School year kicks off with PIE meeting
September 29, 2011
FORT BLISS, Texas -- The Fort Bliss Partners in Education meeting for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year went off smartly Sept. 22 at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center with area teachers and school administrators receiving awards for performances during the 2009-2010 academic and administrative period.
The annual meeting informs teachers and administrators of upcoming events, familiarization with their tracking and compliance handbook, and an opportunity to get acquainted with their military sponsors.
"We work closely with our military families and the community," said Pat Lopez, Fort Bliss school liaison officer. "Whenever a family member is deployed or the family moves into the El Paso area we provide information on resources available and registering their children in school," she said of the 26-year-old program.
All partnering school representatives were advised to "be prepared to revise and discuss program goals for the upcoming academic year." There was also recognition "for outstanding projects and achieving … most volunteer hours," during the last period, Lopez said.
"We assist based on need and district location, and also information on what the installation has to offer," she added.
Lopez has various duties overseeing the Partners in Education program, "which are the various school districts," she explained. "Within the school campuses there are unit partners for activities, special areas of mentoring, reading, studying and tutoring. All of those components are in great need. Therefore, the campus and units are partnered to make it happen."
Fort Bliss was the first military installation to establish a partnership. "The purpose of the partnership with the schools was really a challenge from former President Ronald Reagan, who said, 'for … all Americans to join together to make a commitment to excellence and quality in education,'" said Lopez. "The common goal was for families to come together for a commitment to excellence in education. That meant student success -- making sure no child is left behind.
"Even when a parent is deployed, a child is taken care of. It takes a village to raise a student," she continued, paraphrasing a popular saying. "This is a perfect example. A unit in the community is raising those students along with teachers, counselors and principals. That is what we stand behind. That is our mission.
"The greatest impact we've had this year, while preparing for our Partners in Education, was that we now have many new [military] units," she added. "Unfortunately, many of them have been deployed. We have contacted our partner schools. But we are making sure the schools that have lost a partner have one to fall back on. That is the commitment of the liaison project."