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Volume 11 Issue 1

Month of the Military Child pull-out poster inside! ÂŽ

the official magazine of the Military Child Education CoalitionÂŽ

The Military Child Education Coalition V I S I O N STATEMENT :


To serve as a model of positive leadership and advocacy for ensuring inclusive, quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children.



To ensure inclusive, quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition.


Provide responsive and relevant support systems, resources, and products.


Expand the MCEC outreach through engagement, advocacy, and partnerships.


Execute a strategic communications plan.


Build a strong, sustainable, and financially sound organization.

Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) is a GuideStar Gold Participant

The Independent Charities Seal of Excellence is awarded to the members of Independent Charities of America and Local Independent Charities of America that have, upon rigorous independent review, been able to certify, document, and demonstrate on an annual basis that they meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. These standards include those required by the U.S. Government for inclusion in the Combined Federal Campaign, probably the most exclusive fund drive in the world. Of the 1,000,000 charities operating in the United States today, it is estimated that fewer than 50,000, or 5 percent, meet or exceed these standards, and, of those, fewer than 2,000 have been awarded this Seal.

Military Child Education Coalition®, MCEC®, and associated programs, institutes, trademarks and design elements are owned and licensed by the Military Child Education Coalition. TM/© 2017 Military Child Education Coalition. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of this magazine, in whole or in part, is authorized with appropriate acknowledgment of the source.

ON THE move Cindy Simerly, Executive Editor Dr. Mary Keller, President/CEO/Managing Editor Karen Kirk, Art Director Jessica Thibodeau, Editor

tableofcontents F E ATURES


Honest, Dedicated, Confident: Eagle Scout An inside look into what it takes to earn the top ranking in the Boy Scouts of America.

W H AT ELS E I S I NS I DE education innovation 4 The business of Computer Science 5

Continuing Education Units via MCEC Programs

connected kids 8 A Study on Boy Scouting 17 Poetry Corner


Special Insert:

Deepening Our Understanding about Military-Connected Students: A First Look at One State's Data Denotes Science Advisory Board Member

18 More than a Song mcec resources 19 New! TEDEd Parent Learning Community Resources 21 Parent to Parent Program News policies and partnerships 22 Proud Partners Serving Military Families: NCTSN 24 Pride in Service: MSTC Spotlight

Become an On the MoveÂŽ Author MCEC publishes articles addressing issues, trends, and policies supporting military and veteran-connected children and youth. Views expressed do not necessarily agree with positions taken by MCEC. Submit ideas to

aboutthecover: Sonnett, Grade 11 Salem High School Virginia Beach, Virginia US Army



B OA RD OF DIREC TORS Officers General (Ret) William Fraser, Chairman Brigadier General (Ret) Robert "Bob" Gaylord, Treasurer Brigadier General (Ret) Earl Simms, Vice Chairman/ Secretary Bruni Bradley, Vice Chairman Barbara Day, Vice Chairman Richard "Rich" Lerner, PhD, Vice Chairman Robert “Bob” Utley, Vice Chairman Members Renee Bostick Cortez K. Dial, EdD The Honorable Chet Edwards Anne Haston Chief Master Sergeant (Ret) Denise Jelinski-Hall Lieutenant General (Ret) Darrell Jones Kathy Killea Robert Muller, PhD Mary Claire Murphy Command Sergeant Major (Ret) Mark Ripka Ali Saadat Edward "Ed" Van Buren Joyce Ward Nancy Wilson Members Emeriti Cathy Franks General (Ret) Benjamin Griffin, Past Chairman Dr. William "Bill" Harrison Lieutenant General (Ret) Don Jones Dr. James Mitchell Kathleen O'Beirne Robert "Bob" Ray Mary Jo Reimer Sandy Schwartz Patricia “Patty” Shinseki General (Ret) Thomas A. "Tom" Schwartz Lieutenant General (Ret) H.G. "Pete" Taylor Zoe Trautman


April is nationally recognized as the Month of the Military Child. This awareness month was established by former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger to underscore the important role that children play in the Armed Forces community. We at MCEC are focused daily on making life a little better for our military children and providing them help to face their unique challenges. Here are some statistics that you may not be aware of: there are approximately 1.3 million military children ranging in ages from newborn to 18 years old, 1.3 million of them are school-aged, and military kids on average move 6-9 times in their K-12 education careers. All those school transitions present unique challenges which is why MCEC is focused on continuing to develop programs that support academic achievement to make our kids college and life ready. Statistics also show that military kids are at least twice as likely as their civilian peers to enter military service. They understand and appreciate a life of service to their country. I hope that you enjoy this edition where we highlight some of our military children and that you will take time during the Month of the Military Child to recognize and appreciate our military children. Sincerely,

MCE C STAFF Mary M. Keller, EdD President and Chief Executive Officer COL (Ret) John L. Ballantyne Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer Cindy Simerly Vice President, Fund Development and Marketing Shellie M. Campos, PHR, SHRM-CP Director, Human Resources Lee Ann Deal, CFRE Director, Annual Giving Annette Farmer, JD Staff Counsel and Director, Contracting Jill Gaitens, EdD Director, Hampton Roads Area Juan Garcia, CPA Comptroller Larry Kruse, MS Membership & Member Benefits Coordinator Daryl McLauchlin Chief Technology Officer Denise Montana Chief of Logistics and Retail Stacey Smith, PhD Director, Grants Management and Program Evaluations Jessica Thibodeau Director, Marketing & Communications

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William M Fraser III General, USAF (Ret) Chairman, Military Child Education Coalition

Growing a Community of Support

At MCEC, we strive to empower military and veteran-connected children and the community that surrounds them. Please join us as we work to ensure the children of our service men and women have everything they need to reach their full potential.

HOW YOUR SUPPORT HE L PS Your tax-deductible donation to MCEC funds programs for students, parents and professionals, providing vital peer and community support systems. MCEC will be honored to be the recipient of your charitable contribution designated in one of the following areas: • Student/Youth Initiatives • Parent Initiatives • Educator/Professional Initiatives

Together, we will grow a community of support

...for the sake of the child.

Volume 11 Issue 1


Month of the Military Child is a great time to reflect back on the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) mission and why we do the work we do. MCEC focuses on college and career readiness for all military and veteran-connected children, and as we know, transition, mobility, and separation can present challenges for staying on track. We spoke with James, (page 4) a 22-year-old software developer and military child, about how he balanced nine school moves with his STEM career track. James sees the benefits of his mobile lifestyle sharing, “I’ve seen most of this massive country and been exposed to a vast array of cultures, walks of life, types of people, and life situations.” Students like James keep us dedicated to providing resources for our military-connected children. Our Military Student Transition Consultants (MSTCs) have grown to 21 professional navigators in place at the school level to advocate for our students and their families as they transition in and out of schools. Our MSTCs (page 24) have the opportunity to work with each campus to build support structures that help meet the students’ needs. “The faculty and staff are welcoming and are excited to learn how we can all work together to build a safety net of social-emotional support for our militaryconnected students and families,” shares Mesha Hayes, our MSTC in Norfolk, Virginia. Thanks to a DoDEA grant, many of our teams now have Project Directors in place to give the students even more attention. Our partner and friends at the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) are doing fabulous work serving military families and children through their Military and Veteran Families Program (page 22), which serves to create resources and coordinate the NCTSN treatment programs for military children throughout the United States. For the April 2017 Month of the Military Child, the NCTSN is working to raise awareness about ways parents and teachers can bolster support for military children, including their emotional growth and needs. Let us spend this Month of the Military Child celebrating our students and continuing to find new ways to support the children of those who serve us all. Sincerely,

