School Liaison Officer

The School Liaison Officer’s primary function is to serve as a conduit between parents, educators and the command so that military-connected children experience a seamless transition during the transfer between schools. Most military children move up to nine times in their PreK-12th grade years and consistency and retention of educational goals is a major focus for families when planning to PCS. The School Liaison Officers can offer information on area schools and help facilitate communication between the military family on matters relating to regional public and private schools as well as home school and alternative modes of education.

The School Liaison Officer provides information and resources for military families on internal organizations including, but not limited to, Fleet and Family Support Programs (FFSP), Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), Child and Youth Program (CYP) activities as well as some external organizations, such as but not limited to, the Armed Services YMCA, Military Family Collaborative, and Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. They also serve as a subject matter expert in education-related issues such as the Interstate Compact for Military Children, Department of Education, local school districts and other education related organizations.
*Please see Core Services for specific school related supports available.

The School Liaisons can:

  • Answer questions about school enrollment options
  • Provide information about local schools and boundaries
  • Assist with inbound/outbound school transfers
  • Help you understand and navigate the special education process
  • Provide resources for college readiness
  • Assist with agency referrals

...and much more!
School Liaison Officers are available to assist all service members and their families with school-related questions. Please see the Directory on this webpage for contact information or for program updates and assistance.

Why School Liaison Officers?

  • Families move an average of every 2.9 years
  • Children attend up to 9 different schools by graduation
  • Families experience increased stress related to deployment during wartime

Core Services

  • School Transition Services (PCS Cycle): School Liaison Officers assist families with school transfers and help “level the playing field” for military children and youth.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. They also help leverage Navy Child and Youth Programs resources to support these families.
  • 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.
  • Post-Secondary Preparations: School Liaison Officers leverage installation and school resources to provide graduating military students with access to post-secondary information and opportunities.
  • 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.

Contact your NAWS China Lake School Liaison Officer at 760-939-7135 for upcoming event information in your area.  Many events and information postings can be found on Facebook at:  

  • Official Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake Community
  • Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake
  • Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake CDC
  • Movin’ on up! School Age Care
  • Castle X Youth Center

What is a School Liaison and how can they help me?
- School Liaison Officers (SLO) help by providing you with educational information on your new area (based on residence) and link you up with a SLO in your next duty station if you are leaving NRSW. SLOs also offer resources on deployment support, are the liaison between command, schools and military families, work with commands and schools on the Partnership in Education program, can help families navigate the special needs programs in districts, and offer information and support for Home School and Post Secondary preparation.

How do I choose a school?
- We know the importance of choosing a school that best meets the needs of your military child(ren). Even though we are unable to make direct recommendations for schools, we are available to help you acquire information and research the schools in your area and within NRSW. We can provide overall information on districts as well as help you determine what schools you might be mapped to once you have a residence.

What is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)?
- A New Education Law: The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, and represents good news for our nation's schools. This bipartisan measure reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation's national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students. The new law builds on key areas of progress in recent years, made possible by the efforts of educators, communities, parents, and students across the country. For more information, please visit:

What are the health and immunization requirements?
- Immunization and health check up fact sheet for the California Dept of Education can be found at: Once you determine where you will live and what school your child will attend, you should also check with your school to be sure there are no additional district requirements.

What are the School Registration procedures?
- This depends on what school district you are looking to enroll your child in. We recommend that once you establish residence, that you contact the school directly. However, one thing you can do to prepare is to use the Checklist for School Moves to ensure that you hand carry all necessary documents.

What do I do if I’m on a housing wait-list or am in temporary housing?
- Most military housing areas and school districts within school boundaries of military housing are familiar with this situation. We recommend that you ask your local housing office for a letter indicating that you are on the waitlist, and will be moving into housing within 30 days. Most times this is all the schools need to proceed with registration. If you have questions or issues, please contact your SLO.

What is the Interstate Compact and what can it do for my family?
- The Interstate Compact seeks to make transition easier for the children of military families so that they are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children and are not penalized or delayed in achieving their educational goals. More information can be found at:

What options are there for before and after school care?
- Before and After school care is something that has created a challenge for some families given the lack of availability. We recommend that you start looking for care early! As soon as you arrive and have registered your child in school, begin by asking your school or district what they offer. This is many times the best option, particularly if they offer on site care. If they don’t, many times the school will know what is available close to the school or in your community. If you are still having difficulty, contact your School Liaison Officer and they will work with you to try to find other options.

What do I do if I’m moving with a child with special needs?
- In the Navy, your School Liaison Officer can help you with the special needs navigation of the school or district that you are planning to send your child(ren) to. You should also contact the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) to ensure that you are enrolled and that you have all information and resources that they offer. * Please note that the Marine Corps School Liaisons do not assist with Special Needs navigation. They have an EFMP that covers both medical and educational assistance. This is important to know in NRSW, and especially in Metro San Diego since we work jointly to serve our military families.

Can School Liaison Officers advocate in an IEP for my child?
- The Navy School Liaisons are not able to advocate on your behalf. In our program, we offer information, resources and help you find the right people to talk to at the school or district. If you ever have issues with your IEP or school, please call your School Liaison since we also have many community resources that can offer guidance and direct assistance.

