Supporting Military-Connected Students

This series, Supporting Military-Connected Students, is a collection of 8 one-hour trainings related to supporting students and families experiencing geographic transitions, parental absence, parental injury and death, and other military-connected challenges. These trainings summarize research related to military-connected students, provide opportunities to practice developing skills, and include take-home resources to help school personnel apply the content from each training. These trainings are available at no cost.

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Module Toolkit

The online learning modules reference a Toolkit for supplemental tools and resources. All resources referenced in the online learning modules can be found below in the Online Learning Modules Toolkit.

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To start the training series from the beginning, click the launch button to start the first training in the series. A link to the next training can be found at the end of each training.

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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 the view button to view the Toolkit item or click the plus symbol to learn more.

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.

TitleDescriptionCategoriestaxonomy_resources_hfilter
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. This is a handout for military-connected parents and students.

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Military-Connected Student Transition Checklist (PDF)

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 can be used to create a binder to organize hard copies of all educational records and information.

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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 can be used to create a binder to organize hard copies of all educational records and information.

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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.

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College and Career Readiness Resources for Military Connected Students

There are many resources to help high school students prepare for universities, trade schools, and other post-secondary options. These resources may aid students as they prepare for, identify, or apply to postsecondary education.

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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.

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Post 9-11 G.I. Bill Tips for Military-Connected Students

Students of Service member parents can receive the G.I. Bill education benefit. View this resource to learn more about what the benefit includes and how to transfer the benefit from a Service member to a dependent.

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Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) on the Interstate Compact

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 in this resource.

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Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) on the Interstate Compact (PDF)

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 in this resource.

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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 in this resource. 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.

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Interstate Compact Parent Brochure

To support military parents’ ability to advocate for their children, a printable parent brochure is available. To print the brochure, change the printer layout settings to print double sided and bind or flip on the short edge.

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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. To print the brochure, change the printer layout settings to print double sided and bind or flip on the short edge.

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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.

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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.

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Interstate Compact: Procedural Guide (DoDEA)

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.

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Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard Comparison

This fact sheet compares Active Duty Service to Reserve and National Guard Service.

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Air Force Fact Sheet

This fact sheet provides all the essential information you need to know about the Air Force.

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Army Fact Sheet

This fact sheet provides all the essential information you need to know about the Army.

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Coast Guard Fact Sheet

This fact sheet provides all the essential information you need to know about the Coast Guard.

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Marine Corps Fact Sheet

This fact sheet provides all the essential information you need to know about the Marine Corps.

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Navy Fact Sheet

This fact sheet provides all the essential information you need to know about the Navy.

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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.

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Enlisted Ranks and Insignia Guide

This guide provides the enlisted ranks and insignias of the different branches of the United States Armed Forces.

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Officer Ranks and Insignia Guide

This guide provides officer ranks and insignia of the different branches of the United States Armed Forces.

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Reserve Component Fact Sheet

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.

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Supporting 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.

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Military Terms and Acronyms Guide (PDF)

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.

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Military 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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What is the Impact Aid Law?

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.

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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.

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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.

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School Liaison Officer (SLO) Contact Information (Europe)

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.

For a condensed list of contact information for DoDEA schools in Europe visit this resources.

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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.

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Military Childcare Priority

Some families qualify for childcare priority at their installation. View this resource to see how a family can qualify for priority childcare.

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Family Care Plan: Air Force

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.

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Family Care Plan: Army

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.

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Family Care Plan: Marine Corps

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.

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Family Care Plan: Navy

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.

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Parental Absence: 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. This resource includes a list of behaviors that indicate a student needs more support.

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Defining and Coping With Ambiguous Loss

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.

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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.

This resource describes the different kinds of casualty statuses, types, and categories, which may be helpful for you to know when communicating with students and families about military injury and death.

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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 are grouped to help facilitate age-appropriate conversations with students.

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Conversation Starters for School Personnel Working with Students Impacted by Parent Death

The death of a parent can be one of the most difficult challenges of a child’s life. Children vary by age in how well they understand and accept death, and how families talk about death can vary greatly from culture to culture. Although difficult, discussing recent parental loss with a student is very important. The conversation starters are grouped to help facilitate age-appropriate conversations with students.

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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.

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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. This guide summarizes evidence-based recommendations to manage posttraumatic stress disorder.

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Evidence-Based Management of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PDF)

The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress has synthesized some of the best practices that will help treat patients and educate the public. This guide summarizes evidence-based recommendations to manage posttraumatic stress disorder.

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Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries for Families and Friends

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.

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Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries for Families and Friends (PDF)

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.

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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.

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Helping Children Cope with Loss Resulting from War or Terrorism (PDF)

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.

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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.” This resource provides tips to help educators support these children.

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Helping Children Understand Invisible Injuries

Young children have an especially challenging time conceptualizing invisible injuries. 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.

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Helping Children Understand Invisible Injuries (PDF)

Young children have an especially challenging time conceptualizing invisible injuries. 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.

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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.

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Helping Military-Connected Students Cope with Traumatic Grief (PDF)

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.

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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.

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The Impact of Traumatic Brain Injuries on Military Families (PDF)

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.

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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. This resources is a patient and family handout from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.

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Reintegration: 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. This resources is 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.

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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. View this resources to learn more about the prevalence of traumatic brain injuries in the military.

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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. View this resource 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.

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Understanding and Coping with Invisible Injuries (PDF)

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. View this resources 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.

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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.

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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.

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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. This is 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.

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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.

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Resource for Parental Absence Lessons- Case Study Backgrounds

Throughout the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness School Resources modules, four case families are used as examples. Get to know the families in this handout.

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Geographic Transitions Glossary

Find the definition of selected words used in the Geographic Transitions module in the glossary.

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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.

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Military and Schools Glossary

Find the definition of selected words used in the Military and Schools module in the glossary.

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Parental Absence Glossary

Find the definition of selected words used in the Parental Absence module in the glossary.

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Self-Care Checklist

Use the checklist to rate your self-care activities.

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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.

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Self-Care Starter Toolkit

This toolkit has a variety of resources to help jumpstart your self-care practices.

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Helping Children Express Their Emotions

Students sometimes have a difficult time expressing emotions, especially potentially overwhelming ones like fear, anxiety, or grief. This handout has 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.

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Helping Your Child to Identify and Express Emotions

Students sometimes have a difficult time expressing emotions, especially potentially overwhelming ones like fear, anxiety, or grief. This handout has 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.

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Help-Seeking Behavior

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 this guide.

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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.

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Special Education Legislation Timeline

This resource highlights some of the major legislative acts that influenced special education over the course of history.

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Military Child Identifier for Schools

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 best practices as recommended by the Department of Defense for more information.

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Military-Connected Student Enrollment Form (PDF)

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.

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Military-Connected Student Enrollment Form (Word)

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.

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Military-Connected Student Interest Survey (PDF)

When military-connected students transition to a new school, it may be helpful to use a military-specific student survey, like the example document, to get to know them.

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Military-Connected Student Interest Survey (Word)

When military-connected students transition to a new school, it may be helpful to use a military-specific student survey, like the example document, to get to know them.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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