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School Liaison Officer


Welcome to "NAF El Centro!"

Appointments are recommended. School Liaison visits NAF El Centro 4th Tuesday/month. School Liaison can also be reached via phone during business hours.

Please reach out to the point of contact listed below if you should have any questions.

Giselle Mclaurin, East County School Liaison: Email:, Phone: 619-372-8914

Katrina Portwood, NAF El Centro Child Youth Program Director:

The School Liaison's primary function is to serve as a conduit between parents, educators, and the command so that military-connected children experience a seamless transition during the transfer between schools. Most military children move up to nine times in their PreK-12th grade years, and consistency and retention of educational goals is a significant focus for families when planning to PCS. The School Liaison Officers can offer information on area schools and help facilitate communication between the military family on matters relating to regional public and private schools as well as home school and alternative modes of education.

The School Liaison Officer provides information and resources for military families on internal organizations including, but not limited to, Fleet and Family Support Programs (FFSP), Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), Child and Youth Program (CYP) activities as well as some external organizations, such as but not limited to, the Armed Services YMCA, Military Family Collaborative, and Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. They also serve as a subject matter expert in education-related issues such as the Interstate Compact for Military Children, the Department of Education, local school districts, and other education-related organizations.
*Please see Core Services for specific school-related supports available.

The School Liaisons can:
• Answer questions about school enrollment options
• Provide information about local schools and boundaries
• Assist with inbound/outbound school transfers
• Help you understand and navigate the unique education process
• Provide resources for college readiness
• Assist with agency referrals
...And much more!

School Liaisons are available to assist all service members and their families with school-related questions. Visit our Directory for contact information or program updates and assistance.

Why School Liaison?
• Families move an average of every 2.9 years
• Children attend up to 9 different schools by graduation
• Families experience increased stress related to deployment during wartime

Core Services
• School Transition Services (PCS Cycle): School Liaison Officers assist families with school transfers and help “level the playing field” for military children and youth.
• Deployment Support: School Liaison Officers connect educators with the Navy deployment support system to inform them about deployment cycles and the tools available to assist educators in working with Navy children.
• Command, School, Community Communications: School Liaison Officers serve as subject-matter experts for installation commanders on K-12 issues, helping to connect command, school, and community resources.
• Home School Linkage and Support: School Liaison Officers assist Navy families by gathering and sharing information on homeschooling issues, policies, and legislation from local school districts. They also help leverage Navy Child and Youth Programs resources to support these families.
• Partnerships in Education (PIE): PIE creates a volunteer network of resources to support installation and community members who have a vested interest in the success of all youth.
• Post-Secondary Preparations: School Liaison Officers leverage installation and school resources to provide graduating military students with access to post-secondary information and opportunities.
• Special Needs System Navigation: School Liaison Officers provide information about installation and community programs and services, make referrals to the Exceptional Family Member Program, and assist in navigating local education agencies' administrative systems.

Academic Anchor

Academic Anchor is Navy Region Southwest's bimonthly School Liaison Newsletter. It addresses educational issues affecting our region's military children and provides information about upcoming events.


What is a School Liaison and how can they help me?
- School Liaison Officers (SLO) help by providing you with educational information on your new area (based on residence) and link you up with a SLO in your next duty station if you are leaving NRSW. SLOs also offer resources on deployment support, are the liaison between command, schools and military families, work with commands and schools on the Partnership in Education program, can help families navigate the special needs programs in districts, and offer information and support for Home School and Post Secondary preparation.

How do I choose a school?
- We know the importance of choosing a school that best meets the needs of your military child(ren). Even though we are unable to make direct recommendations for schools, we are available to help you acquire information and research the schools in your area and within NRSW. We can provide overall information on districts as well as help you determine what schools you might be mapped to once you have a residence.

What is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)?
- A New Education Law: The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, and represents good news for our nation's schools. This bipartisan measure reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation's national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students. The new law builds on key areas of progress in recent years, made possible by the efforts of educators, communities, parents, and students across the country. For more information, please visit:

What are the health and immunization requirements?
- Immunization and health check up fact sheet for the California Dept of Education can be found at: Once you determine where you will live and what school your child will attend, you should also check with your school to be sure there are no additional district requirements.

What are the School Registration procedures?
- This depends on what school district you are looking to enroll your child in. We recommend that once you establish residence, that you contact the school directly. However, one thing you can do to prepare is to use the Checklist for School Moves to ensure that you hand carry all necessary documents.

What do I do if I’m on a housing wait-list or am in temporary housing?
- Most military housing areas and school districts within school boundaries of military housing are familiar with this situation. We recommend that you ask your local housing office for a letter indicating that you are on the waitlist, and will be moving into housing within 30 days. Most times this is all the schools need to proceed with registration. If you have questions or issues, please contact your SLO.