Dr. Mary M. Keller President and CEO, Military Child Education Coalition

MCEC OFFICE (254) 953-1923 • (254) 953-1925 (fax) 909 Mountain Lion Circle Harker Heights, Texas 76548 NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE Mrs. Charlene Austin The Honorable Valerie Baldwin Mrs. Patricia “Tosh” Barron The Honorable Carolyn H. Becraft Mr. Douglas Belair General (Ret) and Mrs. B.B. Bell (Katie) Ms. Dona Bushong The Honorable John Carter and Mrs. Carter (Erika) Mr. Ed Casey General (Ret) and Mrs. George Casey (Sheila) General (Ret) and Mrs. Peter Chiarelli (Beth) Lieutenant General (Ret) and Mrs. Kurt Cichowski (Laura) Mr. Mike Cohen Dr. Dan Domenech Admiral (Ret) and Mrs. Walter Doran (Ginny) Mrs. Lea Ann Edwards General (Ret) and Mrs. Larry R. Ellis (Jean) Ms. Lucy Fitch Lieutenant General (Ret) and Mrs. Phil Ford (Kris) General (Ret) Tommy R. Franks Vice Admiral (Ret) and Mrs. William French (Monika) Command Sergeant Major (Ret) and Mrs. William J. Gainey (Cindy) The Honorable Pete Geren Mr. Roy Gibson The Honorable Robert L. Gordon III Major General (Ret) and Mrs. Mark R. Hamilton (Patty) Lieutenant General (Ret) Charles R. Heflebower Mr. David G. Henry, esq Rear Admiral (Ret) and Mrs. Leendert Hering (Sharon) General (Ret) James T. Hill and Dr. Toni Hill Lieutenant General (Ret) and Mrs. William Ingram (Lil) Major General (Ret) and Mrs. Robert Ivany (Marianne) Mrs. Holly Jones Mr. Gary Knell Mr. Luke Knittig General (Ret) and Mrs. Leon J. LaPorte (Judy) General (Ret) and Mrs. David McKiernan (Carmen) General (Ret) and Mrs. Craig McKinley (Cheryl) Mr. Drayton McLane, Jr. General (Ret) and Mrs. Duncan McNabb (Linda) Lieutenant General (Ret) and Mrs. Thomas Metz (Pam) Major General (Ret) and Mrs. Paul Mock (Karen) General (Ret) and Mrs. Richard Myers (Mary Jo) The Honorable James Peake and Mrs. Peake (Janice) The Honorable Danny Pummill General (Ret) Dennis J. Reimer Mr. Matthew Rogers General (Ret) and Mrs. Norton Schwartz (Suzie) General (Ret) and Mrs. Henry H. Shelton (Carolyn) Mr. James H. Shelton III Lieutenant General (Ret) Stephen M. Speakes Lieutenant General (Ret) George J. Trautman III Dr. P. Uri Treisman Ms. Kirsten White

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The business of Computer Military-connected children are inherently resilient, as evidenced by the way they handle the military lifestyle. Growing up as a military child is a unique and challenging experience. “We are social beings; and much of our personality, interests, and psychology is determined by the connections we make with others and the kind of people we foster relationships with,” shared James, a 22-year-old software developer, who grew up in a highly mobile military family.

James moved nine times before graduating from high school and leaving for college, but keeps in touch with very few of the people he met from his many moves across the country. “The military lifestyle throws a wrench in this formative process, as constant relocation often prevents the child from developing deep roots in communities and social groups, from forging the kind of long-lasting connections that most people build their lives upon,” shared James. “But I’ve seen most of this massive country and been exposed to a vast array of cultures, walks of life, types of people, and life situations.”

home isn’t just important: it’s essential,” expressed James. In high school, he developed an interest in robotics, specifically robotic prosthetics. “Like many military children, I’d had plenty of up-close and personal experiences with wounded and amputee veterans, and seeing these servicemen come home with prosthetics got me thinking about advancing that technology to make their lives easier.” Once reaching college and beginning computer science education in earnest, his interests changed, but that initial passion never died out. Resources for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) were endless for James in high school and were

“Look around your community and life for problems that need solving. Get together and just create.”

Growing up, James developed quickly formed friendships; but because of the frequent mobility, he felt they were shallower bonds. It did, however, allow him to, “…develop resilience and independence as a means of survival,” shared James. “It makes for charismatic and wellrounded personalities, well-developed and self-sufficient work ethics, and provides a default conversation starter (although listing all the places you have lived CAN get tiresome).”

From a young age, he trended toward the scientific and engineering mindset, building Legos, reading, and exploring. James immersed himself in books, critical thinking, and experimentation from day one. “To foster engineering thinking (much like any other learning) in kids, starting at the

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paramount in preparing him for college and a career in computer science. Learning can start at as young an age as interest allows. “The efforts to teach kids to code is huge and backed by the likes of Apple, IBM and Google, who all release resources aimed at all ages to get coding as soon as possible,” explained James. “There are countless online resources like, and that have sprung up in the last few years to become massive collections of awesome video tutorials and courses to teach you how to accomplish anything you could imagine.” It is easier now than ever before to get started exploring, building, and sharing projects from simple websites and Volume 11 Issue 1




Continuing Education Units via MCEC Programs The Military Child Education Coalition is an approved provider for continuing education units through the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), and Texas Education Agency (TEA). The professional development arm of MCEC assists professionals in the fields of education, health care, and childcare, as well as community business leaders, in learning the most current research-informed methods for supporting military-connected children and youth. Through training seminars, highly skilled presenters demonstrate the most effective ways to assist constantly transitioning military-connected children and youth.

iPhone and Android applications to virtual reality experiences. There are complete college courses from some of the best professors in the country found online. “I first learned iOS development by going through the Stanford iPhone App Development course on iTunesU,” shared James. “While they won’t provide college credits, it will teach you as much as you’re willing to learn.” James graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Computer Science, and works in San Francisco as a software developer. His experiences as a military child developed in him the ability to go after what interested him and apply it at a critical thinking level. To other military-connected students looking to find their way James recommends looking in your school and community to find clubs and groups of friends interested in the same topics as you. “Look around your community and life for problems that need solving. Get together and just create,” he shared. “Nothing builds skills and makes sense of technologies better than just choosing a project, and getting down to business.”

