Originally created 03/07/03

Military pupils to get help with transition

Local school systems are teaming up with Fort Gordon to improve communications regarding the education of military-connected children.

The partnership is part of a national effort to ease the transition of military pupils, both academically and emotionally, when traveling from school system to school system.

"We really want to provide military children with the best education possible, and we need our local school systems help to do that," said Stacy Hill-Good, Fort Gordon's school liaison.

In 1999, top Army officials asked the Military Child Education Coalition to conduct an in-depth study and make recommendations on how to make a smooth transition for military pupils. The study became known as the Secondary Education Transition Study.

It focuses on middle and high school pupils who might encounter problems with transcripts, testing, scheduling, graduation requirements and the emotional stress of moving to a new school. The study urges military installations to establish working relations with local school systems.

Ms. Hill-Good said she has been working with Columbia and Richmond County school systems to help military pupils.

"The biggest challenge lies in the course description," Ms. Hill-Good said. "In each state, students are required to take various courses pertaining to that state's history in order to graduate."

Last spring, officials at Fort Gordon signed agreements with both Richmond and Columbia County school systems. Ms. Hill-Good said that the agreement is still in the planning stages but that both groups are eager to get the ball rolling.

Columbia County school Superintendent Tommy Price said the school system works closely with military pupils to see what credits might transfer in an effort to keep them on track for graduation.

Richmond County school officials did not return repeated phone calls Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday seeking comment.

The partnership also aims to foster access to extracurricular activities such as sports.

Reach Ashlee Griggs at (706) 823-3552, or ashlee.griggs@augustachronicle.com.


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