What is the Interstate Compact and what can it do for my family?
- The Interstate Compact seeks to make transition easier for the children of military families so that they are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children and are not penalized or delayed in achieving their educational goals. More information can be found at:

What options are there for before and after school care?
- Before and After school care is something that has created a challenge for some families given the lack of availability. We recommend that you start looking for care early! As soon as you arrive and have registered your child in school, begin by asking your school or district what they offer. This is many times the best option, particularly if they offer on site care. If they don’t, many times the school will know what is available close to the school or in your community. If you are still having difficulty, contact your School Liaison Officer and they will work with you to try to find other options.

What do I do if I’m moving with a child with special needs?
- In the Navy, your School Liaison Officer can help you with the special needs navigation of the school or district that you are planning to send your child(ren) to. You should also contact the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) to ensure that you are enrolled and that you have all information and resources that they offer. * Please note that the Marine Corps School Liaisons do not assist with Special Needs navigation. They have an EFMP that covers both medical and educational assistance. This is important to know in NRSW, and especially in Metro San Diego since we work jointly to serve our military families.

Can the School Liaison advocate in an IEP for my child?
- The Navy School Liaisons are not able to advocate on your behalf. In our program, we offer information, resources and help you find the right people to talk to at the school or district. If you ever have issues with your IEP or school, please call your School Liaison since we also have many community resources that can offer guidance and direct assistance.


How to Ensure a Smooth Move

Visit MilitaryOneSource for information on your gaining installation and surrounding communities. The site also provides information about the programs, services, and maps for military installations worldwide. You can also subscribe to their newsletters. You will also have access to a variety of information, including:

PlanMyMove, which gives you customized moving tools, such as timelines, calendars and checklists.

Both MilitaryOneSource and PlanMyMove connect you to reliable sources of information about programs and services outside the gate.

Children With Special Needs

Your child should be enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) if he/she has special needs, such as medical or school needs. EFMP Liaison Office can be reached at 760-339-2442.

*This is a mandatory program for any family member who has special medical, educational, developmental, and/or emotional need or concern.

State of California Resources

Visit the California Department of Education website: You will have access to a wide variety of information, including the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Common Core State Standards, UC/CSU Entrance Requirements, Specialized Programs and much more. There is also information on pending legislation in education, and education-related publications such as School Accountability Report Cards which are the best resource to obtain test scores and other data on each school in the state of California. Information on the Interstate Compact for Military Children is available on legislation that outlines ways that districts can work with military families to ease the challenges of transition and level the playing field (

NAF El Centro Resources

If you are looking for information on schools in El Centro, you can begin by going to the Imperial County Office of Education website.If you are planning to live in one of the Lincoln Military Housing sites, you will find updated school boundary information for each housing area on the Lincoln Housing website.Homeschool families can contact any of our School Liaisons for resources and support in your local areas. Go to homeschool page on California Department of Education for specific state level requirements.If you are transferring overseas, visit the DODEA homepage.

  • Military Child Education Coalition
  • School Accountability Report Cards
  • Homeschool
  • Military Family Megasite
  • Personal Property

Organizations Devoted to the Military Family

Department of Defense (DoDEA)

My Navy Portal

Military Interstate Compact for Military Children

Anchored for Life

Military Installations School Liaison Directory for U.S. Military Families, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, is a free program that allows eligible college and grades K-12 students in U.S. military families to connect to a live tutor online at any time for one-to-one help with homework, studying, test prep, proofreading and more. The service is available at no charge to all grades K-12 students and service members-regardless of whether the service member is serving full-time or part-time-plus some adult dependents on active duty.

Military Child Education Coalition

National Parent Teacher Association: An organization dedicated to making a difference in the education, health, and safety of America’s children and youth.

Home Schooling Legal Defense Association

Federal Student Aid

Fleet and Family Support Center

School Quest

Operation Homefront

National Military Family Association


Special Needs Resources Instantly locate proven strategies, helpful tools, special education law, federal statutes/regulations and more - with the online solution thousands of your colleagues already rely on. Username: navysand; password: navystaff

TASK: Team of Advocates for Special Kids is a nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is to enable individuals with disabilities to reach their maximum potential by providing them, their families and the professionals who serve them with training, support, information, resources and referrals, and by providing community awareness programs.

DirectSTEP® eCourses explain legal requirements and best practices for behavior management, autism, IDEA eligibility, IEPs and more. They also teach parents and educators how to handle critical education issues to obtain positive outcomes while applying education laws to the day-to-day world of teaching and learning. These eCourses are available for use by all Sailors, parents, Military/DoD personnel assigned to Navy installations and K-12 educators serving military children. Go to and self-register for eCourses. The following documents are available for download: Get Started with Direct Step | Direct Step Courses

Additional Resource

The Education Trust: Promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college.

Guide to Online Schools: From K-12 to college, explore online learning modes, hear from experts, and read how Khan Academy and other free resources help students get ahead. Provides overview of joining the military- resources for parents and educators.

