School Support Services
- Helping schools understand the challenges military Families face
- Informing parents about local school policies
- Giving Families information about local schools, graduation requirements, after school programs, youth sponsorship and homeschooling
- Connecting units and schools through partnership initiatives
- Conducting workshops to help parents navigate educational transition and advocate for their children
- Providing an array of resources that benefit military youth and improve school experiences
Where does my child attend school?
Your child(ren) will attend schools in the district in which they are zoned. This is a boundary State so the address you select has a school and school district associated with it. On –post schools are part of the Clover Park Public School System. There are 5 elementary schools on main post and 1 elementary school on McChord Field. There are links to all of the school districts (approximately 20) in the communities surrounding Joint Base Lewis-McChord on our website. Only about 20% of JBLM families are able to get on-post housing and attend on-post schools.
What day does school start/end?
School Districts determine their academic calendars individually. Please see our webpage for additional information and links. Most schools start just before or immediately after Labor Day. Schools here close by mid to late June.
Can my child attend on-post schools if we live off-post?
Receiving a waiver is dependent on the space available in one of the on-post schools for the grade (s) you need. Contact the Clover Park School District at +1(253)583-5000 for further information regarding waivers. If the waiver is approved, the parent is responsible for transportation and the requirements of the waiver.
There is no Middle School or High School on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where will my student attend school?
I live on Joint Base Lewis McChord - where do my children register for school.
If you live on McChord Field
Your elementary school is Carter Lake, you will attend Woodbrook Middle School and your high school is Clover Park High School.
If you live on Lewis Main
If you live on Lewis Main your school is designated by where you live. You must check the address on your housing contract (Welcome Home), go to the district website http://apps.schoolsitelocator.com/index.html?districtCode=49275 and type in your address - you will receive the school name, address and phone number. Elementary schools are based on housing areas, Middle School for Lewis Main is Woodbrook except for Broadmoor and Clarkdale Housing area which are zoned for Mann Middle School. Lakes High School is the designated high school for all of Lewis Main and Lewis North areas.
If you live on Lewis North
If you live in Beachwood, Eagle View or Meriwether see the following website:
http://apps.schoolsitelocator.com/index.html?districtCode=49275 for the elementary school. Your middle school is Mann Middle School and your high school is Lakes High School.
At what age can my child start school?
In Washington a child must be 5 on/before August 31 to attend kindergarten unless they have attended kindergarten in another State that permits earlier entrance. A child must be 6 on/before August 31 to attend 1 st grade or have completed kindergarten. Kindergarten is not mandatory in Washington State. All kindergarten programs are full day in Washington.
Can I enroll my child into school if they do not meet the state age requirements?
The age requirement, or mandate, is not set by the local district; rather it is set by the state educational governing body, However, if your child has begun that grade in a different state it is possible that the child may be eligible. Contact your School District for further details.
I am moving to the area. How do I enroll my child in school?
Enrollment is handled at the local level. You will register at the school in which you are zoned. Most school districts provide a couple of weeks in the Spring and again before school starts to register. Refer to the individual school district’s website for more information.
Is Before/After school care available on/off post?
CYS provides on-post before/after school programs from Kindergarten through 5 th grade, as well as for Middle School, both on main post and McChord Field. Inquire at your assigned school for off-post options or contact the Community Programs Manager at +1(253)477-4179 or +1(253)477-4182 to find out what is available under Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood.
Most school districts have before/after school available either in/near the individual school or in the surrounding area. Some programs transport and some programs have hours conducive to the military schedule. Consider that issue when selecting a place to live and before signing a contract.
Can School Support Services assist me in choosing a school?
School Support Services can provide guidance on how to select a school. However, because educational success depends on a myriad of factors, such as the needs of the child, academic goals, extra-curricular interests and housing decisions, it is not possible for School Support Services to recommend a “best” school. We can help you determine what school your child attends from your chosen address.
Local Scholarship Information
Please see this link for a listing of websites with local scholarship information.
- When Do I Need A SLO?
Getting ready to move:
- Information about your upcoming duty station and educational options in your new community
- Connection to a youth sponsor who can answer your child’s questions from a youth’s perspective
- Assistance with the steps to prepare for your children’s departure from their current schools
Once you are arrive:
- Assistance with school registration and transition
- Help with questions about compliance and solutions regarding the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
- Two way communication between the school and parent
- Connection with homeschool co-ops or support groups
During your assignment:
- Answers to your questions about schools, homeschooling, special education, scholarships, transitions and more.
