MILITARY FAMILIES...WE THANK YOU!
Let me start by thanking you for your service to this country. We know that our freedom and liberty is largely due to the sacrifice and work that you all do.
We know that changing between school systems comes with challenges. Moving to a new duty station means going to a new state, a new city, a new home, as well as a new school for your children. Our hope is that we can provide some guidance and support as you explore educational options for your child. Whether you are stationed temporarily at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (DMAFB) or have made Tucson your home, we want to make sure you have the opportunity to make informed decisions about your child’s education that best suits your family’s needs and desires.
DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE – SCHOOL LIAISON OFFICE
Davis-Monthan has a School Liaison Office located on base. School liaisons are your main point of contact for school-related matters for Pre-K through 12th grade. This is the best place to get support and assistance with all your education related issues. They offer exceptional regional education support, resources and expertise for military families.
Military OneSource from the Department of Defense is your 24/7 gateway to trusted information, resources and confidential help. When MilLife happens, it’s your “first line of support” — giving service members and military families tools to stay well and thrive. Parents can tap into a number of education strategies and resources in order to support their child’s schooling, nurture learning at home, explore digital resources, and assist with school transitions.
Website: Military OneSource PreK to 12 Education
CHANGING SCHOOLS MADE EASY – INTERSTATE COMPACT FOR MILITARY FAMILIES
The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (MIC3) is an agreement between military and state educational institutions. It is designed to make the transition to a new area and school system smooth. The agreement allows for uniform treatment as military children transfer between schools and states. The MIC3 seeks to make transition easier for children of military families, so they are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children, and are NOT penalized or delayed in achieving their educational goals. Arizona is a “member state” and thus the MIC3 agreement applies to all public schools (Charter and District) in Arizona.
- ENROLLMENT: Makes it much simpler to get started at a new school.
- PLACEMENT: Your child’s progress and course sequencing in the previous school will be recognized.
- ELIGIBILITY FOR ACTIVITIES: Your child’s eligibility for attending school and extracurricular activities won’t be affected.
- GRADUATION: With the compact, graduation for high school students won’t be affected.
- SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS: Your child has the right to comparable services provided by the most current Individual Education Program (IEP).
The MIC3 Guide for Parents and School Officials is a helpful summary of the MIC3 agreement. It outlines what parents, families and guardians should know when relocating and transferring between school districts and states. The easy-to-read guide outlines the expectations and responsibilities of parents/guardians as well as the responsibilities of the sending and receiving schools.
LOCATING A SCHOOL NEAR YOU IN PIMA COUNTY
There are TWO K-12 school options located directly on DMAFB.
- Borman Elementary (Grades PreK- 8). Borman is a public district school (Tucson Unified School District).
- Sonoran Science Academy (Grades 6-12). Sonoran Science Academy is a public charter school.
In addition to the two schools located on the base, there are roughly 30+ schools (private, charter, district) within 2 miles of DMAFB. Visit the MySchoolsTucson school locator to search all schools near you in Tucson.
Exploring Tucson Schools: A step-by-step parent guidebook curated by local Tucson nonprofit, Community Investment Corporation (CIC). This guidebook will walk you through the essentials to understanding the Arizona educational landscape and exploring schools in Tucson.
AZ EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM 101 (Understanding the Basics):
- Arizona offers more educational options than any other state. These include: public district schools, public magnet, public charter, private, virtual, homeschool, and microschools.
- Arizona has “Open Enrollment” – students can apply to attend any public school regardless of home address.
Arizona offers multiple ways for parents to fund a private education.
- Universal Voucher (Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) to all students. This gives any family roughly $7,000 per child to use toward private school tuition or homeschooling costs.
- Arizona offers a variety of tax credit programs to help families fund private education.
- Enrollment/Application Timelines:
- charter, private, open enrollment & magnet district schools : Look for fall/winter deadlines.
- All district public schools in Pima County offer FREE full-day Kindergarten, transportation, gifted & talented programs, and free & reduced lunch programs. While some charter schools do offer these services to families, charter schools are NOT required to offer these services.
DIFFERENT SCHOOL TYPES IN TUCSON:
PUBLIC DISTRICT SCHOOLS: All households are assigned a “neighborhood” public district school based on your home address. Your children are guaranteed admission to those “assigned” schools. Click here to determine your public district “assigned/neighborhood” school.
- OPEN ENROLLMENT IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Arizona state law allows students to apply for admission to any public school, based on available classroom space (A.R.S. § 15-816.01). Regardless of what district or what school you are “assigned” to, you may apply to attend any public school. Our recommendation is to apply for open enrollment by January 1.
PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS: Pima County is home to roughly 85 K-12 charter schools. Charter schools are public schools and are tuition free! These schools typically have an enrollment window where they are accepting applications for admissions. After the enrollment window closes – you can still apply – however, admissions will be dependent on seat availability. Pay attention to fall application deadlines. Click here for the Arizona Charter Schools Association.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Pima County is home to roughly 50 K-12 private schools (both secular and religious schools). These schools are tuition-based schools and privately funded. However, Arizona has a variety of opportunities and policies which can offset or cover the cost of tuition for ALL students. Click here for more information on funding private school education in Tucson. Pay attention to fall enrollment deadlines.
VIRTUAL/ONLINE SCHOOLS: Tucson has a variety of public and private options for online or virtual learning. Click here for a list of approved virtual schools in Arizona. Many of the local district, private, and charter schools have online or hybrid options.
CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION (Pima JTED): Pima County is home to an extraordinary Career and Technical Education (CTE) for high school students. Pima Joint Technical Education District (JTED) is a public school district that works with business and industry to offer premier, tuition-free CTE pathways. The district serves 22,000 students from public, private, and charter schools, and students who are homeschooled. Students may enroll in one of 30 pathways at one of the Central Campuses, or at one of the 36 satellite locations which are in all public high schools in Pima County. Click here for more information on Pima JTED.
Click here for a list of all campuses that offer JTED courses.
ARIZONA ACCOUNTABILITY SCHOOL LETTER GRADES
The Arizona Department of Education issues A-F Letter Grades to all K-12 public schools (district and charter) each year. The Arizona “A-F” Letter Grade System is based on quantitative data collected by each school. The intention is to try to give you a snapshot of the school and how it may compare to other schools. Arizona’s “A-F” Letter Grades are the State’s leaders best attempt to create a fair standard measurement to provide the parents the opportunity to see results in a simple and understandable process. However, it can be difficult to include and measure ALL components of a school and may not capture the whole picture of a school. Click here for more information on Arizona “A-F” School Letter Grades.
Visit MySchoolsTucson to see all school letter grades quickly and easily.
MILITARY FAMILY RESOURCES & INFORMATION
FINDING A SCHOOL IN PIMA COUNTY: MySchoolsTucson will help make finding a school near you quick and easy. There are roughly 30+ schools (private, charter, district) within 2 miles of Davis-Monthan AFB.
FUNDING A PRIVATE EDUCATION IN AZ: Arizona offers a Universal Voucher (ESA) and a variety of tax credit programs to help families fund private education.
Arizona Empowerment Scholarship and Tax Credit Program Information
MILITARY ONESOURCE RESOURCES
- TRANSITION TO A NEW SCHOOL: Military OneSource provides information to help make this a smooth transition. Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) is a guide for parents and schools to support military families as they move to new states and transition to new schools.
Website: Interstate Compact for Military Families
Guidebook for Parents: Successful Military Educational Transition Guide for Families
- ENROLLMENT IN A NEW SCHOOL: Military families changing schools face challenges as transitions between school systems can be bumpy. To address these issues and improve access to schools, courses and programs for military children, the Defense-State Liaison Office developed policies enabling military parents to pre-enroll their children in a school district before they arrive at their new PCS destination. The initiative, called Advance Enrollment, is now the policy in 34 states (including Arizona). AZ schools work with military parents to pre-enroll their children before they arrive via the Advance Enrollment Initiative.
Website: Advanced Enrollment for Military Children
- ONE-ON-ONE EDUCATION CONSULTANTS: Military OneSource education consultant can ease back-to-school transitions. Free and confidential one-on-one sessions with a professional knowledgeable about education resources can give both your child and you a shot of confidence.
Website: Military OneSource (One-On-One) Educational Consultant
- CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: Military OneSource provides enhanced support for military families with special needs. Consultants are available by phone or video to help navigate medical and educational needs.
Website: Military OneSource Special Needs Information and Resources
Website: Military OneSource Special Needs Consultants
Website: Resources for Military Families Raising Children with Disabilities
- BE CONNECTEDAZ.ORG: Connecting Arizona service members, veterans, families & helpers to information, support and resources. Help and support by phone for everyone at 1-866-429-8387
- University of Arizona VETS Centers: With two VETS centers on campus, students can access a suite of resources by interacting with our student staff. All of our resources and services are provided to students at no-charge. Our staff is available to answer any questions you may have or to point you in the direction of resources that may benefit you.
Website: UofA VETS Centers