Safe and Sound Project
The stressors for military students are many, starting with parents being deployed to active duty. Military families also move frequently, forcing students to say goodbye to old friends, make new friends, and adjust to new curricula.
Nearly half the students at Steilacoom Historical School District in Washington come from military families. So leaders developed a multifaceted program to support those needs.
A partnership with Joint-Base Lewis McChord military base made the Safe and Sound Project possible. It created an integrated system of support, beginning with Military Adolescent Health Clinics, where students get medical services during the school day. They provide life counselors for families and mental health care for students.
Providing cohesive and preventative mental health was a priority for the district.
The clinics have also saved over 2,000 hours of missed school time per year and saved military parents over 1,400 hours of lost work time.
The collaboration also launched a program that supports new arrivals, and PD expanded to guide teachers in better accommodating the needs of military-connected students.
To start your own program:
- Analyze data to understand the unique student populations and to recognize the opportunity gaps in the system.
- Include stakeholders so they could see the results that a committed district can provide.