MCEC Professional Development Courses Include: • Supporting Veterans’ Children Through Transitions™ • Helping Military Children Discover Their S.P.A.R.C.: Strength, Potential, Aspirations, Resourcefulness, Confidence™ • The Journey from “Welcome Home” to Now: Reunion, Reconnecting, Routine™ • Supporting Military Children Through School Transitions: Foundations™ • Supporting Military Children Through School Transitions: Social/Emotional™ • Responding to the Military Child with Exceptional Needs™ • Living in the New Normal™ • Student Programs Sponsor Training

Over 2500 professionals were trained by MCEC programs in 2016! Continuing Education Units & Graduate Credit Many of the following courses are eligible to receive Continuing Education credits and/or non-degreed graduate credit. Requirements to receive credit include: • Maintain 95% attendance • Engage in class activities and discussions • Complete end-of-course evaluation • Complete end-of-course assessment with a minimum score of 80% Participants can apply for CEUs at and applications are valid for one year after completion of MCEC course. For more information, contact Amanda Hulsey at or visit:

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Honest Dedicated Confident



agle Scout is the highest

ranking offered in the Boy Scouts of America with only 4% of Boy Scouts earning it. An Eagle Scout has to complete 21 merit badges covering a wide range of skills and activities with topics including citizenship, hiking, camping, cooking, fitness, first aid and swimming. Matt Glennon, a veteran-connected child and a high school senior is in that top four percent having earned the coveted rank in the fall of 2016. “The idea is to expose boys to a wide range of experiences with the goal of turning out a really well-rounded young man who has confidence in a range of competencies,” shared Matt.

“Plus, an Eagle Scout is a good citizen who willingly and regularly gives his time to help others.” Being a son of two Veterans, life for Matt has not been much different from other kids in his school . His parents go to work every day and are home every night, which he enjoys. “Both my parents have taught me the importance of service. They don’t spend a lot of time talking about what it was like for them when they were in the military, but my dad has some great stories about things he experienced and my mom was really glad she was able to serve,” shared Matt. His parents believe it is important to serve, and

they have fostered many different opportunities for their family to give back to their community. Matt has been involved in scouting since before he was born. “My dad is also an Eagle Scout; and I think as soon as he found out he was going to have a son, he started planning my scouting career,” joked Matt. He joined the Cub Scouts in first grade and never looked back. Now that he is 18 years old, he is an adult scout volunteer with his troop and gets to mentor younger scouts. “It’s a whole different kind of scouting for me.” Over his scouting years, Matt has developed skills ranging from basics like knot tying, building a fire,

Only 4% of Boy Scouts earn Eagle Scout

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Volume 11 Issue 1



[My parents] don’t spend a lot of time talking about what it was like for them when they were in the military, but my dad has some great stories about things he experienced and my mom was really glad she was able to serve. and identifying edible vs. poisonous plants to practicing emergency preparedness, taking care of the environment, and learning about citizenship and leadership. Matt gained certifications and specialized training in Open Water Scuba Diving, Wilderness First Aid, Lifesaving, and during his sophomore year, the Leave No Trace Training from the Center for Outdoor Ethics. “This course helped me develop skills to teach others how to minimize our impact on the environment, so that when we go camping, we leave the campsites like we find them, so others can enjoy the space for years to come,” shared Matt. When he is not out saving the environment, he enjoys regular activities like water sports, music, and videogames. While Matt’s parents are retired from the military, the family still lives in a military community. “I think it’s great living in a town where there is always someone new to meet,” expressed Matt. Just this year one of his best friends moved away because her dad is still in the Army. Saying goodbye was hard for Matt but he promises they will keep in touch, “It’s a lot easier to

“ Eagle Scouts were more likely than non-Scouts to

have donated money, volunteered, held leadership positions in the community and score higher on validated measures of ambition, work ethics, morality, tolerance and respect for diversity.”

"Merit Beyond the Badge" study by the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion and Program for Prosocial Behavior Byron R. Johnson, PhD, Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences, director of the Program on Prosocial Behavior, ISR co-director, principal investigator Sung Joon Jang, PhD, associate professor of sociology, Baylor ISR Faculty Fellow, co-principal investigator Young-Il Kim, PhD, a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at ISR, study co-author

stay connected because of all the technology we have today.” Matt makes friends easily so meeting new kids, learning about what they have done in other places, and where they have lived is interesting to him. Texas Tech University accepted Matt into their civil engineering program. He is considering the ROTC program and joining the Army after college. He is grateful for all the opportunities the Boy Scouts have provided him. “I think that there will always be

opportunity for me to use my leadership skills, whether as a leader of a team or to support whoever is placed in leadership over me,” shared Matt. “When you meet someone who has earned the Eagle Scout Badge, you should have confidence that he is someone who is honest, dedicated and confident in his abilities, someone who can complete the task you give him and someone you can trust to do the right thing, even when no one is looking.”

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A Study on Dan Warren, PhD, Team

The study sought to understand character development in the Cub Scout years. “We collected data over 2.5 years and looked at positive attributions like being helpful, kind, trustworthy, and future mindedness. Attributions that were tied to kids having success over a lifetime,” explained Dan. The purpose of scouting is to develop character, citizenship, fitness, and leadership. The study found that scouts who remained in the program longer had higher levels of trustworthiness, school competence, intentional selfregulation, and hopeful future expectation.

Lead for Research and Evaluation, Boy Scouts of America (BSA), was involved in BSA and excelled to the highest rank of Eagle Scout. Achieving the highest rank in Boy Scouts was a changing point in his life. “The two biggest reasons I joined was to develop character and to participate in a values- based organization,” shared Dan.

Today, Dan Warren, PhD, is Team Lead for Research & Evaluation for the Boy Scouts of America. Dan believes the standardization of BSA curriculum plays a huge role in easing the transition of mobile populations like military-connected children. “If I walk into a scout meeting in Boise, someone can look at my uniform and know a lot about me already. You know where I have been, what I have done, and that we have similar experiences. We are going to talk about those shared experiences and how they were different in our troops,” shared Dan. “It is really powerful, and that’s the socialization piece, not even the curriculum that the BSA brings.”

Post high school graduation, Dan left Scouting in his past and earned his degree in psychology and education. Years later, he met Richard M. Lerner, Ph.D., Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and the Director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, where Dan was earning his Master’s degree in Child Development. Dan and Rich worked together on a successful 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development. Following the study, Dan taught 5th grade in The BSA works to make sure they provide resources to make public education for 9 years. the whole family feel supported, not just the child. According “One day, all those years later, to Dan, “Boy Scouts is a powerful source for experimentation, Rich called me and had just education, and building meaningful, tangible skillsets.” received a grant to study Military Child scouting and wanted me Education Coalition on it,” shared Dan. “It encourages was a fascinating Learn how Girl Scouts of the USA high quality youth-serving opportunity to come builds girls of courage, confidence, organizations like scouting... back and study at and character in the fall issue of they are programs a higher level and On the Move! without borders. study scouting.”

“The two biggest reasons I joined was to develop character and to participate in a valuesbased organization.”

~Mary M. Keller, EdD

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President and CEO, Military Child Education Coalition

Volume 11 Issue 1

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It Deepening Our Understanding about Military-Connected Students: A FIRST LOOK AT ONE STATE'S DATA

The Military Student Identifier, A Texas Study, Dr. Robert Muller, Lead Investigator, Dr. Fuhui Tong, Co-Investigator, Dr. Beverly J. Irby, Co-Investigator. Texas A&M University, 2016.

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The need for a military student identifier Military families, like every other family in our country, are concerned about the opportunities for their children to attend and excel in quality schools, to take challenging courses and participate in a variety of extra-curricular programs in the arts, technology and sports. Frequent moves and deployment disruptions often provide academic transition challenges. While most schools, school districts and state education agencies (SEAs) make efforts to assist their militaryconnected students, they have not had consistent tools to identify them. Because of this, they’ve been unable to answer questions about their well-being, to include their class passing, promotion and graduation rates, whether they are achieving at the same level as their peers, and how well they fare socially, emotionally and behaviorally.

