School Liaison Officer (SLO)
School Liaison Officers are employed to help navigate academic pressures on military children and their families as they move around the world and transfer between school systems. Singapore Area Coordinator's SLO is here to assist you with just about any school-related question.
What is a School Liaison Officer?
The School Liaison Officer serves as the liaison between the installation commander, military agencies, and schools by providing assistance in matters pertaining to student education. The School Liaison Officer also implements the Navy’s Strategic Planning for Education Advocacy K-12 recommendations in order to ensure Navy families have access to quality educational opportunities. School Liaison Officers level the playing field for military children by ensuring maximum educational opportunities for academic success.
Why Are School Liaison Officers Needed?
School transition and deployment support is a Navy readiness and retention issue. The Navy will benefit from having Sailors who are able to focus on their duties, whether ashore or deployed.
• Navy families move their children an average of every 2.9 years.
• Children of military personnel attend up to 9 different schools by graduation.
• Military families are reluctant to disrupt high school youth in their senior year.
• Deployments can impact educational outcomes of children.
• Many families decide to “separate geographically” to keep kids in their current school.
Navy School Liaison Officers Provide Seven Core Services to Assist Families
1. School Transition Services (PCS Cycle): School Liaison Officers assist families with school transfers and help “level the playing field” for military children and youth.
2. Deployment Support: School Liaison Officers connect educators with the Navy deployment support system to inform them about the cycles of deployment and the tools available to assist educators in working with Navy children.
3. Command, School, Community Communications: School Liaison Officers serve as subject-matter experts for installation commanders on K-12 issues, helping to connect command, school and community resources.
4. Home School Linkage and Support: School Liaison Officers assist Navy families by gathering and sharing information on home schooling issues, policies and legislation from local school districts, and help leverage Navy Child and Youth Programs resources to support these families.
5. Partnerships in Education (PIE): PIE creates a volunteer network of resources to support installation and community members who have a vested interest in the success of all youth.
6. Post-Secondary Preparations: School Liaison Officers leverage installation and school resources to provide graduating military students with access to post-secondary information and opportunities.
7. Special Needs System Navigation: School Liaison Officers provide information about installation and community programs and services, make referrals to the Exceptional Family Member Program, and offer assistance in navigating the administrative systems within local education agencies.
Families - Contact your School Liaison Officer for help with:
• Inbound/outbound school transfer
• Local schools and boundaries
• Finding the right school
• Understanding special education
• Meeting graduation requirements
• Finding military and local support services
• Home schooling support
• Preparing for college and scholarship information
Congratulations on your upcoming PCS to Singapore! As we do not have a DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity) school in Singapore, families eligible for the Non-DoD Schools Program (NDSP) have the opportunity to choose a school option (for students in grades K-12), including private schools and home school programs, that best meets the needs of their children and family. NDSP provides support and funding for the education of authorized command-sponsored dependents of military members and DoD civilian employees assigned to overseas areas where no DoDEA school is available within the commuting area.
The process begins first and foremost with the receipt of PCS orders. Upon receipt of PCS orders, the process for school enrollment/registration is two-part and includes enrolling in NDSP (this authorizes the funding and must be completed first) and applying for admission at the school of the family's choosing (completed after NDSP enrollment is confirmed). NDSP does not accept a Letter of Intent (LOI) in lieu of PCS orders for the NDSP registration process.
Please note, NDSP policy indicates:
• Approval for the enrolment of an eligible minor dependent of DoD sponsor must be obtained prior to enrolling a child in a non-DoD school.
• Sponsor MUST obtain approval for tuition and other expenses from DoDEA HQ NDSP office prior to incurring any expense.
Step 1. Gather information about the educational options available and decide which option is best for the family.
Step 2. To enroll in NDSP, visit the NDSP website and complete the online registration process - https://registration.dodea.edu/NDSP/privacy-act.cfm. PCS orders are needed to complete the NDSP online registration process. If full names of dependents are not listed on the orders Dependent Entry Approval is also required. NDSP will process the enrollment and send an email notification to the sponsor and SLO finalizing enrollment in NDSP.
Step 3. Upon receipt of the email notification of approval from NDSP, the sponsor may proceed with completing the application to the school identified in the NDSP enrollment.
The NDSP Step-by-Step Registration Checklist (see Downloads tab) outlines the process for completing the NDSP registration process.
The NDSP Sponsor Orientation (see Downloads tab) is provided so that you may become familiar with the NDSP program and processes.
Please note, there are no spaces within schools in Singapore that are held or designated for U.S. government dependents. The U.S. Department of State also publishes several lists of schools - available at http://state.gov/m/a/os/c1684.htm and http://state.gov/m/a/os/155608.htm. NDSP publishes a list of school options – available at http://dodea.edu/nonDoD/upload/masterlist_080715.xlsx
The NDSP Education Allowance covers the cost of tuition and eligible fees for many (but not all) schools in Singapore. Link to U.S. Department of State – Standardized Regulations Rates – https://aoprals.state.gov/Web920/location.asp?menu_id=95
Please note that the education allowance is in U.S. dollars and that the published tuition rates for Singapore schools are in Singapore dollars.
The Choosing an International School checklist is designed to help you make an informed decision about the right school for your child! (see Downloads tab)
When departing a location, please remember to:
a. Notify the school your dependent is attending;
b. Notify your local NDSP Liaison; and
c. Notify the NDSP by sending an email with your PCS date and whether a refund from the school will be forthcoming to the NDSP.Administration@hq.dodea.
d. Notify the school bus transport provider (if applicable).
