State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria announced that 94 Ohio schools, including in districts from Northeast Ohio, received the Purple Star Award this school year. The Purple Star designation recognizes schools that demonstrate a major commitment to serving students and families connected to the U.S. armed forces.
Approximately 35,000 Ohio students, including the children of active duty, reserve and Ohio National Guard families, have one or more parents serving in the military. Some of these students will attend six to nine different schools from kindergarten through high school.
Among the requirements a school must meet to receive the Purple Star Award are designating a liaison between military-connected students and their families and the school, and making certain the liaison informs teachers of the military-connected students in their classrooms and the special considerations military families and students should receive.
The Purple Star Advisory Board — formed by the Ohio departments of Education, Higher Education, Veterans Services and Adjutant General — helps determine school eligibility.
The 2019-20 Purple Star recipients include North Royalton Schools —Albion Elementary, High School, Middle, Royal View Elementary, Valley Vista; Kenston Middle School in Chagrin Falls; Cloverleaf High School in Medina; East Woods Elementary in Hudson; Green High School; Herberich Primary School in Fairlawn; Manchester Local Schools — Middle and Nolley Elementary; Richardson Elementary School in Cuyahoga Falls; Springfield High School and Junior High School; Tallmadge High School; Rootstown Elementary; Waterloo High School in Atwater; and Saint Columbkille School in Parma.
“We are grateful for the individuals who serve in our nation’s armed forces, and we recognize the unique challenges students of military families face during their learning journeys,” DeMaria says in a press release. “Our school communities are in a unique position to offer essential supports to ensure these students are prepared for success and their families are cared for and appreciated. We recognize the schools showcasing these supports and inspiring all of us by their commitment to our military families.”
— Courtesy of Ohio Department of Education, education.ohio.gov
Correction: In the print version of this article, Saint Columbkille School in Parma was accidentally left out of the list of schools honored with the Purple Star award. We regret this omission.