The History of the Military Student Identifier Individual state initiatives (19 states)

The MCEC began advocating with state and federal leaders for the creation of a military student data element in state school data collection systems in 2012. Inclusion of this data element would allow school personnel and policy makers to answer the questions posed above by studying group performance and trends. Through those early efforts 19 states added the Military Student Identifier (MSI) to their data collection efforts either through legislative action or administrative directives within state education agencies. Although these states collect the data, most of them do not currently display status reports of their collection efforts or descriptive information about the status of their military-connected children.

MCEC and other organizations supporting military students strongly advocated for the inclusion of the children of National Guard and Reserve parents during the legislative process, but the law passed and signed by the President specifies that the MSI is required only for students whose parent is an active duty member of the US Armed Forces.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Texas MSI initiative

As the same time as some states independently added the MSI, the U. S. Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act (ESEA). This process provided a unique opportunity for the MCEC to advocate for the need for an MSI and to encourage members in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to add an MSI data element to regular annual state data collection, a component of every authorization of ESEA. Congress saw the benefit of this action and included the MSI in the reauthorization of ESEA, now known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), in December 2015. For the first time, there will be a Military Student Identifier in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. ESSA legislation directs implementation of its provisions in the 2017-18 school year, although recent regulation changes and a new administration may delay it.

In late 2015, through a generous grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the MCEC was offered the opportunity to examine how students were faring in one of the states that had been collecting data. The MCEC worked with the Educational Leadership Research Center (ELRC) at Texas A&M University (TAMU) to request and evaluate data that had been collected for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. Because the 2nd year’s data was considered more complete, the MCEC & TAMU focused there. The data for this study was received from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and included information from the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) and student achievement files.

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State Data Collection, MCEC/TAMU research project

MCEC Special Topic

Demographic overview The overall distribution of military and nonmilitary students in Texas for 2014-2015 appears below.

Texas Military Student Identifier Counts for the 2014-15 School Year Students







National Guard












Not Military-Connected Active Duty

While Texas ranks in the top three states serving military-connected children, the relative number of military-connected children, compared to the total population, is small. As a result, military-connected students may go unnoticed except in schools in proximity to major active duty installations. National Guard and Reserve-connected students may be close to invisible because they are so widely distributed around the state.

Demographic Comparisons The table below displays the distribution of non-military and military-connected students by campus levels and various demographic and program categories. It is subdivided by military affiliation. Notice first that military-connected students of all three types (Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve) are more numerous in elementary schools than their non-military peers. This confirms what has been reported through Department of Defense sources, that military-connected students tend to be younger than the non-military population. The ethnic distribution also contrasts among the different groups where Black/African American Active Duty militaryconnected students are about 6% greater within their cohort than non-militaryconnected students and almost double the percentage of the same students from National Guard and Reserve parents. White military-connected Active Duty students also form a large portion of their cohort than non-military-connected students but are 6% smaller than the proportions of National Guard and Reserveconnected students.

At Risk and Economically Disadvantaged Comparison The categories of At Risk and Economically Disadvantaged show clear contrasts. Statewide 51% of non-military students meet At Risk* criteria while 36% of Active Duty-connected children and 39% of National Guard and Reserve-connected children meet the same criteria. “At Risk” in Texas indicates that any one of the following are true: failed 2 or more classes; retained at grade level; failed state assessment test; pregnant; placed in an alternative program, or expelled. Similarly, 59% of non-military children, 36% of Active Dutyconnected children and 41% of National Guard and Reserve-connected children meet the economically disadvantaged criteria. “Economically disadvantaged” refers to children who qualify for free or reduced meal subsidies.

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The Military Student Identifier

Texas PEIMS 2014-15 Data • Educational Leadership Research Center at TAMU STUDENT CONNECTED TO Non-Military CAMPUS TYPE

Active Duty

Nat’l Guard










Elementary n=2,620,943









High School n=1,448,674









Middle School n=1,154,570
























Black/Af Amer Ethnicity

Hispanic/Latino 2,694,008 Other


















At Risk n=2,670,143



















Dyslexia n=125,245



















Economically Disadvantaged n=3,069,815 Gifted & Talented n=396,771 Limited English n=948,511























































Spec Ed n=450,766



















Program Participation Comparisons Interesting variations appear as we observe the participation rates for dyslexia, special education limited English proficiency and gifted and talented programs. Nonmilitary students participate in the dyslexia program at a slightly higher rate of 2.4%, compared to Active Duty-connected students at 2% or National Guard and Reserve-connected students at 1.2% and 1.6% respectively. This pattern changes for special education participation. Nonmilitary students participate at a rate of 8.6% while 9.2% of Active Duty-connected students and 6.8% of National Guard and 7% of Reserve students receive special education services. Limited English proficient student programs show another contrast. Here 19% of nonmilitary students meet the criteria while 3.7% of Active Duty-connected students and slightly more, 6.5%, of National Guard and 4.2% of Reserve-connected students meet the same criteria. Finally, gifted and talented program participation rates display differences again. Nonmilitary students have a 7.6% participation rate compared to 6.8% for Active Duty-connected students and 5.7% participation for National Guard and 7.3% for Reserve-connected students.

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MCEC Special Topic

4 million reasons to join -

serving the children of those who serve us all. Membership in Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC®) demonstrates your support of military and veteran-connected children! Memberships available include: Individual


Business & Organization

College & University/School District/ Military Installation

All members receive the MCEC monthly eNewsletters, semi-annual On the Move® digital magazines and new or special topic publications electronically. All dues-paying members are entitled to the member rate for National Training Seminar (NTS) registration.


We appreciate our members who represent many areas of expertise and enterprise.

MCEC Business & Organization and Corporate Members include:

Association of the United States Army National

Lockheed Martin Corp


Military Childrens Collaborative Group

BAE Systems North America

Moon Peaks Consulting & Educational Support

Life Schools of Dallas

Have a question or want more information about membership?                                     

Email : Military Child Education Coalition

909 Mountain Lion Circle, Harker Heights, Texas 76548 • (254) 953-1923 • • CFC #10261

April is Month of the Military Child Military kids bloom wherever the wind takes them Artwork by Elizabeth Grade 3 | Hoffman Elementary San Antonio, Texas U.S. Air Force “Military Child Education Coalition®,” “MCEC®” and associated trademarks and design elements are owned by the Military Child Education Coalition. © 2017 Military Child Education Coalition. All Rights Reserved

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State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) Summary In Texas, annual student academic assessments using the STAAR take place as shown in the table below: STAAR Grade Level Tested


3 4 5 6 7 8

a a a a a a



a a a a a a

a a


Social Studies

a a


And, high school students take a series of End of Course (EOC) examinations as a graduation requirement. The Texas Education Agency requires EOCs as shown below: End-of-Course Test

R=Required O=Optional

English 1




English 2


American History


Algebra 1


Algebra 2


English 3


Test passing standards in Texas increased in 2012 and influenced STAAR passing standards, as well. A “phase-in” schedule of passing standards under STAAR began for the 2013-2014 school year. In that year, TEA reported scores for multiple passing standards in order to keep school systems and parents knowledgeable about the advancing expectations for student performance and the State’s overall progress in moving toward the highest achievement levels. This summary focuses only on comparative student performance at the Recommended and Advanced standard levels which will become permanent benchmarks.

