Goodfellow School Liaison should be on your speed dial

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas-- -- As a parent and military spouse, getting news of our next assignment can sometimes rank up with there with the finding out the sex of our unborn child. As soon as we hear the mere mention of a possible new assignment, no matter how remote it may be, we make a B-line for the computer. You might think we look up housing or shopping, maybe base amenities or employment. But, you would be wrong. We immediately look up schools for our children.

However, that search is usually futile since every state has different standards and testing. The anxiety begins to build regarding the upcoming relocation, finding the right school, the right services for your children and continuing the structure you've worked so hard to put in place for the last few years.

Well, I have found myself a real life super hero when it comes to the never ending school search. No, he doesn't wear tights or a cape, but he does have the ability to save the day. His name is Larry Lumpkin, School Liaison Officer for Goodfellow Air Force Base. Remember his name, and add his information to speed dial.

When finding out your next assignment, a School Liaison Officer should be your first stop. As for Goodfellow, we are lucky to have one of the best in the business. Lumpkin's sole job is to help you find the right school and services for your children while living this crazy military life. He is a plethora of knowledge about local schools here in San Angelo, both public and private. Lumpkin is also a former science teacher, served in the Navy, and is an ordained catholic priest on a leave of absence to serve his next calling - military families.

You only have to spend five minutes with him to know he is on your side. He is the direct link between you and your children's education - both inbound to Goodfellow and outbound to a new location. He has extensive resources at his fingertips, both at home and aboard.

As for San Angelo, Lumpkin provides a myriad of services and specialties. He can serve families with children Pre-K - 12th grade. He can tell you what school might best suit your children, what services are provided and what programs, such as special needs, are available. He understands how disruptive relocating can be for children with special needs - both children who are gifted and those with learning disabilities.

Lumpkin refers to the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children to provide assistance to families. The Compact provides for the uniform treatment of military children transferring between school districts and states. The Compact covers a multitude of issues. The most common issues are listed below:

Enrollment: Records, immunizations and kindergarten and first grade entrance age.
Placement and Attendance: Course and educational placement, special education, placement flexibility and absence related to deployment activities.

Eligibility: Student enrollment and extracurricular participation.

Graduation: Waiving courses required for graduation, flexibility in accepting state exit or end of course exams, national achievement test or alternative testing, and diploma acceptance.

As a school liaison, Lumpkin is also well versed in the offerings of private and charter schools in the San Angelo area. There is also a large homeschooling contingent in San Angelo, and he can assist with connecting you to other families with similar beliefs. Lumpkin meets frequently with all agencies in the area and can help you problem solve almost any issue relating to school age education. He acts as a mediator between you and the school on many issues including discipline and the unique 504 education plan.

Larry Lumpkin is my idea of a modern day super hero for military families; he fights for us on the issues that matter to us parents - maintaining a high standard in children's education. As parents, we should never settle for anything less for our military kids.

You can contact Larry Lumpkin at (325)-654-5225 or larry.lumpkin@goodfellow.af.mil