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Easing School Transitions for Military Families
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3 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know About Military PCS’s

03/11/2015 Published by: Amy Soupene

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Categories: Moving to a New School, Student 2 Student Programs Worldwide, Moving to a New School

PCS – Permanent Change of Station.  For military families this is the season for planning that PCS.  High mobility and the military life go hand-in-hand.  And although frequent PCS’s are standard operating procedure, each move has its challenges.  A seasoned PCSer is adept at planning, packing and unpacking like a pro.  Military parents are creative when it comes to clearing out the clutter before the packers arrive, building interest and excitement for the move, and then on move-in day they know exactly which rooms to unpack first and how to make this new house feel like home.

Did you know:

  1. It is common for military-connected students to move 6-9 times (sometimes more!) during their K-12 years.
  2.  Military families dislike being uprooted during their students’ high school years, especially the senior year.
  3. To avoid educational or social disruption, some military families will voluntarily choose long-term geographic separation.

 

“It is common for military-connected students to move 6-9 times (sometimes more!) during their K-12 years.”   Military families instill pride and patriotism.  They sacrifice the assurance of continuity to support their beloved military member and serve in their own way.  We know and see how military members serve, but have you ever considered how the family serves, especially the children?  Seeing your life in the back of a moving van inspires a tangle of emotions; apprehension, excitement, anxiety, sadness and the list goes on.  You must say good-bye to current friends and make new ones, find again your place on sports teams or in school groups, and learn the routines of a new environment. It can be overwhelming, but military families take a deep breath and move on.

“Military families dislike being uprooted during their students’ high school years, especially the senior year.”  Each PCS is unique; diligence and proper planning will help create a successful transition.  The SchoolQuest Resource Library has an entire section, Moving to a New School, devoted to helping you navigate your PCS.  Here you will find tips to ponder before the move, checklists to ensure that you have all the necessary documents in place, and considerations to be made for special needs students.  Once you arrive, acclimation is key. We have tips and techniques for that, too.  Helping you adapt to your new home and school is our priority.

“To avoid educational or social disruption, some military families will voluntarily choose long-term geographic separation.”  When a military family moves we should be mindful to be supportive in the preparation to leave and welcoming upon arrival.  You’ll never know how much a small kindness can mean.  A friendly smile and inclusion in a group of friends is so important when you are the new kid – again.  The MCEC® sponsors Student to Student™ and Junior Student to Student™.  This thoughtful, peer-based program is comprised of both civilian and military-connected students who are trained to support highly mobile students as they transition in and out of the school.  Being the new kid is not so hard when you have a group of peers welcoming you to your new school and showing you around.  Learn more about Student to Student.

Are you a professional or parent who would like to know better how to assist military students in transition?  The MCEC® offers two phenomenal classes on this topic; “Supporting Military Children Through School Transitions™ - Foundations” and “Supporting Military Children Through School Transitions™ - Social/Emotional.”  Click on the titles of either class to see if it is offered in your area or to schedule a professional development. 

 

**Help us get the word out about SchoolQuest™ by liking us on Facebook!  SchoolQuest™ is an initiative of the Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC®).   Follow us on the MCEC® Twitter feed . . . for the sake of the child! 

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