Another school year is about to begin. If you’re a military family in Onslow County transitioning to a new school, you’re not alone. Moving to a new school can spark anxiety, overwhelm, and nerves for many children and families.
Most military families move every 2 to 3 years—and many move even more frequently. Whether you’re dealing with your first PCS or you’re well-acquainted with this process, here’s everything you need to know about transitioning your family to a new school this fall.
Before you leave your current school district, obtain a copy of your student’s unofficial school records to bring with you to the new school. This, along with your child’s school records, can help ensure a seamless transition.
In addition to these documents, there are additional resources available to aid in your transition:
One great resource to help with this transition is the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. All 50 states have committed to helping military children enroll in school and register for the classes they need. The Interstate Compact can help navigate many of the complications that military families face when transitioning to new schools, including transferring school records and immunizations and joining extracurricular activities. Learn more about the Interstate Compact here.
Next, get in contact with your designated school liaison. This person will serve as your primary point of contact for all school issues—and they’re particularly helpful during a transition to a new school. Ask your child’s current school liaison to connect you with your new installation liaison. For help locating your school liaison, you can search on MilitaryOneSource’s website here. Onslow County Schools has a Military Transition Counselor.
All children may face individual struggles and challenges when it comes to transitioning to a new school—and for children with special needs or children who are neurodivergent, this transition can be even more complicated.
One of the best ways to ensure a positive transition for your child is to prepare. Start by alerting your new school and medical provider at least 30 days in advance of your upcoming move. Request copies of your child’s medical and educational records so you can provide this information to your new school as soon as possible.
If you have a child with an active Individualized Education Program (IEP), reach out to your new school’s Special Education/Exceptional Children Director to start the conversation. This can help open the door to important conversations about your child’s well-being.
Your military child has federal and state rights to particular resources and education, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It may be helpful to review what your child’s rights are before moving to your new home so you know exactly what’s covered under the law.
What hobbies or extracurricular activities does your child participate in? Figuring out what activities are available in your new community can be the best way to help your child settle and make new friends.
At One Place, we consider military families one of our highest priorities—and we’re here to help connect you with the right resources. We often recommend community services offered by the Marine Corps, including the Child & Youth Program, Exceptional Family Member Program, Family Team Building, New Parent Support Program, and more.
If you would like to connect with a member of our team and learn how to best navigate upcoming transitions or challenges with your children and family, reach out to us today.