How to Ensure a Smooth Move

Checklist for School Moves

Special Needs Resources

Your child should be enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) if he or she has special needs. An EFMP Coordinator is stationed at China Lake and can be reached by calling 760-939-1018. The number for EFMP Navy Headquarters is (866) 827-5672.
*This is a mandatory program for any family member who has special medical, educational, developmental, and/or emotional need or concern.

  • Instantly locate proven strategies, helpful tools, special education law, federal statutes/regulations and more - with the online solution thousands of your colleagues already rely on. Contact information for username and password accessibility can be provided by the School Liaison Officer.
  • Navy EFMP:  The Navy’s Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) is designed to assist sailors with the special needs of their Exceptional Family Members (EFM), at new duty locations. Assistance is emphasized in the assignment process, but also includes family support from Fleet and Family Service Centers. EFMP case liaisons are located throughout the fleet to provide information and referrals, individualized service plans, and case management from one duty station to the next. Special needs include any special medical, dental, mental health, developmental or educational requirement, wheelchair accessibility, adaptive equipment or assistive technology devices and services.
  • TASK: Team of Advocates for Special Kids is a nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is to enable individuals with disabilities to reach their maximum potential by providing them, their families and the professionals who serve them with training, support, information, resources and referrals, and by providing community awareness programs.
  • PACER: With over 30 different projects, the Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights provides individual assistance, workshops, publications, and other resources to help families make decisions about education and other services for their child or young adult with disabilities.
  • LD On-line: The world's leading website on learning disabilities and ADHD, serving more than 200,000 parents, teachers, and other professionals each month.
  • NICHCY: National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities serves the nation as a central source of information on disabilities in infants, toddlers, children, and youth.
  • Military Homefront Special Needs/EFMP: This site includes all enrollment information, toolbox of resources, and worldwide directory.

Youth Sponsorship

Installation-based program that provides access to positive peer groups and social activities for school-aged youth, helping them make positive transitions and feel connected at their new duty station.  Contact your SLO for incoming and outgoing transfer information!

Youth Transitions

Installation Programs

  • BGCA:  Boys & Girls Clubs of America is a national organization of local chapters which provide after-school programs for young people whose mission is to “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.  BGCA is a Navy partner.
  • 4-H:  The nation’s largest positive youth development and youth mentorship organization whose mission is to empower young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime.  4-H is a Navy partner.

Additional Family & Educational Resources

  • MiltaryOneSource: Click around for answers to the military-life questions you didn't even know to ask. Military OneSource is your central hub and go-to-place for the military community.  Get to know your benefits and prepare for the big stuff – deployments, reintegration, moves, parenthood, retirement and more. Browse by topic or search for that strangely specific question you want to know the answers to.
  •  Are you a service provider looking for a program or service across all installations? Simply select the program or service and then choose any installation or enter any zip code. A downloadable directory for all installations will be available on the results page.
  • Fleet and Family Support Center: The China Lake Fleet and Family Support Center provides services such as relocation assistance, new parent support, deployment services, clinical counseling services, financial management counseling, family employment services, family advocacy and the transition assistance programs.  FFSC can be reached at 1-760-939-4545.
  • DoDEA:  The Department of Defense Educational Activity instructional program provides a comprehensive pre-kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum overseas and at select locations in the continental U.S.
  •  Includes school finder based on state or military installation, blog, library, state education resources and “Ask Aunt Peggie”.
  • Plan My Move:  Installation specific information to help families PCS.
  • Military Homefront:  Department of Defense website for official Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) program information, policy and guidance designed to help troops and their families, leaders, and service providers.
  • MCEC:  The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC®)'s work is focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition. 
  • MCEC School Quest:  An initiative of Military Child Education Coalition to ease school transitions for military families.
  • National Military Family Association:  Founded 43 years ago, the National Military Family Association is the leading non-profit organization focusing on issues important to military families.
  • Fleet & Family Support Programs and Fleet and Family Support Center:  Information on installations in Navy Region Southwest and the many services provided for military families.
  • MISA:  Military Impacted Schools Association is a national organization of school superintendents. Our mission is to serve school districts with a high concentration of military children.
  • Free program for U.S. Military Families, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, that allows eligible college and grade K-12 students to connect to a live tutor online at any time for one-to-one help with homework, studying, test prep, proofreading and more. The service is available at no charge to all grades K-12 students and service members, regardless of whether the service member is serving full-time or part-time…plus some adult dependents of active duty.  (Cost for civilians.)
  • National Parent Teacher Association: An organization dedicated to making a difference in the education, health, and safety of America’s children and youth.
  • The Education Trust: Promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college.
  • Guide to Online Schools: From K-12 to college, explore online learning modes, hear from experts, and read how Khan Academy and other free resources help students get ahead.

