FAQ’s for School Liaison Officer
For families that are new to Ft. Gordon, I understand that you provide help with registration, transitioning from school-to-school with academic curriculum and schedules, and varying graduation and records transfer requirements. Should families visit your office only if they are experiencing difficulties with registration or should they stop by before they attempt registration?
It is great to hear from families before, during, and after their PCS to the area. We actually see ALL in-processing soldiers when they arrive and we know that often the information we give them doesn’t make it home to their spouses. But if a spouse wants to come in to see us—that is great too! We also assist with difficulties. Parents should be aware, we can’t make recommendations of “which school is better or the best”. That question is specific to each family. What is good for one family/student might not be the same as what is good for another family/student.
What services do you provide to families who are currently living here (not recently moved)? We try to make sure that we have current information about what is happening in all the local Schools/ School Districts. We post information on the CYS Facebook page about these events.We also post information on this website.
How can your office help a child who has a deployed parent? We have provided information about deployment to all the school counselors, administrators, and District staff. We also have 10 school Military Family Life Counselors (MFLC) in 14 local schools: Freedom Park, Sue Reynolds ES, Langford MS, Academy of Richmond County, Cedar Ridge, Baker Place, Grovetown ES, Grovetown MS, Grovetown HS, Columbia MS, Parkway ES, Greenbrier ES, Greenbrier MS and Greenbrier HS. Not only can students speak to a MFLC but so can their parents. We also have 3 MFLCs in our CYS programs. Freedom Park has a deployment buddies program that ACS runs.
Does your office provide assistance to a child who is experiencing other difficulties in school due to issues like divorcing parents? MFLC can also assist with these issues.
How and for what issues would your office assist parents who are experiencing difficulties resolving conflicts with their child’s teacher, administration, etc.? We are available to listen to concerns Military families might be having with a school. We will try to link them to the most appropriate resource to assist them in resolving their conflict. Sometimes that means we talk to principals or our district level contact. It really depends on the situation. Our role is one of liaison/connecting the right people together to solve problems, not actually solving the problem. We are not allowed to attend IEP or 504 meetings but rather we help families find the resource or person who can.
What first steps do you expect the parents to have taken before they contact your office for assistance? If they are having a concern with a teacher or school we would ask them if they have started at the lowest level possible and try to resolve the problem. Usually that means the teacher, but they can always give us a call.
What specific services does your office provide special needs students? We have a very close relationship with our Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) partners. We refer families to them often. They have some GREAT programs and resources for families who have children with special needs. SLOs also have a working relationship with Columbia County’s Special Services and Richmond County’s Special Education Department.
What specific services do you offer home school families? We usually assist homeschooling families with understanding GA requirements. We also try to maintain a list of local co-ops and groups.
Tutoring Services -Is there tutoring at CYS programs? Is tutor.com still providing free 24/7 online tutoring to military families? Is this service available to military members and adult dependents enrolled in college classes as well? Actually the Teen Center and School Age Services programs both have homework areas and a teacher to assist students after school. To use the homework center students must be registered with CYS. The Teen center (for 6-12th graders) opens after school—around 1430. There is no fee to go to the teen center during the school year. The School Age Center requires that student be registered with CYS and has a fee attached. Tutor.com is available 24/7 for both military dependents in grade school or college. It is a great resource for families. They will even proof read papers.
Does your office provide any scholarship application assistance? We do put out a list of scholarships and try to keep it updated.
If a family with school-aged children has an upcoming PCS, either stateside or overseas, should they contact your office and if so, how far in advance? It would be great if families contacted us before a PCS. We have a list of all the Army SLOs world-wide. We can forward the parent’s information to the next SLO. As soon a family receives orders we can start the process. We also have a list of important school information that parents should hand carry with them to the next duty station. All branches of services now have SLOs. We can also assist families that are going to joint bases or other branches.
What specific services does your office provide those who are moving? Can you connect them with their school liaison officer at their incoming duty station ahead of time? See above
What are the must-have school documents parents should make sure they hand-carry to their next duty station? Quick Checklist for School Moves
Are there any other services your office provides that parents may not be aware of? We have information about private schools in the area.
Or do you have any advice for parents that they should know?
Schools want to partner with parents to make transitions seamless and each child’s educational experience successful. When a family arrives at a new location, take time to get to know the teachers and administrators if possible. Try to get involved with the school if you can. It is alright to advocate for your student, but the education system and standards are unique to each state. Sometimes services that were available in one state might not be available or required in another state.