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School Support Services

Welcome to Fort Carson! We are the School Liaison Office and we specialize in education transitions, and make sure incoming and exiting Families have information about local schools, graduation requirements, after-school programs, youth sponsorship, and home schooling that are part of living in Colorado.

Colorado's Open Enrollment

Colorado is unique because it is an Open Enrollment state. The Public Schools of Choice law (C.R.S. 22-36-101) allows resident pupils to enroll at schools in Colorado districts for which they are not zoned. Also referred to as Open Enrollment.

Your School Choices

  1. Attend the public school zoned for my neighborhood
  2. Attend a public school out of my zone/district utilizing Open Enrollment
  3. Attend a public charter school
  4. Homeschool
  5. Attend a private school

Important Reminders

  1. Colorado Springs is in El Paso County.
  2. Fort Carson has 4 Elementary Schools and 1 Middle School on post, however, these are not DOD (Department of Defense) schools. They are part of Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8.
  3. The first four school choices listed above do not cost any additional tuition.
  4. If you choose #2 or #3, you must apply for acceptance and there are enrollment windows.
  5. If you choose #2 or #3, you are responsible for transporting your child(ren) to and from school. Please note that Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 in Colorado Springs provides NO transportation.

How to Decide

  1. We recommend you use the links here to study your choices and learn more about them.
  2. Feel free to call and speak with someone from any of the schools you may be interested in.
  3. Ask friends and neighbors about their school experiences.
  4. Consider how you will get your child to/from school if you choose to attend a school out of your school district.
  5. Our office is ready to answer your questions, offer support and resources, and connect you with schools you may want to learn more about.

Military Family Life Counselors

Child & Youth Behavioral (CYB) Military Family Life Counselors (MFLC) provide broad-ranging support to military children and youth and to the Family members and other adults who support them.  They are available at no cost to assist children and youth, parents and family members. 

Fort Carson has 5 CYS center based MFLCs on Post and 15 school based MFLCs in Districts 8, 3 and 2.

For more information on MFLCs visit ACS's Military Family Life Counselor webpage.

Teen Activities/Events

R2 (Ready Resilient teen curriculum) activities and events are ongoing at the Youth Center at 5950 Ware Street, Bldg. 5950. 

Additionally, there are resources for both parents and teens through the Military Child Education Coalition at

Fort Carson Area School Districts:

Fort Carson is located in Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8.
Schools located on Fort Carson:
Abrams Elementary School
Mountainside Elementary School
Patriot Elementary School
Weikel Elementary School
Carson Middle School

School District Website Distance to Fort Carson (mi) Choice Enrollment Window/Deadline for School Year 2019-2020 Additional Information
Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 0

Mar 21 - Oct 1

Renew Choice Application annually.
Harrison School District 2 7 Mar 15  
Widefield School District 3 8 May 3  
Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 11

Application available: Mar 1

Does not provide transportation.
Colorado Springs School District 11 11

Priority Choice: Nov 1 - Feb 15

Applications accepted for review through Sept 3
Academy School District 20 20 Jan 9 - Feb 28  
Falcon School District 49 23 Open Year Round  

School District Map.jpg

School Liaison Office Hours / Contact Info


Phone Number(s):
School Liaison Officers +1(719)526-6470, +1(719)526-3362

For immediate assistance please contact the School Liaison Officer on duty at +1(719)526-1101.

For contact during or after hours, please email:

How School Liaison Officers Can Help

Who We Are:

  • School Support Services (SSS) provides Army Families and school-aged youth with educational opportunities, resources and information necessary to achieve academic success. A branch of Child and Youth Services (CYS), SSS is home to the School Liaison Office, where School Liaison Officers (SLOs) help deliver the best educational resources and information for your children. 

How We Can Help:

  • Build relationships and facilitate communication among Army Families and the local school community 
  • Inform and assist parents with school transitions and deployment challenges
  • Establish school and community partnerships
  • Facilitate access to home school resources for parents
  • Provide information about college and other post-secondary opportunities and preparation materials
  • Inform and assist parents on youth education and school issues
Other Area School Districts

Other Area School Districts:

Fort Carson is located in Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8.

School District Website Distance to Fort Carson (mi) Choice Enrollment Window/Deadline for School Year 2018-2019
Manitou Springs School District 14 18 Open Year Round
Ellicott School District 22 28  
Lewis-Palmer School District 38 29

Feb 15

Appeals may be submitted year round.

Peyton School District 23JT 33 Oct 1
City of Pueblo School District 60 35 Jan
Calhan School District RJ-1 40 Jan - Feb
Woodland Park School District RE-2 40  
Pueblo County School District 70 41  
Elbert School District 200 46  
Miami Yoder School District 60JT 46  
Edison School District 54JT 51  
Cripple Creek/Victor School District RE-1 53  
Big Sandy School District 100J 53  
Kiowa School Distric C-2 66  


Other Public School District information:

Charter School

To find a Charter School in your area, visit the Colorado League of Charter Schools webpage. Fort Carson is located in El Paso County.

