploma.

4 The Problem The military family’s integration into local schools has evolved at times into "a pattern in which students blame teachers, teachers blame parents, and parents blame schools. The fault always lies elsewhere else" (Shipler, 2004, p. 236). “We have met the enemy and he is us” (Kilty, 1970).

5 Military Perspective: Brig. General Coglianese “The United States Armed Forces are comprised of thousands of service members who have committed and sacrificed their lives to ensure our national security, requiring a sacrifice on the part of every military family. One such sacrifice is dealing with deployment and frequent moves, on average, every three years. Mobility to this degree can have detrimental effects on the quality of education military school- aged students receive due to differences among states in their curriculum standards, course availability, entrance and eligibility policies and timelines, and graduation requirements. I believe quality education for the children of our uniformed personnel is a fundamental right, and contributes directly to the readiness of our military members and their families. The Compact has tremendous potential to assist military children entering and exiting California schools by removing or reducing barriers to their educational success as a result of frequent military moves and the deployment of their parents.” (October 2013)

6 Somewhat of a Solution To address the challenge, we need to reinvent the kinds of responses we have in place. The frequent turnover in both district personnel and military families moving from state to state necessitates that the collaborative effort be ongoing. Identifying concerns, generating solutions, and prioritizing treatment interventions as an integrated team spreads the burden and responsibility while supporting the child and family in searching for successful resolutions (Gardner, 1989; Chang, 1991).

7 Important Answers for Military Children MIC3 – The Interstate Compact on Education Opportunities for Military Children MIC3 is a compact with 46 states and the District of Columbia (as of April 2014) that have agreed on procedures and policies to remove education barriers for transitioning military children. Compact provisions apply only to students transferring between member states. If either state is not a member of the Compact, they are not required to comply with its provisions. The goal of the Compact is to replace the widely varying treatment of transitioning military students with a comprehensive approach that provides a uniform policy in every school district in every state that chooses to join. California has joined with it’s 1,000+ SDs. MCEC – The Military Child Education Coalition A non-profit, world-wide organization that focuses on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition.

8 Typical Student-School Challenges These challenges often include one or more of the following examples: Easing the transition from state to state in areas such as educational records, eligibility for extracurricular activities, time to meet immunization requirements, course placement flexibility, and approved absences for deployment-related activities allows the military child to more easily connect and find their place, both personally and academically, in their new school. There is a direct impact on the service member's mission readiness when the military family is prepared, connected, and supported especially when it comes to the family’s educational needs.

9 Working Together = Collaboration "We all say we want to collaborate, but what we really mean is that we want to continue doing things as we have always done them while others change to what we are doing." (Dr. Elders, former Surgeon General) This concept of working together for a common purpose, often found in a one-stop location, is productive when competing agencies agree to collaborate and cooperate for the good of the people they serve (Melaville & Blank, 1991).

10 Seven MCEC Tips to Live-&-Learn By 1. Read up on your states reading/English language arts and math by accessing them through the SchoolQuest library. 2. Study your state’s curriculum standards in reading and math. 3. Check out the “What Works” Clearinghouse established by the federal Department of Education. 4. Know what your child is responsible for on each test and how well they have to perform on each test to pass the course. 5. Parents of children who have unique learning challenges will want to know about accommodations and modifications for state assessment testing. 6. Begin searching for assessment test format information through the SchoolQuest State Education Resource Center. 7. Post test dates in your calendar and avoid scheduling medical, dental, or other appointments for your child during this time.

11 More on Collaboration The Committee on Comprehensive School Health Programs (1995) developed the following definition: “A comprehensive school health program is an integrated set of planned, sequential, school-affiliated strategies, activities, and services designed to promote the optimal physical, emotional, social, and educational development of students. The program involves and is supportive of families and is determined by the local community based on community needs, resources, standards, and requirements. It is coordinated by a multidisciplinary team and accountable to the community for program quality and effectiveness” (p. 2). Fullan & Stiegelbauer (1991) identify the fact that the first step towards "solutions must come through the development of shared meaning” (p. 5). A recent RAND study (Bodily, Chun, Ikemoto, & Stockly, 2004) concluded that “collaboration-building is an uncertain process, but one with at least some significant promise for improving our schools” (p. 3). However, Pogrow (2006) states that it’s “not enough to get everyone on the same page—the page needs some new prose” (p. 224).

12 Stakeholders’ Responsibility * All individuals who are interested or involved in the military student learning process or its outcome; this includes the DoD, service branches, state/local boards of education, district office staff, site staff, parents, students, and community members (Kretzmann & McKnight, 1993; O’Donnell, 1995). *Educational leaders of today must embrace the mind and heart of the diverse community that we are. If we fail to acknowledge the differences, if we fail to plan to meet the needs of all children, if we fail to hold all levels accountable for their role in a diverse community, we fail to ensure success. Today we must close the gap between knowing and doing (Dowell & Olsen, 1997).

