Building Capacity in Military-Connected Schools
        April                                                                                                        2013 
    
                                                                                                                                 
      Month of the Military Child

    
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Why Purple?
     This month
Building Capacity invites you to join us in celebrating the Month of the Military Child, an annual opportunity to honor and recognize military children for the sacrifices they make. Send us your photos and stories so we can highlight these students.
     Purple represents the colors of all our Armed Services mixed together. To learn more about how to participate in this campaign, click this link and see our ad below.
 
In This Issue:
* Implementation of Interstate Compact Moves Forward in California
* Team Member Performs at Veterans Center
* Spotlight On: Cheri Sanders 
* Featured Resource: Military Resource Guides
* Headlines and Resources  

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Upcoming 

Events:

 

Showcasing Work with Military-Connected Students, 

hosted by the San Diego State University Building Capacity Partnership, will be held Wednesday, April 24, from 4-6 p.m. 

It will be held at Scripps Cottage (near West Commons), 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, Calif., 92182

 

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Implementation of Interstate Compact in California Moves Forward 

     Adopting the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children is only the first step toward smoothing school transition issues for students whose parents are serving our country.

     Implementation of the Compact at the district level, on the other hand, takes dedicated individuals who are committed to working with state lawmakers to ensure

Gavlak
 Gavlak

that the provisions of the Compact are met. In early 2012, the California State Superintendent appointed Kate Wren Gavlak, superintendent of Travis Unified School District, as Interstate Compact Commissioner.

     One of the primary goals for participants in the California Public Engagement event, held at USC last fall in partnership with the Military Child Education Coalition, was to make progress on implementation of the Compact as members of the Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission (MIC3).

     Since the Engagement gathering, a number of significant developments have taken place, including the State Council holding two meetings and working to prepare a report that is due to the state legislature.

     "I am very encouraged by California's participation in MIC3 and the fact that the state is current with the dues," Gavlak says. "The conversations that I have with other commissioners from across the country indicate a willingness to make decisions that put students first, and to support our military dependent families. I am passionate about the need to support our military dependent children and their education as they transition within states and across state boundaries."

     The Compact, now adopted by 44 states, is intended to reduce or eliminate "barriers to educational success" 

for children from military families as they move between schools and across state lines. The Compact addresses issues such as the transfer of records, participation in extra-curricular activities and placement in special academic programs.

     Creating an "intake form" that would be given to military families when they move into California schools is one specific action that the council members are discussing.

     "This would allow us to get a full picture of what the parent is needing and whether the need is, in fact, a Compact issue," says Shannon Milder, the regional school liaison officer for the Navy Region Southwest, who serves on the council along with Kelly May, the regional school liaison for Marine Corps Installations West.

     The form would initially be made available on the California Department of Education website and distributed to school liaison officers and various local agencies that serve military families moving into the state.

     While personnel in schools near bases tend to be aware of the Compact, the greater challenge is informing officials and staff in "far-flung" districts that might not have a lot of military students, Milder says. She added that she thinks school counselors will play an important role in informing schools and providing training on the Compact and on the needs of military students.

     "Eventually every school site should have this form," she adds. "We have this looming challenge of getting the word out to every school in California."

Building Capacity Team Member Volunteers With Music Therapy Organization

Wendy Fu

     Yiwen "Wendy" Fu, a junior in biological sciences at USC and a member of the Building Capacity team volunteers with Remedy Through Music--a campus organization that supports the health of the community through music. The organization was recently invited to perform a mixture of classical, pop and a capella selections at the Hollywood Veterans Center, a residential rehabilitation facility for combat veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. "Many residents sang along," says Fu, "and they all seemed to have enjoyed the performance very much." 

Spotlight On: Cheri Sanders  

 

     While Cheri Sanders began her career with the Oceanside Unified School District (OUSD) as a teacher and administrator, she always felt a desire to work with students who need a little extra attention.
     So after 28 years working in schools--including Jefferson, King and Cesar Chavez middle schools and Sanders Pacifica Elementary--and a brief time spent as the district's director of Human Resources, Sanders became director of Pupil Services and Special Education.
     "I have always had a special place in my heart for students with special needs and students 'in-risk,' " she says.
     Sanders moved into her new position shortly after the Building Capacity project began in OUSD and seven other San Diego-area districts, and, therefore, has worked as a close partner with the Building Capacity team.
     The workshops on school safety, anti-bullying and threat assessment, as well as the analysis of the California Healthy Kids Survey data provided by the project, have helped district officials create substance abuse, anti-bullying and gang intervention and prevention programs on school campuses.
Featured Resource: Military Resource Guides
 
     One goal of the California Public Engagement event held last fall at USC in partnership with the Military Child Education Coalition was to update resource lists for military children families.
     Two lists of resources, compiled by Deborah J. Hayes, an adjunct professor in the School of Social Work, are now available.
Headlines and Resources
  •  

     We regularly feature stories, reports and resources related to military children on our website. Check back often for new additions, such as these:

  • The Belvoir Eagle featured a story on the USO Comfort Crew for Military Kids' "With You All the Way! Homecoming, Transition, and Resilience Symposium Series" The two presentations--one for parents and one for children--emphasize the importance of caring for one another and developing valuable strategies for dealing with the unique challenges of military life.
  • In a study that confirms findings published by members of our Building Capacity research team, researchers at the University of Iowa find that a parent's deployment puts military children at greater risk for drinking alcohol and using drugs.
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