Online learning modules are available at no cost to provide school personnel with additional understanding related to the unique challenges faced by military-connected students and families and to provide access to relevant strategies and resources.
Viewing the Online Learning Modules
Online learning modules related to supporting students and families experiencing geographic transitions, parental absence, parental injury and death, and other military-connected challenges are available at no cost. Clicking on the link below will redirect you to the School Resources Learning Management System (LMS). You will be asked to register with your name and email address. Your information will not be shared, but registration is required to allow users to utilize features of the LMS, including the ability to save or email resources you feel are the most useful when working with your military-connected students. In addition, a certificate of completion will be emailed directly to you. All resources referenced in the online learning modules can be found below in the Online Learning Modules Toolkit.
Continuing Education Credits
Continuing education credits (CECs) are available through the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Penn State University Office of Continuing and Professional Education for individuals who complete the training as Penn State is an Act 48-approved provider. Participants can earn 1 hour toward fulfilling Act 48 requirements by completing this activity. For PA Certified Educators only, if you would like our office to report your hour(s) earned to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), please provide your Professional Personnel ID (PPID) when prompted in the Learning Management System. By providing your PPID you are authorizing Penn State to submit this program record to PDE.
For school personnel certified in other states, a certificate of completion will be issued with the following statement, “By completing this activity, Pennsylvania certified educators earn 1 hour toward fulfilling their continuing education requirements set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.” Please provide the certificate to your district or state department of education to determine if credit can be provided.
Online Learning Module Toolkit
The online learning modules reference a Toolkit for supplemental tools and resources. The Toolkit for school personnel includes resources to use within the school setting or to share with families. Resources include brochures, directories, handouts/ printables, and information on informal strategies or formal programs that may assist school personnel working with military-connected students and families. Please click on each topic area to view the Toolkit item and corresponding descriptions and to gain access to the associated file or link.
Toolkit items are also available in the Resources section within the Learning Management System (LMS) where the online learning modules are hosted. Within the LMS, you have the ability to “favorite” resources or email them to your registered email address.
There are many resources to help high school students prepare for universities, trade schools, and other post-secondary options. Click below to see resources that may aid students as they prepare for, identify, or apply to postsecondary education.
College Readiness Tips for Military-Connected Students
Military-connected students often have a unique high school experience. These strategies and tips may help them prepare for and apply to postsecondary education.
Post 9-11 G.I. Bill Tips for Military-Connected Students
Students of Service member parents can receive the G.I. Bill education benefit. Click below to learn more about what the benefit includes and how to transfer the benefit from a Service member to a dependent.
Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) on the Interstate Compact
A Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) is an issuance from the DoD that implements a policy, or prescribes the specific plan or action to carry out a policy, operate a program or activity, or assign responsibility. The proposed DoDI on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children can be found below.
Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children State Commissioner Contact Information
Any questions or concerns about the Interstate Compact that arise should be directed toward each state’s commissioner. The contact information for state commissioners was updated in August 2015 and is available below. Any questions or concerns about the Interstate Compact that arise should be directed toward each state’s commissioner. The contact information for state commissioners is available on the MIC3 website.
Interstate Compact Parent Brochure
To support military parents’ ability to advocate for their children, a printable parent brochure is available below. To print the brochure, change the printer layout settings to print double sided and bind or flip on the short edge.
Interstate Compact School Personnel Brochure
To support military-connected school personnel in their ability to advocate for military children, a printable school personnel brochure is available below. To print the brochure, change the printer layout settings to print double sided and bind or flip on the short edge.
MIC3 Interstate Compact Guide for Parents, School Officials, and Public Administrators
MIC3 developed a guide on the Interstate Compact for parents, school officials, and public administrators. It is available below as a PDF and can also be downloaded from the MIC3 website.
MIC3 Official Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children Rules
The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children is an agreement between all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools to provide consistency for children of Active Duty Service members, National Guard and Reserve Service members on active duty orders, and Service members or Veterans who are medically discharged or retired for up to one year post separation, as they transition between schools, states, and countries. You can view the rules of the compact below or on MIC3’s website.
