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Department of the Air Force
School Liaison (Fort Sam Houston)
2380 Stanley Road
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234
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.
Newcomers to Joint Base San Antonio are often surprised that the city has so many public-school districts, each independently administered and accredited by the Texas Education Agency in Austin. The Joint Base San Antonio surrounding area has 49 Independent School Districts (ISD) and Homeschooling with military children enrolled. Also, Private/Parochial schools abound in San Antonio with a wide range of tuition rates. Several churches offer daycare, preschool, enrichment programs, and classroom education, all on the same premises.
Before departing your current Installation, contact the JBSA School Liaison Office. They can provide you with a welcome packet to research districts, schools, test scores, rankings, policies, and more. They will be with you during your educational transition for your dependents.
Students enrolled in Texas public schools must attend the school in their area. There is no busing of students across district boundaries. However, service members may apply for a Non-Resident Transfer Waiver so their children can attend an installation school. Magnet High Schools have an early spring application process for the following school year.
Before and After School Programs
These types of programs are not mandated by law; some public schools do not offer them. However, private schools do provide before and after school programs at different rates. Each Installation has a Before & After School Program run by the Youth Programs. Transportation is typically provided only to/from the Installation School districts.
School districts have the authority to adopt dress codes that may apply differently on a gender basis.
Bus Service for JBSA
Each school district will provide transportation for students K-12. Schedules are provided at registration. Parents are responsible for providing transportation to and from school when residing off-the Installation or attending in a non-resident transfer status. Parents are responsible for providing transportation for pre-kindergarten students.
Each School District has its own Child Nutrition Programs. You may apply for free and reduced-price meals at any time during the school year. If you were ineligible but have a change (e.g., decrease in household income, an increase in household size, become unemployed, or get food stamps or TANF), complete another application. Please consult your school district's website for further information.
Texas offers a variety of alternative schooling options for parents. These include charter schools, which are monitored and accredited under the statewide testing and accountability system; private schools, which may or may not be accredited through various organizations; and Homeschooling, which is not accredited or regulated by any state agency in Texas or commission. Families may also be interested in online learning programs and high school equivalency programs. Contact your School Liaison Office for a comprehensive listing of magnet, charter, and early college high schools.
Texas Education Agency (TEA) accredits public schools in Texas at the district level for grades K-12. TEA does not have oversight of private schools or vocational schools in Texas. The Texas Private School Accreditation Commission provides information for private schools.
No Shots...No School...No Kidding!
Texas State law requires students attending school to be immunized against certain vaccine-preventable diseases. To find Texas Schools' current requirements, please contact the School Liaison Office or visit the Texas Department of State Health Services, Immunization Branch.
The Interstate Compact for the Education of Military Children provides guidance for exceptions to the Immunization Requirements. Contact your School Liaison Office for details.
Fort Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, and Randolph AFB have their own Independent School District. They are not part of the Department of Defense school system, but independent school districts subject to the Texas Education Agency's jurisdiction. As the district's boundaries are coterminous with JBSA-FSH, JBSA-Lackland, and JBSA-Randolph, the facilities are legally exempt from property taxation, and funding is provided from the Department of Education Impact Aid funds and state public school foundation funding. The links below offer Installation ISD-specific information to include registration information, lunch schedules, sports programs, and more.
Students in grades K-12 are eligible to attend the on-installation schools while staying in temporary lodging on the respective Installation. If placed in contract quarters off the Installation, you need to register in the appropriate school attendance zone. If you anticipate base housing within 30 days, contact the Housing Office for a Statement of Occupancy Form to continue uninterrupted enrollment.
Students whose parents physically reside on an installation have an automatic right to attend the Installation ISD schools. Those living off the Installation who want to attend on-installation schools may apply for a Non-Resident Transfer Waiver. Transfer decisions are made without regard to race, religion, color, gender, disability, national origin, or ancestral language. In approving transfers, the Superintendent will consider the availability of space, availability of instructional and support staff, and other resources, the student's disciplinary history, attendance, grades, and any potential adverse effect on resident students. If approved for a waiver, parents should be prepared to provide transportation to/from school. All Non-Resident Transfer students must reapply each year and meet District eligibility criteria. Each installation school district sets its own windows as to when they will open the non-resident transfer application.
School begins no later than the fourth Monday in August and ends in June. Texas school districts must provide at least 180 days of instruction (Section 25.081, Texas Education Code). However, some districts have a waiver from the Commissioner of Education, allowing them to substitute a few of those days for teacher professional development.
Contact the School Liaison Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a welcome packet with valuable information and resources. You can find additional information for offices worldwide at the Department of Defense Education Activity.
Texas is one of the easiest states to home school. There are several online schools where credits are mandatory acceptance if you were to go back into a public school. They can also be utilized for supplementary classes as well. If you are currently registered in a Virtual K-12 program, Texas requires that children be in the public school system before being authorized to participate in the K-12. The San Antonio area has a large and active homeschooling population with many support services for parents who choose this option.
If you participate in Homeschooling, request a quick resource guide from your SLO to assist with your transition to JBSA. Please ensure you are utilizing an Accredited Version of Curriculum to ensure easy portability if the decision is made to transfer back into a public school. If your child has not been enrolled in a public school in Texas, there is no requirement for registering a "homeschooler."
Parents choosing to homeschool should be aware that the rules may be different at their next duty location. Therefore, it is highly recommended that upon receipt of orders, families reach out to their gaining installation's School Liaison office. Current contact information for offices worldwide are found at Department of Defense Education Activity.
JBSA has education offices on each location (Fort Sam Houston, Lackland, and Randolph) that offer a wide range of education services to include administrative support, educational counseling, and testing facilities.
Some San Antonio Independent School Districts (SAISDs) offer robust adult and community education programs for people of all ages. Courses include English as a Second Language (ESL), General Educational Development (GED), English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and free citizenship classes. Learn more by conducting a web search for "San Antonio ISD adult and community education" or by contacting the SAISD's Adult & Community Education office at 906 Merida Street, San Antonio, Texas 78207, (210) 544-2440.
Additionally, the Department of Defense has several benefits programs available to help spouses meet their education goals:
For more information, please contact the installation's Education office or the Military and Family Readiness Center.
The JBSA School Liaison Offices serve approximately 35,000 federally-connected children located in 49 public school districts, Homeschoolers, 50 Charter Schools, 38 Magnet Schools, and the 48 Archdiocese of San Antonio Department of Catholic Schools campuses. They proudly serve all military branches to provide a link between military families on and off installation schools and provide services that enable families to be more involved in their child's education.
School Liaisons play a vital role in the military community. Typically, they assist with transitions associated with military life and facilitate communication among schools, parents, and installation leaders. They educate local schools on the challenges faced by military-connected students and work to connect military families with community and education resources. School Liaisons advocate on behalf of their families to school and district administrators. They also educate commanders on issues (and sometimes act on the commander's behalf) that need elevating to the school-board level. While they cannot address all education-related challenges, they can provide military families with information and link them with individuals or groups who can appropriately address the issue.
You can find a current listing of SLs Worldwide at https://www.dodea.edu/Partnership/index.cfm or visit any of the JBSA offices locations listed below:
JBSA Fort Sam Houston (email@example.com)2380 Stanley Road, Bldg. 124, 78234210-221-8782 (DSN:471-8782)JBSA Lackland AFB (firstname.lastname@example.org)2100 Kenly Ave., Bldg. 1249, 78236210-671-8388 (DSN:473-8388)JBSA Randolph AFB (Angela.email@example.com)555 F Street West, 78150210-652-3081 (DSN:487-3081)