The FLO Education and Youth Team has assembled Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to share with families at post. These FAQs include information on boarding schools, transition to Washington, allowances, special needs, and more. We encourage families to utilize the FAQs for more information on education related questions.

Overseas Schools:

1. Q: Where can I find information on overseas schools?
2. Q: What are my options at post if the schools are deemed ‘inadequate’ or lack accreditation?
3. Q: I’m a parent and I’ve run into an issue with the administration at our school. With whom can I consult about the approach I should take?
4. Q: Aren’t the overseas schools required to admit my child into their school?

Community:

5. Q: A situation came up regarding bullying. Are there any suggestions that you can provide?
6. Q: Are there any solutions/suggestions you can provide for dealing with bus misbehavior issues?
7. Q: What can be done about the limited extracurricular activities after school at post?

Special Needs:

8. Q: What assistance can I receive at-post for my child who has special needs?
9. Q: What assistance can I receive in the Washington area for my child who has special needs?
Public School Special Needs Program links:
Virginia
District of Columbia
Maryland

Child Care:

10. Q: Where can I find child care options at post?
11. Q: Where can I find child care options in the Washington, D.C. area?
12. Q: Can you explain how the child care subsidy works?

Supplemental Instruction:

13. Q: Where can I find information on the Supplemental Education Allowance?
14. Q: My child is Gifted and Talented (GT). Are there any State Department resources we can use?

Other Educational Options & Allowances (Boarding School, Homeschooling):

15. Q: Does your office have any recommendations for boarding schools?
16. Q: When is the Away-from-Post Education Allowance processed?
17. Q: Where can I find the rates for the Away-from-Post Education Allowance for my post?
18. Q: Where can I find information on homeschooling my child in the Foreign Service?
19. Q: What are the regulations regarding my child starting Kindergarten?

Transition to Washington:

20. Q: What are the public school options in the Washington, D.C. area?
21. Q: Where can I find information about schools in Virginia?
22. Q: What resources would you recommend for Foreign Service parents?
23. Q: What resources do you have on transition?
24. Q: What is the “the best” school in the Washington, D.C. area?

College Resources:

25. Q: Where can I find resources for the college search, financial aid and scholarships?
26. Q: When is the Educational Travel Allowance processed?

Other General Information:

27. Q: Where can I find resources for teaching overseas?
28. Q: Where can I find resources on summer camps in the Washington D.C. area?
29. Q: How can I get in touch with the CLO at post?
30. Q: Where can I find information on getting my GED?


Overseas Schools

1. Q: Where can I find information on overseas schools?

A: • Schools by Region lists State Department assisted and unassisted schools.
• Contact your Regional Education Officers (REOs) at the Office of Overseas Schools for questions about schools at post.
• If you have been assigned to an overseas post, contact the Community Liaison Office Coordinator (CLO) at the post by email using the CLO mailbox format: CLOnameofpost@state.gov, e.g., clozagreb@state.gov.

2. Q: What are my options at post if the schools are deemed ‘inadequate’ or lack accreditation?

A: An “inadequate” rating does not always mean that a school is academically inferior. In fact, there are some fine schools that are deemed “inadequate” because of differences in academic calendar year, religious affiliation, or other factors unrelated to quality of instruction. If you have any questions about the academic programs at a post, please contact the Regional Education Officers (REOs) in the Office of Overseas Schools – OverseasSchools@state.gov.
If the schools at post are not adequate according to your family’s standards, other options to consider are homeschooling or a boarding school. Please refer to our homeschooling and boarding school website to begin your research.

3. Q: I’m a parent and I’ve run into an issue with the administration at our school. With whom can I consult about the approach I should take?

A: The Office of Overseas Schools can provide assistance with a matter like this. You can contact them via email: OverseasSchools@state.gov or phone: 202-261-8200.
Please also see the Regional Education Officer (REO) link in question #1.

4. Q: Aren’t the overseas schools required to admit my child into their school?

A: No. All of these schools are independent/private institutions and have their own admissions procedures and criteria. Even though many of our State Department families may utilize a particular school, the school is not obligated to admit all the children posted at the embassy/consulate. It is very important to research available spaces at the school where you would like to enroll your child before moving to your new post. Although schools that are provided grant assistance by the Office of Overseas Schools are expected to give priority to children of U.S. government families, each child must meet admission requirements and there must be space available for him/her.

