By Tina Ray/ParaglideMay 10, 2012
Fort Bragg will benefit from the establishment of a charter school on federal land. The installation will be able to supplement funding through grants and private funds and to apply for federal impact aid. The charter school will also constitute its own school district.
The direction of where the charter school initiative is headed and other school needs were discussed at an education meeting, Thursday, at Fort Bragg Club.
The meeting shows the joint efforts of education experts and Fort Bragg leadership to meet the needs of military-connected children.
"It's very important that we have these conversations so that we are available as a school system of resources for our military community," said Tom Frye, superintendent of Harnett County Schools. "It is very important that we stay, as a school district, aware of the needs of the military community…" he said.
Between 2500 to 3000 military-connected students attend Harnett County Schools, said Frye.
Transitioning students are the customers of the Military and Family Life Consultant Program, established to help servicemembers and their Families deal with the stress of multiple deployments and reintegration.
In 2007, MFLC began providing services such as recognizing the indicators of stress in children and youth and tracking the effects of deployment and reintegration to support the needs of military children, said Thomas Brashears, deputy program director, MFLC.
Currently, Child and Youth Behavioral MFLCs are supporting 51 Fort Bragg schools, Brashears said. Thirty of those schools are located in Cumberland County.
Another organization providing resources and services to servicemembers and their Families is NotAlone, a non-profit organization that focuses on those impacted by combat stress.
The goal of NotAlone is to show up in places where MFLC is not available, said Kelie Loman, regional director of the NotAlone organization.
Another topic addressed at the education meeting was setting guidelines for the world history curriculum across different states which is critical for determining how credits will be accepted or rejected for students transitioning to new schools. Also addressed was the importance of informing military-connected students about the Fort Bragg Regional Alliance Program, which works to improve literacy and technical skills.
In a series of superintendent updates, Frye requested more school liaison officers for its growing population of students in Harnett County; Dr. Emily Marsh, superintendent, of Fort Bragg Schools said that Gordon Elementary School would get about 10 buildings to help with its student population and Freddie Williamson of Hoke County Schools said that Sandy Grove Middle School will soon break ground.
While Frye expressed concern over the absence of property tax funding for students who reside in Linden Oaks but attend Overhills High School, he said that Harnett County does not currently have any additional funds to build a high school and a charter school would help reduce the impact of overcrowding.
For more information about education services on or related to Fort Bragg, visit www.am.dodea.edu/bragg/.