By 1812Blockhouse; Ohio Department of Education

On Monday, when the Ohio Department of Education announced the 263 Ohio schools part of the list of new and renewed Purple Star designations for members of the Class of 2022, Richland County was well represented.

Six local schools were included in this year’s class.

As shared by the Department, “Purple Star schools show a significant commitment to serving students and families connected to the nation’s armed forces. Ninety-four Ohio schools received the esteemed award for the first time, and 169 schools earned a renewal after three years as dedicated Purple Star Schools.

Ohio is now home to 431 active Purple Star schools that dedicate time and support to students in military families. All awardees meet the unique social, emotional and academic needs of Ohio’s military-connected youth. To qualify for the award, schools choose a school-based staff person to serve as a liaison between military families and the school. These liaisons complete professional development, identify military-connected students and facilitate supports throughout the school community for identified students and families. Purple Star schools also participate in at least one supportive activity each year. The Purple Star Class of 2022 includes schools that host monthly military kids club meetings, professional learning for all educators on the unique considerations for serving military-connected students and schoolwide celebrations honoring military students and families.” Purple Star awardees receive a special Purple Star recognition to display in their buildings.

While new schools are added each year, already-listed schools continue the designation for three years, after which renewal can be sought. The following Richland County schools have been renewed as a part of the Purple Star Class of 2022:

Central Elementary School and Lexington High School, Lexington Local Schools

Butler Elementary School, Clear Fork Local Schools

Ontario High School, Ontario Middle School, and Stingel Elementary School, Ontario City Schools

The announcement of the Purple Star Class of 2022 is part of Ohio’s participation in the national celebration of the Month of the Military Child. April was first chosen as the Month of the Military Child by the United States Department of Defense in 1986 to increase public knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding children who have a parent in the military. For more resources to help schools and communities recognize the Month of the Military Child, visit the Military Child Education Coalition’s Month of the Military Child website.

For questions related to the Ohio Department of Education’s Purple Star Award and initiatives supporting military families, visit the Purple Star Designation webpage or email [email protected].

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