Schools receive Purple Star designation for work with military families

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Five Chesterfield County schools are among the 59 K-12 schools in Virginia to have received 2018 Purple Star designation for their support of military children and their families.

Curtis Elementary, Hopkins Elementary, Spring Run Elementary, Carver College and Career Academy and Matoaca High were the only schools in the Richmond-metro area to earn the special recognition, announced recently by the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on the Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

“Virginia is proud to have one of the nation’s largest numbers of military-connected students in our schools, but we also know that repeated relocations or separation when a parent is deployed can be challenging for military families,” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said. “I commend the students, educators, and administrators at these 59 schools for leading by example and working to create supportive learning environments.”

To qualify to receive Purple Star designation, a local school must have a site-based point of contact for the military families and students served at the school. Qualifying public schools also demonstrate a commitment to meeting military families’ needs while also providing resources and programming related to transitions and academic planning. In addition to celebrating the Month of the Military Child each April, many Chesterfield County schools offer military-connected families a variety of supports in terms of knowledge of and access to resources to support family transition and student academic success.

Virginia is home to several of the largest and most important military installations in the country. It is estimated that there are more than 73,000 school age military-associated children of active duty members in Virginia. Chesterfield County Public Schools is home to many students whose families work at Fort Lee and the U.S. Defense Supply Center Richmond.

“The men and women serving our great country in the armed forces have answered a calling for a greater cause, serving selflessly without distinction,” School Board Vice Chair Rob Thompson said. “As a retired service member, I am more than pleased that our schools are working to help our military families!”

Schools recognized with this important designation earn a Virginia Purple Star commemorative coin to display in their building.

“We are proud and honored to support our students with military connections, and look forward to continuing to engage them in our work to prepare students for successful futures,” Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said.

Families with questions about how to become more engaged in their child’s studies and school activities are encouraged to contact their respective school or the school division’s Family and Community Engagement Office at 639-8743.

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