5 local schools honored for serving students of military families


5 local schools honored for serving students of military families

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Paolo DeMaria, state superintendent for public instruction (left), and Zuza Livosky, 17, a Fairborn High School junior, unveil the new Purple Star Award in April 2017 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. At far right is Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF

Five schools in the greater Dayton region were named Purple Star schools Wednesday for their commitment to serving military-connected students and families.

Fairborn High School, Fairborn Intermediate and Bell Creek Intermediate in Bellbrook were among the 44 winners statewide, along with Burns Elementary in the Kings district and Risen Christ Lutheran, a private school in Springfield.

The award comes from the Purple Star Advisory Board, formed by Ohio’s departments of Education, Higher Education, Veterans Services and Adjutant General. Children of military families are frequently affected by switching schools, as well as by a parent’s deployment.

“A supportive school environment can have a significant impact on our military-connected students, and we’re happy to see such a great interest in this designation by Ohio’s schools,” said state Superintendent Pablo DeMaria. “These Purple Star schools provide our children and families with the resources they need to be successful. We’re thankful for their service and honored to continue the important work of improving services for Ohio’s military families.”

Wednesday’s awards were the second round in this new program. Last fall, Beverly Gardens Elementary School in the Mad River district and Trebein Elementary School in Beavercreek were two of the first eight schools honored statewide.

Purple Star schools receive the designation for two years, then must reapply. According to the Ohio Department of Education, there are 34,000 children in Ohio with one or more parents serving in the military, counting children of active duty, reserve and Ohio National Guard members.

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