Superintendent’s Memo #183-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

July 24, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Identification of Military-Connected Students

As home to some of the nation’s largest military installations and more military families than almost any other state, Virginia is a leader in the care and education of the children of the men and women of our armed forces. Every school division in the Commonwealth is impacted by military families, whether it neighbors an active duty base, is home to children of the National Guard or Reserve, or is a temporary home to a child while their parent is deployed.  While we know Virginia public schools educate thousands of military-connected students every day, there has never been a statewide mechanism to identify these children.

The 2015 Virginia General Assembly passed legislation (HB 2373 and SB 1354) that requires the Department of Education to establish a process for the identification of newly enrolled uniformed services-connected students by local school divisions. This identification is critical to best serving our military families. Identifying military-connected students will allow schools to target unique support services to students during all stages of transition and deployment and provide localities with reliable and accurate data to seek grant funding. While the legislation called for the “identification of newly enrolled uniformed services-connected students,” the Department encourages school divisions to collect this important information for all students on an annual basis, providing for more accurate and efficient data to assist our military families.

The VDOE Student Record Collection (SRC) will provide the mechanism for identifying uniformed services-connected students.  The Department’s Office of Educational Information Management (EIM) administers the SRC and will conduct webinars and disseminate written guidance to assist school divisions through the collection and reporting of this new data.

Webinars will be held on the following dates:

The following information is provided to access the webinars:

The methods school divisions use for the collection of this information are local decisions, but the SRC will use the following codes for the identification of uniformed services-connected students:

Data collected and reported to the Department will be nonidentifiable and will not be used as an “accountability subgroup.”

By partnering with school liaison officers, military leaders, educators, and non-profit organizations, the Department provides many resources about the unique support needed for military service members and their families during all stages of transition and deployment. The military family education liaison, Melissa Luchau, is available to answer questions about the military student identifier and implementation of the Interstate Compact. Mrs. Luchau is also able to connect you with your local school liaison officer and provide training to your school or division. Please contact Melissa Luchau at Melissa.Luchau@doe.virginia.gov, or by telephone (804) 225-2924 for more information.

SRS/MLL/mfm