As principal of Texas Connections Academy, I know firsthand how challenging moving and changing schools can be. I grew up with a parent who was active duty in the Navy and experienced several moves throughout my K–12 education. That’s how I also know Connections Academy’s online school can play a big role in helping military families maintain continuity for their students when they have to move.
As a child, I learned how to make new friends and go with the flow each time I moved. Moves can often involve cross-country or even international relocation. According to the Department of Defence Education Activity (DODEA), students with military parents move six to nine times over their K–12 career.
Kids learn quickly to fit in. And it’s not just about academics; students also have to learn how to adjust socially to be successful. Transfer students lack the history that many others in the school share. They come with the stigma of being a “military brat” or being a “short-timer.” I knew military children who were glad to leave a school and start over, but most of the time it was heartbreaking to leave your school.
Academically, students may have additional challenges in that the curriculum differs across the country, leaving students either unprepared for tougher courses or bored because they have already covered the material. And missing credits can leave high school students who transfer scrambling to graduate. I moved from Texas to Florida between my eighth- and ninth-grade year. Many of the classes I was assigned as a ninth-grade student covered the eighth-grade curriculum in Texas. I was reassigned to advanced classes shortly after I arrived although I had never been in advanced courses before.