Military Kids serves as a resource for educators in Washington state who work with our 136,000 military families. OSPI has a rich history with Operation Military Kids as a former partner of that national program. At the state level, we continue to focus on educating our K-12 teachers on how to support military youth in schools and communities before, during, and after the deployment of a parent or loved one.
Starting in the fall of 2016, school districts are required to collect data regarding ethnicity from active duty military families; as well as active reserves, all branches, and the Washington National Guard.
Reasons for collection of the data include:
- Better able to provide additional services to the students; and
- A closer look at the test scores for these students, possibly showing the need for increased services to keep them on track for on-time graduation.
During the 2015 legislative session, Substitute Senate Bill 5163 (SSB 5163) was passed, mandating the collection of the data in CEDARS:
For the purposes of this section, 'students from military families' means the following categories of students, with data to be collected and submitted separately for each category:
(a) Students with a parent or guardian who is a member of the active duty United States Armed Forces; and
(b) Students with a parent or guardian who is a member of the reserves of the United States Armed Forces or a member of the Washington National Guard." Collection and updating of this data must use the United States Department of Education 2007 Race and Ethnicity Reporting Guidelines, including the subracial and sub-ethnic categories within those guidelines, with modifications.
Please reference the CEDARS manual for more information.
A recent article published by the Council of State Governments describes how the Department of Defense has focused on quality of life programs for service members and their families to enhance well-being and improve readiness and retention of today’s military force. There are currently 1.2 million military children of active duty members worldwide and nearly 80% of military children attend public schools throughout the United States. Military life includes continual challenges for members and their families. Relocations once every two to three years is part of their lifestyle, though transitions is never easy. Read how the US DoD is using the Military Compact to help with the process.
A free online series developed for educators with military kids in the classroom, with a companion educator's guide.
A law that addresses key transition issues encountered by military families-such as enrollment, placement, attendance, eligibility, and graduation because of frequent moves and deployment of parents. All Washington public schools must comply with the compact rules and regulations.
The compact seeks to make transition easier for children of military families so they are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children, and not penalized or delayed in achieving their educational goals. Applicable to transfers among public school systems, it addresses key education issues encountered by military families in the areas of eligibility, enrollment, placement, and graduation.
Contains support materials for educators and parents, including recommendations to other military family support group websites.