Legal Office shares resources for parents, students amid PCS season

  • Published
  • 66th Air Base Group Office of the Staff Judge Advocate

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Officials from the Hanscom AFB Legal Office are reminding parents and guardians of the legal protections around school transitions for students when families undergo a permanent change of station.

School transitions trigger crucial protections for all military children, including some college-level dependents, as well as those who require special education or accommodations.

Current laws in place to support school transitions for military children include:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act provides parents with the right to access and obtain copies of all their children’s educational records, including evaluations, Individualized Education Programs, progress reports, and all other relevant documents.

Parents can request a copy of their child’s records in writing, or using a local form, through their school or district. Complete school records help the student’s new school offer comparable services or appropriately address any special needs and/or accommodations. 

Parents should hand-carry these documents throughout the PCS and avoid packing them with the rest of their household items.

The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children is an agreement amongst states to assist military kids in experiencing seamless school transfers and consistency in attendance, enrollment, eligibility, and graduation requirements. It ensures military students receive consistent educational opportunities with different schooling and placement requirements for all sorts of school-related activities, including extracurricular and after school programs.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act provides specific timelines for gaining schools to adopt or complete new evaluations for children with disabilities. Services should not be discontinued while new evaluations are underway. Further, special education services and accommodations should not be denied because a student is new or because their existing IEP is from another state.

Seek assistance from the local Legal Assistance Office, School Liaison, or Exceptional Family Member Program Coordinator, if facing unreasonable delays in receiving services, implementing existing IEPs, or other educational difficulties.

At Hanscom AFB, personnel can contact Laurel Wironen, installation school liaison officer, at 781-225-1482, or email

Shana Wickham, Hanscom’s EFMP family support coordinator, can be reached at 781-225-2767, or

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in federally-funded educational programs. Section 504 provides services to students who require accommodations, even if they do not qualify for special education through an IEP. 

Protections under 504 extend beyond public schools and 12th grade into other educational settings when an institution is receiving federal funding.

Before transitioning to a new location, families should communicate with their child’s current school about their Section 504 Plan, and ensure the new school is aware of specific needs to be better prepared to implement the necessary accommodations.

For additional information, individuals can contact the Hanscom AFB Legal Office at 781-225-1410.