School Counseling Services
DoDEA school counselors provide comprehensive counseling programs to all students in grades K–12, in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 2946.1, “School Counseling Services,” July 13, 2009, and DoDEA Manual 2946.2, “Department of Defense Education Activity School Counseling Services,” January 1, 2006. Counseling programs are designed to foster a foundation for lifelong learning by removing barriers to students’ academic success. Early identification and intervention of students’ academic and social/emotional needs is essential in removing barriers to learning and promoting academic growth. School counselors provide direct and indirect student services and curricular activities to increase the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for students to achieve their potential academically, socially, emotionally, and physically for life, college, and career readiness.
Elementary school counseling programs are crucial in supporting students’ attitudes and personal views toward school, self, peers, and social groups. In elementary grades, school counseling programs support and provide education on prevention and intervention services, promoting positive academic skills, career awareness, and social-emotional development — skills students need to be competent and confident learners.
Secondary school counseling programs are designed to meet the rapidly changing needs of students in grades 6–12, while preparing them for high school and beyond. College and career exploration and planning are emphasized at the secondary level. As middle school students learn to manage more independence and responsibilities, school counseling programs are designed to connect learning to practical application in life and work, support personal/social skills, and foster effective learning/study skills.
High school counseling programs are designed to foster student preparation and readiness for successful college and career pathways after high school. All secondary students create and manage a four- to six-year plan with their counselor. The four- to six-year plan is managed in SchooLinks and is designed to teach students how to create and attain their graduation, college, and career goals, while taking into account their interests, aptitudes, and graduation requirements.
Please contact your school counselor for additional information regarding the school counseling program.
In accordance with the policy stated in DoDEA Regulation 2095.01, “School Attendance,” August 26, 2011, as amended, school attendance is mandatory. All students are required to attend school to ensure continuity of instruction and that they successfully meet academic standards and demonstrate continuous educational progress. School attendance is a joint responsibility between the parent or sponsor, student, classroom teacher, school personnel, and, in some cases, the Command. Students with excessive school absences (or tardiness) shall be monitored by the Student Support Team to assist in the completion of all required work and successful mastery of course objectives.
Daily student attendance is identified based upon a quarter of the school day formula. Students will be identified as present or absent, based on the following criteria:
- Absent up to 25% of the school day = absent one-quarter of the school day
- Absent between 26%–50% of the school day = absent one-half of the school day
- Absent 51%–75% of the school day = absent three-quarters of the school day
- Absent 76%–100% of the school day = full-day absence
DoDEA considers the following conditions to constitute reasonable cause for absence from school for reasons other than school-related activities:
- Personal illness;
- Medical, dental, or mental health appointment;
- Serious illness in the student’s immediate family;
- A death in the student’s immediate family or of a relative;
- Religious holiday;
- Emergency conditions such as fire, flood, or storm;
- Unique family circumstances warranting absence and coordinated with school administration;
- College visits that cannot be scheduled on non-school days; and
- A pandemic event.
Unexcused absences may result in school disciplinary actions. An absence from school or a class without written verification from a parent or sponsor will be unexcused. Student attendance is calculated based upon the date of enrollment in a DoDEA school, which may occur anytime during the school year. Student attendance monitoring is designed to provide a continuum of intervention and services to support families and children in keeping children in school and combating truancy and educational neglect. Parents should notify the school of their child’s absence 30 minutes after the start of the school day. Too many unexcused absences may trigger the Student Support Team to convene.
DoDEA Attendance Program
School attendance is important and in order to receive the best education, students need to Be Here! DoDEA's system-wide attendance policy for students is consistent with those found in many public schools throughout the United States.
School attendance issues have been identified as a serious issue for children throughout the country and military children are no exception.
DoDEA's attendance policy provides specific guidance on attendance, absences and identifies support services for students at-risk for not fulfilling the grade or course requirements.
It's not surprising that regular school attendance correlates directly with success in academic work, improves social interaction with adults and peers and provides opportunities for important communication between teachers and students. Regular attendance also has a cumulative effect of establishing life-long positive traits - responsibility, determination, respect for rules of society - that are critical for developing career readiness skills, success in college and in life.
Here are a few of the highlights of the policy:
- All students are required to attend school for 175 instructional days per school year.
- Academic penalties will not be imposed for excused absences.
- Whenever a student needs to be out for more than five days, the teacher will provide a Student Educational Monitoring Plan to lessen the impact of a student missing instruction in class.
- Excused absences can include:
- Personal illness
- Medical, dental, or mental health appointment
- Serious illness in the student's immediate family
- A death in the student's immediate family or of a relative
- Religious holiday
- Emergency conditions such as fire, flood, or storm
- Unique family circumstances warranting absence and coordinated with school administration.
- College visits that cannot be scheduled on non-school days
- Reasonable amounts of time surrounding deployments and reintegration providing missed schoolwork is obtained in advance and completed upon return.
The policy establishes a balance between the need for military families to spend time together following deployment, while emphasizing the importance of education. We have and will continue to be as flexible as possible in accommodating the precious time families have together but flexibilities and accommodations have limitations, especially when they impact on student performance and attendance at school.
Procedures for monitoring daily student attendance and communicating with families are established in this policy. Academic penalties will not be imposed for excused absences. Students at-risk will be monitored by the Student Support Team and school administration to include the identification of supports and interventions.
Many families - both military and non-military - underestimate the importance of regular school attendance for young children (kindergarten and first grade) but even missing just 5% of kindergarten - that's just nine days - can be an indicator that a child will fall behind by the fifth grade.
Children take their cue from their parents when it comes to the importance of school attendance. To have a quality education experience, you need to be here.
