Welcoming Practices 
In Military-Connected Schools
March  2015                                                                            

In This Issue:
* Educators and Parents Gather to Learn Ways to Smooth Transitions for Students 
* Districts Increase Efforts to Connect with Parents, Share Resources 
* Reminder: California Healthy Kids Survey Now Under Way
* Crowdsourcing Effort Kicked Off to Support USC Summer Program Scholarships for Military Students
* Headlines and Resources  
Upcoming Events 

* The Military Child Education Coalition will hold a one-day workshop March 4 on Helping Military Children Find their SPARC, which stands for strength, potential, aspiration, resourcefulness and confidence. The training will be held at the Marina Village Conference Center at 1936 Quivira Way in San Diego, beginning at 8 a.m. For information contact 
Child.org, or visit MCEC's website to register.

* 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.
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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

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Educators and Parents Gather 
To Learn Ways to Smooth School Transitions for Students  


    Teachers, pupil personnel and parents from the Welcoming Practices districts learned new strategies for supporting students when they change schools at a recent transition workshop led by the Military Child Education Coalition.
     The two-day training also drew representatives from some surrounding districts in the San Diego area.
     "There's always something to learn," said Nicole Webb, a parent liaison in the Fallbrook schools. "I really want to get the tools to help all parents."
Teams at each table reviewed different documents focusing on transition.
     Trainers Susan Heiligman and Sally Patterson covered the multiple ways that transition affects children and stressed that just because a student might sail through a school change in the elementary years doesn't mean he or she will adjust as easily during adolescence.
     "You can't look at a child and say, 'You did so great two years ago. What's your problem now?' " said Patterson. 
     With military children, transition occurs not just when it's time to change schools, but also when a parent leaves or returns from a deployment. These periods can have a significant affect on how the child is doing in school academically, socially and emotionally.
     "The time of return is when the family is the most fragile," Patterson said. "Just because a military child's parent has returned doesn't mean everything is great."
     The participants worked together to identify ways to better support transitioning students in their schools. Many also discussed the need to pay more attention to when students leave as well as when they arrive. 
     Some suggestions included:
  • Reminding families to let the school know if they are moving
  • Having students sign a t-shirt or a make a memory book for the student who is leaving
  • Giving a student a hall pass for the last day so he or she can visit classrooms to say goodbye to friends and teachers or get forms signed. 
The participants left with fresh ideas and plans for strengthening the procedures in their schools related to transition.

Participants played games to help them understand the experiences of transitioning students.


Districts Increase Efforts to Connect With Parents, Share Resources
     Consortium districts are creating new opportunities to welcome families into their schools and demonstrating that building connections with families occurs all year--not just at the beginning of the school year.
     The Temecula Valley Unified School District's Welcome Center hosted a gathering for military parents last month, providing resources and informing them about upcoming workshops provided
TVUSD parent Michelle Burnette picks up one of our free guidebooks for military parents.
by the San Diego Parent-to-Parent (PtoP) team, as well as the work of the Student-to-Student (S2S) groups. Belisa Guerrero, TVUSD's family engagement specialist organized the event. 
     Meanwhile, at Fallbrook High School, Nicole Webb, a military parent, used the school's orientation for incoming freshmen to provide resources to families and make them aware of PtoP and S2S events. 
     Read more about PtoP and S2S in our 2014 Welcoming Practices Annual Report.

Fallbrook parent Nicole Webb and her sons pick up a guidebook for some friends.


Reminder: California Healthy Kids Survey Now Under Way

     Every year, the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) gathers students' views on a wide range of health behaviors and school climate issues. The survey is considered a critical piece of identifying areas of strength and needs among students.
     Consortium districts are currently administering the survey. Students in the Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD) began taking the surveys the week of Feb. 23, with the Bonsall Unified and Oceanside Unified school districts following the week of March 2. CHKS logo
     Fallbrook Union High School District will begin giving the survey the week of March 16, and the Chula Vista Elementary School District is scheduled for the week of April 13.
     The California School Parent Survey is a companion to the CHKS and gathers parents' input on the same issues. Schools should remind parents to take the survey, which will available through a link on districts' websites. Schools can also encourage staff members to take the California School Climate Survey.
     For more information, contact these district representatives:

Crowdsourcing Effort Kicked Off 
To Support USC Summer Program Scholarships for Military Students 

     The USC Provost's office is raising money to support two scholarships for military-connected high school students to attend Summer@USC
     The scholarship program for military youth to attend the long-running summer program began last summer. The pre-college experience offers 25 courses in the arts, humanities, business, engineering, health and biological sciences, journalism, law and the social sciences. This program is often the first exposure to a college-level education and inspires these students to plan on attending college, many of whom would be the first in their family to do so. 
     Donations can be made at this link.  

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:
  • This Fayette Observer story highlights Camp Corral, which is expected to serve military children in 19 states this year. 
  • Tobacco-Use Prevention Education funds support health education efforts in grades 6-12 in an effort to prevent and reduce tobacco use. Click here to learn more about the application process. The deadline is April 10.
  • Click here for the latest issue of Academic Anchor, a publication of the Navy Region Southwest's school liaison officers.