- Educational Records
- Kindergarten & First Grade Entrance Age
- Placement & Attendance
- Course & Educational Program Placement
- Special Education Services
- Placement Flexibility
- Absence Related to Deployment Activities
- Eligibility for Student Enrollment
- Eligibility for Extracurricular Participation
- Waiving courses required for graduation if similar course work has been completed
- Flexibility in accepting state exit or end-of-course exams, national achievement tests, or alternative testing in lieu of testing requirements for graduation in the receiving state
- Allowing a student to receive a diploma from the sending school instead of the receiving school
Before and After
I have two fellow military spouses that had two very different experiences due to the interstate compact agreement. My friend Leisa Willis has four amazing children. All four children are bright, active and very social. They were reassigned to Fort Mead, Maryland in 2005. At the time, there were no standards of education between states regarding Gifted and Talented (GT) students.
Willis’s oldest daughter had been in GT classes for last two years. Back then, the rule for most schools were new student must sit out of GT programs for one year before being evaluated for the program.
She is a very bright and had excelled in all of her testing and activities related to the GT program at the prior school but because she was forced to sit a class that was essentially reviewing material she learned two years prior, Mary Kate found herself withdrawn and depressed.
Leisa decided that the mental health of her children was more important than any school policy, so she dis-enrolled Mary Kate from school. She chose to homeschool all four children from that point on. She didn’t want to watch the learning spark disappear from her daughter or any of her children again. She didn’t want to watch her children suffer needlessly because the schools didn’t understand the life of a military child. Her children have thrived being homeschooled and the learning spark still remains in all four of her children.
Things have changed, thanks to the MIC3. My other friend, Becky Harris, is also a mother of two very bright, amazing and social children. She moved from Northern Virginia to San Angelo, Texas this past summer. Both of her children were in the GT magnet school in Fairfax County, VA – which is considered one the best school districts in the country. Her children were challenged academically and surrounded by their peers at this competitive magnet school.
When she learned they were moving to the middle of West Texas, she didn’t panic. She knew that there was provision between school districts to accept GT students because Gifted and Talented Programs are considered Special Education Services and that falls under the interstate compact agreement.
She knew her children would be accepted by the receiving GT magnet school in Texas because of the work the MIC3 had accomplished. Today, both of her children are thriving in school, enjoying social activities the school provides as well the academic challenges.
The effects of the MIC3 have had major impacts on military families. They have managed to “standardize without being penalized” the educational opportunities for military children.
If our children want to be cheerleaders or play baseball, they should be able to try out, even though they missed the deadline because our family was forced to move without notice.
Our children shouldn’t have to repeat kindergarten because the enrollment age at the new school is different from the old school’s date.
If our children are considered gifted in one school system, we want to next school system to give them equal opportunities.
And if an active duty parent returns home from a long deployment, taking a week or so to re-integrate as a family shouldn’t result in a suspension of our children due to absences.
We are not whiney parents who want more from the educational systems than our children deserve. We want a fair chance, equal treatment and a little understanding for our children who have no choice but to live this military life. If you need help with your child’s educational transition, contact your military installations School Liaison Officer for help. Know the services afforded because being a military family should not detract from your child’s educational experience. Make the school work for them!
If you want to send MIC3 a Christmas card or just thank you note, I think they would love to hear from you. They are a quiet army of people who are working to make our lives a little bit easier. For more information on Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission, visit their website at www.mic3.net or contact your local School Liaison Officer for help.