According to the proposed DoDI, it is Department of Defense policy to support the intent of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children. Therefore, a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Procedural Guide was developed to provide additional guidance to DoDEA officials, administrators, and teachers to ensure correct implementation. To view the Procedural Guide, please click below.
Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard Comparison
The following fact sheet compares Active Duty Service to Reserve and National Guard Service.
The following fact sheet provides all the essential information you need to know about the Air Force.
The fact sheet below provides all the essential information you need to know about the Army.
The fact sheet below provides all the essential information you need to know about the Coast Guard.
The fact sheet below provides all the essential information you need to know about the Marine Corps.
The fact sheet below provides all the essential information you need to know about the Navy.
Post 9/11 Major Military Operations
You may not always know which operation the parents of your students are, or have been, deployed on. If you are discussing parental absence and deployment with students, it will help to understand some background of recent major military operations. This guide provides a brief overview of the major military operations.
Rank and Insignia Guide
The guides below provide the enlisted and officer ranks and insignia of the different branches of the United States Armed Forces.
The Congressional Research Service developed a guide that provides answers to frequently asked questions about the seven individual Reserve components of the Military Services, or the Reserve Component.
Students with a Service Member Sibling
Although there is little research to inform best practices for supporting students with military Service member siblings, school personnel should be aware of these students as well as any other students with Service members in their family. Keep all types of military connections in mind when welcoming new students to the school or classroom.
Terms and Acronyms Guide
The Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms provides a comprehensive list of the essential military terms and acronyms you need to know.
Military Culture in the Classroom
Books for Military-Connected Students
Are you looking for books including characters with which your military-connected students can relate? Are you planning a military-connected lesson and want a book to tie together the main concepts? These books all include military culture in some way, with topics ranging from PTSD to geographic transitions and everything in between.
Parent Calendar Planning for Military-Connected Students
Military-connected students often face additional stressors at school due to military-specific or family events, which may bring up difficult emotions for your child, especially if he or she has a Service member who is deployed, absent for training, or classified as missing or deceased. This guide outlines the important events you should consider discussing with your child’s school in order to provide your child with appropriate support.
School Personnel Calendar Planning for Military-Connected Students
Schools each have their own unique practices and traditions for special events. It can be difficult for new students to anticipate the emotional responses that these events may elicit. This guide outlines important events that might might carry particular emotional weight for military-connected children who have a Service member parent who is deployed, absent for training, or classified as missing or deceased.
Military Supports and Services
The Impact Aid law provides assistance to local school districts with concentrations of children residing on Indian lands, military bases, low-rent housing properties, or other Federal properties, or who have parents in the uniformed Services or employed on eligible Federal properties.
Non-DoD Schools Program
The U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) provides support and funding for the education of authorized command-sponsored dependents of military members and Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employees assigned to overseas areas where no DoDEA school is available within the commuting area.
School Liaison Officer (SLO) Contact Information
SLOs are employed by the Department of Defense and are a point of contact for students, families, and school personnel for any school-related concern. Their primary job is to connect military installations, resources, and families to school personnel.
SLOs are a great contact for both families and school personnel as students transition to new schools, navigate the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, experience parental absence, and face other educational challenges. Each service branch employs SLOs who support a specific geographic area. To find an SLO who works with a specific service or geographic area, visit the DoDEA School Liaison webpage below.
For a condensed list of contact information for DoDEA schools in Europe click below.
Maintaining a Psychological Presence During Parental Absences
When a parent is absent, there are strategies parents can use to make the parent feel more present, despite a geographical separation. Click below for a parent handout.
Military Childcare Priority
Some families qualify for childcare priority at their installation. Click below to see how a family can qualify for priority childcare.
Service-Specific Family Care Plans
When single parent Service members or both Service members in dual-military marriages are deployed, their children must be cared for by another family member, friend, or neighbor. Family Care Plans detail who obtains custody of the children during deployment. Click below to see Service-Specific Family Care Plans.
Student Behavior Concerns
When students have a parent who is absent because of a work-related, military job, they often have a difficult time adjusting. Click below for a list of behaviors that indicate a student needs more support.