1. Is there a DoDEA school in Singapore? No. DoDEA’s Non-DoD Schools Program (NDSP) provides support and funding for the education of authorized command-sponsored dependents of military members and DoD civilian employees assigned to overseas areas where no DoDEA school is available within the commuting area.
2. How do we register our students for school? See Registration Checklist in Downloads Tab.
3. Is enrollment at our school of choice guaranteed? No spaces within schools in Singapore are held or designated for U.S. government dependents.
4. May we apply to several schools? No. Sponsors may only apply to the school identified on their NDSP registration.
5. Is there a list of approved schools? No; however, there are several lists of schools available:
• "Schools Serving Singapore Area Coordinator" tab and
• NDSP publishes a list of school options - available at http://dodea.edu/nonDoD/upload/masterlist_080715.xlsx.
• The U.S. Department of State also publishes several lists of schools - available at http://state.gov/m/a/os/c1684.htm and http://state.gov/m/a/os/155608.htm.
6. When can my child begin Kindergarten? In a location where a school follows a Northern Hemisphere/U.S. school calendar (school begins in July/August/September), the child must turn five years old on or before December 31 of that school year. In a location where a school follows a Southern Hemisphere school calendar (school begins in January/February/March), the child must be at least four years and eight months old by the beginning of the school year. When a school entry date cut off is earlier than December 31, the school's Kindergarten age policy prevails. NDSP policy may not override a school's policy (e.g. a school's cut-off date of September 30) if the child turns five after September 1 (for Northern Hemisphere calendar schools) or February 1 (for Southern Hemisphere calendar schools), the NDSP requires an official memorandum from the school indicating that the school has accepted the child into the equivalent of U.S. Kindergarten.
Age requirements for entry into the equivalent of U.S. Kindergarten for several Singapore schools (based on the academic year) are outlined below.
Southern Hemisphere Calendar Schools
• Australian International School Entry Date: April 30
Northern Hemisphere Calendar Schools
• GEMS World Academy: September 1 (Will evaluate individual students with birthdates beyond this cut-off date.)
• International Community School: August 31
• Nexus International School: August 1
• Stamford American International School: August 31
• Singapore American School: September 1
The U.S. equivalent of Kindergarten may be identified by different names in different styles of education and at different schools. K2 is a common term in Singapore for the U.S. equivalent of Kindergarten. Please note the Comparison School Systems Grade Equivalents in the Downloads tab.
Australian International School: www.ais.com.sg
Dover Court Preparatory School: www.dovercourt.edu.sg
GEMS World Academy: www.gemsworldacademy-singapore.com
Genesis School for Special Education: www.genesisschool.com.sg
German European School Singapore: www.gess.sg
Integrated International School: www.iis.com.sg
International Community School: www.ics.edu.sg
Nexus International School: www.nexus.edu.sg
Overseas Family School: www.ofs.edu.sg
Singapore American School: www.sas.edu.sg
Stamford American International School: www.sais.edu.sg
Non-DoD Schools Program (NDSP) - http://dodea.edu/nonDoD/
• NDSP Sponsor Orientation: https://content.dodea.edu/VS/pd/ndsp/ndsp_orientation/index.html
• DoDEA: http://dodea.edu/partnership
• Navy Before and After School Care: http://militarychildcare.com
• Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission: http://mic3.net
• Military One Source (Transition Information): http://militaryonesource.com
• School Quest: http://schoolquest.com
• Military Teens on the Move: http://defenselink.mil/mtom
• Department of Defense Education Activity: http://dodea.edu
• Free Online Homework Help: http://tutor.com
• Special Education: http://specialedconnection.com
• Federal Student Aid: https://fafsa.ed.gov/
• Navy Exceptional Family Member Program: http://public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/efm/pages/default.aspx
• Navy MWR: http://navymwr.org
Find school information worldwide at this local source for installation and local information: http://militaryinstallations.dod.mil
Home School Information
• Guide to Online Schools: http://accreditedschoolsonline.org
• Department of State Homeschooling Information: http://state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c21941.htm
• College Board: http://collegeboard.org
• ACT: http://actstudent.org
Special Needs Resources
1. DirectStep eCourses explain legal requirements and best practices for behavior management, autism, IDEA eligibility, IEPs, and more.
2. Special Ed Connection is a web-based resource for parents as their child enter, progresses through, and exits the world of special education requirements - so parents have a clear understanding what special education is and how it works.
Military Child Education Coalition: http://militarychild.org
National Military Family Association: http://militaryfamily.org
Special education services in Singapore are limited and require advanced approval for reimbursement.
Sponsors (military and civilian) with dependents that have special education needs must complete the DD Form 2792-1 (see Downloads tab) and complete the overseas educational screening process.
Military dependents with special education needs must go through an educational screening through the Service’s Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) prior to receiving orders. NDSP must determine if adequate support services are available at the receiving duty station.
Civilian employees with dependents that have special education needs must complete DD Form 2792-1 PRIOR to their Permanent Change of Station (PCS). The completed form must be submitted to the Human Resources department. The NDSP Education Specialist will conduct an educational screening to determine if the special education needs of the student can be met at the PCS location. While agencies cannot preclude you from accepting an assignment, you should carefully consider the consequences and impact if you choose to accept an assignment if travel is not recommended by the NDSP Education Specialist.