15 local schools win state’s military-friendly award

Air Force Junior ROTC cadets from Fairborn High School join American Legion Post 526 honor guards at a Veterans Day Ceremony. FILE PHOTO

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Air Force Junior ROTC cadets from Fairborn High School join American Legion Post 526 honor guards at a Veterans Day Ceremony. FILE PHOTO

More than a dozen local schools received the Ohio Department of Education’s Purple Star Award this week for their work with military families and their students.

It’s common for active-duty military families to move a half-dozen times during their children’s K-12 school years, making it hard for kids to have continuity in their educational experience.

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The new award-winners include Dennis Elementary in Springboro, St. Luke in Beavercreek, Driscoll and Weller elementaries in Centerville, plus all seven schools in the Franklin district — Franklin High School, Franklin Junior High, and five elementaries — Anthony Wayne, George H. Gerke, Hunter, Pennyroyal and William C. Schenck.

In addition, four schools that had won the award previously had their Purple Star certification renewed — Beverly Gardens Elementary in Mad River, Bell Creek Intermediate in Bellbrook, plus Fairborn High School and Fairborn Intermediate School.

“Military-connected students can face very unique challenges,” state superintendent Paolo DeMaria said. I’m so proud of our Purple Star Award schools for recognizing those challenges and coming alongside students and families to support, encourage and care for them.”

To win the Purple Star Award, schools must have a staff liaison for military students and families. That person must complete training on issues facing military children and must communicate with teachers about the military-connected students in their classrooms.

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The school also must list resources for military families on their website, and complete one other step, which can be additional staff training, a military recognition event or a resolution of support.

Numerous local schools have won the the Purple Star Award for their commitment to military families and their students, since the award’s inception in 2017. To see lists of past honorees, click here.

There are about 35,000 military-connected students in Ohio, including the children and siblings of members of the United States armed forces and Ohio National Guard.

“Ohio’s military families make significant sacrifices that benefit all Ohioans,” Governor Mike DeWine said. “The schools receiving Purple Star Awards today recognize how important it is for all of us to support our military members and their families.”

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