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United States Army
School Liaison Officer
10720 Mount Belvedere Boulevard
Building P-10720 Clark Hall
2nd Floor Room A2-6
Fort Drum, NY 13602
Each installation provides information about the types of schools and programs offered on or near your installation for your child. Learn about the types of programs, guidelines and requirements for each school. Whether you choose to send your child to a Department of Defense School, a private school or public school, your installation can help you explore all of your options to make the right decision for you and your child.
The Fort Drum School Support Service Office is available to provide information for military families to help ensure a seamless transition into local area schools connected to the installation. Fort Drum encourages parents to utilize these services because of the dedication the School Support Services office has to maintaining a positive and productive relationship between our families and the schools which educate their children. School Support Services is also available to answer questions and provide educational resources offered in the local community for families throughout their time at Fort Drum. The School Liaison Officer can be reached at 315-772-3214 or DSN 312-772-3214.
There are no school districts located on Fort Drum. Students living on the installation attend public school in either the Carthage Central School District or Indian River Central School District. The school district the student attends depends on which housing area the family resides in. Students living in the Rhicard Hills Housing Community attend the Carthage School District. Students living in the Adirondack Creek, Crescent Woods, or Monument Ridge Housing Communities attend the Indian River School District. You may enroll in a school district if you are utilizing temporary lodging.
Both of the Carthage and Indian River School Districts have one high school for 9th-12th graders. They both have one middle school, however Carthage Middle School is for grades 5th-8th and Indian River Middle School is for grades 6th-8th. Carthage has three, K-4th grade elementary schools. Indian River has five primary schools, grades K-3rd, and one intermediate school for grades 4th and 5th. Which elementary/primary building younger students attend depends on the physical street address of the residence.
Families living off-post attend public school in over a dozen local area school districts. The determination on where a student attends school off post depends on which district collects school taxes for the property address. The Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), is the governing body for schools located in Jefferson, Lewis, Hamilton, Herkimer and Oneida counties. Contact the School Support Services office learn more about the different school districts in the area.
The Carthage Central School District has a total enrollment of approximately 3,200 students in grades K-12th. Carthage Central reports the average common branch classroom size of 20:1. Roughly 1600 of the students at Carthage are military connected students. Indian River Central School District has a total enrollment of approximately 4,000 students in grades K-12th. The average common branch classroom size at Indian River is also 20:1. Over 2500 of the students at Indian River are military connected students. High school graduation rates in both districts are well above the state average. Both districts offer the many opportunity for students to earn college credits while fulfilling the graduation requirements for High School. Carthage High School also has a JROTC program for students. Alternative, career, and technical education opportunities are available with each district through BOCES.
To view the New York State Report Cards for any school or district in New York State visit the website, http://data.nysed.gov/.
None on post. Students living on the installation attend school in Indian River Central School District and Carthage Central School District.
Private schools around the Fort Drum area are all parochial based. There are Christian and Roman Catholic affiliated parochial schools in Jefferson County. Tuition varies and limited financial assistance may be available through the school. Students attending a parochial school in Jefferson County must complete the same New York State graduation requirements as students attending public schools. Additional coursework may be required by the school. Information about parochial school options may be obtained from the School Support Services office. Bus transportation to and from parochial schools falls under the public school district the family resides in.
All home school families are required to register with the school district in which they reside. New York State has specific yearly homeschooling requirements, which can be found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/homeinstruction/. Fort Drum has local home school groups that are very active and supportive. Monthly meetings are held for parents and children to discuss concerns, issues, and accomplishments. This group is very knowledgeable regarding the home school regulations for New York State. Child and Youth Services offers Physical Education activities for home school students at its CYS Sports building. For local home school resources, contact the School Support Services office.
Educational opportunities for adults are available through the Fort Drum Education Center. There are numerous two and four year colleges within 70 miles of Fort Drum. The local BOCES offers opportunities for career and technical education, personal enrichment, literacy education, GED and ESOL classes. Please contact the local BOCES office for more information on adult education programs
Approximately 90% of school age youth are bussed to school in this area. For families living on Fort Drum or in the surrounding communities, transportation to and from school is provided free of charge by the school district they reside in. Waiting for the bus in the winter months can be challenging. Practical boots (warm with good walking surface), heavy coats, hats, gloves or mittens, as well as scarves are necessary during the harsh winter months.
School Closings and Delays
Occasionally, school may be delayed or closed, or students may be dismissed early. If the delay, closing, or early dismissal is planned, it will be listed on the school calendar and/or on the school’s website. If it is un-planned, look for announcements on the following radio and television stations: TV – NBC, CBS, ABC; FM Radio – 93.3, 97.5, 100.7, 103.1, and 106.7. It will also be displayed online on www.newzjunky.com, as well as on the school’s website. When locating if your child has a delay or closure, look for the school district you reside in to be listed and not the particular building your child attends. Parochial schools fall under the jurisdiction of the public school district they reside in. School districts also offer alerts that can be sent to your phone or email. Remember, school districts are quite large. Inclement weather may not be visible where you are located, however severe weather may be occurring in another part of the district. Please make a habit of listening to the radio or television as a regular part of your morning routine, especially during winter months.
When the school district announces a one or two hour delay, this means the school busses will be dispatched starting one or two hours later. For example, if your school district has a “two-hour delay” and your bus usually comes at 6:15, the new arrival time will at/around 8:15. Bus arrival times normally have a 5-minute window where pick up can occur. A bus that is scheduled to pick up at 6:15 has a scheduled window to arrive anywhere from 6:10-6:20. School busses are only mandated to remain waiting at a bus stop for 30 seconds. It is beneficial to know your bussing arrival window and to have your children prepared to board the school bus during that timeframe.
