The Foreign Service Journal - December 2013 - page 84

the more fully older students “buy into”
the evaluation.
Prepare yourself for the testing
Prior to the evaluation,
begin collecting documents that may
be helpful to the evaluator. These may
include items such as report cards, prog-
ress reports and previous standardized
testing results.
The evaluator may also ask you to
complete some forms and question-
naires prior to the evaluation. Given that
some of these forms take a considerable
amount of time, try to complete them
well before the appointment.
In addition to collecting documents,
collect your thoughts. Prior to the evalu-
ation, begin recording any concerns or
thoughts that you want to share with the
evaluator. This ensures that you won’t
forget important information during your
Know everyone’s schedule when
making the appointment.
While it may
be less convenient, refrain from sched-
uling evaluation appointments during
“special days” at school. For example,
while your child may not miss academic
content if the evaluation is scheduled for
when the class has an all-day field trip, he
or she may resent missing the outing.
It can also be disruptive if one parent
is out of town or has a medical procedure
planned on the same day.
Ensure your child is well rested.
Parents should refrain from allowing
their children to participate in activities
such as sleepovers prior to the evalua-
tion, and evaluations shouldn’t be sched-
uled on the day your family or your child
Prior to the evaluation, begin
recording any concerns or thoughts
that you want to share with the
Continued on p. 88
ransitioning back to the United States is often the most difficult move for Foreign
Service kids. “We tend to think the move back to the United States is the easy move,”
says Connie Hansen, a former coordinator of the Overseas Briefing Center at FSI’s Tran-
sition Center. “But, in fact, everyone will say that the hardest assignment of all is coming
back to Washington, D.C.”
It can be a big culture shock because going “home” is expected to be easy, yet it
requires preparation, just like moving abroad. Eventually, of course, as with any move,
kids develop friendships and find activities and interests. But awareness that returning
to the States is different from other moves helps to manage expectations.
As a seasoned Foreign Service parent and the Education and Youth Officer in the
Family Liaison Office, let me recommend some tried and tested things you can do to
ease your children’s transitions:
1. Prepare for the move by doing research—on homes, neighborhoods and educa-
tional options—as a family if you can.
2. Anticipate that before, during and after the move your children may seem hesi-
tatnt or frustrated at times.
3. Talk to other foreign Service parents—consider joining the American Foreign
Service Parenting Yahoo Group (
4. Help your kids manage their expectations about life in the U.S.
LeahWallace is the Education &Youth Officer in the State Department’s Family Liaison
Office. Read her complete article online at
From the
Education Supplement December 2012
Moving Forward When Bouncing Back
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