NEWS | Aug. 11, 2015

Back to school: 2015-2016 school year kicks off Aug. 17

By Christopher Gerry Joint Base Charleston School Liaison Officer

It's that time of year again ... back to school. With the 2015-2016 school year getting ready to kick off on Aug. 17, 2015, here are some safety reminders for those who drive on base as well as educations resources and school district information for families with children enrolled in school.

Safety

Air Base: Drivers, please slow down on Hill Boulevard. Charleston County Schools will be back in session Aug. 17, 2015 so please pay particular attention to the crossing areas, especially  at Hill Boulevard and West Jackson Drive.  The Charleston County Sherriff's Department provides a crossing guard at this location, easily identified in her bright colored jacket.  Please respect her as she helps our resident children cross the very busy intersection.

There will be an increased number of children riding bikes and walking to/waiting for busses throughout the housing and Child and Youth Programs areas of Joint Base Charleston. Be alert and exercise caution as you drive around the base in the mornings and afternoons, especially as the days get shorter and the mornings become darker. 

Weapons Station: Expect the morning and afternoon traffic to be very heavy along Red Bank Road as Berkeley County Schools also begin school on Aug. 17, 2015.  There are very few school busses but there will be heavy parental traffic to and from the middle/elementary schools on base. 

Educational Resources

Tutor.com: Tutor.com for U.S. military families is a Department of Defense-funded program that allows eligible students to connect with a live tutor online at any time. This program offers one-to-one help with homework, studying, test prep, proofreading and more. The service is available at no charge to K-12 students and some adults in active duty Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps families.  The site provides vetted resources for project work and research papers. DoD tutors review the student's work.   If you get frustrated trying to help your child with math, physics or an APA research paper, go to http://military.tutor.com/home and let the professionals help.  There is even an app for smart phones!

Child and Youth Programs: After school programming has unlimited possibilities and activities, including homework assistance.  Call for more information.  Air Base (843) 963-5684.  Weapons Station (843) 794-7809.

Military Family Life Counselors: We have MLFCs serving at the Marrington Schools, Lambs, Hunley Park, Fort Dorchester and Oakbrook Elementary schools.  They provide short-term, non-medical counseling in support of active duty military children, activated Guard and Reservists and expeditionary civilians.  Please contact the local school or the school liaison officer for more information on how to reach a counselor. 
Local Schools: Many teachers and schools have regular hours where they provide tutorial assistance before or after school.  Check with the school principal and/or teacher on availability. 

Parent Portal: Make sure you are registered for Parent Portal.  The portal allows you to monitor your child's activity at school, including homework, test grades, discipline and more.  Check often and, perhaps, review grading progress with your child.  This is a tool for parents, so make sure the teacher is updating regularly.  If there are delays in postings, let the school administrator know.  There is usually a policy on how often a teacher must update/load grades.

School Liaison Officer: The SLO is available to help connect parents with resources during the school year.  Don't hesitate to call or email if assistance is needed or clarification on a school issue.  Follow the SLO on Facebook and/or Twitter.  Information on local schools, news articles related to education and resource information are regularly posted on the page:  "JB Charleston School Liaison Office."  The SLO can be reached at (843)963-4406.

Special needs students: JB Charleston is fortunate to have a full time Exceptional Family Member Coordinator.  If you need assistance with EFMP enrollment issues and coordination with services in the local area, please contact EFMP at (843) 963-4406.  For assistance with school issues, 504s, IEPs or evaluations for/in school, please contact the SLO or EFMP Coordinator at (843) 963-4406.  

School District Information 

Charleston County Schools - Air Base (843) 937-6300 - www.ccsdschools.com/index.php

First Day Festival
Charleston County Schools will celebrate the 13th anniversary of this important event, organized by the Mayor's Office for Children, Youth and Families. The festival is part of the "First Day" initiative which encourages parents to take their children to school on the first day. This year's festival will be held Aug. 16, 2015 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Liberty Square at the S.C. Aquarium and Charleston Maritime Center.  Community partners provide free school supplies/helpful information for parents. www.ccsdschools.com/UpcomingEvents/index.php

Attendance Zones
The School Look-Up Tool can be used to find your correct attendance zone by address.  http://www.ccsdschools.com/choice/GIS-lookup.php

Office of Transportation (843) 725-3160
Bus routes/stop information is now available on the school district Webpage:  http://www.ccsdschools.com/OperationsHumansCapitalFacilities/FinanceOperations/Transportation/BusRoutes.php.  Those selected for a Choice School assignment will receive bussing notification directly from the district.  Call the SLO if you have questions/concerns.   

Local Air Base schools will operate as follows:

School Arrival A.M. P.M. Early
Release
Half
Day
Lambs E.S. 7:10 7:30 2:30 12:30 10:30
Hunley Park E.S. 7:10 7:30 2:30 12:30 10:30
Zucker M.S. 8:50 9:10 4:10 2:10 12:10
Stall H.S. 8:05 8:25 3:25 1:25 11:25

See the full Bell Schedule at http://www.ccsdschools.com/Community/SchoolBellTimes.php

The Charleston County School District will continue to work with the installation to provide access to quality educational programs for resident children.  To clear up any misconceptions, and to help those moving throughout the housing community, the following information is provided for Air Base residents with school age children: (Be aware to check transportation availability before making any changes to school assignments)

Some schools have uniform requirements.  These can be found at http://www.ccsdschools.com/Families/index.php 

All new JB Charleston military residents may elect to have their elementary school age children attend either Lambs or Hunley Park Elementary.  The district does not provide transportation.

Air Base residents arriving after December 2014 have extended application deadlines for "choice" schools in the district.  Please contact the School Liaison Office for more information, or look under the "Military Families" link on the CCSD web page for the application.


Berkeley County Schools - Weapons Station (843) 899-8600 - http://www.berkeley.k12.sc.us/

Back to School Portal
Find information and links to everything your child needs for success on Day One at the "Parent Information" link http://www.berkeley.k12.sc.us/parents.cfm.  

Attendance Zones
The School Look-Up Tool can be used to find your correct attendance zone. http://gis.berkeleycountysc.gov/maps/school_system/

Office of Transportation
Bus routes have individual supervisors you may contact for information.  Visit http://berkeley.k12.sc.us/departments.cfm?subpage=91773 for more information.

Local Weapons Station schools will operate as follows:

School A.M. P.M. Half Day
Dismissal
Late Start
(3 hr delay)
Marrington E.S. 7:40 2:10 11:10 10:40
Marrington M.S. 8:00 2:50 11:40 11:00
Goose Creek H.S. 8:40 3:45 12:35 11:40


Dorchester District 2 - (843) 873-2901 - www.edlinesites.net/pages/Dorchester_County_SD
Please visit their newly designed website.  The "Parent & Student Link" provides access to most of the information you will need, including enrollment and calendars. 

Attendance Zones
The attendance list is posted under the "District Information" tab on the Web page, as well as at  http://dcscgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/SimpleViewer/index.html?appid=fdbce0841a514f4688d4f23f0eb7da55.   
 
Office of Transportation - (843) 873-6196
Bus information can be found under "Departments" link on the Web page at http://www.edlinesites.net/pages/Dorchester_County_SD.