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Military Children & Virginia Public Schools

Military Children & Virginia Public Schools


Virginia is the most heavily impacted state for military dependents in the entire United States. Just about eight percent of our student body – somewhere around 73 thousand students – are connected to the military in one way shape or form and that’s a much heavier concentration than any other state so we certainly understand the importance of responding to the needs of military kids. What separates them from others is the mobility of military families and the less than continuous educational program they get. It’s not unlikely for a student in a military situation to go to six different high schools during their career. So the challenge of connecting those six different programs of studies to make sure that all those courses are aligned for the transitions is one that makes it difficult for military kids to adapt to, along with just getting to know a new community, having opportunities to understand the culture and the social construct of the school, and kind of trying to fit in like all kids want to. Fortunately, I think Virginia embraced the idea of being so heavily impacted by military children by becoming part of the Interstate Compact. In short the Interstate Compact speaks to the importance of dealing with issues that are most specific to military children such as transitions. Having a military compact and pledging to do something about it allows us to commit resources time and attention to first finding out what are the biggest problems and then actually crafting state policy solutions. So the military compact has tried to identify solutions to allow the students to stay enrolled even if it’s long distance or online so that they can complete their graduation requirements and not have to do a short-term transition and not graduate.


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