Families take part in town hall
August 7, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (Aug. 7, 2013) -- Hundreds of parents and Families tuned in to the Facebook Town Hall on DODEA Schools July 31 to get answers to questions about Fort Benning's schools and how the furlough will affect the start of the new school year.
Questions that were missed or required follow-up information will be printed in next week's edition.
Q: Is the government sequester going to affect the on-base schools? If so, to what extent?
A: The sequestration affects schools with five furlough days. These days are notated in the school calendar that can be found on the school's website. However, we ensure that our mission and focus on our students remain the priority during times of financial uncertainty. Thank you for asking this question.
Q: I would love to see a plaque at 30th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) dedicated to Mac Scow ... he ministered to so many young Infantrymen coming through there, including myself. Plus he was a true-blue Vietnam-era grunt. Who would we talk to about getting that done?
A: While the 30th AG facility has already been dedicated, you could work with Jim Adcock in Directorate of Public Works to get further answers pertaining to memorialization of individuals. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Will the furlough affect the August basic combat training graduation dates?
A: The furlough will not have affect on any graduation dates or training on
Q: Can you clarify graduation ceremonies for August? My son is in split program -- one station unit training now, advanced individual training next summer. Will he have a graduation ceremony in August? We have received conflicting information.
A: Graduation ceremonies are held for basic training and for AIT; so please stay in touch with his current unit to ensure you can attend each of his ceremonies.
Q: How does on post housing work?
A: Please visit www.villagesofbenning.com or call 706-685-3939 for further information.
Q: I'm a future Soldier and I want to know if you guys can help with drivers education.
A: Wherever your service takes you (and thank you for serving) be sure to attend a newcomers briefing, where you'll learn all about the programs, services and benefits available to you. For more information, go to www.benningmwr.com.
A: We do not have an on post driver's license facility. You can contact Georgia DMV at dds.ga.gov.
Q: I find it hard to find things for our older teens such as sports and what not to do from the age of 14 to 17. Can more programs be opened to teens?
A: We have a wonderful Middle School and Teen program with a wide variety of great events, classes, dances and more.
Also, our HIRED! program offers your teen the opportunity to work in an MWR facility, earn money and gain real-world experience. Our CYSS Sports offers great team and individual sports. Check it all out at www.benningmwr.com.
Q: What is the district discipline policy and how is it tracked?
A: The student handbook can be found online at the school website or hard copies can be picked up in the school office. The discipline policy can be found in these handbooks. You will find that our school discipline code is taken from the Department of Defense Education Activity policy. Principals track student discipline in the student database.
Q: My son is in middle school and I know that they will give us some information on Monday, but do you know if any programs have been cut and if so, what? I utilize the afterschool homework help.
A: The Middle School and Teen program offers homework help. Check them out at www.benningmwr.com.
Q: Is there a school budget for the whole school year or a plan if government doesn't do what they need by Sept. 30?
A: There is a budget for the entire school year, which ends Sept. 30. Then we will get a new budget for the next fiscal year.
Q: My daughter will be 5 years old in November so she missed the cut off date for kindergarten but my daughter is well into kindergarten level. She gets bored and doesn't want to go to school due to her not learning enough and her being advanced. Is there some kind of testing to push her up?
A: Strong Beginnings Preschool prekindergarten at Indianhead Child Development Center and the part-day preschool at the Santa Fe CDC offer excellent opportunities for your daughter to grow and learn at the level she's comfortable with.
A: If your daughter will attend a DODEA school on post, please make her teacher aware of her advanced level. The teacher can make a plan to differentiate instruction to meet her needs. Also, DODEA schools can test students to determine if they should be served in gifted education beginning with first grade.
Q: Does the middle school have a permanent principal this year? There were a lot of changes at the end of last school year.
A: I am happy to announce that Darrell Mood has been named principal for Faith Middle School. He comes to us with over 20 years of experience as an administrator in DODEA.
Q: Does your child have to be selected to attend Sante Fe CDC?
A: Please check with Parent Central to see if there is a vacancy. You'll find complete information about all of our CDCs at http://www.benningmwr.com.
Q: I have special needs children and I am very up-to-date on the school programs that they have been in. Do you know if a child has been awarded a one-on-one aide will that aide be the same throughout the year or are they going to change them randomly?
A: Please contact the school principal concerning your child's SIS aide. In most instances, we do not have a rotation basis for SIS Aides. However, there are personnel issues which may require a reassignment of personnel.
Q: Can you tell us why there isn't a local bus route for the kids on post. There is quite a walk for children in lower Davis and part of upper Davis, but our children are not allowed to ride the bus. I know there is a bus that buses children from Patton to Stowers, why not allow the option to all families. Many are only one vehicle families and parents can't drive them, even in the rain.
