Ways School Liaisons Can Help
It is important for School Liaisons, school leaders and district representatives to work together with military families to ensure that the return rates on Impact Aid survey forms are as high as possible in order to maximize the potential financial impact. Here are some examples of ways School Liaisons can assist in the process:
- Have the senior officer at the installation write a letter to the military families in the area reinforcing the responsibility of everyone in the community to support the local LEA. Post it electronically, send it via e-mail, and make large versions of it to post in highly visible areas.
- Create an advertising campaign at highly traveled areas on the installation such as the Main Gate, the commissary, the PX, etc. Use posters, flyers, e-mails to remind military and civilian employees of the deadlines.
- Provide extra copies of the survey forms around the installation and post one to the Web site.
- Arrange a meeting with the school district leadership to identify any areas that they may need assistance. Reaching out is key to establishing a good working relationship.
- Once the preliminary meeting has been conducted, suggest a follow up meeting with district and installation senior officials to identify new avenues of support.
- Foster trust in the system—communicate with families to assure them that the information provided on Impact Aid forms is confidential and available only to school and Federal officials.
- Initiate contact for areas of the application that require certification from the installation such as the installation commander’s office and/or the base housing office to verify the parents of the students who are on active duty and to verify that the family lived on base. Work with the local media to inform the general public about the importance of returning the forms. Radio advertisements are a generally inexpensive and effective way to spread the word.
- Meet with local PTA groups to promote the return of forms.
- Organize or sponsor a party at a local restaurant for the class that has all of their forms turned in first. Children love competition and this has proven to be extremely effective.
- Run a small toy and candy drive to help supply teachers with small individual incentives for children to return the forms.
- Periodically check in with the district on the rate of return. Offer to help track down forms that are outstanding by making phone calls or sending reminder e-mails.