There are times when a student needs to miss school - everyone understands that. But attendance is important. To have a quality education experience, you need to Be Here.
Attendance: What parents should know:
- Parents can team up with teachers to make sure students are in school and ready to learn.
- How parents can help:
- Schedule medical and dental appointments outside of school hours.
- Schedule vacations during school breaks.
- Schedule Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves to coincide with summer breaks or other scheduled school breaks.
- When moving, check school calendars to be aware of important school dates (beginning/ending of school year; testing dates, breaks, etc.).
- Make it a habit to contact their child's teachers/principals to arrange to pick up missed school work, either in advance if the absence is known, or the same day their child is absent.
In the wake of school violence throughout the world, it is important to analyze the causes of violence and implement preventive measures to assure that every student and adult will feel secure in the school environment. DoDEA implemented a system-wide Bully Prevention program as a part of the Safe Schools and Character Education program.
Bullying is defined as a means to have power over another and it takes many forms: physical, verbal, and indirect such as gossip and isolation. Bullying leaves long-lasting scars for its victims. Bullies have a higher incidence of antisocial behavior, domestic violence and crime as adults. Society pays a heavy toll for tolerating bullying behavior and bullies.
In DoDEA schools and community, bullying will not go unchallenged and will not be tolerated. All students, staff members, parents and the community play vital roles to ensure our children are not bullied, do not act as bullies, and will not allow others to bully. Our schools have a moral obligation to provide our students and the school community with the proper information, prevention strategies, and defenses to create a safe, accepting and caring environment for all.
How to Prevent Bullying
What is Bullying?
Bullying is a widespread and serious problem across our nation. It's what happens when someone repeatedly hurts or threatens another person on purpose. Bullying comes in many forms-name-calling, leaving people out, spreading rumors or physically hurting someone. And it can happen in person, in writing, online, on cell phones, in school, on the bus, at home, or anywhere. It is not a normal rite of passage, it has serious consequences and it's NOT acceptable.
What is DoDEA doing about it?
DoDEA is firmly committed to providing all students with a safe and supportive learning environment. Every child is entitled to feel safe in the classroom, in the hallway and on playgrounds and buses. Bullying, verbal harassment, and cyber-bullying interfere with a student's ability to learn. All of us, teachers, administrators, students and parents, must work together to eliminate unacceptable bullying and harassing behavior. Together we can make our schools safe places to learn, grow and thrive.
Bully prevention will continue to be a top priority for DoDEA as we begin the school year. As a part of our commitment, DoDEA has joined forces with the Department of Health and Human Services and others to bring a reinvigorated and broader focus on bully prevention to our schools and communities. DoDEA will adopt the national slogan "Stop Bullying Now! Take a Stand. Lend a Hand," to help unify our efforts and build a common understanding of, and expectations for, DoDEA's commitment and action to prevent bullying.
This year, the Department of Defense and the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention, are encouraging the youth in our military communities to submit original Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that showcase ways youth are taking action against bullying and promoting a culture of tolerance, kindness, and respect in their communities. PSAs should be informative and entertaining videos that send a positive message to youth about the importance of being "more than a bystander" to bullying in their schools and communities.
We owe and must provide every student the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe and nurturing environment. Learn more about doing your part to stop bullying now.
Military Family Life Consultant
The Military Family Life Consultant (MFLC) is a free program offered at some military installations, it offers flexibility and strict confidentiality. Contact your local school guidance counselor to see if this program is offered at your school.
What is the Military Family Life Consultant Program?
Because military families face unique challenges, especially during this time of war, the Department of Defense provides professional, licensed consultants who offer non-medical behavioral consultation to Service members and their families, children, and staff members.
Called Military Family Life Consultants or MFLCs (pronounced "em-flaks"), they serve each branch of the military service at every installation around the world, at no cost to families.
How do we know consultation will be confidential?
Our MFLC works in partnership with the services and with the school but, as a DOD program, maintains some independence to ensure strict confidentiality. For example,
- MFLCs keep no records of who they speak with
- provide consultation at times and locations you select for privacy and convenience (except in your home)
- are moved to a new assignment on a regular basis.
The only exception to strict confidentiality is federal, state or military reporting requirements for domestic violence, child abuse and duty-to-warn situations.
What kind of issues does the MFLC help with?
Military families experience many changes so supporting people through change is the most common issue. The MFLC provides behavioral consultation for other issues that are likely to improve in a short period of time. Examples are:
- School adjustment
- Deployment and reintegration adjustment
- Parent-child communication
- Resolving conflict
- Managing anger
- Self-esteem and confidence
- Behavioral management techniques
- Enhancing sibling & parental relationships
- Stress management
How does consultation help...exactly what does the MFLC do?
The MFLC helps in a number of roles using several methods, for example the MFLC:
- Facilitates deployment groups at the school
- Coaches effective behaviors that put solution plans into action
- Facilitates skills development groups for staff or parents
- Helps with referrals to military social services and community resources
- Observes and engages in activities with children
- Is visible at events for outreach to parents
- Coaches children on Bullying Prevention strategies and skills.
The MFLC has some independence from the Military and the school to help protect our confidentiality...so how can I be sure it's okay for my child to see the MFLC?
There are strict quality controls for the MFLC Program. For example:
- The MFLC does not begin one-to-one work with a child unless a parent or guardian has signed a Parent Permission Form available from the Guidance Counselor or Front Office staff.
- The MFLC will never meet with a child unless in the line-of-sight of a school employee, a parent or guardian.
- The Department of Defense continuously monitors MFLC Program performance in relation to strict MFLC policies and procedures.