Post Secondary Support Offers students free grade, activities and test score specific profiles and information on hundreds of colleges. Provides student financial assistance resources. VA website for Post 9/11 GI Bill, transferability and Yellow Ribbon. Find schools and ways to pay on FastWEB. The smart student guide to financial aid. Military Academy Links for West Point , Navy, AF, CG, Merchant Marine. ROTC links for Army, Navy and Air Force. Military scholarship search. DECA scholarships for military children. Fleet Reserve Association. American Military Retirees Association. Veterans of Foreign Wars. Anchor Scholarships Foundation. College board scholarship search College Net Scholarship database. National Merit Scholarships. Peterson’s Undergraduate Scholarship Search. Princeton Review Scholarships and Aid.


Welcome to NAF El Centro!

Below you will find information pertaining to the Imperial County and the school districts. The school districts in the Imperial County are independent school districts that have their own enrollment process, calendars, school hours, procedures, and policies. In addition, information regarding enrollment, school transportation, homeschooling options, types of school transfers and other resources to assist military families is provided.

Please reach out to the points of contacts listed below if you should have any questions.

Giselle McLauren, East County School Liaison: Email:, Phone: 619-372-8914

Katrina Portwood, NAF El Centro Child Youth Program Director:


The 2 school sites that military students attend if they are residing in military housing on board NAF El Centro are listed below.

  1. Imperial County Office of Education  Imperial County consists of 21 school districts and colleges.
  2. School Districts and College for Imperial County – Calendars and links to school districts information.
  3. Early Care and Education Programs  Imperial County has two options for Early Childhood Education Programs, State Preschool and Head Start & Early Head Start. Locations do vary.
  4. Seeley Union School District  Located about 1 ½ miles from NAF El Centro, Seeley Union School District is the assigned school district for military students residing on board the installation. Seeley Union School District provides instruction for students in grades Transitional Kindergarten – 8th grade.
  5. Central Union High School District – Central Union High School District consists of 3 high schools, 1 adult school, and 1 virtual academy. The high school military students attend if residing on NAF El Centro is Southwest High School.


School districts in the Imperial County enroll students in their neighborhood school site based on home address. Documents needed to enroll a student include, a birth certificate, immunization records, previous school records (if possible), and a form of proof of residency. Utility bills, rental agreement, rent receipts, property tax payment receipt, mortgage documents, or your Lincoln Housing Agreement are all forms of proof of residency. Please visit your neighborhood school site to complete the registration process. If you are temporarily residing in a military lodge, hotel, or with friends or relatives, please contact the School Liaison Officer for assistance.


Intra-District Transfers are transfers in which the student’s parents request their child attend a school site other than their home school site, and the school site they would like their child attend is within the same boundaries of their current school district. Inter-District Transfers are transfers in which the student’s parents request their child attend a school site in another school district. The process begins at the home school district. The home school district will send the Inter-District Transfer Form to the requested school district.


Transportation provided for students residing on NAF El Centro is available for Seeley Union School District and Central Union High School District. School districts will provide transportation for students receiving special education support (must be written in student’s IEP).

  1. Seeley Union School District Transportation Information
  2. Central Union High School District Transportation Information


Information about the options for homeschooling in California can be found at:


California legislation states that military students have 30 days from the date of enrollment to obtain any immunizations required by the state. For a series of immunizations, initial vaccinations must be obtained within 30 days. Additional information and immunization requirements can be found at:


  1. California law states that all children must have a health checkup within 18 months before 1st grade or up to 90 days after starting 1st grade.
  2. K-1 Dental Exam, Oral Health Assessment, by a licensed California dental health professional is required for children entering public school for the first time (at Kindergarten or 1st grade). The Oral Health Assessment must be completed and returned by May 31st of the year of entry. Assessments done 12 months prior to school entry also meets this requirement.


If you have a child with a disability, all school districts provide programs for students with special needs. New families with children that have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) from another state, should contact the receiving school district to begin discussions regarding support services for their children. School Liaison Officers can also discuss with parents how to navigate the special education process and connect you with the Special Education Department to assist with specific questions that pertain to your child’s needs.

We encourage families with members enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) to contact their case liaison, so the medical needs of your family members are met. The local number in which you can contact the EFMP Case Liaison Office at 619-705-5978.


Service members can volunteer in local schools by providing support for assemblies, STEAM activities, tutoring, mentoring, and other special events on the school sites. If a command or school site is interested in the Partnership in Education Program, please reach out to the Installation School Liaison Officer

Youth Sponsorship

Youth Sponsorship (grades 3-12) provides access to positive peer groups and social activities, helping military children feel connected at their new duty station. If interested in connecting your child with a local youth sponsor, complete the fields below. Once received, you will be contacted by a School Liaison Officer/Youth Center Manager.

For Youth Sponsorship with School Age Care or Youth Programs, participants must be enrolled or a registered user.

Click here to get started!



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