Schools building use what is listed in the emergency release information that families fill out at the beginning of the school year when school is forced to close early. Please ensure that you have accurate information listed for an emergency closing so that your child can get to the correct location. In the event of an early closing condition, personal contact with each parent is virtually impossible. Please monitor the TV, local websites, or radio stations for school closure information.
Extracurricular activities are offered in every school district in the area. Our high school/junior high sports programs include Football, Soccer, Lacrosse, Ice Hockey, Basketball, Volleyball, Track and Field, Wrestling, Baseball, Softball, Swimming, Golf, Cross Country, and Trap Shooting. There are clubs and activities for a variety of interests including, but not limited to Photography, Future Teachers of America, Future Farmers of America, Debate, Honor Society, Foreign Language, Booster, Student Council, Business, Skiing, Robotics, Student 2 Student/Student Ambassador, School Newspaper and Yearbook.
Students must maintain academic eligibility and sign a code of conduct in order to participate in extracurricular activities. Students are encouraged to pursue their interests by participating in a sport or activity of their choice. Extracurricular programs and offerings may vary by school district.
Parents are asked to make an appointment upon entering the school district. Parents should be prepared to bring their child and the following documents to the registration appointment:
Exceptional Children Programs
New York State Educational Services are some of the best in the country. Each school district provides a variety of educational programs and services for students with exceptional needs. Based on the individual needs of the student, these supports are provided in the general education setting as much as possible. When necessary, special education services are contracted through the local Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to support a student's instructional program. Available support may include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, instruction from hearing/visually impaired teachers, social work, counseling, and mobility services.
For information about educational programs for students with exceptional needs, contact the School Support Services office or the Exceptional Family Member Program office at 315-772-5476 or DSN 312-772-5476.
New York State Exams
New York requires all high school students to take state exams in four different areas: English, Social Studies, Mathematics and Science, prior to graduating. Mirroring language in the Interstate Compact on Education Opportunity for Military Children legislation, transferring Juniors and Senior can have end of course exams from a previous state count towards testing requirements necessary for graduating with a New York State diploma. Validation of proficiency from the previous school(s) may be required. More information about this can be found by talking your child’s High School Counselor or the School Support Services office.
Students in grades 3rd-8th will be required to take New York State English Language Arts and Mathematics tests. New York State Science testing also takes place in 4th and 8th grade.
There are options for special needs students to graduate with a high school diploma. Depending on the students 504 or Individualized Education Plan, students with special needs may be exempt from taking Regents exams. Each child's case is unique. Please speak with the Special Education department in the school your child attends for information specific to your child's special education requirements.
Before and After School Programs
Fort Drum's School Age Center (SAC) offers a supervised, comprehensive before and after school program for children in grades K-5th. Healthy snacks, homework assistance, and recreational activities are provided. Fees are based on family income. Transportation to and from SAC is provided if you reside in the Carthage or Indian River Central School Districts. All children must be registered with Child and Youth Services (CYS), through Parent Central Services (PCS) in order to utilize the SAC program. PCS is located in Clark Hall, 2nd Floor, room A2-75 and can be reached at 315-772-8675 or DSN 312-772-8675.
Students in grades 6th-12th may attend Youth Services (YS) Middle School/High School Teen Center after school for recreational activities, homework assistance, and a healthy snack. There is no fee for using YS and transportation from school is provided by the Carthage and Indian River school districts. Contact the school transportation office for transportation information for YS. All children must be registered with Child and Youth Services (CYS) in order to utilize either program. Registering for the program can be done directly at the Teen Center.
The Indian River Middle School offers the “Advantage After-School Program” for middle school students. Administered by the Children's Home of Jefferson County at the Indian River Middle School, this program offers a place for students in grades 6th-8th to go after school for homework assistance, participate in fun recreational activities and take part in enrichment programs. There is no fee, but registration is required. Information can be obtained from www.nnychildrenshome.com.
Both Carthage and Indian River Central School Districts work with the YMCA to offer before and after school care at various school buildings. Monthly fees are based on how many days per week your child will need care and whether they need care before school, after school, or both. Drop in care is also available and fees are due the day services are used. Registration information can be picked up at participating school buildings or at the Fairgrounds YMCA office.
Carthage students, through a DoDEA grant, have the opportunity to take part in the Carthage After-School Enrichment program. The “CASE” program allows students time to get homework assistance, as well as participate in enrichment activities in a variety of different subjects. The program operates at varies Carthage School Buildings.
Students must accumulate a minimum of 22 credits and must pass state exams in order to graduate. Students will have the opportunity to earn a New York State Regents Diploma or one of many Advanced Distinction/Honors Regents Diploma. To earn a Regents diploma, all students must complete 4 units of English and Social Studies, 3 units of Math and Science, 2 units of Physical Education, 1 unit of Art/Music, and a ½ unit of Health. In addition, students will need to complete a pathway to graduation that will require them to take additional coursework in either Humanities, STEM, Career/Technical Education, Fine Arts, or LOTE (Language Other Than English). Talk to your school’s guidance department or the School Support Services office for more information on graduation pathways.
New York State recently voted unanimously to adopt changes related to the Interstate Compact on Education Opportunity for Military Children. These changes relate to increased flexibility in meeting both the diploma requirements for High School assessments and for physical education. More information about this can be found by talking to your school’s guidance department or the School Support Services office.
Grading system: 90-100% = A, 80-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 65-69% = D, <65% = Incomplete
Children need healthy meals to learn. Schools in the North Country recognize this and offer nutritious breakfast and lunch meals which meet national dietary guidelines. Families which meet federal income guidelines are eligible for free or reduced priced school meals. Applications for free and reduced priced meals can be obtained directly from the school. Most districts offer the option to put money onto a student’s lunch account electronically.