Frequently Asked Questions-Answers from the Branch

Many parent center staff, even those who often work with military-connected families, contact the Branch team with questions about how things work in the military system.

Here are some examples of questions we’ve received—you may have similar questions. While you are  free to contact us, many answers can be found in the resources on our website, such as the resources listed below.  You can also find answers by going to branchta.org and entering the topic in the search area.

K-12 and Post-Secondary

  • “A military family I’m helping is having difficulty getting their child’s records transferred-who can they talk to?”
  • “The new school is insisting the student take an alternate exit exam due to her disability, which will prevent her from getting a regular diploma. The family is active duty military—is there anything to help?”
Continue reading “Frequently Asked Questions-Answers from the Branch”

What is JAG and how does it relate to Special Education?

JAG stands for Judge Advocate General, and the JAG Corps (sometimes just known as JAG) is the legal branch of the military. Officers in the JAG work as legal advisors to a specific command, but their services are also available to individual service members and their families. When a military family has a child with special educational or medical needs, the JAG officer can be an invaluable resource. Families can be advised on their legal rights with respect to their child’s education (including differences between public and Department of Defense schools), legal preparation for deployment, Supplemental Social Security (SSI) and estate planning.

Continue reading “What is JAG and how does it relate to Special Education?”

Webinar: What the Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs (OSN) and Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) do for Military Families

In case you haven’t seen it: The Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs (OSN) and the Department of Defense Education Activity share what their offices do, and how they support your work with military families. It is a great introduction to key military programs, and helpful whether you are new to your Parent Center, new to working with military families, or are a seasoned professional.  Continue reading “Webinar: What the Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs (OSN) and Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) do for Military Families”

Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) School System

Special Education:

Prior to June 2015, DoDEA schools operated under IDEA 1997 in providing EIS and Special Education services. In June 2015 Department of Defense issued a new directive and a manual with regulations based on the provisions of IDEA 2004.  While this change should eliminate many of the differences between public schools and DoDEA schools with regard to Special Education, some DoDEA schools may not have fully implemented the changes.

Can military families now expect the same interpretation of IDEA whether their children receive services through State and public schools or Department of Defense?  It’s early to tell, but there will (probably) still be differences in how public schools/States and DoD interpret and implement the IDEA.

Continue reading “Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) School System”