Parent Injury and Death
Military families may be affected by the loss of a Service member. Though it is often difficult to understand and tolerate ambiguous losses, it is important to learn how to cope in these situations. Please see Dr. Pauline Boss’s webpage regarding ambiguous loss below.
Casualty Statuses, Types, and Categories
In the military, a casualty is a person who is unable to serve in the line of duty due to death, injury, illness, capture, or desertion.
Conversation Starters for School Personnel Working with Students Impacted by Injuries
Discussing injuries with students may be difficult. Younger children may struggle to understand the injury, while older students may be unwilling to open up about the injury. The conversation starters below are grouped to help facilitate age-appropriate conversations with students.
Conversation Starters for School Personnel Working with Students Impacted by Parent Death
Concussions/Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
Service members are advised to be aware of the common signs and symptoms of concussions. This handout from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center provides more information about mild traumatic brain injuries, coping and recovery tips, as well as a list of brain injury centers across the nation that Service members can visit.
Evidence-Based Management of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress has synthesized some of the best practices that will help treat patients and educate the public. Click below for a guideline that summarizes evidence-based recommendations to manage posttraumatic stress disorder.
Families and Friends Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries
Do you want more details about traumatic brain injuries so you can help your injured family member or friend? The Brain Injury Association of New York State created a detailed brochure that will provide you with all the information you need to know.
Helping Children Cope with Loss Resulting from War or Terrorism
Intentional acts of violence that hurt innocent people are frightening and upsetting. Families and school personnel can help children cope by establishing a sense of safety and security. As information becomes available, adults can continue to help children work through their emotions and, perhaps, even use the process as a learning experience.
Helping Military Children with Traumatic Grief – Tips for Educators
Children who are grieving the loss of a military loved one can develop trauma and grief responses, or “childhood traumatic grief.” The resource below provides tips to help educators support these children.
Helping Children Understand Invisible Injuries
Young children have an especially challenging time conceptualizing invisible injuries. Click below and see pages 12-17 of Sesame Workshop’s “Talk, Listen, Connect” magazine, which specifically address strategies that can help your child adjust to and cope with a parent’s invisible injuries.
Helping Military-Connected Students Cope with Traumatic Grief
Military-connected children grieving with a traumatic event carry their emotions everywhere they go—including school. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network guide provides educators with information on how to help military-connected students struggling with traumatic grief.
The Impact of Traumatic Brain Injuries on Military Families
Health care providers and counselors often benefit from understanding how traumatic brain injuries impacts military families and children. The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress provides information that can facilitate the process of helping families and children coping with invisible injuries.
Moderate or Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
Families and Service members should look out for the common signs and symptoms of moderate or severe Traumatic Brain Injuries. Click below for a patient and family handout from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.
Returning Home with Trauma
It is often difficult for Service members to reintegrate into civilian life after serving in a war zone. It is especially challenging for those who have faced a traumatic event. Click below for a guide from the National Center for PTSD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that discusses common reactions, experiences, signs and symptoms, and strategies to cope with trauma at home.
Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness
Traumatic brain injuries are a widespread problem throughout the military. It is important to be aware of the causes and potential outcomes of this kind of injury. Click below to read the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center fact sheet about the prevalence of traumatic brain injuries in the military.
Understanding and Coping with Invisible Injuries
Families often have a difficult time understanding and coping with Service members’ invisible injuries such as brain injuries, depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Click below for more information from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences about the impact of invisible injuries on families and strategies to manage these challenges.
Understanding Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Posttraumatic stress disorder is often difficult for Service members and families to understand and cope with. This booklet from the National Center for PTSD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides information about signs, symptoms, and getting help.
Understanding Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Posttraumatic stress disorder is a challenging experience for Service members, families, and friends; however there are various effective treatments. This booklet from the National Center for PTSD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs describes the different kinds of treatments that are proven to help people with PTSD.
Welcoming Home a Service Member with Trauma
Reunions can be a happy, but stressful, time for military-connected families. When a Service member returns home after facing a traumatic event, these reunions can be even more stressful. Click below for a guide from the National Center for PTSD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that helps families understand the common reactions to trauma, warning signs, and strategies for coping and treatment.
