ARLINGTON, Va. – Some two million U.S. military children have had one or both parents deployed since 2001. Understanding the challenges facing military families — and the resources available to assist military children — is essential to meeting their unique educational needs. The American Association of School Administrators has released a toolkit on Supporting the Military Child to help school leaders meet the needs of children whose parents are deployed or in transition. This free, online resource is available on the AASA website at www.aasa.org/MilitaryChild.aspx.
“Children of military families often face multiple stressors, including frequent moves and extended periods of separation from loved ones,” said AASA President Mark Bielang, superintendent in Paw Paw, Mich. “School leaders play an important part in helping these students maintain a sense of stability and stay on track to achieve their educational goals.”
The toolkit includes:
• Top 15 things school leaders can do to support military children
• Key facts about the military child
• Facts about Impact Aid, the federal funding available to help school districts handle the cost of educating children from military families
• Facts about the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, legislation signed by 26 states that aims to ease school-to-school transfers for military children.
The toolkit also includes two videos:
• A videotaped discussion among school administrators on how schools can support military kids, featuring an assistant superintendent, a principal, a counselor and a parent liaison from Fort Belvoir Elementary School in Fairfax County, Va.
• A video statement of support from Gen. Craig R. McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau.
“The AASA Toolkit on Supporting the Military Child will assist the many schools with children in their communities who have family members who have been deployed,” said AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech. “AASA is thankful to the Veteran’s Support Foundation for making this project possible.”
AASA developed the toolkit with a grant from the Veterans Support Foundation. In addition, Randy Collins, AASA past president and superintendent in Waterford, Conn.; Linda Spoonster Schwartz, commissioner of the State of Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs; and the Department of Defense Education Activity lent their support to the development of the toolkit.
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org. Follow AASA on twitter at www.twitter.com/AASAHQ. Become a fan of the AASA Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AASApage.