A: Bussing is provided for students that live one mile or more from the school. Should you have further questions please contact the school principal.
Q: I would like to know if there is anyone who can address the excessive speeding within the housing areas, particularly Patton Village.
A: Please let the Directorate of Emergency Services know place and time to visit the location and conduct dedicated enforcement
A: Please contact us at the following number 706-587-2122.
Q: My husband retired from Fort Benning Feb. 28. He brought me to retirement services to sign that we did not want the SBP. However DFAS is still garnishing the money for that. My husband called DFAS and they say they never received the paper work from Fort Benning. My husband has called retirement services several times and spoke with Cathy Mullennax and Verna Clemons and we keep getting the run around. This is six months now, eight since we signed it in front of Cathy.
A: Please contact me at email@example.com and I will research his SBP situation. Provide me a return phone number or email address to respond.
Q: How do I stay in touch with my Soldier's unit? There was a post on his unit FB page indicating his unit would be in training until Aug. 14 and there would be no graduation ceremony on Aug. 15 as previously planned. Would the FB page a reliable source of updates?
A: The best source of information applicable to his cycle is through the unit FB page point of contact.
Q: Will White Elementary School have crossing guards located in the back of the school this year? Also, near the Austin Loop housing? Traffic does not slow in that area for the children and we lost our guards throughout the year last year.
A: White will have three crossing guards. One in front of the school, one in back of the school at the corner of Lumpkin, and the third will be at 1st Division and Lumpkin.
Q: Are you still taking transfers from one school to another on post? How difficult is the process and how long does it take for approval?
A: Yes, transfers are still being considered.Any of the schools will have forms to request a transfer. The answer is usually within 24 hours.
A: I would like to add one additional comment regarding requests for school transfers. There are some schools where the classrooms have reached capacity. There may be instances where a transfer request is denied to prevent overcrowding in classrooms. However, we do our best to honor requests. The transfer requests are reviewed and decisions are made on a case by case basis.
Q: We will be arriving to Benning on Aug. 12. If we still do not have a housing assignment in Patton at that time, how will we know which school to contact to register my first- and fourth-grader? I have heard there are different elementary schools within Patton.
A: Upon arrival, you must check in at housing. The housing office will know the school your children will attend according to the address according to the home which you are assigned.
Q: I understand that you can request a transfer to keep a child at the school they attended last year. Why were parents not notified until one week before school? Now parents will have to find other options for childcare, especially us parents who were expecting their children to ride a bus, and now they will have to be walked to and from school.
A: Thank you for your comments and request for clarification. Students began registering over the summer. However, it was only in the past two weeks that we were able to determine that there was space at McBride to handle the over crowding coming from the new homes in Custer Village. For this reason, we had to give the new phase of McGraw back to their home school -- McBride.
We acknowledge the hardship that this may cause to some Families. We notified parents immediately once enrollment continued to rise at Loyd. As I'm sure you are aware that families are still moving to Fort Benning as we continue to register new students.
Q: Will the school dress code be stricter this school year at Faith? Should I buy only what I see on the school print out and website?
A: The Faith dress code that has been published will be enforced. Copies are online and available at the school office. We ask that all students follow the dress code. Students are allowed to wear school "spirit" shirts on Friday. These shirts may be purchased at school through the Parent-Teacher Organization.
Q: What if we still don't have a house assigned to us? Can they not start school until we do?
A: Housing will give you a temporary housing area assignment and direct you to the school where you will register your children.
Q: My Soldier was put in Infantry because the MOS he requested was full. Will he be able to change his MOS during AIT? Right now I believe he is OSUT at Fort Benning, I'm still conflicted about whether or not basic and AIT is 14 weeks?
A: Your Soldier will not be eligible to change his MOS during AIT. He must fulfill his initial contract obligation before he is eligible to change his MOS.
A: Depending on your Soldier's initial assignment, it would be determined if additional training is needed. If he is going to an Airborne assignment, he will have to attend the Basic Airborne Course. If he is just being trained as a basic Infantryman, he will only be here at Fort Benning for the 14 weeks.
Q: My daughter will be attending kindergarten for the first time and we are a recent PCS. We are still on the waiting list for housing. I was told there is a letter from the housing office I can get to get her registered. With the school that I register her for, can she continue to attend that school even if we move to a village it's not zoned for? I plan on driving and picking her up from school and won't need transportation.
A: Once you receive the letter from housing, you can register at the school according to the housing zone. If you receive housing in a different area, your child can continue going to the school that they started at, but you will need to provide transportation.
Q: One other question, where do we go to register and when does registration begin?
A: When you receive your letter from housing, you will take the letter and other necessary documents to the school that your child will be attending. Registration is in progress now, as school starts on Tuesday.