The Foreign Service Journal, June 2022

76 JUNE 2022 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT As a parent, you don’t want to be caught unaware of the academic, logisti- cal and other transition challenges upon moving back. Being armed with information on new, evolving trends that FS families face when heading to a public school in the U.S. from an overseas international school can help mitigate enrollment delays and undue stress on both stu- dents and parents. How to Prepare Parents can start with the Depart- ment of State’s Global Community Liaison Office, formerly known as the C hildren’s educational journeys in the Foreign Service can take many turns, but perhaps the most confounding is when they return to a U.S. public school after attending an international school overseas. Many Foreign Service parents find the process of navigating the transfer of their children to a U.S. public school very dif- ferent from the adjustment to an interna- tional school. The issues become more complex as children reach middle and high school age, or when children have learning differences and parents must determine which state, school district and specific school would be the best option. Here are tips and suggestions for FS parents whose children will enter U.S. public school following a move back to the States. BY CHARLOTTE LARSEN Transitioning FS Kids to U.S. Public Schools What You Need to Know Family Liaison Office. GCLO can provide parents from all FS agencies a wealth of information. Parents can review the GCLO Educa- tion and Youth “Transitioning from School to School” web page, or talk with one of the GCLO Education and Youth team’s subject matter experts (SMEs) who can offer guidance and resources to help inform and ease the transition back into local U.S. school systems. You can contact the GCLO Education and Youth Team at Parents can also reach out for support and guidance to their regional education officer (REO) in the Office of Overseas Schools (OS) if they have questions about the curriculum and transcripts from their child’s international school. Each of the six REOs is assigned oversight of a geographic region, and together, they cover the almost 200 department-assisted international schools overseas. They are veteran educa- Charlotte Larsen has been a Foreign Service family member at six overseas posts over the last 26 years. She joined the Global Community Liaison Office as education and youth program officer in 2020. She served previously as a global employment and a community liaison office coordinator in Asia and Europe and, prior to joining the State Department, taught in international and Department of Defense schools.