TAMU Research Methodology For the purposes of this study, the Educational Leadership Research Center (ELRC) at Texas A&M University presented data related to the performance of military-connected students in grades 4, 8 and high school level for mathematics and English/ language arts. The data sets were from an ELRC STAAR data request from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). ELRC merged the STAAR data with a Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) dataset also obtained from TEA.

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A series of tables found in the full report describe the achievement levels of non-military and military-connected students (subdivided by Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve affiliation) and contrasted by whether or not the student’s family qualified as economically disadvantaged or not. Sorting performance measures with this variable shows the most significant contrasts of the demographic variables used in the analysis. This last variable created larger groups in the “yes” and “no” categories and performance patterns appear to vary in ways that are not generally predicted. In examining mathematics and reading performance at grades four, five and eight and algebra 1 performance for students completing that end of course exam, we see a trend emerging. In almost all cases nonmilitary non-economically disadvantaged students have higher passing rates than military-connected non-economically disadvantaged students taking the same tests. Active duty students generally have higher passing rates than National Guard and Reserve students, although the size of those groups is so small that conclusions are not suggested. The story is different for the economically disadvantaged groups in each case, and the pattern is similar across all tests at both the recommended and advanced passing standard.

Here military-connected students had higher passing rates than nonmilitary students in reading, mathematics and algebra 1 at both the recommended and advanced passing standards. As expected, passing rates for all economically disadvantaged groups were lower than for non-economically disadvantaged students, but the contrast between military and non-military groups was clear and consistent. Given the powerful influence of socio-economic status on achievement scores (Lacour and Tissington, 2011), one might conclude that the economically disadvantaged variable does not provide enough definition to distinguish the degree to which military-connected students are economically disadvantaged compared to their non-military-connected counterparts. Could it be that economically disadvantaged military-connected students perform better than economically disadvantaged students who are not military-connected because the military-connected students are not as economically disadvantaged as the non military students? To obtain a truer picture of the performance of military-connected students to students who are not military-connected an economic variable that reflects more detail with respect to poverty is needed.

Interpretation and conclusions 1. The observations and finding of this initial analysis of the PEIMS and STAAR data must be used as the catalyst to examine the available data more deeply, gather additional data, investigate cause and effect relationships and continue to examine it longitudinally. Users of this type of PEIMS and STAAR data analysis must be cautious in drawing conclusions, as MSI research is still very much in its infancy and should not be used to categorically state that military students are doing better or worse than their civilian counter parts. Every stakeholder concerned about military-connected students should be motivated by this initial report to dig deeper. 2. Drawing conclusions from the examination of statewide data does not provide sufficient resolution from which to draw confident observations and conclusions; it only begins to shine a light on possible

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areas of concern for military students. Informed by the state level data, LEAs must now more deeply examine district level data by examining “reason codes” analysis to more accurately pinpoint potential areas requiring attention and corrective action.  3. LEAs should begin now, working in concert with their military leader partners and the military parents, to determine how and when to report militaryconnected statistics and what data elements to include, all in the public domain.

4. School principals should use this report as a catalyst for deeper conversations with their staff and faculty about militaryconnected students on their campus.

MCEC Special Topic

5. Within the first two weeks of arrival, schools should examine their intake processes and procedures that are unique to military-connected students and their academic, social and emotional status. 6. Further study is required to uncover the true status of those military families identified as economically disadvantaged. From state-level analysis of assessments, it appears that military children classified as economically disadvantaged consistently score better than their civilian counterparts. What are the factors that impact this? Is it the method used in classifying them as economically disadvantaged? Is it the familystrengthening financial and educational security offered within the active duty military (i.e. housing allowance, free medical care, childcare, regular family income, emphasis on ongoing education within the military)? 7. Parents and educators should be aware of how LEAs define “at risk” for tracking purposes. School districts with high densities of military students could create a unique set of “sub-codes” to further define “at risk” military students. 8. LEAs and the military commands within Texas should further examine the district participation rates in “gifted” programs to discern the variance in participation levels between the active component, Guard, and Reserve-connected students within the district.

9. LEAs and the military commands within Texas must improve awareness of and access to Dyslexia program supports as it appears the militaryconnected students are underrepresented as compared to their civilian counterparts.

10. LEAs and the military commands within the Guard and Reserve components in Texas must be better informed about and given access to special programs (SPED, G&T, Dyslexia) supports as it appears the Guard and Reserve-connected students are underrepresented when compared to the Active Component Students and their civilian counterparts. 11. The State of Texas Interstate Compact Council should consider supporting Guard and Reserveconnected students as well as the Active Duty despite the fact that NG & Reserve students are not officially covered under the Interstate Compact rulings.

12. The readers of this report and its data, particularly military parents and military leaders, must understand the Texas standards for accountability (i.e. Phase 1 Standard vs Recommended vs Advanced) and how they will change year to year. Further study and analysis is required to determine if the effects of mobility for military-connected students is reflected in the Recommended and Advanced standards year to year and if the percentage variance is changing positively or negatively. 13. Military families should take every advantage of preKindergarten and other support programs that are available for their children to help set conditions for a successful lifelong educational experience. 14. Military leaders must continue to offer support programs to their families, especially those economically disadvantaged families, and to ensure family readiness and help their dependent children excel beyond their military parent’s educational achievements. This in turn will impact retention and operational readiness.

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A Lesson Learned about Research and the Family Education Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) Privacy laws require the state to exclude or “mask” data sets that contain fewer than five entries to avoid the possibility that a single student might be identified. This created a challenge for this research project in that it prevented the analysis of some valuable data.

FERPA serves a critical purpose, and experience shows that institutions that safeguard student information apply it uniformly and accurately. The challenge for researchers is how to work within the law and still gather enough data to provide an accurate picture of the characteristics and performance levels of the subject group, in this case military-connected students. The complexity of any group requires gathering as much detailed information as possible for each individual in the group. Even though researchers clearly do not need or want to identify individuals, they do need detailed characteristics in order to determine whether patterns and correlations exist. The unfortunate result is that the more details that are pursued, the more cases are excluded from the data set because of the possibility that a single student may be identified. A more effective approach may be to work in partnership with individual school districts where data remains under control of the district and external researchers work under the district’s direction and control, assuring that individual students are not identified and that all cases may be included in statistical analysis.

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The Way Ahead – What have we learned and where do we go from here in support of military-connected students? This review has been a successful exploratory step that can be built upon to more deeply understand how to support military-connected students. At the same time, lessons learned may very well have positive application to the general population, both in academic and community settings. The opportunity to create a national database as the result of MSI data collection authorized through ESSA will provide a broader understanding of military children over time. Based on experience in Texas, it is likely that it will be several years before national data collection will accurately reflect the sum of the military population. Since data collection will take place in tens of thousands of individual public schools, each school district and each school will need to train its staff and parents to accurately collect and record the information. This is no small undertaking. Once data is available the same challenges presented by FERPA will exist at the national level and must be approached thoughtfully. It will also be useful to think beyond ESSA and the K-12 analysis to consider how military-connected children thrive and perform in post-secondary education. There are several organizations addressing post-secondary student issues and it will be enlightening to explore linking the K-12 efforts to theirs.

