- School Support Services (CYS) – Joint Base Lewis McChord
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- School Support Services (CYS) - Joint Base Lewis McChord
School Support Services (CYS) - Joint Base Lewis McChord
School Support Services
We are all in this together.
School Re-Opening TrackerUpdated a/o 5 OCT. 2020
Update as of 10/23/2020 Local school districts are currently in different stages of planning for return to learning. The safety of staff and students is the priority. Based on the increase in the rate of county COVID-19 cases and updated health department information, the districts will remain in virtual learning. Special education students will continue to attend school for appointment-based in-person services and Schools may bring small groups of students to school for additional support. We encourage you to stay in contact with your student's schools for up-to-date information. For additional information on COVID-19 case numbers and recommendations from the Health Department see: https://www.tpchd.org/healthy-people/diseases/covid-19-information-for-schools https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/phss/Pages/covid-19-resources-schoolschildcare.aspx
Update as of 9/16/2020 COVID-19 Remote Continuous Learning 2.0 As of 16 September, 2020, School districts in Pierce and Thurston Counties have started school in the Remote Learning model. All students enrolled have access to a Chromebook or tablet to begin virtual learning. School districts have spent the summer training and learning the different platforms for Remote Learning. Some districts are using MS Teams, Canvas, Schoology or Google Classrooms or other learning platforms.
Update as of 7/31/2020 As of July 30, 2020, The Department of Health for Pierce County and Thurston County have recommended that schools not open with face-to-face instruction. Due to this declaration, Pierce County and Thurston County schools have decided to begin the school year with the remote learning model, which will cover the normal school curriculum in an online format. Most school districts will provide computers or tablets loaded with the learning platforms for students to sign in and participate in daily learning with their teachers. Please continue checking for updates from your assigned school district. CYS will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.
July 9, 2020 – Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction – guidance for COVID-19; Re-Opening of Schools
What will school look like this fall?
- At this time, the real answer is we don't know what school will look like.
- All districts have been given planning guidance and are developing those plans based on the requirements for social distancing, health, transportation, meals and many other areas that MUST meet those guidelines. Those plans then must be approved by the local school board for implementation.
- After that, we will have a better idea. We encourage you check your district's website as well as your individual school. We anticipate school will look different due to COVID-19.
If you're new to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and need to register your student/s for school:
- Please reach out to the School Support Services team at 253-967-7195 during the hours above for assistance.
- If you're in a holding pattern and are attempting to get your student/s enrolled, you can accomplish this online based on the address of your hotel.
- If you have permanent housing, you may google your address and discover which district and school you're zoned for and register online as required.
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-base schools are part of the Clover Park Public School System. There are six elementary schools on JBLM. There are links to all of the school districts (approximately 20) in the communities surrounding Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the "Finding Your School" section below. Only about 20% of JBLM families are able to get on-base housing and attend on-base schools.
What day does school start/end? School districts determine their academic calendars individually. Please see the Local School District Calendar 2020-2021 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-base schools if we live off base? Receiving a waiver is dependent on the space available in one of the on-base 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.
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 attendMiddle School and your high school is Clover Park High School. 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, the middle school for Lewis Main is Thomas. Lakes High School is the designated high school for all of Lewis Main and Lewis North areas. If you live on Lewis North, in Beachwood, Eagle View or Meriwether areas, see the following website: http://apps.schoolsitelocator.com/index.html?districtCode=49275 for the elementary school. Your middle school is 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 Aug. 31 to attend kindergarten unless they have attended kindergarten in another state that permits earlier entrance. A child must be 6 on/before Aug. 31 to attend 1st grade or must have completed kindergarten. Kindergarten is not mandatory in Washington. 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- and after-school care available on- or off-base? CYS provides an on-base before- and after-school program from students in kindergarten through 5th grade and an after-school open recreation program for middle school and high school students. Inquire at your assigned school for off-base options or contact at +1(253) to find out what's available
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 myriad 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.
