Back to Schools

Work on JBLM? Kids can go to school on JBLM

Waivers through the CPSD can help Servicemembers residing off base

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

Whether or not a military family lives on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, its children can potentially attend school on the base, as long as certain requirements are met and the correct paperwork is filed.

"Generally, requests are approved, unless there is no room or extenuating circumstances," said Holly Shaffer, Clover Park School District (CPSD) Director of Student Services. Shaffer was a principal at Evergreen Elementary School on JBLM for six years, and her daughter is currently serving on active duty in the Army. "I am connected to the military and have a special place in my heart for these families."

The Student Services office manages the waiver process, including the application for non-resident admission, a request for transfer between Clover Park schools, and the request for Release of Attendance forms.

Families residing off base but within the CPSD who want their child to attend a school on base need to get the transfer form at the school to which the child is assigned, complete that form and return it back to that school. Administrators at the originating school will make a recommendation, and then send the forms over to the receiving school so a final decision can be mutually agreed upon.

Families residing off base and outside of the CPSD need to first obtain a release of attendance from the originating school and then complete a non-resident admission application form for the school they wish to attend. No non-resident transfers will be allowed unless there is a release of attendance.

"We emphasize good attendance if they are attending on a district waiver," Shaffer explained. "For the non-resident transfers, we look at behavior as well as the student's attendance."

There are also requests for transfers among the schools on base, especially with regard to an all-day kindergarten program, which is only conducted on JBLM at Hillside Elementary. Given the popularity of the all-day program, space is very limited, and students might not even be notified of a spot until at least the fifth day of a new school year. From there, a waiting list is created, though parents can also choose to file a waiver for an off-base CPSD school that offers the all-day kindergarten.

Regardless of which waiver is filed, parents are responsible for all transportation if the child is attending a school to which he or she was not originally assigned. Furthermore, waiver forms must be renewed annually, and a separate form is required for each school-aged child in a family.

At the end of the day, Shaffer recommends that parents think ahead and not wait until the last minute to request waivers and/or transfers. Space is finite and the available spots fill up.

"Around spring break or after - which would be the second week of April - is when parents should begin to file paperwork for the coming school year," she said.

All forms are available for pick up Mondays to Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Student Services Department (room 5) at 10903 Gravelly Lake Blvd. SW in Lakewood. Forms are also available via email at For more information, call (253) 583-5153 during business hours.

Read next close


The story behind Tacoma Memes

comments powered by Disqus