Parents, no one knows your needs or your Family’s needs more than you, so prepare in advance for your move, your PCS—Positive Change in School.
Start with this simple Get ready, Get set, Go! checklist
Get ready – to leave!
- Learn about school acceleration, and find out if your child qualifies, 30 to 90 days in advance.
- Learn end of year and semester completion requirements.
- Allow at least two weeks to complete withdrawal paperwork and request current official transcripts. Official transcripts may not be available immediately at the end of the school year.
- Ask early for teacher, coach or counselor recommendations.
- Request an appointment with the school’s guidance counselor. This is especially important for high school students.
Get ready – to arrive!
- Reach out, gather information and don’t assume you know the answers.
- Reach forward, use available resources; school liaison officers exist around the world to assist with information and resources.
- Research to select a school before you select a home, as enrollment is likely tied to your address. Be aware that if attending school when in a hotel, your child will attend the school zoned for the hotel.
- Request a housing assignment letter, off-post lease agreement or lodging receipt to determine school zone.
- Get a youth sponsor (sixth through 12th grade). Contact the SLO at the gaining installation.
- Downloading the new school’s registration packet, if possible.
- Inquire about extra-curricular and sports tryout information.
- Avoid roadblocks. All 50 states and Washington, D.C., are signatories to the Military Interstate Compact Commission to make transitions easier for military children. Find out how it works and is implemented in your new state: www.mic3.net/.
- Confirm gaining school immunization requirements.
- Return books and equipment.
- Take school exit surveys.
- Gather JROTC or other records.
- Close out school lunch account.
- Assemble free or reduced lunch status documentation. If moving to another duty station you should begin your PCS process about six months from your report date.
- Sign up for before and after school care, sports, and other activities. Contact Parent Central Services about transferring your registration.
- Leave postage to cover shipping if you are due items such as yearbooks.
- Hand carry the following items:
- Birth certificate, passport and immunization record
- Health records and sports physical
- Legal documents (i.e. custody papers)
- Sponsor’s orders (or verification of employment letter, contract, and personnel action)
- Proof of command sponsorship
- Copy of transcripts and cumulative folder
- Current school schedule and course descriptions
- Report card, withdrawal grades and progress reports
- Test scores and formal assessments
- Up-to-date individualized education plan (IEP), 504 Plan, IFSP, and ESL records as applicable
- Contact information for two local emergency contacts.
- Use the resources below to learn about and evaluate stateside schools.
- School Liaison Officer page – wiesbaden.armymwr.com/programs/school-liaison-officer-slo
- Military One Source – www.militaryonesource.mil
- School Quest – www.schoolquest.org
- Great Schools – www.greatschools.org (Be aware that unfiltered parent comments are posted on this site and may be inaccurate. However, this site does provided some good data.)
- Neighborhood Scout – www.neighborhoodscout.com
- School Digger – www.schooldigger.com
- National Assessment of Educational Progress – https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard
Homeschooling is legal in all 50 U.S. states; however, each state has its own requirements and legal structure. The Homeschool Legal Defense Association website, www.hslda.org/laws, will help homeschool Families identify low, moderate and high regulation and no regulation states.
A number of active homeschooling groups exist in Wiesbaden for Families here under SOFA.
This article was written by Peter Witmer, USAG Wiesbaden School Liaison Officer. Contact the School Liaison Office at (0611)143-548-9305.