Changing Schools - The Essentials

Relocation is part of military life. Every few years your family may be required to move, possibly across the county or to another country. Relocating a school-aged child includes its own unique challenges and responsibilities. Military OneSource provides practical information on enrollment, placement and attendance, as well as other helpful intel you’ll need to successfully help your children navigate these transitions and build lifelong resiliency.

Ensure a smooth transition with these steps:

Obtain school records.

The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children is designed to make the school switch easier for military families in participating states. Until their official paperwork arrives, you can obtain a copy of your child’s school records from their old school to bring to the new one. For kindergarten and first grade, children can continue in their current class year even if the new school has a different age requirement. Learn more.

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Start your kids on the right track.

While awaiting evaluation at the new school, the compact helps ensure that your child won’t miss any placement requirements. Your child won’t have to repeat basic coursework if they’ve taken something similar already, and if he or she is already in a program, such as advanced placement, the new school must honor that if they have an equivalent.

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Focus on graduation.

For high school teens, transferring won’t impact their expected graduation. The new school district may accept your child’s exit exams and achievement tests required to graduate from their previous school. If your student changes school during their senior year, the two school districts will work together to get a diploma from the former school to ensure on-time graduation.

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Smooth the transition for exceptional family members.

Alert your new school and your medical provider at least 30 days ahead of your move. Request a copy of their complete educational and medical records and submit it to the new school as soon as possible. If the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act covers your child, they have the right to the same services provided by their former school.

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