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Most children with parents in the U.S. Armed Forces attend school in six to nine different school systems between kindergarten and high school. That’s why the Maine Department of Education is committed to making the transfer process as seamless as possible for children of military families.
Maine is one of 46 states, plus the District of Columbia, that belong to the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission, or MIC3. States that sign onto the Compact commit to doing what it takes to:
- Enroll children of military families at their new schools as quickly and seamlessly as possible, even in the absence of normally required official records and immunizations; and
- Ensure that students with parents in the Armed Forces stay on track to graduate on time, even when such students’ academic records don’t comply perfectly with local graduation requirements.
Who's Covered by the Compact
The following students are covered by the terms of the Military Interstate Children's Compact:
- Children of active duty members of the United States uniformed services.
- Children of veterans who retired or were discharged due to medical reasons. The terms of the Compact apply to these children for one year following the retirement or discharge.
- Children of service members who died during active duty or died as a result of injuries sustained during active duty. The terms of the Compact apply to these children for one year following the service member's death.
Responsibilities of Schools Enrolling Students from Military Families
Public schools have the following responsibilities when they enroll students covered by the terms of the Military Interstate Children's Compact:
- Act as quickly as possible to complete the enrollment process, even in the absence of official student records. The receiving school should request official student records from the student's sending school.
- Allow students to continue at their previous grade level, even if local age requirements would not normally allow it. Enroll students in the subsequent grade level if they have completed the prerequisite grade level at the sending school.
- Allow students 30 days to come into compliance with local immunization requirements. (See the Immunization Section of Maine DOE's School Health Manual.)
- To the extent possible, enroll transferring students in academic courses and programs (i.e. gifted and talented, English language learner classes) comparable to those in which they were enrolled at the sending school. The receiving school can administer assessments to determine appropriate course placements.
- Waive application deadlines to allow eligible students to participate in extracurricular activities.
- To facilitate on-time graduation, waive specific course requirements if it's determined students have completed comparable coursework at their previous school. If the receiving school decides against waiving such requirements, the school should provide eligible students with alternative means of meeting graduation requirements.
- When exit exams are required for graduation, accept scores from comparable exams at the sending school, national achievement tests and alternative tests.
- If a student transferring during the last year of high school cannot meet the graduation requirements of the receiving school but can meet those of the sending school, the two schools should arrange for the student to receive a diploma from the sending school.
- Waive tuition requirements for eligible students living within a district's boundaries, but not with their legal custodian.
- Grant eligible students additional excused absences to allow time to visit with an active-duty parent or legal guardian who is deployed, on leave from deployment, or recently returned from deployment in a combat zone or supporting combat operations.
Responsibilities of Sending Schools
Public schools have the following responsibility when students covered by the terms of the Military Interstate Children's Compact transfer to a school in a different jurisdiction:
- Upon request, send official student records to the student's receiving school to facilitate a quick and seamless transfer. If official records cannot be released, release unofficial records to the parents to facilitate the transfer.