Strategies to Support Students Experiencing Reintegration
Reintegration can be a joyful time for families, but it can also be quite stressful adjusting to a “new normal.” Students may have a challenging time with the return of their Service member parent. This resource provides a list of some informal communication and stress management strategies that you can use with students and parents to support them during this time.
School Resources Module Information Handouts
Case Family Backgrounds
Throughout the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness School Resources modules, four case families are used as examples. Get to know the families in the handout below.
Geographic Transitions Glossary
Find the definition of selected words used in the Geographic Transitions module in the glossary below.
Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children Module Glossary
Find the definition of selected words used in the Interstate Compact module in the glossary below.
Military and Schools Glossary
Find the definition of selected words used in the Military and Schools module in the glossary below.
Parental Absence Glossary
Find the definition of selected words used in the Parental Absence module in the glossary below.
Self-Care and Mindfulness
Use the checklist below to rate your self-care activities.
Self-Care and Mindfulness for School Personnel
The following module will teach you about self-care and mindfulness in school settings. You will also have the opportunity to be guided through two short mindfulness practices. Additional resources will also be provided on mindfulness training and information.
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Self-Care and Mindfulness Glossary
Find the definition of selected words used in the Self-Care and Mindfulness for School Personnel module in the glossary below.
Self-Care Starter Toolkit
This toolkit has a variety of resources to help jumpstart your self-care practices.
Students sometimes have a difficult time expressing emotions, especially potentially overwhelming ones like fear, anxiety, or grief. Click below for two handouts with strategies to aid children in expressing their emotions developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning.
There are many evidence-based practices that school professionals can use to provide effective support to military-connected students coping with situations such as a parental absence or a geographic transition. However, these strategies may be challenging to implement if identifying students who need support is difficult or if students do not feel comfortable asking for support. Although few studies address ways for school personnel to either identify students who need help or encourage help-seeking behavior in their students, there are some best practices, detailed in the guide listed below.
Early Intervention and Special Education Services for Eligible Military Dependents
The Department of Defense has officially incorporated the rulings and practices of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This resource includes further information about the provisions of the act.
Special Education Legislation Timeline
This resource highlights some of the major legislative acts that influenced special education over the course of history.
Transition Support Strategies for School Personnel
Military Child Identifier
States can identify military children in their education data systems to track information such as attendance, academic progress, and graduation. Schools and districts can benefit by having access to this data to help inform policy and program decisions for these students. Please see the following best practices as recommended by the Department of Defense for more information.
Military-Connected Student Enrollment Form
To fully support all military-connected students, schools can implement a process for identifying these students. Schools could do this by including military-specific questions on their enrollment forms, as in the example document below.
Military-Connected Student Interest Survey
When military-connected students transition to a new school, it may be helpful to use a military-specific student survey, like the example document below, to get to know them.
Military Installation Location Guide
There are many military installations around the world. Check out this list of installations to find out which ones are close to your school or where the installations are located from which your students are transferring.
Risk and Protective Factors for Mobile Students
An individual student’s response to transitions may be due to risk and protective factors. Recognizing and being aware of these factors may help you to better support mobile students. Click below for a list of these factors.
Strategies to Support General Student Transitions
Students often need additional support from adults in their lives when they experience a transition such as going from preschool to elementary school, elementary school to middle school, and middle school to high school. This resource includes strategies you can use to help support students transitioning from preschool to elementary school, elementary school to middle school, or middle school to high school.
Transition Supports for Military-Connected Parents and Students
Geographic Transition Tips for Military-Connected Parents and Students
Transitioning from school to school is not an easy process. However, there are a few strategies to help parents and students have an easier time. Click below to see a handout for military-connected parents and students.
Military-Connected Student Transition Checklist
When military-connected students transition to a new school, it is helpful for them to have all of their educational records in one place and readily available. The checklist below can be used to create a binder to organize hard copies of all educational records and information.
Translation and Interpretation Services for Permanent Change of Station Moves
Military OneSource offers a variety of interpretation services at no cost for families transitioning from and to overseas countries.
This material is the result of a partnership funded by the Department of Defense between the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy and the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture through a grant/cooperative agreement with Penn State University.
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