The Virginia Department of Education is recognizing 110 public and private schools as “Purple Star” schools. Of these 110 schools, 29 were second time recipients of the distinction. The Purple Star designation is awarded to military-friendly schools that have demonstrated their commitment to meeting the needs of military-connected students and their families. This is the sixth year the VDOE and The Council have designated Purple Star schools.
This year Fredericksburg City Public Schools and Stafford County Public Schools have achieved Purple Star division status for the first time. To reach and maintain Purple Star division status all schools in the school division must have an active Purple Star School designation. Chesapeake Public Schools, York County Public Schools, and Poquoson City Public Schools are maintaining their Purple Star division statuses this year with the awarding of schools in their divisions.
Since 2018, VDOE and The Council have provided 569 awards to deserving schools across Virginia. Of these, 360 have maintained an active designation and 148 have received the designation twice. Purple Star schools retain the designation for three years before being required to reapply.
Currently, there are over 78,000 school age military connected students attending public schools in the commonwealth whose parents serve on active duty, in the Reserves, or in the Virginia National Guard. The Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children was created in 2009 to ensure that all matters related to the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children were managed with fidelity. The compact expresses the commitment of participating states to remove barriers to academic success for children of military families. Virginia was the second state after Ohio in establishing Purple Star School recognition. Today there are forty-three states who have adopted the Purple Star School designation program.
Schools earning the award receive a certificate of recognition from the Virginia Council, a Virginia Purple Star commemorative coin to display and are listed as a Purple Star school on the VDOE Military Families webpage.