Local schools commit to military families


COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Education on April 18, announced 165 Ohio schools are receiving the Purple Star designation as members of the Purple Star Class of 2023. Purple Star schools show a significant commitment to serving students and families connected to our nation’s armed forces. Eighty-eight Ohio schools received the esteemed award for the first time, and 77 schools earned a renewal after three years as dedicated Purple Star schools.

“Ohio led the nation in establishing the Purple Star program, and I am proud to congratulate this next group of school communities as we recognize the Month of the Military Child,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “We recognize the unique challenges facing military families, and Ohio’s Purple Star schools embrace these students and their families to ensure their learning needs are met, while providing support and resources so they can be successful in school.”

“Purple Star schools demonstrate the importance of students feeling supported and what it means to be part of a learning community,” said Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Stephanie Siddens. “I share my deep gratitude with Ohio’s military service members and their families and congratulate this year’s Purple Star schools for providing the academic and wellness supports so these students are ready to learn, grow and achieve.”

The complete list of 511 active statewide Purple Star schools, including Darke County’s own Arcanum Elementary and High Schools (2022) and Bradford Elementary and High Schools (2019 with 2022 renewal), is available on the Ohio Department of Education’s Purple Star School webpage. Purple Star awardees receive a special Purple Star recognition to display in their buildings. A Purple Star School receives the designation for three years, after which the school can apply for renewal of the designation. Applications for the next class of Purple Star schools will open Nov. 1, 2023.

According to militarychild.org, “Military children move every two to three years. The Purple Star School program is designed to help schools respond to the educational and social-emotional challenges military-connected children face during their transition to a new school and keep them on track to be college, workforce, and life-ready. Military-connected refers to children of service members on active duty, and in the National Guard and Reserves… Eighty percent of America’s military-connected children attend public schools. In every state with a military installation, there will be military-connected children transitioning into and out of nearby public schools because of a parent’s Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders. With an estimated 1.2 million active-duty military-connected children enrolled in schools in the United States and abroad, the number of children affected by these transitions is significant.”

The announcement of Purple Star Class of 2023 is part of Ohio’s participation in the national celebration of the Month of the Military Child. April was first designated as the Month of the Military Child by the United States Department of Defense in 1986 to increase public knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding children who have a parent in the military.

For a complete listing of Ohio Purple Star Schools or for information on how to apply for Purple Star status, visit ohio.education.gov.

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