School liaison helping Hanscom children thrive Published Aug. 11, 2017 By Mark Wyatt 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – In the next few weeks, approximately 700 school-aged children living on base will begin a new school year. For many that are new to Hanscom, beginning at a new school with unfamiliar surroundings can be challenging. To help students successfully transition, the school liaison officer brings schools, families and the Hanscom community together in meeting the educational needs of children for all personnel assigned to Hanscom. “My goal as the school liaison officer is to provide all families at Hanscom the tools they need to overcome any obstacles to education that stem from the military lifestyle," said Laurel Wironen, 66th Force Support Squadron school liaison officer. The more common stresses involved for military children relocating to a new school are the differences in achievement standards, school protocol, course offerings, extracurricular activities and academic requirements. "I advocate for the educational needs of military children and assist service members and their families with information and referrals regarding local school districts and other education options, including home schooling and private schools," Wironen said. The first day of school for students attending Bedford High School and the Hanscom Primary and Middle Schools is Sept. 5. Kindergarten and pre-school students begin Sept. 6. Wironen is also responsible for the "First Count" Federal Impact Aid Survey for federally connected students. This survey is for both military and Department of Defense civilian families with children in local school districts. "Schools generally depend upon property taxes for funding, but locally funded schools serving military families don't have that option," she said. "The survey helps determine, in part, how much federal funding, and potentially supplemental state funding, the school receives to compensate for that fact. It's an important piece." Bedford High School students will receive the Federal Impact Aid Survey during the first few weeks of September. Look for more information on it as school begins. Students who attend either Hanscom Primary School or Hanscom Middle School on base are part of the Lincoln Public School District. Parents of children attending either of these schools are encouraged to sign up on the website to receive school newsletters via email, as well as email alerts regarding important events. To do so, visit www.lincnet.org. Bedford High School uses a web-based system for mass communication. This system distributes newsletters, emails and emergency notification. Parents are encouraged to update and verify email, cell and home telephone numbers at the school’s new parent portal at https://www.bedfordps.org/district/aspen-parent-portal. Each school has scheduled several upcoming important dates that parents should be aware of. A "Meet and Greet" for Hanscom Primary and Middle school families is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. at the respective schools. A similar event will host kindergarten students Sept. 5 from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Parents are encouraged to stop by to meet teachers, check class lists and find out more about the Parent Teacher Organization. A complete list of key dates and important information throughout the school year can be found at http://www.hanscom.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/851385/school-notes. For up-to-date information, visit the respective school websites to view calendars: www.lincnet.org and www.bedford.k12.ma.us/bhs/. For more information on the school liaison program or for information on any of the local schools, visit https://www.hanscomfss.com/SchoolLiaison.asp or contact Wironen directly at 781-225-2765.