“Military Families, Welcome to Our State”

We’re delighted to announce a very special resource developed in collaboration with the Military Family Support Online Discussion Group. The group includes parent center front-line staff and directors from all over the parent center network, primarily from the most heavily military-impacted states. Group members drew on their experiences working with military families to identify what those families need when they arrive in a new state. Their conclusions: state-specific information about a state’s education system is essential for relocating military families, along with how and why to contact a parent center. The result is Military Families, Welcome to Our State! which puts all that information at a military family’s fingertips.

There’s lots of potential for this resource, especially as it includes so much information about a parent center. The discussion group offered these suggestions for use:

  • Make available to military-connected professionals at your state’s installations for them to disseminate (School Liaisons, EFMP staff)
  • Handout for resource fairs, parent trainings, other events.
  • Turn into a web page for your center, or post the resource online for download
  • Use as the basis for a training webinar for families
  • Turn it into a powerpoint or video

There are two resources on this page. One is the outline below, which is an example of information you can post as a web page for military families new to your state. The second is a one-pager handout, which has multiple uses (download below).

Because military family viewers may land on this web page first, you may wish to add a “blurb” about your parent center on the page, with contact information.

“Template” for a web page:

“Military Families, Welcome to Our State! “

General Education Information:

  • Our State Education Agency is (add name and link)
  • Most  Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are (describe your state’s LEAs, for instance, how are they organized)
  • Charter schools information (description and link)
  • Annual public school Report Cards (if applicable, add link)
    State education standards (add link)

Special Education Information

  • In [state name], add information which is unique to your state.
    • Examples: name of your IEP committees, terminology for students getting special education
  • Policies governing special education in [our state] (add link to state information)
  • Does your center have a resource on preparing your child’s IEP for a move to a new state? Great to add this here.

[state name] may differ from other states in these areas:

Some examples might be:

Your state’s Birth to Three program-what agency administers it? (name, link)

What is the agency that administers Medicaid? (name, link)

Does your state offer universal pre-K?

What is your state’s timeline for an initial evaluation for special education services?

What is your state’s policy on reevaluations?

Your state’s special education eligibility categories (link) and links to any eligibility forms or worksheets

Does your state have any unique policy around certain types of disability (learning disabilities and ADHD are examples)

What are some of your state’s options for dispute resolution?

Do principals or school heads in your state have sole authority for certain education decisions? (examples: grade placement, promotion, retention)

Does your state use a standard IEP form? (add a link)

Are there specific education laws found only in your state? (add name of law and link)

What are the allowed accommodations for state-required testing? (link)

What are your state’s types of high school diplomas and certificates? (link)

What are your state’s graduation requirements? (link)

Some questions you can ask [parent center name]…

  • How can I be sure my child is receiving “comparable services” when we get to your state?
  • What should I do if I think my child might need special education services? How does the process work here?
  • What are my rights if I hear my child is receiving interventions and I want an evaluation by the school?
  • How does reevaluation work when we move from another state?
  • What do I need to know about the roles and responsibilities at the state and local level?
  • Who should I talk to if I’m not satisfied with my child’s IEP or his/her progress in academic or functional areas?
  • How can I make sure that my high school child stays on track for graduation even though some NC requirements are different?
  • I’ve heard, “we don’t do that in [state name].” Is this true?”

Here is a Word document created by the team at ECAC in North Carolina. You can use this as a “template” for your own downloadable document!

Added value: military family-friendly downloads for your military family or resources web page: