SAN JOSE, CA – November 11 is Veterans Day, a time to honor those who have served our country. Although the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) honors Veterans Day each year, the organization works year-round to ensure that children of military families thrive in the education system.
Research from the U.S. Department of Defense shows that the average child in a military family will move six to nine times during a school career, three times more than nonmilitary families.
One significant challenge is identifying school-age children in military families. The Every Student Succeeds Act includes helping schools identify military students, and providing this vital information to schools ensures that each student receives the appropriate services.
"These children are amazingly resilient, but stability, consistency, and communication above all is key to their success," says Dr. Rebecca Mendiola Director of Safe & Healthy Schools at SCCOE.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, schools can provide stability, structure, and support for students in military families. Studies have shown that active duty, the deployment cycle, and transition to civilian life can have a profound emotional effect on school-age children, as well as their academic performance. Every branch of the military provides counseling and services for military families, however not all families are aware of these services.
"Students are often in a state of change, they may move across the country or the globe, the family dynamics may change, there is much uncertainty in these children's lives. The emotional impact is compounded for children of parents who suffer from post-traumatic distress disorder and children from Gold Star families," says Mendiola.
The SCCOE along with the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services offers professional development courses to help schools, counselors, and educators navigate through the emotional development of each unique student.
"We offer schools the tools to help children cope, and give these children a much-needed sense of familiarity and community," says Mendiola. "As educators, we are all one community, and together we can support our veterans by supporting their children."
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The Safe & Healthy Schools Department provides services to all stakeholders by cultivating meaningful partnerships and building capacity to ensure healthy and equitable outcomes for student success through data-driven multi-tiered systems of supports.
The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional and business services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The SCCOE serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The Office also provides curriculum support, staff development, and technology support and training directly to teachers and staff in schools countywide.