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November is the Month of the Military Family

Every family has challenges, but military families have unique challenges that all of us need to be aware of...

Parent in Military

New for 2018-19 School Year

Parent in Military is a student characteristic indicating the student has a parent or guardian who is a member of the armed forces on active duty, serves full-time National Guard duty, or is a traditional member of the National Guard or Reserve. Parent in Military is a self-reported data element from a student's parents. More information regarding student data related to military children is available on the Parent in Military:WISEdata webpage.

Wisconsin recognizes the important role military children play in their families, schools, local and military communities. Military-connected children face unique challenges as their parents may be put in dangerous and potentially life threatening situations because of their military positions. Military children face frequent and lengthy separations from their parents due to deployments. Some military children move up to six times during their K-12 educational experience. Frequent moves, within and between states, require children to be flexible and adaptable. Research demonstrates that military children are resilient and strong contributors to their schools despite family separations and frequent moves.

According to 2017 data from the Defense Manpower Data Center, there are 1,608,858 school-aged military children. Every Wisconsin district includes children whose parents/guardians serve in the active, Guard, or Reserve components of the military. Some people do not realize that Wisconsin has two large military bases at Fort McCoy and Volk Field. Wisconsin also has a large Coast Guard presence with the responsibility for the two largest Great Lakes in the US.

In the fall of 2018, the Department of Public Instruction will collect data to identify children of military families. This will allow schools, the DPI, and the Wisconsin Commissioner for the Interstate Compact to provide stronger support to military connected children.

Shelley Joan Weiss is the Commissioner for the Interstate Compact for the Equal Educational Opportunities for Military Children. She chairs the Wisconsin State Council for the Interstate Compact and together they serve to support the needs of military children. Shelley is a member of the Executive Committee for the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3). She serves as the Chair of the Outreach and Communications Committee. Shelley asks that school districts share information and photos about your local celebrations with her at

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction hosts a website for the Educational Opportunities for Military Children. There are several resources on this site and the national MIC3 site. Please also follow the Wisconsin Interstate Compact for the Education of Military Children Facebook Page. Links to additional resources are included below.

Month of the Military Child Poster - 2018
Month of the Military Child Certificate - 2018
DPI-Educational Opportunities for Military Children
Military Interstate Children’s Compact Coalition
Purple Up Poster
Military Child Education Coalition
National Military Family Association
Department of Defense Education Activity
Musical Performance, “You Are The Star” created by Rhonda Gessow in recognition of her granddaughter Harper. Provided by Deanne Gessow.