Charter Schools are tuition-free public schools that have the flexibility to be innovative, self-governing and yet are held accountable for student and operational performance. Charter schools vary in focus. They may emphasize the arts, foreign languages, advanced learning, the classics, etc.

Home School

Home Schooling has become mainstream and widely-used. We offer resources and information to help you provide quality home-based education.

In order to homeschool, you must fill out an Intent to Homeschool Form from the school district you live in. CYS offers a parent-led group on Wednesdays. Children must be registered with CYS in order to use the Homeschool Group. There is no cost. Contact the Fort Carson CYS SLO office at +1(719)526-1101 for more information.

Home School Legal Defense Association provides information on home school law, and general support and information about homeschooling.

Colorado Department of Education provides a directory of Home School resources.

Private School

To find a Private School in you area, visit the School Choice for Kids webpage.

Youth Sponsorship
Youth Sponsorship

Does your child have 101 questions about your next duty station? Let a youth sponsor answer them!

Youth sponsors connect with children before arrival at a new duty station, provide them with information about their new communities and answer questions from a youth perspective – while being guided by adults in the CYS youth program and the schools.

Once you arrive, a youth sponsor will meet your child and can arrange community and school tours.

If you're preparing for a PCS move, contact your SLO today to sign up for a youth sponsor.

Special Education Information

If you have a child with special needs, we can help you find the resources available in your school district. We can also connect you with your local installation’s Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) office.


The SLO office can provide general guidance on special needs information and options. All specific questions will be referred to the Exceptional Families Member Program (EFMP). Please contact us at +1(719)526-1101.

Additional References & Resources for Special Education

Highly mobile children are entitled to an expedited process, including: a) evaluations in 30 days instead of 60 days, b) removed delays due to school district schedules for Families moving during incomplete screenings, c) continued Extended School Year for students moving in the summer. The United State Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services outlines these requirements for State Directors of Special Education. 

The Center for Parent Information and Resources offers parent education, acronyms, tools, webinars and a directory of local Parent and Information Training Centers to appropriately advocate for their children, proactively supporting personal accountability. Funded by OSEP.

Military OneSource has a range of resources in caring for a family member with special needs: education, health care, legal, financial, points of contact (EFMP, School Liaisons, etc.)

Military Community & Family Policy-Office of Special Needs provides directory of age-specific resources and States at a Glance for state education special education resources and parent resources.

DirectSTEP provides no-cost, Army sponsored online training for educators and parents on a host of special education topics such as understanding federal requirements, best practices for behavior management, IDEA eligibility, IEPs and more. Through the eCourses parents and educators learn how to apply education laws in order to obtain positive outcomes associated with critical education issues. Access the course listing and registration page through the links below.

DirectSTEP course listing 

DirectSTEP registration

Transition Support

We understand that military transitions for children include much more than school plans and enrollment. We have a number of resources to help make your move as easy as possible for the kids, including:


Military Kids Connect provides online age-appropriate resources to help parents, teachers and children cope with the unique challenges of military life.


The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (MIC3) addresses key transition issues military Families experience, including enrollment, placement, attendance, eligibility and graduation. All 50 states have signed the compact and are in varying stages of implementation and/or compliance. The compact applies to children of Active Duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members on active duty orders and members or veterans who are medically discharged or retired within past year.

If you feel that you have an issue that the Compact can help address talk with your SLO.  The SLO is able to assist by connecting with both the sending and receiving school to assist in resolving the issue.  If it is not possible to resolve the issue locally, the SLO will help you work with the state commission, and if needed, the national office.

Post - Secondary Support

Our support doesn’t end with elementary education. If you have children preparing for academic life after high school, we can help you find information about testing opportunities, scholarships and military-specific resources that can help you plan.


The US Department of Veteran’s Affairs provides information about Military-Specific and Government Academic Support G.I. Bill

The Transferability of Educational Benefits for the Post 9/11 GI Bill are very specific. The Defense Manpower Data Center, through MilConnect will guide you through the transfer process and your eligibility to do so.  Speak with an Education Counselor prior to making this election in order to ensure you understand the benefit.

In-State Tuition Programs for Military: Service-members, active duty for a period of more than 30 days and their dependents are eligible to receive in-state tuition at many public colleges and universities in the state where they reside or are permanently stationed. An enrolled dependent may pay in-state tuition as long as he or she remains continuously enrolled at the institution, even if the service-member is reassigned outside of the state. Regulations outlined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act, 2008 (P.L 110 - 135) and the Higher Education Act of 1965 (pdf) apply.