Community

5. Q: A situation came up regarding bullying. Are there any suggestions that you can provide?

A: Parents should contact the classroom teacher and school administration immediately to address the situation.

  • Parents can also consult with the Regional Medical Officer (RMO) or Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist (RMO/P).
  • The Office of Overseas Schools Regional Education Officers (REOs) are available, if needed, to intervene with the school administration and can send a consultant to post who can provide resources and information in order to stop any harmful behavior.
  • Talk to your children about what’s going on.
  • Contact and collaborate with other concerned parents.
  • Contact the FLO’s Education and Youth team at FLOAskEducation@state.gov.
  • If the situation warrants, CLO might organize an event to bring together parents and resources (RMO, RMO/P, School officials) to discuss bullying and prevention and share ideas and concerns.


6. Q: Are there any solutions/suggestions you can provide for dealing with bus misbehavior issues?

A: Here are a few suggestions for handling misbehavior on the school bus.

  • If bus transportation is provided by the school, contact the school administration and let them know what’s been happening on the bus (bullying, rough housing, etc).
  • If bus transportation is provided by the mission, work with the GSO, Employee Association or whichever office is responsible for the transportation, and let them know what’s been happening on the bus. Also, inform the school authorities of the misbehavior issues. They may provide some direct assistance or offer useful suggestions.
  • Work with other parents and consider establishing a ‘bus patrol’ program. This program can be supervised by parents and can provide rotating parents and/or youth bus patrols that supervise and log any misbehavior on the bus.

7. Q: What can be done about the limited extracurricular activities after school at post?

A: You may not find your child’s favorite after school activity already organized and available at post, but as a parent you may be able to help establish a program for your child. Teachers and other community members may be able to help; don’t be afraid to reach out to others for assistance.

  • Find out what your child and his/her friends are interested in and create an activities club for them.
  • Ask the CLO for help in advertising the activity in the community.
  • Go with your child to his/her school and ask about starting a program.
  • If your child wants to volunteer after school, check the community service organizations to see where help is needed.
  • Start small and build up.

Special Needs

8. Q: What assistance can I receive at post for my child who has special needs?

A: Contact Child and Family Program (CFP) in the Office of Medical Services (MEDECS@state.gov) and share your child’s diagnostic testing results with them. If you haven’t already pursued diagnostic testing, contact CFP and ask for their guidance on what to do. Please visit our website on Special Needs and the Foreign Service Child for more information. The Regional Education Officers, with the Office of Overseas Schools, are also an excellent resource on schools that are available at post.


9. Q: What assistance can I receive in the Washington area for my child who has special needs?

A: Please consider reaching out to the public school district’s special needs programs. If you have current educational testing you should share it with the school administrators. The local school systems will do their own assessments on students as well. There are Parent Resource Centers in some of the D.C. area counties.

Virginia

District of Columbia

Maryland

You may also find some of the resources from our special needs page helpful.

Child Care

10. Q: Where can I find child care options at post?

A: The intranet provides Child Care Reports submitted by CLO Coordinators for each post. Employees can access these reports on the Department’s intranet site, click through the following links: Bureau of Human Resources (HR Portal) > Workforce > Family Services > Overseas Childcare Reports for 2012.

11. Q: Where can I find child care options in the Washington, D.C. area?

A: The State Department has a number of resources available to Foreign Service families looking for child care. The Foreign Service Institute's Children’s Center and Diplotots are frequently used by State Department families.
FSI Children’s Center- Contact FSI Children’s Center at 703.302.7501 or email Beatrice Tierney at beatierney@aol.com.
Diplotots- Located at Columbia Plaza (across the street from the Harry S. Truman building). Contact Diplotots at 202.663.3555 or via email at Diplotots@state.gov.

Here in the Washington area, there are many options for child care. Please check our website for additional child care resources. Please note that many child care centers in the metropolitan area fill up early and there can be long waiting lists for an opening.

