School liaison officer connects families, schools Published Aug. 29, 2019 By Mark Wyatt 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The school liaison officer here is the central point of contact for commanders, families and local school systems to meet the educational needs of military-connected children. Laurel Wironen, Hanscom’s school liaison, helps families with registering for school soon after they arrive, advises parents about which documents are required when registering and much more. “My primary role is to help military and civilian families living at Hanscom overcome the stress of relocating to a new school,” she said. According to Wironen, among the more common stressors are the differences in achievement standards, school protocol, course offerings, extracurricular activities and academic requirements. She also helps families with special needs information and referrals. "I advocate for the educational needs of military-connected 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. 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 Hanscom 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." Bedford High School students will receive the Federal Impact Aid Survey during the first few weeks of September. Students who attend either the newly opened Hanscom Primary School or Hanscom Middle School on base are part of the Lincoln Public School District. “Parents of children attending either school on base are encouraged to sign up on the LPS website to receive school newsletters via email, as well as email alerts regarding important events,” said Wironen. Parents can do this by visiting 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. A complete list of key dates and important information throughout the school year can be found on the Hanscom public website 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 school calendars at www.lincnet.org or 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/school-liaison-office or contact Wironen directly at 781-225-2765.