NEWS | Aug. 12, 2014

Back to school safety & resources

By Christopher Gerry Joint Base Charleston School Liaison officer

Charleston County schools are back in session August 18 and that means increased traffic on the LowCountry roadways. Please pay particular attention to crossing areas such as the ones at Hill and West Jackson on the Air Base. The Charleston County Sherriff provides a crossing guard at this location, easily identified in her bright colored jacket. Please respect her as she helps our resident children across that very busy intersection.

There will be an increased number of children riding bikes and walking to school and waiting for busses throughout the base's housing areas as well as in the vicinity of the Child and Youth centers. Slow down, be alert and exercise caution as you drive around the base in the mornings and afternoons.

As you travel through the Weapons Station, plan on extra time due to increased school traffic and the bridge outage at Cypress Gardens. The bridge repair is scheduled for completion in October. Traffic will remain very heavy in the mornings and afternoons along Red Bank Road as Berkeley County Schools go back in session August 19.

Educational Resources

TUTOR.COM - This program is available to all active duty, Guard, and Reserve personnel. It is a free online tutorial for elementary, middle, high school and new college students. The site provides vetted resources for project work and research papers, tutors to review your work, and online communication with tutors who are vetted by the Department of Defense. If you get frustrated trying to help your child with math, physics, or a research paper, go to Tutor.com 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 963-5684 on the Air Base or 794-7809 on the Weapons Station.

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. 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 for 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 you see 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 you with resources during the school year. Don't hesitate to call or email if you need assistance 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 963-4406.

Special Needs Students - Joint Base 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, contact EFMP at 963-4406. For assistance with school issues, 504s, IEPs, or evaluations for/in school, contact the SLO or EFMP Coordinator at 963-4406.