Ohio State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria announced this week that 94 schools across Ohio will receive the coveted 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 United States armed forces. One Richland County school, Butler Elementary, made the list. The full listing of awardees is available by clicking here.
“Ohio’s military members and their families embody the ideals of service, sacrifice, and community. But they can’t do their jobs alone. The Purple Star Schools awarded today recognize the sacrifices military members and their loved ones make. These school communities have made a commitment to support them inside and outside the classroom,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Purple Star Schools are shining examples of Ohioans working together, encouraging one another, caring for one another and, ultimately, creating a brighter future for our state.”
“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. 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,” said DeMaria. “Today we recognize the schools showcasing these supports and inspiring all of us by their commitment to our military families.”
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.
Butler Elementary School is a vital part of the Clear Fork Valley School District. The school has curated a list of online resources for students of military families, organized meetings and activities to provide fellowship for students in military families, and even created a Veterans Wall with photos of veterans who have a child or grandchild at the school. These are only some of the many undertakings that the staff at the school have organized to provide support to students in military families.