Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Month of the Military Child: School system support for military kids

April is Month of the Military Child so what resources do the local school divisions have for students whose parents are currently deployed? (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Unsplash)

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — April marks Month of the Military Child. With so many military kids served by school systems around the Historic Triangle, here are a list of supports that these those who are “born rough and tough” (or B.R.A.T.s) have available to them when their service member parent is deployed.

Williamsburg- James City County Public Schools

Eileen Cox, spokesperson for WJCC Public Schools said that the school division has approximately 1,200 “military-connected students” enrolled for the 2020-2021 school year.

As for resources, school counselors are available to help students transition in or out of the school division. Due to the frequency in which military service members have a permanent change of station (or “PCS”), it is not often that military students stay at the same school for any great length of time.

“Many schools assign a peer ‘buddy’ to help familiarize military students with the school,” Cox said. “Laurel Lane Elementary School also has an Anchored4Life club that fosters positive relationships and support, teaches life skills, and provides resources to military-connected children as they face unique challenges such as deployments, uncertainty about parent safety, and transitions in and out schools.”

York County School Division

At York County School Division (YCSD), Cheryl Parr, associate director of school administration for YCSD, said that 32% of its students are considered “military connected.”

“The York County School Division provides numerous support programs to students whose parents are deployed,” Parr wrote.  “At any given time in a school year our schools have numerous students whose parents are deployed, so we strive to have military connected resources available at all times.”

For all grade levels, Parr wrote that YCSD has partnerships with Joint Base Langley-Eustis and Naval Weapons Station Yorktown school liaison officers.

Other programs include “parent nights” to share information and celebrate military families, Month of the Military Child “Purple Up Day,’ spirit week activities and “school displays/interactive boards supporting military families.”

In addition, the school division has “school based professional development for staff” on how to support students whose parents are deployed.

For students enrolled in YCSD’s elementary schools, there are “deployment/friendship groups.” Students enrolled in secondary schools have “individual parent meetings to review transition needs/graduation requirements” and “counselor support for deployment needs.”

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Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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