Welcoming Practices 
In Military-Connected Schools
January  2015                                                                            

In This Issue:
* Student-to-Student Teams Receive a Mid-Year Boost
* Building Capacity and Welcoming Practices Annual Reports Released 
* Schools Honor Veterans and Military Members During November 
* Social Policy Report focuses on Military and Veteran Families 
* Headlines and Resources  
Upcoming Events 

The Military Child Education Coalition will present Supporting Military Children through School Transitions: Foundations for Consortium school administrators on January 29-30, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Institute will be held at the Radisson Hotel San Diego-Rancho Bernardo, Rotunda and Montadura Rooms,  11520 West Bernardo Court, San Diego, CA  92127. Check with your district point of contact for more details.

* The San Diego Parent-to-Parent team is scheduling parent workshops and training opportunities in Consortium schools. Email ptop.sandiego
@militarychild.org for more information.
Special Offer
Free Guidebooks

     Free copies of our military resource guides for educators and parents are available. Please click here to request a copy. 

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*Welcoming Practices is a Partnership Consortium involving five Southern California school districts and the University of Southern California, funded by the Department of Defense Education Activity's partnership program. Grant #HE-1254-13-1-0017

For more information, please visit our website.

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Student-to-Student Teams Receive A Mid-Year Boost 


     With the school year about half over, Student-to-Student (S2S) and Junior Student-to-Student (JS2S) teams in the Welcoming Practices Consortium districts are reviewing their progress and receiving some additional coaching to help them build successful transition programs in their schools.
     Trainers from the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) held the first of three "booster" trainings last month for middle school students in the
Stuart Mesa Elementary students participate in a team-building exercise. 
Oceanside Unified School District (OUSD) and the Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD).
     Additional training sessions are scheduled for high school students in the Temecula Valley Unified School District on Jan. 15 at the Embassy Suites and for OUSD high school students on Jan. 16 at the Courtyard Marriott. 
     The S2S program trains both civilian and military

students to develop and maintain programs to
support students when they are moving between schools. The S2S teams in the schools are a primary component of the Welcoming Practices Consortium.

     At the December session, the JS2S teams 
reviewed key concepts and engaged in several self-assessment, group assessment, team building, and communication exercises. They also discussed how to improve the plans and strategies they are already using to help incoming students feel welcome in their new schools.
     The student teams have already been active this school year. Here are a few examples of what they have been doing:
  • In OUSD, the S2S team at Oceanside High created a student center, like a welcome center, called The Pirate's Deck, and the Stuart Mesa JS2S team has scheduled a "welcoming lunch" on the fourth Friday of each month for new students.
  • In BUSD, the Sullivan Middle JS2S group has been meeting regularly to discuss recruitment and upcoming activities. A Bonsall High School S2S group is also being formed, and the new school counselor at Bonsall Elementary was added to the ES2S team.
  • In TVUSD, Temecula Valley High School S2S members helped to give school tours to incoming freshmen, and at Abby Reinke Elementary, a welcoming PowerPoint was created and a map showing where parents are deployed was put up in the hallway.
Students at the JS2S training do a team-building exercise on group communication.


Annual Reports Released 
     In case you missed the earlier emails, annual and technical evaluation reports for both
Building Capacity and Welcoming Practices were recently released. 

     The Building Capacity reports cover the four years of the Consortium and the Welcoming Practices reports focus on the first year of implementation. 

     Click this link to find the reports.



Schools Honor Veterans and Military Members During November 

     In Southern California and across the country, schools demonstrated the variety of ways to recognize and show appreciation for those who are serving and have served in the military. 
     USC MSW interns Jose Campos and Gigi Halim were featured in two editions of the student-produced news program at Tetzlaf Middle School in the ABC Unified School District. 
     In one segment, they spoke about what it means to create a "pride board," and in the other segment, Jose and school staff member "Roco" talked about their military service.
A Marine joins Tetzlaf Middle School's "Live in 5" news show.
     Outside Chicago at Niles West High School, students and staff members have been wearing "Niles West Supports Our Military Families" t-shirts and held a reception for military families on Dec. 5. 
     Throughout November, the school also collected care package items to send to troops overseas.
     These projects are just a few examples of how schools can show support for military members and their families. 
A cake was prepared for military families at Niles West High School outside Chicago. 

Social Policy Report focuses on Military and Veteran Families 

     The Society for Research in Child Development's latest Social Policy Report focuses on strategies for promoting positive development and the health of children in military and veteran families.
     The report covers topics such as the military child-care system, resilience among military children and how they are affected by the service of a military parent during wartime. 
     The publication also features a commentary by Dr. Rami Benbenishty and Dr. Ron Avi Astor on expanding the scope of research on military children and families to include settings such as schools and the communities in which they live.
     "In order to have a better understanding of the range of issues faced by military children, it is essential to include studies that focus on normative settings," they write. "Studies also need to explore the impact of policies that directly impact military-connected children and the normative settings in

which they develop." 

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:
  • MSW graduates who were part of the Building Capacity internship program were featured in this story as part of a reporting project for the Journalism Center on Children and Families and the National Association of Social Workers. 
  • Click here for the latest issue of Academic Anchor, a publication of the Navy Region Southwest's school liaison officers.