The detailed report can be found at MCEC Special Topic




EasingTransitions A

s a veteran-connected student, Becca experienced different transition challenges than Active Duty military kids. “My dad retired when I was ten so having him gone all the time to being here was a transition,” shared Becca. After his retirement, her father discovered there were limited opportunities, and the family had to make sacrifices for a short time that they didn’t have to while he was in the military. “I am very proud of him.” After her father retired, Becca continued to move a lot but it was due to her search for the best academic opportunities rather than because the military had moved them. “I didn’t feel like I was being academically challenged where I could improve so I changed school’s multiple times,” shared Becca. “My third move was to a great little charter school with only 100 students. Two months later we moved to Texas, and I began my fourth high school.”


Becca’s fourth school, Belton High School in Belton, Texas, was the most challenging and biggest school she had attended. It was also where she found the Military Child Education Coalition Student 2 Student (S2S) Program. S2S is a student-led organization that welcomes incoming students to their school and helps departing students prepare for their next school. The program eases transitions and creates a positive environment. “My S2S tour guide is now my best friend,” shared Becca. Becca attended the S2S Student Summit at the MCEC National Training Seminar last summer. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, over 60 students attended the Student Summit and worked together to create campus-specific plans to enhance college, career, and life readiness for military-connected and civilian children.


Becca is now the Vice President of her local S2S group and enjoys working with members to make new students feel welcomed. “S2S has helped me be more inviting to people because I have been there with transition. I like seeing our members taking care of new incoming students.” Becca graduates high school this year, is applying to local Texas universities, and hopes to study Dance Science, a Kinesiology major, which teaches how your own body works. Through all her challenges, Becca has remained positive and eager to challenge herself academically and socially.


Skyler • Grade 5, EA White Elementary School • Fort Benning, GA • US Army


ne of the saddest moments of my life is the day my dad got deployed to Iraq, in 2003. My family was living in Wurzburg, Germany when my dad got the news that he was leaving.

I was sad and depressed when I first got the news. My mom wasn’t that happy because she would have lots of children to take care of by herself when he was gone. There were four children in our family, at that time. My family dropped my dad off at a big deserted park, where a big army-colored bus was waiting for him. We jumped out of the car and flooded my dad with lots of hugs, kisses, good lucks, and goodbyes. Then in a blink of an eye he was driving away, on his way to Iraq. After a week or so, my dad started writing us letters and sending us packages. My mom, siblings, and I would send candy to him along with letters of how much we missed him. My dad would give some of the candy to children who did not have enough money to buy their own candy or treats. These things showed that we missed him a lot. We wanted to support my dad and the job he had to do. One day my family got a big package in the mail. It was filled with a lot of sand and special surprises, like stuffed animals, candy, and pajamas colored like the Iraq Flag. It was so cool. My dad was showing us how much he loved our support and letters. He was thinking of us. I was overjoyed when my dad came home from Iraq. My dad’s deployment taught me how to be tough when he wasn’t around. My family also learned how we could support each other by caring and supporting him when he was in Iraq.

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More Than a Song The Star Spangled Banner is more than our country’s anthem. Although already a moving piece of artistry, it plays an even greater role in my life as a military child. At 5:30 every evening, the hundreds on a military base become one, while standing to respect our great country. The National Anthem is simply a song to many people, but a riveting reminder for military families. Growing up on a military base provides me the luxury of safety and security. As a result I am able to play outside without a parent tracking my every move. In fact, my parents never need to worry about me, or know exactly where I am. On base, where kids are an ever-present element of the landscape, all my friends are nearby and we can get together easily. Everyone is friendly towards everyone and bullying is unheard of. Frequently, we play for hours without any awareness of time until we hear the first few notes of the National

Anthem. Automatically, we stop, stand, and remain in place for a unified show of reverence to all those who serve and have served. At the conclusion, with no need to explain, we all head back to our houses. Back at home our parents take comfort knowing we’ll be through the door soon. We respect our military members daily by stopping for the Star Spangled Banner. This small gesture shows we honor the brave men and women of the military, our family. When the Anthem plays, we reflect and think about the people sacrificing themselves to protect us. During this two-minute song, people of all ages on our military base stand together, showing that every single one of us is respectful and grateful. This doesn’t happen outside the military. No one off base understands the feeling of appreciation that ripples through the military child during the Anthem.


CO O P E R 6th Grade, Homeschool

Ultimately, the National Anthem serves as a daily reminder to military children that when our parents work well past dinner, they are in the service of others. They see the bigger picture and work to protect their families, other families, and truly, everyone else in the world. Service Before Self. That is the military way. Most children unrelated to the military don’t and can’t appreciate everything that is done for them. Our parents help us see the world as it is. A military lifestyle gives us a greater understanding and we are made better people for it. During the Anthem, everybody on base willingly stands, paying their respects to the men and women working to sustain peace in America and worldwide. I live on a military base safe from the dangers of the outside world. My parents needn’t worry about me when I go out to play. Though away from home for hours, after the Anthem plays, we all say, “See you tomorrow.”

I was really proud on Veterans Day to tell my class that my mom and dad are veterans of the Air Force. I’m also proud that my dad still helps the military and military families in his work, and my mom’s job is helping protect our environment and taking care of poor people around the world. Avery, 3rd grade Washington DC

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Volume 11 Issue 1



Free TedEd Lessons for Parents and Educators!

Military & Veteran Children:


Professional Learning Community



Military Child Education Coalition has developed a series of EIGHT INTERACTIVE LESSONS designed to support youth serving professionals, parents, and highly mobile military and civilian students to become college and career ready.

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Military & Veteran Children:





A Spectrum of Things to Co

Two million strong! Â The children of our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s milit them both resilient and vulnerable... and then how to


Motivating Military Children to b

Military students move to new schools frequently, an encourages them to work hard to be college, career a educators and parents can incorporate into their rou

Lesson T

Getting Highly Mobile Milita

It is never too early to start preparing students for fu Teachers and parents can start fostering career and c elementary school.


Who can benefit from these lessons? Educators, service providers, youth-serving professionals, parents and anyone interested in learning more about supporting military students and increasing their opportunities for a successful transition from high school to college and career.

How do I find the lessons? The eight interactive lessons (described at right) can be found at Each one is a separate link to TedEd. Once you arrive at the TedEd site, it is best to register for a username and password, so you can take full advantage of the TedEd enabled lessons.

What will I learn in the lessons? Each lesson includes a short video. Once you have landed at the lesson, view the video first. Then, you will be given the opportunity to learn more about the topic through thought provoking questions, additional resources and more. You can even check your understanding through a short quiz. There is no limit to the amount of times each video can be watched. Be sure to share with other learners your compelling thoughts and action items.

Producing College and Career Ready Stu

Mobile military students face hurdles in building tow graduation. What are some ways that professionals encourage their readiness?


Producing College & Career Ready are Colleg

In order to better prepare students for the college en fundamental differences that make the transition cha


Producing College & Career Ready Stu

The career course sequence in high school should be students with multiple paths to graduation while equ postsecondary education.

Lesson S

Higher Education Initia

Higher education institutions can play a major role in in postsecondary education. University professors an military kids by considering initiatives that address t


Getting Military Kids with Except

Despite advances in improving the college and caree ensure that they are not left behind. We must equip their individual potential and lead full and independe

Objectives for learning:

n One:

onsider About Military Kids

tary serve this nation, too. Let’s look at what makes o be a part of helping them thrive.

n Two:

be College, Career and Life Ready

nd each time it’s like starting over. What and life ready each time? Look at techniques that utines to motivate them.