12. Q: Can you explain how the child care subsidy works?

A: Child Care Subsidy Program for Domestically-Employed DOS Employees: If you meet State's eligibility criteria (see below), your child care costs may be reduced. As a need-based program, the amount you receive depends on your total family income and the amount you pay for child care. To qualify for the subsidy you must:
• Be a Domestically-Employed Department of State employee
(part-time employees are eligible)
• Have a total family income of $75,000 or less.
• Place your child in a licensed day care, home care, summer day camp or after-school program.
Note: Only available in the U.S. For more information and application procedures, contact HR/ER/WLP at CCSP@state.gov or by calling (202) 663-1688.

You may find the above information and more on child care on the FLO website:

Supplemental Instruction

13. Q: Where can I find information on the Supplemental Education Allowance?

A. Below are links to several informative websites regarding the Supplemental Education Allowance:

14. Q: My child is Gifted and Talented (GT). Are there any State Department resources we can use?

A: You can use Supplementary Instruction funds for GT instruction if the base school does not offer GT instruction provided that you meet the conditions stated in the DSSR 276.9e.
Please visit the Office of Allowances FAQ on Supplemental Instruction for information on the allowance.
The Regional Education Officers, with the Office of Overseas Schools, are also an excellent resource.


Other Educational Options & Allowances (Boarding School, Homeschooling)

15. Q: Does your office have any recommendations for boarding schools?

A: FLO does not maintain a list of recommended boarding schools. However, we are able to share resources and information with you. Please keep in mind, you will be the most familiar with your child’s needs. You may visit us in the Family Liaison Office where we have a collection of resources from boarding schools. You may also visit our boarding school website. Here you will see what steps are necessary in order to pursue boarding school admission for your child. You will also find links to the different allowance issues that relate to boarding school.

16. Q: When is the Away-from-Post Education Allowance processed?

A: In general, the Away-from-Post Education Allowance will be processed once you arrive at post. You are responsible for any fees due before that time, but will be reimbursed for any allowable expenses once you arrive and the SF-1190 is processed (please be sure to review 277.2 in the Education Allowances DSSR section on “School Away-from-Post” to determine what expenses are allowable/reimbursable). Travel during normal school closings is included in the Away-from-Post Education Allowance, up to the limit of the allowance.

Please note, as discussed in the Allowance Office FAQs, travel to and from school is included as part of the Away-from-Post Education Allowance, and the Educational Travel Allowance cannot be used in conjunction with any other Education Allowance. You can find the complete Allowances Office FAQs at http://aoprals.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=108&menu_id=75. Remember the Office of Allowances is the final arbiter on all allowance questions – AllowancesO@state.gov.

17. Q: Where can I find the rate of Away-from-Post Education Allowance for my post?

A: Please follow the link below which will ask you to select the post’s location. Find your post then click on the Education Allowance link. http://aoprals.state.gov/Web920/location.asp?menu_id=95

18. Q: Where can I find information on homeschooling my child in the Foreign Service?

A: Our website has a collection of very helpful resources and information.
• Also, please consider joining the FS Homeschooling Yahoo Group.

19. Q: What are the regulations regarding my child starting Kindergarten?

A: Frequently Asked Questions about what age children can start school.
Education Allowances (Section 271 J) on Kindergarten.

Transition to Washington

20. Q: What are the public school options in the Washington, D.C. area?

A: There are numerous resources on our website that can guide you in choosing the best school for your children http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c21970.htm.
• Check out feedback sites like http://www.greatschools.org. The parent ratings and comments can be very helpful.
• Also Wiser DC http://www.wiserdc.com/ is a good resource for finding educational consultants in the Washington area.
• You may also use the FS Parents Yahoo Group to request feedback or opinions from other FS parents.
Please note: some of these sites are feedback-oriented and not managed or monitored by the State Department or the Family Liaison Office.

21. Q: Where can I find information about schools in Virginia?

A: Please visit our website where you will find links and resources for the local Virginia public schools most frequently utilized by Department of State families. Please contact the district, county, or school for more specific information.
• The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) provides excellent information on Virginia schools. VDOE assembles a ‘report card’ for each Virginia school including statistics and information on the student environment of the school. Please visit their website to learn more about some of the area schools you are interested in. https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/reportcard/.
• Please visit the county’s public school registration website to be sure you have all of the necessary documents to register your son/daughter.
• Also check out feedback sites like http://www.greatschools.org. The parent ratings and comments can be very helpful.
Please note: there is no Education Allowance for Foreign Service dependents when the employee is assigned to the U.S. When registering your child in public school you must show proof of residence in the school district. Your son/daughter must be physically present to complete the registration process.
Please note: some of the above websites are feedback oriented and not managed or monitored by the State Department or the Family Liaison Office.