Post-Secondary Support

  • Offers students free grade, activities and test score specific profiles and information on hundreds of colleges.
  • Provides student financial assistance resources.
  • VA website for Post 9/11 GI Bill, transferability and Yellow Ribbon.
  • Find schools and ways to pay on FastWEB.
  • The smart student guide to financial aid.

Military Scholarship & Financial Aid Resources

Additional Scholarship & Financial Aid Resources

An additional list of scholarship opportunities is available to download from the box at the right. 


Public School

Military families moving to or from NAWS China can contact the NAWS China Lake School Liaison Officer to obtain information on education options including district boundaries, academics, inter-district transfer policies, graduation requirements, before and after school programs and more. The SLO works with parents and schools to ensure smooth transitions and immediate connections for military-connected students.

Students living onboard NAWS China Lake and attend public school, Richmond Elementary (K-5), Murray Middle School (6-8) and Burroughs High School (9-12). Richmond Elementary is located on base, however it belongs to the Sierra Sands Unified School District. Busing is not needed from housing to the elementary school, but is offered for a fee to the middle and high school.

A complete list of all the school districts in the Ridgecrest area can be found on the Sierra Sands Unified School District web site. School attendance is based on residential boundaries. Attendance outside residential boundaries is covered by each districts’ policies which information can be found at the Superintendent’s Offices. Parent(s) may select the school their child attends within the district where space is available. Open enrollment is available to pupils whose parent(s) or guardian(s) currently reside within district of attendance, based on a random, unbiased lottery and will be re-evaluated each year based on specific school enrollment numbers. Because school attendance is tied to residential boundaries, it is recommended parents learn more on specific district policies before deciding on a home.

For more information regarding transfer options and information, please contact your School Liaison Officer at 760-939-7135 or the SSUSD office at 760-499-1600.

  • Sierra Sands Unified School District:  Link to the 1 school district in the NAWS China Lake/City of Ridgecrest area.
  • California Department of Education:  Access to a wide variety of information, including the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), Accountability Progress Reports (APR), Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
  • Ed-Data: Access fiscal, demographic and performance data on K-12 California Public Schools.
  • Includes school finder based on state or military installation, blog, library, state education resources and “Ask Aunt Peggie”.
  • Search for public and private schools and resources for parents.
  • DoDEA: The Department of Defense Educational Activity instructional program provides a comprehensive pre-kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum overseas and at select locations in the continental U.S.
  • School Accountability Report Cards:   Information on pending legislation in education, and education-related publications and resource to obtain test scores and other data on each school in the state of California.
  • Interstate Compact for Military Children has been signed by the state of California and addresses the key issues of Eligibility, Enrollment, Placement and Graduation encountered by military families. Contact your School Liaison for more information.


For more information about homeschool choices, resources, and groups in the area please contact your School Liaison Officer at 760-939-7135.

  • California Department of Education: Information for specific state level requirements.
  • Home School Legal Defense Association:  Whose mission is “To preserve and advance the fundamental, constitutional right of parents and others legally responsible for their children to direct their education.”
  • Home School Central:  Website with information about applicable laws and support groups, including overseas.  Includes resources.

Private Schools

For more information about private school choices in the area please contact your School Liaison Officer at 760-939-7135 or view several choices at Great! Schools.

There is also information on pending legislation in education and education-related publications such as School Accountability Report Cards which are the best resource to obtain test scores and other data on each school in the state of California on the California Department of Education website.

College & Career

Preparing for life after high school can be a daunting process for high school students and their families. The NAWS China School Liaison is available to help families and high school students navigate the requirements for college applications, financial aid, scholarships, Veterans’ education benefits for children and career planning.

  • California Colleges: The official source for college and career planning in California.
  • California State University System: Home page of the 23 campus CSU system.
  • University of California System: Links to the 9 Undergraduate Campuses in the UC System.
  • Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities:  AICCU helps students, families, counselors, member colleges and policy makers research and understand private nonprofit higher education in California.
  • California Community Colleges: Find public community colleges in California.
  • California Apprenticeship Coordinators Association: Contacts for Union apprenticeships throughout California.
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Student Career Exploration and Statistics.

Recruiting, Academy and ROTC

  • Military Academy Links for Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine.
  • Provides overview of joining the military--resources for parents and educators.

United States Air Force
Address: 14190 Bear Valley Rd., Suite D
Victorville, CA 92395
Phone: 760-843-5932

United States Army
Address: 858 N China Lake Blvd.
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Phone: 760-375-9391

United States Coast Guard Recruiting - Fresno
Address: 1090 E Washington St., #A
Colton, CA 92324
Phone: 909-738-2772

United States Marine Corps
Address: 44513 Valley Central Way
Lancaster, CA 93536
Phone: 661-942-1513

United States Navy
Address: 860 N China Lake Blvd.
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Phone: 760-375-4603

Youth Sponsorship (grades 5-12) provides access to positive peer groups and social activities, helping military children feel connected at their new duty station. If interested in connecting your child with a local youth sponsor, complete the fields below. Once received, you will be contacted by a School Liaison Officer/Youth Center Manager.

For Youth Sponsorship with School Age Care or Youth Programs, participants must be enrolled or a registered user.

Click here to get started!



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