Introduce participants to the mobile military and veteran-connected child.

Share information about strategies for inclusion, transition and motivation of military and veteran-connected children.

Create an environment where all children graduate from high school successfully ready for college and careers, regardless of their transition status.


ary Kids Ready for the World

uture careers and postsecondary education. college exploration and readiness skills starting in

udents: Understanding the Challenges

wards college and career readiness at high school and parents can help them face the challenges and

n Five:



n Four:



What is a Professional Learning Community?

According to, a Professional Learning Community (PLC) is defined as an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. PLCs operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators.

y Students: Ensuring Military Kids ge Ready

How can a Professional Learning Community help your campus?

nvironment we must look at some of the allenging for mobile military students.

n Six:

For staff, the following results have been observed:

e considered in meeting the goal of providing uipping them for a successful career or

Reduction in isolation of teachers.

Increased commitment to the mission and goals of the school, and increased vigor in working to strengthen the mission.

Shared responsibility for the total development of students and collective responsibility for students’ success.

Powerful learning that defines good teaching and classroom practice, and creates new knowledge and beliefs about teaching and learners.

Increased meaning and understanding of the content teachers teach and the roles they play in helping all students achieve expectations.

Higher likelihood that teachers will be well informed, professionally renewed, and inspired to enthuse students.

udents: Career & Technical Education


atives for Military Kids

n helping military kids be academically competitive nd researchers can become involved in supporting their unique needs.


tional Needs Ready for the World

er readiness of students with disabilities, we must students with the knowledge and skills to fulfill ent lives.


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For staff, continued:

For students, the results include:

More satisfaction, higher morale, and lower rates of absenteeism.

Decreased dropout rate and fewer classes “skipped.”

Lower rates of absenteeism.

Significant advances in adapting teaching to the students, accomplished more quickly than in traditional schools.

Increased learning that is distributed more equitably in the smaller high schools.

Commitment to making significant and lasting changes, and higher likelihood of undertaking fundamental systemic change.

Greater academic gains in math, science, history, and reading than in traditional schools.

Smaller achievement gaps between students from different backgrounds.

he MCEC lessons into practice Ways to put t : 1.

Create goals for increasing the campus-wide awareness of military and veteran-connected students.


Create an interest inventory for middle and high school students to gauge the interest and help identify mentoring opportunities.


Casually talk to one student each week about his/her career aspirations.


Identify former students who are military or veteran-connected and ask them to share their career experience with your students.


Highlight the college experience of your colleagues through bulletin boards and newsletters.

What are some other ideas that you have?

We would love for you to share your ideas with us through the TedEd platform!

This project made possible through a generous grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

REFERENCE 1. Hord, S.M. (1997). Professional learning communities: Communities of continuous inquiry and improvement. Austin: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. *The MCEC lessons created with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will help members of Professional Learning Communities understand the challenges faced by military-connected children and all children who experience transition. When you use the MCEC lessons as a topic in your PLC, the members will find engaging videos, dynamic conversations and ideas for assisting all students to become college and career ready, while meeting the demands of state, district and local requirements.

20 ON THE move®

Volume 11 Issue 1



Parent to Parent Program TM

Introducing the latest addition to the MCEC Parent to Parent program:

Team Colorado Springs, Colorado led by Louise Webb with Melanie Douglas and Lynne Conde

News to TM

A Military Child Education Coalition® Initiative

A Parent to Parent Webinar Series you don't want to miss! Learn how military-connected parents can serve as their child(ren)’s best advocate on to educational and social/emotional issues. Mark your calendars and register for the live webinar that fits your needs! Or A Military Child Education Coalition® watch the recorded presentation for up toInitiative two weeks. TM

Transitions – What Every Parent Needs to Know April 12, 2017 – 12:00 pm EST April 13, 2017 – 1:00 pm PST What to Expect When You’re Accepting (OCONUS College Acceptance Process)

The MCEC Parent to Parent Program has a long history serving the greater Colorado Springs military community. Originally created through a contract with the Army Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command in July 2006, the team has delivered more than 975 workshops to 12,653 attendees. Parent to Parent Workshops cover a wide-range of education and social/emotional topics such as resiliency and transition, parent-teacher conference success, homework, and math. Military-connected spouses with experience in military transitions and the education fields lead the training team. They provide research-informed resources as well as tips and techniques to help parents in their workshops become their child’s best advocates as they navigate the challenges associated with the military lifestyle. The current team supporting Colorado Springs will focus their workshops on parents with children in elementary schools and early childhood.   As we move into the last half of the spring 2017 semester, many military parents are challenged with preparing for that seemingly inevitable move over the summer. The MCEC Parent to Parent Program offers a variety of workshops for parents to help ease the transition. Building an academic portfolio is a great way to start before the move so that parents have the documents needed to get their child(ren) enrolled smoothly at the next duty station. Additionally, keeping their minds actively engaged in learning over the summer can be a challenge.  The “Preventing the Summer Slide” workshop offers ideas for parents to help keep kiddos engaged in active learning without them even knowing they are doing it.

April 26, 2017 – 12:00 pm EST and 8:00 pm CST April 27, 2017 – 1:00 pm PST School Transitions with Exceptional Needs May 10, 2017 – 12:00 pm EST and 8:00 pm CST May 11, 2017 – 1:00 pm PST Preventing the Summer Slide May 24, 2017 – 12:00 pm EST and 8:00 pm CST May 25, 2017 – 1:00 pm PST Helping Young Children Navigate Change June 14, 2017 – 12:00 pm EST Helping School Aged Children and Teens Navigate Change June 28, 2017 – 12:00 pm EST July 12, 2017 – 12:00 pm EST and 8:00 pm CST July 13, 2017 – 1:00 pm PST Financing Your Military Child’s Education August 2, 2017 – 12:00 pm EST and 8:00 pm CST August 3, 2017 – 1:00 pm PST Positive Communication – Parent/Teacher, Parent/Child, Child/Peers August 16, 2017 – 12:00 pm EST August 17, 2017 – 1:00 pm PST For more information, contact Judy.Glennon@ or visit parents-and-students/webinars. Webinars sponsored by the Navy Child & Youth Program, Child & Youth Education Services.

ON THE move® 21

policies and


PROUD PARTNERS SERVING MIL The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, or NCTSN, is a proud partner with MCEC

to support our military families and children. The NCTSN proudly serves military families and

children through our Military and Veteran Families Program, which serves to create resources and coordinate the NCTSN treatment programs for military children throughout the United States. For the April 2017 Month of the Military Child, the NCTSN is working to raise awareness about ways parents and teachers can bolster support for military children, including their emotional growth and needs. April 2017 Month of the Military Child is a perfect time for our community to review our understanding and deepen our commitment to serving the families and children with a parent or parents who serve in the Armed Forces. Growing up in the military can be a great adventure for many, with an abundance of opportunities to gain

Previous studies have also shown that without the proper support, multiple transitions and parental deployments can put a military child at increased risk for academic challenges. both interpersonal skills (social) and the types of skills that lead to new interest areas in academic subjects. For example, some military children will become curious and want to study about new places they live and visit. Other military kids describe how quickly they learn to adapt to new environments after moving to a new community. These kids will describe how they learned positive social skills to making new friends quickly, staying in touch with their old friends and making each move

22 ON THE moveÂŽ

a new chapter in their lives. Other military kids are excited about STEM and computer-coding electives offered at schools and can apply those skills to after school clubs and projects. Military families face risks that can, at times, challenges and even overwhelm their abilities to stay connected to these educational advantages. These risks seem to emerge around the times of separation from a parent due to deployment or trainings, as well as frequent or sudden moves in location.

