The education and welfare of school-age children is a quality of life issue. Military families experience challenges with reciprocity and quality of education from location to location. School-age children are as transient as their military parents and may encounter transition and academic problems.
For children enrolled in schools in the civilian community, installation School Liaison Officers (SLOs) provide information on the surrounding school districts and help relocating children smoothly adjust to their new schools. SLOs work with relocating families and local schools to assist with the transfer of credit to their new school districts for courses completed at their previous school districts. Each branch of Service has SLOs ready to serve relocating families, regardless of the service member's Service affiliation, ensuring a smooth transition to their new civilian schools.
The Army has an active SLO program on each of its installations. SLOs are located in the Child, Youth, and School (CYS) Services program. Army SLOs act as primary facilitators between local Army Senior Leaders and the schools serving the installation in dealing with issues resulting from frequents moves and deployments. They are knowledgeable of the provisions of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children. They assist Army families in accessing local resources and help with transition issues by serving as "ombudsmen" between military families and schools during in and out processing periods. SLOs also support families who choose to home school.
Contact information for an Army SLO on a specific installation or Army STS is available through CYS program. The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) also provides an online Army School Liaison directory.
Marine Corps School Liaisons
The Marine Corps provides a School Liaison (SL) position at each Marine Corps installation to assist parents and commanders in interacting with local schools and in responding to education transition issues for all school ages. Marine Corps SLs also support transitioning families in obtaining educational information and assistance from local school districts. The SLs maintain information on the availability and access of educational services in their areas and collaborate with the various Marine and Family Support programs to ensure that Marine families receive responsive support with a minimum of referrals and paperwork. Contact information for a Marine Corps SL on a specific installation is available through the Marine Corps School Liaison directory provided by DoDEA.
The Navy implements K-12 education support to military families through Child and Youth Programs Youth Sponsorship using Child and Youth Education Services at all Navy installations. Navy SLOs assist families by providing support to all military families including School Transition Services / Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Cycle Support; School-Based Deployment Support; Special Education System Navigation; Installation, School, and Community Communications; Partnerships in Education; Home School Linkage, Support; and Postsecondary Preparation. Navy SLOs also provide this support to activated Navy Reserve and other families geologically dispersed from installations. The transition support for both families and schools connects families to Navy support organizations, such as Fleet and Family Support Centers, the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), and Child and Youth Programs. Contact information for Navy SLOs is available through the local Child and Youth Programs office, Fleet and Family Support Center, or through the Navy School Liaison directory provided by DoDEA.
Air Force SLO
Every Air Force installation has an SLO to coordinate and assist parents of school-aged children with educational opportunities and information necessary to succeed in an academic environment. The SLO is the central point of contact for commanders, military families, and local school systems on school-related matters. Air Force SLOs network, educate, and work in partnership with local schools to address or enhance the military child's education. The Air Force SLO provides military commanders with support necessary to coordinate and advise military parents of school-aged children on educational issues and needs and to assist in solving education-related problems. The SLO works to identify barriers to academic success and develop solutions; promote parental involvement in their children's education; develop and coordinate partnerships in education; provide parents with the tools they need to overcome obstacles to education stemming from the military lifestyle; and to promote and educate local communities and schools regarding the needs of military children. The Air Force SLO also connects families with Child and Youth Programs and Exceptional Family Member Program - Family Support offices. Contact information for Air Force SLOs is available in the Airman and Family Readiness Center on any Air Force installation, or through the Air Force School Liaison directory provided by DoDEA.