PCSing with kids before the end of the school year: Understanding accelerated withdrawal

beth

Beth Potter, Schweinfurt’s School Liaison Officer

As we approach the holiday season, more and more members from the Schweinfurt community will PCS to another duty station. Whether you’re departing over the holiday season or sometime before summer break, you’ll have to remove school age children from Schweinfurt schools earlier than the official end of the 2013-2014 school year.

This process—called accelerated withdrawal or early acceleration—generates questions and can seem like a complicated process. But as Schweinfurt’s School Liaison Officer, I have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions in order to help those families understand the early acceleration process and how they can prepare now for an upcoming Permanent Change of Station, or PCS.

What is early acceleration and how does it apply to my unique situation?

Early acceleration is a unique DoDEA provision that, under specific circumstances, allows a student to withdraw from school up to 20 days in advance and still be granted full semester credit.

This can be significantly beneficial when the student moves to his/her new school as she has completed all of the associated tests and assignments of his/her first semester classes and will not be subject to repeating those classes at the new school.

This policy recognizes that due to military necessity, families are occasionally required to move prior to the end of the school year and that children should not be penalized for this.

image by alamosbasement  via flickr creative commons

image by alamosbasement via flickr creative commons

How can I ensure my children get full credit for their semester before I PCS or relocate?

Students who are scheduled to make a Permanent Change of Station between Dec. 12, 2013 (the earliest date that a student can withdraw from school and receive credit for the first semester) and Jan. 23, 2014 (the end of first semester for students) may request to “accelerate” and receive credit for the first semester.

In order to do so, a sponsor must submit a request, in writing, to the school as soon as possible and preferably within 30 days of the proposed acceleration date. The student must attend school for a full day on Dec. 12, 2013, in order to receive credit for the first semester.

Upon receipt of a request for “acceleration,” teachers will provide assignments and/or projects that must be completed prior to withdrawal from school. A sponsor may request for his or her child or children to accelerate at any date between Dec. 12, 2013 and Jan. 23, 2014. This policy only applies to sponsors and students who are PCSing.

The earliest that a child may accelerate and receive credit for the second semester is May 15, 2014. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy, please contact the Main Office at the school or your child’s teacher.

How far in advance can I pull my children out of school before I to relocate to my next duty station?

Every state in America has mandated school attendance policies with the maximum allowed absences in a school year ranging from no more than five to up to 25 days per year.

When parents register their student at the gaining school, they will be required to authorize the release of records from their student’s previous school.

All school records, both CONUS and OCONUS (within the continental U.S. and outside the continental U.S.) note the total number of days a student has been absent from school. Because the gaining school will include the absent days from the totals noted on the losing schools records, it is highly encouraged to keep students in school until the day before the family is scheduled to fly. In some states, students who do not meet the minimum attendance days have been prevented from matriculating (graduating) to the next grade.

What if I still have questions?

Front office school staff will walk you through the process. If you have a child at Schweinfurt Elementary School, visit or call DSN 354-6518/6734, CIV 09721-81893. If your child attends Schweinfurt Middle/High School, visit or call DSN 354-6812/6813, CIV 09721-804-301.

And you can always contact me at DSN 354-6057, CIV: 09721-96-6057 or via email at beth.p.potter.naf@mail.mil. Also, I encourage you to read my other posts, “If my children and I are moving, how do I find out more about the schools at my next duty station?” and “Schweinfurt’s last school year: What you need to know.

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