- Parent education opportunities about college and career readiness, preparing for transition and the Interstate Compact
To ease the transition, contact your SLO as soon as you get orders.
- Finding a School
Finding a new school and registering your child can be confusing.
We can help.
Our SLOs give you information on local schools so you can find the best fit for you and your family. They can also help you with everything you need to register – and can answer other questions, too. Contact our office and to get more detailed information.
Research-based Characteristics of Quality Schools
Most schools share fundamental characteristics that prepare students for the future. Research shows that the most effective schools are more alike than they are different. Here is some information about what to look for in quality schools:
- Five Key Features of Effective Schools
- Effective Schools Research Base
- What is Effective School Research?
- The United States Department of Education provides detailed information about choosing a school and offers a great number of resources to help you make an informed decision when choosing a school for your child.
Schools served by PSESD 121:
- Clover Park
- Federal Way
- University Place
Schools served by ESD 113:
The Puget Sound Educational Service District 121 serves many districts east, west and north of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Follow this link for information.
The Educational Service District 113 serves many districts south of JBLM. Follow this link for information.
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
For information about schools, districts, home-based instruction, early learning, special education, teacher certification, assessment, school report cards, demographics and many more resources, visit this page.
Special Education Ombudsman at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for Washington State
Click here to go directly to the ombudsman and learn about support provided to parents, guardians and students with disabilities.
March2Success is a free program that helps students prepare for standardized tests.
- Youth Sponsorship
Sponsors for your middle school or high school teens are available either through the youth program or school.
Youth Sponsorship Program
The Youth Sponsorship Club can help your teen learn about their new community and make new friends. Getting involved quickly helps children and teens fit in and feel less stress associated with their PCS move. All it takes to join the club is a visit to the school age or youth center or contact the School Liaison Officer.
Youth Sponsorship Registration
Contact your School Liaison Officer (SLO) to request a sponsor. You can download and use the Youth Sponsorship Request form below to help your SLO pair your child with a compatible sponsor.
- References and Resources for Special Education
Highly mobile children are entitled to an expedited process, including: a). evaluations in 30 days instead of 60 days, b) removed delays due to school district schedules for families moving during incomplete screenings, c) continued Extended School Year for students moving in the summer.
The Center for Parent Information and Resources offers education, acronyms, tools, webinars and a directory of local Parent and Information Training Centers to help parents advocate for their children. The center focuses on proactive support and personal accountability.
Military OneSource has a range of resources to help with caring for a family member with special needs including education, health care, legal, financial points of contact, EFMP, School Liaisons, etc.
Military Community & Family Policy Office of Special Needs provides a directory of age-specific resources and States-at-a-Glance for localized special education resources and information.
Free sponsored online training for educators and parents on a host of special education topics at
- Special Education Information
If you have a child with special needs, we can help you find the resources available in your school district. We can also connect you with your local installation’s Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) office.
You can find more about our local by visiting our EFMP Program
- Home School
Home schooling has become mainstream and widely-used. We offer resources and information to help you provide quality home-based education.
Home School Legal Defense Association provides information on home school law, and general support and information about homeschooling.
Where can I find information about private or homeschooling?
Washington does regulate homeschooling. Look for details at the website of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (www.k12.wa.us). Private schools are available throughout the area. They can also be found on the above website. The School Liaison Office has a list of these private schools in the area.
- Transition Support
We understand that military transitions for children include much more than school plans and enrollment. We have a number of resources to help make your move as easy as possible for the kids, including:
Military Kids Connect provides online age-appropriate resources to help parents, teachers and children cope with the unique challenges of military life.
The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (MIC3) addresses key transition issues military Families experience, including enrollment, placement, attendance, eligibility and graduation. All 50 states have signed the compact and are in varying stages of implementation and/or compliance. The compact applies to children of Active Duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members on active duty orders and members or veterans who are medically discharged or retired within past year.
If you feel that you have an issue that the Compact can help address talk with your SLO. The SLO is able to assist by connecting with both the sending and receiving school to assist in resolving the issue. If it is not possible to resolve the issue locally, the SLO will help you work with the state commission, and if needed, the national office.
- Academic and Behavioral Support
We can help you find information and resources for academic and behavioral support, including:
Tutor.com for U.S. Military Families makes live tutors available online 24/7 to help with more than forty core subjects and standardized test preparation.
Homework Support: Child & Youth Services provides homework labs in before/after school programs for elementary students at the School Age Center, and for middle and high school students at the Youth Center.
Support/Resilience Programs: School Support Services include information about other programs you can use for support and resilience-related issues.
