Local News

Technology Helps Military Families Enroll Kids In School Faster

Posted July 23, 2002

— Most soldiers move around a lot, which means their children have to move as well. Transferring from one school to the next can be emotionally tough for the kids, but it can also be a paperwork nightmare. A new program is designed to make the transition easier.

Maj. Troy Nellans has moved 7 times in 12 years. With three boys of his own, Nellans knows all about the trouble parents face when trying to transfer them to a new school.

"It's just hard to get transcripts to other schools, make sure they are correct. We have had to write back to other schools to get transcripts," he said.

An Interactive Counseling Center at Westover High School is aimed at making the transition easier. Guidance counselors from different schools can now talk to each other in real time. The goal is to prevent a student from losing time and credits.

Officials also say video-conferencing will ease some of the frustration.

"The student is seated in a class they don't need. By the time you get it all worked out, the student has another schedule change," said Mary Keller of the Military Child Education Coalition.

Officials say it can take up to three months to enroll a child in class because of all the questions and paperwork. With the new center, it can be done in about 30 minutes.

With more than 800,000 military children in school, officials said the goal is to, one day, connect schools worldwide.

The Interactive Counseling Center was paid for with a grant from the Military Child Education Coalition. The Coalition would eventually like to put a system in every Cumberland County high school.

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