The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children or MIC3 discussed in my previous blog post also includes several provisions to help high schoolers transition into a new school. As your student works towards graduation and future plans, navigating each state's graduation requirements and course options can be difficult. As advocates for their children, parents also want to ensure that their high schoolers can take the courses they might need. Marcy Miller, Coordinator School Counseling and College Success for Fairfax County Public Schools, highlighted some of the key points for parents and students.
MIC3 helps insure that the new high school will place your student in courses based on their enrollment in the sending school, including Honors, IB, AP, vocational/technical and career pathways courses. For rising or current seniors, the new school can waive courses required for graduation if similar course work was completed successfully at the former school. An example Miller gave is that Virginia requires US-VA History for graduation, but schools can accept a US History course for students coming from out of state.
She said school counselors will go through the transcript to look for courses that match up, or if a student has enough credits in an academic area, local graduation requirements can be waived as long as the student meets the state graduation requirements. Miller explained, “The goal through the compact is to help insure on-time graduation, and we look at how we can help the student.” If a waiver can’t be granted to a student, Miller explained that ways will be found to help the senior complete any necessary course work, or the student can receive a diploma from their former school.
With regard to testing required for graduation, member states must accept exit or end-of-course exams required for graduation from the sending school, or national achievement test results or other alternate testing, in lieu of their testing requirements for graduation. In Virginia, Miller said that students transferring after the start of 10th grade have their Standards of Learning test requirements reduced. However, students enrolled in an SOL course are required to take the test.
Miller added that school counselors in member states have received training on the compact and graduation requirements so are able to help families through the registration process, especially for transferring seniors.
Extracurricular Sports/Activities: Through the compact, your student should be given the opportunity to participate in a sport, club or activity at their new school despite application deadlines, if they are otherwise qualified to participate. For instance, if you enroll after August try-outs are completed for fall sports, your child should be given an opportunity to try-out as soon as officially enrolled.
“My advice for families is to read the school’s website for registration requirements,” Miller said. “When making your appointment to enroll, let the school know you are a military family. You can also reach out to offices like ours in the school district your student will be entering for help.”
Local post or base school liaison officers are also able to help families. For JB Myer-Henderson Hall, the Liaison Office number is 703-696-3817; at Fort Belvior call the Liaison office at 703-805-9119 or http://belviormwr.com/Facilities/CYS/SLO.php; the Fort Meade contact is http://ftmeademwr.com/cyss/sls.php; and Andrews AFB is 301-981-0057.
You can learn more about the compact at mic3.net or read the full compact through this link http://www.csg.org/knowledgecenter/docs/ncic/FinalCompactLanguage01.... Good luck to your 'new kids at school.'