22. Q: What resources would you recommend for Foreign Service parents?

A: FS Parents is a group for American Foreign Service parents (or anyone under Chief of Mission Authority), who would like to connect with other FS parents around the world to discuss raising their children. Please contact: FSparentsubscribe@yahoogroups.com or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FSparents/.
• Here is a list of other yahoo groups that you may find useful: Yahoo Groups
• AAFSW hosts the popular "Livelines" listserve for the Foreign Service. When you post your question or concern on whatever issue you may have (neighborhoods, schools, etc) you will get lots of advice from over 1,200 Foreign Service employees and families.
"Livelines" is restricted to the FS community. You can join "Livelines" by sending an email to livelines@yahoogroups.com. If you have questions about "Livelines" you can also email the moderator at livelines@aafsw.org.

23. Q: What resources do you have on transition?

A: Our "Transition, training, and the Foreign Service Child" webpage provides resources for transition and the mobile lifestyle.
• The Overseas Briefing Center (OBC) at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) offers resources for families transitioning overseas, including post reports and personal post insights. Much of their information is available only on the intranet. http://fsi.state.gov/fsi/tc/default.asp?Sec=Overseas%20Briefing%20Center.
Please email FSIOBCInfoCenter@state.gov or call 703-302-7277 for additional information.
• The Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF) supports children, teens and families affiliated with U.S. foreign affairs agencies. FSYF strives to help young people adapt to their changing environments and make the most of their Foreign Service experiences. http://www.fsyf.org/ Phone: 703-731-2960 E-Mail: fsyf@fsyf.org

24. Q: What is the “the best” school in the Washington, D.C. area?

A: We are not able to tell you what the “best” school in the Washington, D.C. area is. However, we can provide you with resources to research what would be the best school for your child. Please visit:
• The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) provides excellent information on Virginia schools. VDOE assembles a ‘report card’ for each Virginia school including statistics and information on the student environment of the school. Please visit their website to learn more about some of the area schools you are interested in. https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/reportcard/.
• Maryland Department of Education report card - http://www.mdreportcard.org/
• Washington, D.C. school profiles - http://profiles.dcps.dc.gov/
• FS Parents is a group for American Foreign Service parents (or anyone under Chief of Mission Authority), who would like to connect with other FS parents around the world to discuss raising their children. Please contact FLOAskEducation@state.gov for at list of the FS yahoo groups.
• Also check out feedback sites like http://www.greatschools.org. The parent ratings and comments can be very helpful.

Please remember, you know your child’s needs best. While one school may be a great school for one child it might not be the best school for another child. Be sure to research the academic and social atmosphere for your child but also the extracurricular activities available. Know what your child would appreciate in his/her school and pick a school that they will love!

College Resources

25. Q: Where can I find resources for the college search, financial aid and scholarships?

A: Please visit our website for numerous resources on college searches, financial aid options, and scholarship suggestions http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c21958.htm.

26. Q: When is the Educational Travel Allowance processed?

A: When you arrive at post you can pursue getting your son’s/daughter’s educational travel. The funding for his/her travel will come from post.
Educational Travel DSSR, Educational Travel FAQs
Office of Allowances Email– AllowancesO@state.gov

Other General Information

27. Q: Where can I find resources for teaching overseas?

A: Please refer to our website regarding teaching overseas, obtaining teacher certification, and programs offered: http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c21946.htm

28. Q: Where can I find resources on summer camps in the Washington D.C. area?

A: Please refer to our website which provides numerous resources for summer camps
http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c21943.htm.

Please refer to these additional resources for more summer camp programs in the D.C. area.
• Washington Parent search for summer camps
• The Washingtonian nature camps for kids
• The Family Phone Book search for summer camps.

29. Q: How can I get in touch with the CLO at post?

A: Contact the CLO at post by email using the format CLOnameofpost@state.gov, e.g. clozagreb@state.gov.

30. Q: Where can I find information on getting my GED?

A: Our Adult Education Programs page has a lot of great information on GEDs - http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c21947.htm.

All non-U.S. Government links are for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement of the sites or their privacy policies.

Contact the Family Liaison Office

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