School Liaison Officers (sometimes just titled “School Liaisons” or “School Support Staff” (SLOs) are the point of contact on an installation for all things school-related and assist families whose children’s education may be affected by military life. They can be a great resource for Parent Centers!
What is a School Liaison Officer?
School Liaison Officers are civilians who are contracted through each branch of service to provide School Support Services. They are familiar with the unique aspects of military life that can have an effect on a student’s education. They help to build partnerships between military families, installations, and schools and act as the Installation’s point of contact for all things school related. They can provide assistance to relocating families and act as an advocate for military connected students. Depending on the branch of service, School Liaison Officers may also be called a Family Resource Specialist or Point of Contact (POC).
What does a School Liaison Officer do?
The role of the SLO is to provide information, resources, and referrals to military families. SLOs provide school transition assistance and act as a support during deployments. Since a School Liaison Officer is usually familiar with the military connected students in their area and with the challenges they are facing in their local school districts, they can be a great resource for Parent Centers. School Liaison Officers can also provide information and assistance to military families who choose to homeschool or to enroll in private, charter or online schools.
The responsibilities of the School Liaison Officer can vary based on the branch of service, and on the installation itself. Note that School Liaisons do not usually play a role in IEP or Section 504 meetings as they are not given training specific to free appropriate public education (FAPE).
They can support families with issues covered by the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children (“The Interstate Compact” or “MIC3”, pronounced Mick-3, after the name of the commission for the Compact). The Compact covers several issues of placement and graduation which may apply to students with disabilities, and it references and reinforces the provisions of IDEA.
Where can I find a School Liaison Officer?
School Liaison Officers can be found at most major military installations. You can find contact information for the military installations near your parent center by using our Interactive Maps. We have also included links to the directories for School Liaison Officers for each branch of service, as they become available through the Department of Defense Education Activity. If you would like help getting in touch with a School Liaison Officer, Contact us!
Air Force School Liaison Directory (external link)
School Liaisons-Army (external link)
Marine Corps School Liaisons (external link)
Navy School Liaison Officers (external link)
Coast Guard Family Resource Specialists (external link)