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 June 11, 2010


CYS Services, local school districts share resources to assist military Families

A School District Informational meeting at Fort McCoy in April provided school districts within a 50-mile radius of the installation with information and resources regarding military children and their Families. The meeting was hosted by the Fort McCoy School Liaison Officer and the Operation Military Kids Assistant Project Director/4-H Military Partnership Director.

Information presented during the meeting included ways schools and the Fort McCoy Child, Youth & School (CYS) Services can partner to support military Families/children with smooth and minimally stressful transitions for the whole Family.

Becky Walley, School Liaison Officer, said the meeting also helped support the Army Community Covenant by further strengthening the ties and communication between CYS Services and the school districts. This also will, hopefully, increase the understanding between everyone involved and improve the experiences of military students and Families, as well as civilian students and Families and staff in the local school districts, Walley said.

Topics covered were defining military deployment, what it is, and what reactions may manifest in school age children and youth; obtaining data about military youth in the communities school districts serve; understanding School Liaison Officer and Outreach Director roles and how schools can use resources available through Fort McCoy; understanding the Secondary Education Transition Study Memorandum of Agreement; sharing best practices, resources, and questions with other school districts; and sharing of resources to help educate others in the school district and better support military Families.

About 20 people representing six school districts attended. School districts represented were Alma Center, Mauston, Necedah, Richland Center, Sparta, and Tomah.

School district representatives included superintendents, counselors, social workers, directors of pupil services and principals.

A brainstorming session was held to gather information from the school districts to see what they already do to help support military Families and to gather information to what the school districts need to help support military children and their Families.

The meeting established a line of communications the CYS Services program will use to keep in contact with the districts and provide them with resources to help them with military children/Families as they transition into their school districts or experience deployment.

Walley said the overall feedback from the meeting evaluations was very positive.

Respondents said they appreciated the new ideas, which will help them better support students.

In addition, respondents liked the great ideas discussed to identify Families and staff development, including the new resources, she said.

Future plans may include additional meetings, other information available at Fort McCoy, such as through Army Community Service or the Military Family Life Consultants, or a tour of the installation to highlight available programs and services.

(Submitted by Fort McCoy School Liaison Officer, Child, Youth & School Services.)

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