13 Case Study A AREA: International Baccalaureate (IB) Program/Course Availability-Eligibility PROBLEM: A student missed the deadline for application to the IB Program and was told by the receiving high school that he would not be able to apply. The SLO met with the parent and Coordinator of Advanced Programs for the school district and cited the Compact language. The specificity of the Compact’s provisions allowed the school district to easily resolve the matter in support of the student. RESOLUTION: The student was permitted to apply for the IB Program online since there were still openings. The "late" status was waived.

14 Case Study B AREA: Similar course content PROBLEM: Recently, an issue was elevated to both the state and national level regarding a student who is being required to repeat a class of the same material content taken in the sending state because it was taken in the previous grade level. Both the California Commissioner and National Compact Executive Director attempted to resolve the issue with the district. This issue is clearly covered by the Compact under EC section 49701, Article V Placement and Attendance, (a) Course Placement and (b) Educational Program Placement. The district was reluctant to alter its policy even though it was an issue covered by the Compact. This issue was a discussion item at the National Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) meeting in November RESOLUTION: As of the date of this report, there is no resolution.

15 Case Study C AREA: Extracurricular activities PROBLEM: A military family had just arrived there at a new duty station. Their daughter was unable to try out for the high school cheerleading team because tryouts already had been held. The school principal was unwilling to intervene even though school had not started and the final cheerleading squad had not been announced. The daughter had been a cheerleader since "forever" and was crushed to learn she could not try out. The SLO told the co- worker about Article VI, Eligibility for Extracurricular Participation, and its limitations of MIC3. The family went back to the school principal armed with the information. RESOLUTION: Their daughter was able to try out, and she made the cheerleading squad.

16 Case Study D AREA: Registration PROBLEM: Many military students miss their incoming school’s registration dates during the late spring/early summer if they have not yet arrived in the area. This becomes an especially troublesome problem for the following reasons: 1) Many districts close their offices for large portions of the summer due to budget cuts and 2) Many high school military students miss the opportunity to sign up for important classes before summer and sometimes also miss the opportunity to transfer to another school of choice in the district. RESOLUTION: Many districts, such as San Diego USD, have offered enrollment events during the summer. These events are tailored to meet the needs of military families and provide a smooth transition for their children.

17 Case Study D AREA: Registration PROBLEM: Many military students miss their incoming school’s registration dates during the late spring/early summer if they have not yet arrived in the area. This becomes an especially troublesome problem for the following reasons: 1) Many districts close their offices for large portions of the summer due to budget cuts and 2) Many high school military students miss the opportunity to sign up for important classes before summer and sometimes also miss the opportunity to transfer to another school of choice in the district. RESOLUTION: Many districts, such as San Diego USD, have offered enrollment events during the summer. These events are tailored to meet the needs of military families and provide a smooth transition for their children.

18 Case Study E AREA: Student Government Elections PROBLEM: The son in a military family was allowed to run for a student government position at his middle school. Each candidate must get four of his/her teachers to agree that the student has met all requirements to run for the position. The boy met the requirements, according to his teachers. Three days prior to the election, the boy was taken off the ballot because the school leadership teacher and principal stated that because the boy’s family was scheduled for a Permanent Change of Station order in January 2014, he was not eligible to take part in the election. RESOLUTION: Continued questions remain following his declaration of ineligibility: Does student government fall under extracurricular participation in the Compact? Is it fair to declare him eligible, allow him to campaign, and then declare him ineligible?

19 Solution Design Factors 1) A coordinated delivery of services for the greatest benefit to people; 2) A holistic approach to the individual and family unit; 3) Provision of a comprehensive range of services locally; and 4) A rational allocation of resources at the local level so as to be responsive to local needs. Consequently, integrated collaboration has moved from an organizational concept to family friendly- and-focused educational practice.

20 Caveat Some difficult educational decisions can force parents into defensive stances between their children and schools resulting in poor outcomes on either or both sides of the ledger. Consequently, the following list of positives may be helpful to keep in mind when you are approaching these educational challenges: –Everyone must care for and be concerned about children (BWATK) –Be cooperative, friendly, and alert for mutual solutions –Have or develop a sense of humor –Know and understand the work of the compact and how it impacts both your school and the district –Inspire loyalty and confidence in the staff, other parents and students –Always be willing to listen and learn about how the compact works here –Understand the importance of the local veterans’ community support

21 More on Collaboration Adelman and Taylor (2002) contend that accountability can only be achieved through school-community linkages. Their UCLA research indicates that “systemic collaboration is essential to establish inter-program connections on a daily basis and over time to ensure seamless interventions within each system and among systems for promoting healthy development and preventing problems, systems of early intervention, and systems of care” (p. 6).

22 Questions? Do You Have Any

23 California Compact Resources Compact Commissioner/Representatives Kate Wren Gavlak, Superintendent | Travis Unified School District Education Designee Jacie Ragland, MBA, Education Programs Consultant | CA Department of Education Chief State School Officer Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Education John Burns, Facilitator and Chair | Task Force on Educational Opportunity for Military Children Senator Marty Block,California State Senate | District 39 Jerry Dannenberg, Ed.D., Superintendent | Hueneme Elementary School District Kelli May, SLO & DoD Liaison Representative | Marine Corps Installations West Shannon Milder, DoD Liaison Representative | Navy Region Southwest Patricia Rucker, California State Board of Education


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