Military Family Life Counselors (MFLCs) are available to meet in-person on or off the military installation. The free non-medical sessions are anonymous and may occur in individual, couple, family or group settings. Child Behavioral Specialists are located on the installation in Child & Youth Services programs, and in highly-impacted schools located on and off the installation.
Military OneSource has access to free non-medical counseling that’s anonymous and available online, by phone or in person. Twelve free sessions may occur in individual, couple, family or group settings.
Real Warriors is a multimedia behavioral health support center with tips for helping children cope with deployments and reunions.
National Military Family Association produces MyMilitaryLife, a free iPhone and Android app that provides Families with credible information tailored to your needs.
Here are some additional web resources to assist you with your child’s education:
Tutor.com for U.S. Military Families makes live tutors available online 24/7 to help with more than 40 core subjects and standardized test preparation.
Homework Support: Army Child Youth & School Services provides Homework Labs in before/after school programs for elementary students at the School Age Center, and for middle and high school students at the Youth Center.
A personalized learning resource for all ages Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, SAT and more.
School Support Services include information about other programs you can use for support and resilience-related issues.
Military Family Life Counselors (MFLCs) are available to meet in-person on or off the military installation. The free nonmedical sessions are anonymous and may occur in individual, couple, family or group settings. Child Behavioral Specialists are located on the installation in Child, Youth and School Services programs, and in highly impacted schools located on and off the installation.
Military OneSource has access to free nonmedical counseling that’s anonymous and available online, on the phone or in person. Twelve free sessions may occur in individual, couple, family or group settings.
Ready and Resilient Workshops for youth and educators are offered through the SLO and Youth Center programs. These workshops provide educators and students with the same tools Soldiers receive through their Ready and Resilient training. As Master Resilience Trainers SLOs strive to develop a common language around resilience for educators, youth and their parents.
For information on how to attend a class contact your local SLO.
College and Career Readiness Resources:
College and career readiness includes the content knowledge, skills and habits that students must have to be successful in postsecondary education. It also includes training that leads to a sustaining career. A student who is ready for college and career can qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses without needing remedial or developmental coursework. These links have tools that will help you plan for your child’s college and career readiness:
Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) provides STEM opportunities for military connected youth. The website provides information about AEOP programs available to youth, scholarship opportunities, news, and ways to get involved.
Military.com Scholarship Finder Military.com provides a search engine to help you find money for your child’s higher education needs. Search over 1000 scholarships intended for military youth. They also have a Military Scholarship Handbook.
School Support Services Scholarship Database Listing of crowd sourced scholarships for military connected youth. Scholarships are listed in alphabetical order and provide information on deadlines and qualifications.
Provides a description of federal student aid programs from the U.S. Dept. of Education and how to apply for them.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Apply for federally funded financial assistance for education beyond high school.
Get Ready for College - College Planning, Financial Aid
- Frequently Asked Questions
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) focus on developing the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that students need for entry-level careers, freshman college courses and workforce training programs. The standards detail what K-12 students should know at the end of each grade. Most states and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have adopted the standards in English Language Arts and mathematics. There are two assessments being developed to measure student success (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and Smarter Balanced). The decision of which assessment to use is determined by individual state education agencies.
What is a Unique Military Child Identifier? Numerous states have enacted a voluntary report-only self-identification of military children within their public school systems. This data collection would allow monitoring of critical elements such as academic progress and proficiency, special and advanced program participation, mobility and dropout rates. Requirements and methods of collection vary from state to state.
What are Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Schools? DoDEA is a civilian agency of the Department of Defense that manages schools for military children (pre-kindergarten through K12) on a limited number of installations in the United States and worldwide. DoDEA operates the Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Education Schools (DDESS) within the U.S. and the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) overseas. While DoDEA schools do not fall under federal education programs like No Child Left Behind (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act - ESEA) there is a formal agreement between the Department of Education and the Department of Defense that provides for cooperative arrangements. DoDEA schools use the Common Core State Standards and follow the accountability guidelines mandated for all public schools receiving ESEA funds.
Hours of Operation
|Monday||8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
|Tuesday||8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday||8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
|Thursday||8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
|Friday||8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
School Support Services provides school-aged youth with educational opportunities, resources and information necessary to achieve academic success. A branch of Child & Youth Services (CYS), School Support Services features School Liaison Officers (SLOs), who help schools, installations and Families work together for student achievement.
SLOs are your best support in the area of education, schools and military transitions. SLOs are knowledgeable in current education news and policies. They act as the conduit between the school community – including local public school districts, private schools and home school Families – and the installation.
How do they do it? By