Module Overview: This module offers information and practical examples to help School Liaisons create sound and productive relationships with key stakeholders. These include community groups, parents, and school officials that can influence the academic success of a military-connected child. Relationship building is a key feature of any School Liaison’s day-to-day duties and is of critical importance to ensure military families are supported.
- In the current U.S. public education system, states are given the authority to structure how they legislate and oversee the delivery of education.
- There are many variations from state to state in how much control a state, district, or school has over education policies and oversight.
- State boards of education generally have authority over curriculum standards, graduation requirements, testing, teacher licensure, and rules and regulations for the administration of state programs.
- Local school boards have authority over schools and oversee their day-to-day operation, including the appointment or election of superintendents.
- State Education Agencies (SEAs) are sometimes referred to as state departments of education and generally have authority over student and teacher standards.
- School districts generally have many important departments that School Liaisons need to be aware of.
- School districts are made up of individual school sites whose internal authority can be organized in many different ways.
- As the bridge between military families and the local community and schools, School Liaisons play a key role in helping stakeholders understand the challenges and opportunities military-connected children face.
- As part of their network building and advocacy, School Liaisons should consider developing relationships with stakeholders, including teachers, school leaders, district administrators, local school board members, county and city-level policymakers, local teachers unions, and community organizations, among others.
- Participation in local school, district, and community events and forums is one way for School Liaisons to meet new stakeholders and important advocates for military-connected children.
- School Liaisons are reminded that determining local politics and players can be complicated, and building familiarity and relationships takes time.
- Building rapport and searching for common ground are important ways that School Liaisons can set new relationships on a path to long-term sustainability.
- Communicating with military families, schools, districts, communities, and military installations requires that School Liaisons have the ability to tailor their message and establish relationships across many kinds and types of individuals and organizations.
- School Liaisons need to develop strong ties with local community and school representatives in order to mobilize and utilize collective resources and implement community-based support for military-connected children.
- Parents are the primary group with whom School Liaisons need to cultivate strong relationships.
- School Liaisons can contact installation commanders to determine the nature of Local Action Plans (LAPs) or Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) that may exist between installations and local schools.
Looking Forward: The Tools and Resources section of the modules contains a library of helpful information, interactive features, and tools. School Liaisons are encouraged to return to these modules and to the tools and resources provided as needed to support their work.