A Purple Star School is a public or charter school that has committed to supporting the unique educational and social-emotional needs of military-connected children.
These schools recognize that military-connected students must move whenever their active-duty parent receives a relocation order (called a Permanent Change of Station) and will uproot and change schools far more often than their civilian peers.
In fact, a military-connected child can expect to move six to nine times from kindergarten through their high school graduation, with approximately 200,000 students transitioning to a new school in any given year.
Purple Star Schools help military-connected students transition successfully with measures that include:
Training a staff member to ease entry into the new academic environment,
Student-led programs to help create social connections,
A military family webpage on the school website to inform parents, and
Relevant professional development opportunities for additional school staff.
State programs may require schools to meet additional criteria such as holding school-wide military recognition events that encourage tolerance and inclusion.
A primary goal of these programs is to ensure that staff can help manage the challenges military-connected children face when they move between schools with different cultures, curricula, standards, course offerings, schedules and graduation requirements.
Purple Star Schools are especially attentive to students who arrive mid-year, missing out on the normal cycles of sports and club activities.
Finally, Purple Star Schools acknowledge that every military-connected child has left behind friends and support networks and may be dealing with a parent who is away from home on deployment.