Back to school season approaches
The first day of school begins July 30 for Solomon Elementary School at Schofield Barracks.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- The transition to a new duty station for Army families also means school and educational challenges.

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii provides school support.

Staff in the School Liaison Office; Child, Youth and School Services; Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, serve as subject matter experts for both youth education and school transition issues.

Local, state and national programs are in place to support military school-age children.

"The goal is to provide a level playing field for Army youth transitioning among installations and school systems," said Tamsin Keone, school liaison officer, CYSS.

More than 43 states have passed the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for military children, resulting in programs that support military school-age children.

Programs designed to support Army school-age children include the following:

• Deployment Resource Team
Due to deployments, military children experience the stress and challenges of separating and reuniting with parents. Education issues may arise that require the attention and support of the Hawaii Department of Education, the military community, education and mental health specialists, and parents.

For deployment information and support, the SLO partners with various community SMEs who make up a Deployment Resource Team, or DRT. This team provides information and resources to school staff and military families.

To schedule a briefing by the DRT, or for deployment resources and activity books for children and teens, contact SLO.

• Parent-to-Parent Program
To help parents keep their children's academic development on track and support their social and emotional needs, the Department of Defense has contracted the Military Child Education Coalition, a nonprofit organization, to develop the Parent-to-Parent Program, which operates under the umbrella of CYSS.

The program is comprised of a group of committed individuals who offer free interactive training and workshops designed to create and enhance parental awareness of important school transition issues.

Parent-to-Parent offers relevant information to assist parents in becoming their child's best educational advocate.

This short training is a wonderful central focus for any family readiness group or social meeting.

• Tutor.com
"Study Strong," at www.tutor.com/army, allows students in grades K-12 to work with a certified professional tutor online, 24/7, to get help with homework, studying, test preparation and resume writing. Everything is live, one-on-one, anonymous, and free.

A video can be viewed on the homepage that explains how it all works. Parents, however, must complete a one-page registration form before children can start working with an actual tutor.

The tutors are teachers, college professors and graduate students who provide services in all grade levels of math, science, English and social studies.

• Student Online Achievement Resources
SOAR is a program for military children and the school districts that serve them. It is a free website that provides students in grades 3-12, and their parents, with resources to identify academic strengths and weaknesses in math and reading.

The Military Impacted Schools Association sponsors SOAR. Its hope is that SOAR will help children improve their academic endeavors and ease the transition of moving from one military installation to another.

•CYSS Educational Support Programs
For U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii's School Liaison Office support, call (808) 655-8326, or email schools@himwr.com.

The SLO is located in Building 1283, 241 Hewitt St., Schofield Barracks. Hours of operation 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Page last updated Mon July 23rd, 2012 at 19:22