Finding a School
1st Day of School 2020
2020 Winter Break
2021 Spring Break
Last Day of School 2021 (Tentative)
|Auburn||253.931.4900||28.8||auburn.wednet.edu||9 Sept||21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||24Jun Elem
|Bethel||253.683.6000||14.5||bethelsd.org||3 Sept||21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||17 Jun|
|Clover Park||253.583.5000||6.5||cloverpark.k12.wa.us||2 Sep
|21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||16 Jun|
|Dieringer||253.862.2537||27.2||dieringer.wednet.edu||8 Sept||21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||22 Jun|
|Eatonville||360.879.1000||33.9||eatonville.wednet.edu||2 Sept||21 Dec – 1 Jan||12-16 Apr||16 Jun|
|Federal Way||253.945.2000||25.5||fwsd.wednet.edu||2 Sept||21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||17 Jun|
|Fife||253.517.1000||17.9||fifeschools.com||3 Sept||21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||18 Jun|
|Franklin-Pierce||253.298.3000||11.2||fpschools.org||8 Sept||21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||22 Jun|
|Kent||253.373.7000||34.0||kent.k12.wa.us||27 Aug (1-12)||21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||18 Jun|
|North Thurston||360.412.4400||13.4||nthurston.k12.wa.us||9 Sept||21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||23 Jun|
|Olympia||360.596.6100||17.6||osd.wednet.edu||9 Sept (1-12)
14 Sept (K)
|21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||22 Jun|
|Peninsula||253.530.1000||25.4||peninsula.wednet.edu||8 Sept (1-12)
14 Sept (K)
|21 Dec – 1 Jan||12-16 Apr||23 Jun|
|Puyallup||253.530.1000||18.6||puyallup.k12.wa.us||3 Sept||21 Dec – 1 Jan||12-16 Apr||17 Jun|
|Rainier||360.446.2207||27.8||rainier.wednet.edu||1 Sept||21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||11 Jun|
|Steilacoom||253.983.2200||9.2||steilacoom.k12.wa.us||3 Sep||21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||17 Jun|
|Sumner||253.891.6000||22.0||sumner.wednet.edu||8 Sept (1-12)
|21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||22 Jun|
|Tacoma||253.571.1000||12.9||tacoma.k12.wa.us||9 Sept (1-12)
14 Sept (K)
|21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||21 Jun|
|Tenino||360.264.3400||33.4||teninoschools.org||9 Sept||21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||18 Jun|
|Tumwater||360.709.7000||19.0||tumwater.k12.wa.us||9 Sept (1-12)
14 Sept (K)
|21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||21 Jun|
|University Place||253.566.5600||13.2||upsd.wednet.edu||8 Sept||21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||18 Jun|
|Yelm||360.458.1900||20.4||ycs.wednet.edu||2 Sept (1-12)
8 Sept (K)
|21 Dec – 1 Jan||5-9 Apr||18 Jun|
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.
Testing March2Success is a free program that helps students prepare for standardized tests.
How can School Support Services help my family?
School Support Services provides school-aged youth with educational opportunities, resources and information necessary to achieve academic success. A branch of Child & Youth Services, School Support Services features School Liaison Officers, 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.
They support JBLM families by:
- 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.
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.
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 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. To request a youth sponsor fill out the form and email to: email@example.com.
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 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.
Homeschooling in WA State
Washington State requires a Letter of Intent to homeschool that is filed with the school district where you reside. For more information please see the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) website. https://www.k12.wa.us/student-success/learning-alternatives/home-based-instruction. We recommend reviewing the information on the OSPI website and then contacting the local school district directly to obtain a copy of the letter of intent once you know where you will be residing. Each school district has their own version of the letter of intent form.
A copy of the Washington State Homeschool Law is linked here and a list of the local school districts that includes contact information. If you know where you will be living we can help you determine which school district you will be living in.
There are a variety of activities offered for homeschoolers on JBLM through DFMRW Programs such as the libraries and arts and crafts centers. See “Homeschool Programs with MWR” flyer.
Hillside Youth Center offers a free open-rec program for youth 6th-12th grade, including homeschool families, and they also have the Youth Sponsorship Program. For more information on the Hillside Youth Center and Youth Sponsorship Program contact JBLMyouthsponsorship@gmail.com or 253-967-4441.
Additional Resources for Homeschooling in the State of Washington
· Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
· Washington Homeschool Organization:
· Homeschool Legal Defense Association:
· Facebook - Homeschoolers of JBLM: Co-Op
Joint Base Lewis-McChord Child and Youth Services Homeschool Partnership
What CYS Offers:
· A safe, friendly space for students to work on their projects, activities and academics
· A meeting space for homeschool families- Great for…. Curriculum planning, homeschool group meetings, etc.
· Gymnasium and Field for gross motor activities. Sports equipment available for use on site. (Basketball, Football, Soccer, Volleyball, etc.)
· Art room space available for your projects. (Storage available for bringing your own supplies, i.e., paint, glue, paper, etc.)
· Café space available for kitchen/cooking projects. Cooking and baking utensils available for your use. (Storage available for storing you own cooking supplies.)
· Computer Lab available with internet and Microsoft Office programs.
Currently reserved for Homeschool Families:
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1000-1200 (During the School Year)
Where: Cascade School Age Center
2402 Bitar Ave, Lewis Main
Contact School Support Services to request additional times or location
*Note: the building is only available when school is in session. Cascade School Age Center follows the Clover Park District schedule for early release, school out days, summer/winter/spring break, etc.
All families are required to complete a registration form with CYS at Cascade School Age Center if utilizing the space as a homeschool family.
More than 500 private schools operate in Washington, serving over 80,000 students. Private schools must be annually approved by the State Board of Education. A private school is a nonpublic school that conducts a program of kindergarten and at least grade one, or a program of any or all grades one through twelve. Private schools must be approved by the State Board of Education as offering a program that ensures a sufficient basic education to meet usual graduation requirements and that meets reasonable standards for the health and safety of private school students.
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.
Financial Aid 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.