Guest Author - Marie Indyk
Parents new to the military or who are transferring their children from civilian schools into DOD (Department of Defense) schools on military installations are often unclear how the process works when moving to a new installation. Overall, except for a few minor details, enrolling your children into DOD schools is the same as civilian school enrollment.
The first step to take before moving to a new installation, especially if it is overseas, is to request your child's school records. Although DOD schools can request for school records to be transferred, if you are based in a remote overseas location the transfer could take longer than expected. If you advise your child's school that you are moving overseas, they will typically allow you to hand carry the records to the new school.
Once you have arrived at your new home you will likely be placed in temporary lodging on the installation until your new home is ready. You will be allowed to enroll your child in the nearest school on the installation to temporary lodging, but be aware that if the house you are assigned is in a different district you may have to move your child to a new school. Factors to consider when deciding whether to enroll you child immediately in a school close to temporary lodging are how long you will staying in lodging, how well your child adjusts to new environments, and whether a house may open up in the same district.
To enroll you must visit the school's main office where you will be given an enrollment packet. The documents required for enrollment include: the sponsor's orders , a housing assignment letter, the child's social security number, birth certificate, shot record, and previous school records if available. Most schools will allow your child to start the day after the enrollment packet and documents are turned in.
If the school year is almost over (less than two months remaining), DOD schools will often consider your child as having completed the grade and will bump your child to the next grade for the following year. Some parents may prefer to have their children finish up the grade but others may find it easier for their children to adjust to their new environment before starting school again.
Enrolling children into DOD schools on military installations is relatively simple and straightforward. Now that the children are in school, it's time to relax and enjoy your new home!