Adapting Education for Military Families


In education, certain population segments face unique challenges that demand tailored approaches. Among these are military families, whose transient lifestyle introduces complexities not commonly encountered in traditional schooling environments.

This blog delves into the educational landscape shaped by the needs and circumstances of military families, exploring strategies and solutions that schools employ to address these challenges.


Adaptability and Support Systems

For schools near military bases, adaptability is vital. Frequent relocations mean student populations are in constant flux, impacting everything from class sizes to the continuity of education. Schools serving these communities often prioritize creating robust support systems. These include counseling services, peer mentoring programs, and orientation sessions designed to ease transitions, ensuring that new students integrate smoothly and maintain academic progress despite frequent moves.

“We’re in a military community, so it’s an honor to serve this community, but on the flip side also, it’s a highly transient community. So, every year, I’m prepared for the mass exodus of parents over the summer. Normally, [it] has nothing to do with the school, but it’s just, you know, soldiers PCSing, moving to their new location. And it’s very stressful because to keep a school open, you have to have students. So every year, it’s kind of a transition of families leaving the school to go to their next post and new families coming in in July. Which means your enrollment is never really consistent, and you can’t project how many students you’ll have.”

Kyle Morin, principal of a charter school in Colorado Springs, CO, during his guesting on the School Success Podcast, aired June 6, 2022


Community Engagement and Inclusivity

Building a strong sense of community is vital in schools dominated by military families. These institutions often foster an environment beyond academic learning, focusing on inclusivity and a family-like atmosphere. Events and activities that encourage interaction between families can bridge gaps, creating a supportive network that mirrors the close-knit nature of military communities. Such efforts not only enhance the educational experience but also provide a sense of stability and belonging for students navigating the challenges of military life.


Educational Continuity and Flexibility

Educational institutions often employ flexible learning models to accommodate the irregular schedules and unexpected deployments characteristic of military life. This might include online learning platforms that allow students to continue their studies remotely or modular curriculums that can be adjusted based on the student’s current level and needs. Schools can leverage technology and innovative teaching methods to ensure that the mobile lifestyle of military families does not disrupt educational journeys.


Focus on Social-Emotional Learning

Recognizing the emotional and psychological challenges that come with frequent relocations and parental deployments, schools in these settings strongly emphasize social-emotional learning (SEL). Programs tailored to develop resilience, adaptability, and emotional intelligence are integral, equipping students with the skills necessary to navigate the uncertainties of their unique circumstances.


Wrap Up

The educational needs of military families require a nuanced and multifaceted approach. Schools serving these communities, through their adaptability, community focus, flexible learning options, and emphasis on SEL, provide a roadmap for how education can adapt to meet the needs of all students, regardless of their background or challenges. The lessons learned from these environments can inform broader educational strategies, making our schools more inclusive, adaptable, and supportive for every student.



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