A recently published report by RAND suggests that military children may experience academic difficulties associated with the length of their parentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deployment. That is, the longer the deployment, the greater odds that they child may have difficulties at school. The report also suggests that separation from a military parent during a long deployment may also raise the studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; feeling of anxiety or fearfulness. Previous studies have also shown that without the proper support, Volume 11 Issue 1

policies and

LITARY FAMILIES: multiple transitions and parental deployments can put a military child at increased risk for academic challenges. These academic challenges include difficulties maintaining satisfactory test scores and grades, feeling socially isolated at school, and feeling lost or behind in the class lessons. Sometimes military children are impacted by even greater stressors, such as when a trauma or loss takes place. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), a traumatic experience is a difficult life experience that overwhelms the child and their ability to cope. The childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reactions to the trauma may



interrupt their ability to interact with others, and lead to difficulties learning and concentrating on schoolwork. School age children may also experience difficulties sleeping at night, as well as have scary dreams. Sleep problems may also lead to daytime sleepiness, which can impact activity level and participation in extra-curricular activities like sports. Families have many options to address these challenges through supportive community programs at military bases and through community agencies that offer different types of prevention and intervention for the family and children.

There is lots of good news. Most military children are very resilient and adapt quickly when faced with change. In fact, most military children have learned to adapt to new situations, like making friends at a new school, or helping around the house after a parent leaves for deployment. Family members, teachers, and behavioral health providers are welcome to find resources and materials to support military families and children, including fact sheets, assessment and screening materials, and webinars to assist them to help military children to adapt to change, as well as adversity or challenges associated with military life.

For more information, reach out to Gregory Leskin, Ph.D. at or visit

ON THE moveÂŽ 23

policies and


Pride in Service We’ll be highlighting one of our Military Student Transition Consultants in each issue. Mesha Hayes is serving our students in Norfolk Public Schools, Virginia. BRIT TANY MAHLST EDT Communications Specialist, Military Child Education Coalition


CEC Military Student Transition Consultants (MSTC) are professional navigators and advocates for military-connected students and their families as they transition in or out of schools. Assigned within school districts, MSTCs cultivate personal relationships and become involved in problem solving at an individual level. As a proud United States Army Veteran, self-proclaimed Army Brat, and Army parent, Mesha Hayes takes pride in serving military families and providing support strategies that help educators and administrators address challenges military-connected students face. Prior to becoming a MSTC, Mesha was an inclusion teacher with Norfolk Public Schools (NPS), which has the largest concentration of militaryconnected students in the country. “I have a long history with NPS. I was once a military-connected student in NPS, where I attended seven schools before graduating high school,” shared Mesha. “I take great pride in being a product of the military community.”

Mesha Hayes, MSTC

In the fall of 2016, Norfolk Public Schools received a

DoDEA grant to increase staffing with personnel dedicated to responding to the “unique experiences and challenges of students connected to the military.” A component of the grant and new to Norfolk Public Schools this year are Project Directors. As a life-long learner and educator, Project Director Angela de Mik, has a deep passion for families and the various challenges they face raising children and seeking the best for them both social/ emotionally and academically. “Living in Hampton Roads for the Angela de Mik, Program Director

“The faculty and staff are welcoming and are excited to learn how we can all work together to build a safety net of social-emotional support for our military-connected students and families.” Providing support for eight schools can be challenging, but Mesha sees it as an opportunity to work with each campus to build support structures to help meet the students’ needs. “The faculty and staff are welcoming and are excited to learn how we can all work together to build a safety net of social-emotional support for our militaryconnected students and families,” expressed Mesha. She has noticed that military-connected students appreciate the individual attention MSTCs provide and appreciates that MCEC recognizes military children serve, too.

24 ON THE move®

past 16 years, has given me deep respect and appreciation for the daily sacrifices military families make, especially military-connected students,” shared Angela. Recognizing the resiliency and challenges military families face led Angela to focus her Doctoral Research on military-connected students and programs designed to support military families. Project Directors and MSTCs work as a team to provide support when military students face challenges associated with mobility, separation, and transition. As a Project Director, Angela supports Mesha as she navigates the Volume 11 Issue 1

policies and school district and various school systems. While Mesha provides direct services to the military students and their families, Angela provides indirect services by working within the school system to arrange trainings and organize data/evaluation tools. “We enjoy connecting to share the exciting ways in which we are building bridges and helping schools. We are positive and


meet barriers with problem-solving to find solutions to keep us moving forward,” shared Angela. “My goal is to raise community awareness, parent education opportunities, and future initiatives that will provide local, state, and possibly national collaborations that will continue to benefit military students and Norfolk Public Schools.”

For more information about MSTCs and a list of current MSTCs and locations, visit:

Military and veteran-connected kids are in every county Percent of Veteran Households with Children


Hawaii Source: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Statistical Analytics Service, USVETS FY2015.

Puerto Rico Prepared by the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics


Military & Veteran Children:

th A N N U A L


National Training Seminar

STRENGTHS & CHALLENGES July 31st - August 2nd

Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel

The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) National Training Seminar (NTS) is a globally-

recognized, premier professional development event for anyone interested in serving and supporting military and veteran-connected children. NTS provides a unique opportunity to


with senior military, education, and thought leaders while obtaining in-depth coverage of current issues

relevant to military-connected children during a period of significant change and challenge. This year’s theme, Military and Veteran Children: A Constellation of Strengths and Challenges, will be complemented by four strands that will emphasize moving beyond entry-level awareness and offer innovative ideas, active hands-on learning, and critical information relevant to attendees dedicated to serving the military-connected child.

REGISTER EARLY for an opportunity to receive a free stay at the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel on July 28th-29th, 2017! It’s a great occasion to spend a couple days exploring our nation’s capital in advance of the NTS. The deadline for Early Bird registration is April 30, 2017.

USING DATA EFFECTIVELY Translate Data to Knowledge to Practice (D2K2P) and apply it in professional and personal lives to support military-connected students.  

Download the MCEC NTS App! Get updates, view the schedule, find speakers, and engage with participants – all from the app!


PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS Highlight exceptional partnerships and illustrate how to navigate challenges and maximize benefits of initiating partnerships in local military installations or school districts that serve the interests of military and veteran-connected students.

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SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING (SEL) Focus on programs, partnerships and best practices that provide measurable results in helping military families and their children thrive in their environment.

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EDUCATION POLICY Discuss policy implementation and forces leading us in the right direction to support military children and learn how education policies can be improved, developed and adapted to better benefit students we serve.

MCEC National Training Seminar

For more information on the 2017 MCEC National Training Seminar, visit: Military Child Education Coalition 909 Mountain Lion Circle • Harker Heights, Texas 76548 Office: (254) 953-1923 • Fax: (254) 953-1925 • CFC #10261 •

Military Child Education Coalition - On the Move Magazine  

Military Child Education Coalition - On the Move Magazine Spring 2017

Military Child Education Coalition - On the Move Magazine  

Military Child Education Coalition - On the Move Magazine Spring 2017