How to fill academic gaps after a PCS:

1. Establish open communication with the gaining and losing teacher.

-Explain the situation to both teachers and let them know that you want to make sure your child doesn’t miss any part of the curriculum.

-Ask if you can get an outline of what has/will be covered. Many schools have a scope and sequence that they use to outline what content they will teach during the year and when. Compare the curriculums of both schools to see where your child might miss instruction.

2. Keep important assessments your child has taken.

-Try to keep any unit tests that your child takes throughout the year. These may come in handy when comparing the ways in which different subjects were taught at the old school versus the new. Tests and assessments will also be helpful to your child’s new teacher as they look to get a better grasp on your child’s ability level.

3. Once the gaps are found, find a way to fill them.

-When comparing the curriculum for both schools, find parts of the curriculum in which your child will not receive instruction this school year. These are the things that your child needs to learn in order to prevent gaps in their education going into next school year.

-Your child’s teacher may be able to help your child learn what they missed in the curriculum before or after school, though some teachers may not have this ability.

-You can help your child fill in gaps by teaching them yourself. You might find a site such as Teachers Pay Teachers helpful for locating examples, worksheets and games.

-Your child may be able to teach themselves what they missed through video tutorials on Khan Academy or similar sites.

-You may decide to hire a tutor or other academic professional to help your child fill in gaps. If you do so, make sure the tutor or mentor understands in what area your child needs help. Most qualified tutors have assessments that they can administer to pinpoint exactly where a child’s academic gaps are.

As you move your military family, it always helps to have less things to worry about. Being aware of the challenges your child might face academically after your PCS will make the transition, and your child’s school year, much smoother. Hopefully your child will feel like they haven’t left the conversation at all!

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