By Beth Potter, USAG Schweinfurt school liaison officerOctober 24, 2013
SCHWEINFURT, Germany (Oct. 23, 2013) -- As U.S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt approaches the holiday season, more and more members from the Schweinfurt community will permanently change station, or PCS. Whether they depart over the holiday season or sometime before summer break, families will have to remove school-age children from Schweinfurt schools earlier than the official end of the 2013-2014 school year.
This process -- called accelerated withdrawal or early acceleration -- generates questions and can seem like a complicated process. Schweinfurt's school liaison officer, however, has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions in order to help those families understand the early acceleration process and how they can prepare now for an upcoming PCS.
WHAT IS EARLY ACCELERATION?
Early acceleration is a unique Department of Defense Education Activity provision that, under specific circumstances, allows a student to withdraw from school up to 20 days in advance and still be granted full semester credit.
This can be significantly beneficial when the student moves to their new school as they have completed all of the associated tests and assignments of their first semester classes and will not be subject to repeating those classes at the new school.
This policy recognizes that due to military necessity, families are occasionally required to move prior to the end of the school year and that children should not be penalized for this.
HOW DO MY CHILDREN GET FULL CREDIT?
Students who are scheduled to make a permanent change of station between Dec. 12, 2013 (the earliest date that a student can withdraw from school and receive credit for the first semester) and Jan. 23, 2014 (the end of first semester for students) may request to "accelerate" and receive credit for the first semester.
In order to do so, a sponsor must submit a request in writing to the school as soon as possible and preferably within 30 days of the proposed acceleration date. The student must attend school for a full day Dec. 12, 2013, in order to receive credit for the first semester.
Upon receipt of a request for "acceleration," teachers will provide assignments and/or projects that must be completed prior to withdrawal from school. A sponsor may request for their child or children to accelerate at any date between Dec. 12, 2013 and Jan. 23, 2014. This policy only applies to sponsors and students who are PCSing.
The earliest that a child may accelerate and receive credit for the second semester is May 15, 2014. If parents or guardians have any questions or concerns regarding this policy, they must contact the Main Office at the school or your child's teacher.
HOW SOON CAN I PULL MY CHILDREN OUT OF SCHOOL?
Every state in America has mandated school attendance policies with the maximum allowed absences in a school year ranging from no more than five to up to 25 days per year.
When parents register their student at the gaining school, they will be required to authorize the release of records from their student's previous school.
All school records -- both within the continental U.S. and outside the continental U.S. -- note the total number of days a student has been absent from school. Because the gaining school will include the absent days from the totals noted on the losing schools records, it is highly encouraged to keep students in school until the day before the family is scheduled to fly. In some states, students who do not meet the minimum attendance days have been prevented from matriculating (graduating) to the next grade.
WHAT IF I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Front office school staff will walk parents through the process. If parents have a child at Schweinfurt Elementary School, visit or call 09721-81893 or DSN 354-6518/6734. If the child attends Schweinfurt Middle/High School, visit or call 09721-804-301 or DSN 354-6812/6813.
Parents can also call the Schweinfurt School Liaison Officer at 09721-96-6057 or DSN 354-6057.