In an ongoing effort to support military students and their families, Clover Park School District (CPSD) is introducing several new programs and initiatives beginning with the 2009-10 school year. More than 41 percent of CPSD’s students are federally connected and 30 percent of those students live on Fort Lewis Army Post and McChord Air Force Base.
Child and Youth Behavioral Military & Family Life Consultants (CYB-MFLC) School Program
In partnership with Fort Lewis, McChord and the office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, nine Military & Family Life Consultants (MFLCs) will be assigned to Beachwood, Carter Lake, Clarkmoor, Evergreen, Greenwood and Hillside Elementary Schools, Mann and Woodbrook Middle Schools and Lakes High School during the 2009-10 school year.
“This program is unique, because it builds on the many supports that we already have in place for our military students and their families,” said Debbie LeBeau, superintendent of Clover Park School District. “I am hopeful that our partnership with the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy will continue to bring innovative programs like this to our district.”
Consultants will provide care that augments the support services already in place at each school. Consultants take part in everyday school activities and events and help with deployment and reintegration; family dynamics; positive coping mechanisms; staff support and education; parent education and stress reduction. Consultants are also available to facilitate groups and trainings to build leadership skills; manage anger; build self-esteem and confidence and strengthen communication.
Consultants are contracted by the Military & Family Life Consultants Program, which is overseen by the office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy. Consultants hold a master’s degree or a Ph.D., are licensed in their home states and have experience working with children and youth. Consultants go through rigorous background checks before being placed in schools.
Student 2 Student Initiative
For the second year in a row, Clover Park and Lakes High Schools are taking part in the Student 2 Student Initiative, which is designed to help military students as they transition from school to school. Harrison Preparatory School was added this year. S2S is a student-led, school managed program that confronts the challenges of transition and provides relevant training that gives students the best possible transition experience.
“We have a high population of military-impacted students at Lakes High School,” said Brian Laubach, principal. “Transitions are a normal aspect of military life, but they become much more complex and difficult for high school students. This program works because it pairs students together to share experiences and helps our new students better adapt to the Lakes community.”
A team of volunteer students, supervised by a school counselor, teacher or other school staff person, trains inbound and outbound transitioning students on three subject areas—academics, relationships and finding their way. Incoming students are helped to quickly feel welcomed, comfortable, included and accepted into their new school community. Outgoing students are prepared for transitioning to another school.
Clover Park Online Program
The district partnered with Federal Way School District’s Internet Academy—the largest online public school in Washington state—to offer online learning to kindergarten through eighth-graders living on Fort Lewis.
Parents can register students through the district Web site (www.cloverpark.k12.wa.us) or by picking up a registration packet in room 12 of the Student Services Center (10903 Gravelly Lake Drive SW). Registration packets can also be mailed by calling 583-5390.
Students will complete the bulk of their work from home, but will receive eight hours each week of “face time” with an online coordinator.
“There has been some interest in an online program on Fort Lewis and we’re happy that we can accommodate our military families,” said Deb Shanafelt, Clover Park School District’s Director of Career and Technical Education. “The Internet Academy is a well-established, respected program and will be very beneficial to our students and their families.”
For more information about online learning, call Deb Shanafelt at 583-5390.
The district received an educational grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) to promote student achievement at schools impacted by military structure changes.
The district will use the three-year, $2 million grant to expand its assessments for the purpose of tracking student progress and diagnosing the skills of new students; expanding the district’s data system to provide student achievement information to teachers; providing extended learning opportunities for students needing additional support; enhancing college test preparation and continuing with the Family Friendly Schools model. The district also began an online learning program for kindergarten through eighth-graders living on Fort Lewis.
“We are very fortunate that we received this grant,” said Keith Rittel, deputy superintendent. “We have more than 4,000 military-impacted students in our district. The financial support offered by this grant will strengthen the work and interventions we already have in place and will give us the opportunity to explore new options.”
The grant was available to districts with schools that had at least 15 percent of military-impacted students. As part of the application process, CPSD submitted a six- page concept paper that included an overview of the district, a needs assessment, project concept, evaluation concept, sustainability plan and budget. The application process also consisted of a 15-page narrative and several references.
Rittel and the director of assessment and program evaluation will monitor grant activities and compliance.
Student Online Achievement Resources (SOAR) is an Internet application that provides military families with easy access to education information in order to ease their transition from location to location.
Developed by the Military Impacted Schools Association (MISA), SOAR provides resources for at-home learning activities; message boards, state-specific resources, and links to the Department of Education. Students have the opportunity to take interactive assessments to gauge their skills on state tests while receiving immediate feedback and needed tutorials.
For more information, visit www.militarystudent.org/.