Fort Carson Post Secondary Support

Our SLO office can support your teenagers in finding great opportunities for college, scholarships and career options. Contact us today at +1(719)526-1101. If you have children preparing for academic life after high school, we can help you find information about testing opportunities, scholarships and military-specific resources that can help you plan.

Military-Specific and Government Academic Support information; G.I. Bill

Transferability of Educational Benefits

In-State Tuition Programs for Military: Service members on active duty for a period of more than thirty days and their dependents are eligible to receive in-state tuition at many public colleges and universities in the state where they reside or are permanently stationed. An enrolled dependent may pay in-state tuition as long as he or she remains continuously enrolled at the institution, even if the service member is reassigned outside of the state. Regulations outlined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act, 2008 (P.L 110 - 135) and the Higher Education Act of 1965 apply. For more information:

College and Career Readiness:

College and career readiness includes the content knowledge, skills and habits that students must have to be successful in post-secondary education. It also includes training that leads to a sustaining career. A student who is ready for college and career can qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses without needing remedial or developmental coursework.

Let us help you plan for your child’s college and career readiness:

College and Career Readiness

College and Career Readiness and Success 

Counselor Connection 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Unique Military Child Identifier? Numerous states have enacted a voluntary report-only self-identification of military children within their public school systems. This data collection would allow monitoring of critical elements such as academic progress and proficiency, special and advanced program participation, mobility and dropout rates. Requirements and method of collection vary from state to state.

Impact Aid

Many local school districts across the United States include within their boundaries parcels of land that are owned by the Federal Government.  They must provide a quality education to the children living on the Indian and other Federal lands while sometimes operating with less local revenue than is available to other school districts, because the Federal property is exempt from local property taxes. 

Congress has provided financial assistance to these local school districts through the Impact Aid Program. Each year Military members and Federal employees complete a Survey Form. The amount of Impact Aid – or federal assistance –received is determined by the number of eligible parents/guardians who complete the survey form. It partially compensates school districts affected by federal activity for local tax losses resulting from tax-free federal installations.

Impact Aid Fact Sheet (we will provide a hand out to link to)

Impact Aid Website

Non-DoD School Program (NDSP)

At overseas/international locations where there is not a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school, NDSP supports a variety of options for your children, ranging from public or private schools to homeschool programs.  NDSP has a team of education specialists who are available to provide transition and educational support and coordination for all students, including those with special needs. Sponsors are encouraged contact the NDSP as soon as possible for specific school information. 


Phone Number +1 (571)372-5863 or +1 (571)372-1897


Are the schools on Fort Carson DoD Schools?

No, they are part of Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8. To register, go to


If I choose to enroll out of district, will my child be automatically accepted?

No, each school district has a window of opportunity to apply for out of district enrollment. Some districts operate on a first-come, first-served system based on space available. Other school districts operate on a lottery system based on space available as well.


If I choose to enroll out of district, will my child have transportation to and from school?

Families that choose to have their child(ren) attend out of district do not qualify for transportation to and from school.


Do I have to pay tuition to enroll out of district or in a Charter school?

No, utilizing Open Enrollment or Charter schools are tuition-free.

What are the Preschool options in Colorado/Colorado Springs?
Public Option

Colorado offers a limited amount of public Preschool/Pre-K slots.  These are usually no cost programs offered through the school district you live in.  Please access your district’s website for enrollment and eligibility information. Open Enrollment is not available for public Preschool/Pre-K programs.  See below for more information on the Colorado Preschool Program.

Colorado Preschool Program Information
About CPP

The Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) is a state-funded early childhood education program administered by the Colorado Department of Education. CPP provides access to quality early childhood education for children who lack overall learning readiness

CPP is managed by local school districts. Each participating school district is given a predetermined number of half-day slots to serve eligible children. Children who are eligible for CPP attend high-quality early childhood programs. The programs may be located in school district settings, local child care centers, community preschools or Head Start programs.

If there is a concern that your Preschool aged child has a delay or is not meeting developmental milestones there is a program available for evaluations.  Please see below for more information on Child Find.

About Child Find

Child Find is part of Colorado's system for identifying children suspected of having a delay in development. If a young child is not meeting typical developmental milestones, or there is a concern about the child’s growth or learning, child find teams will evaluate how the child plays, learns, speaks, behaves and moves. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if there is a significant delay or if there is a need for early intervention or special education services. Evaluations conducted by Child Find teams are at no cost to parents.  Services through Child Find are accessed through your school district of residence.  Please see link for each district’s POC.

Other Options

If your child does not qualify for a CPP slot, you can contact the following:

CPCD/Headstart: +1(719) 635-1536  (childcare referrals for ALL of Colorado)

Fort Carson Child, Youth and School (CYS) Services: +1(719) 526-1101



Frequently Requested Pages:

CYS Programs and Services
Youth Center
School Support Services
Deployment Support Services
Carson Home Page


More Child & Youth Services