As a parent watching my children inch ever closer to the perilous cliff of adulthood, I realize how unimaginably impossible and mind-boggling it seems to forge a child into a productive member of society. What an enormous responsibility it is to mold another human and to trust and rely on others to assume that duty. Where to begin?
The internet is great for banana bread recipes and movie showtimes, but navigating bus routes and sports tryouts, IEPs and homeschool programs, SATs and college applications requires an insightful tour guide. It truly does take a village to not only successfully raise a child but to remain sane in the process. Yet, each change of address form is another pair of scissors severing the ties that lead you through those murky waters. The School Liaison Office builds that village for military-connected families. At every destination, a friendly face awaits, who either has the answers or knows where to find them.
No matter the extent of your PCS experience and organizational talents, moving will always test those skills and rack your nerves to the core, particularly if your orders are overseas or during a global pandemic and/or real-world conflict. Checking off the endless list of tasks with an ocean in between and ever-changing rules and procedures is beyond comprehension. With kids underfoot who may not be especially keen on yet another “fresh start,” the priority is on whatever semblance of normalcy you can attain.
Aside from family, school is the greatest stabilizing factor in a child’s life. The structure and routine and the mental, physical and social outlets are critical to well-being. Choosing and enrolling in an education program for your child can be overwhelming. Countless hours spent scouring the internet, sending emails and making exceedingly lengthy long-distance phone calls can still leave you feeling lost and utterly unprepared for the myriad of options. While you are the only person who can decide which is best for your family, your installation harbors a one-stop shop for all things pre-K-12 — an expert to connect you with all the information and all the right people. Your school liaison knows which local schools offer choir, preschool, gifted and talented, soccer, robotics and speech therapy. Your school liaison knows the deadlines, the eligibility requirements and the documents necessary for registration. Your school liaison knows the PTA, the principal, the counselor and the school board. Your school liaison knows school transitions and so much more!
Follow our blog, and contact your School Liaison Office to discover all the ways we can help you foster a positive future for your student and maintain your sanity!
Corinne Cain is the School Liaison serving the community of Royal Air Force Alconbury, Royal Air Force Molesworth and Royal Air Force Wyton in the United Kingdom. As a former child-protection social worker and Marine spouse, she is passionate about supporting military families through everyday challenges and fostering kinship and unity across the installations and beyond.