Weems Elementary Receives Purple Star School Award for Virginia
November 1, 2018…Weems Elementary School is one of 59 schools in the state to earn a Virginia Purple Star Award for meeting the needs of military children and families. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on the Educational Opportunity for Military Children established the Purple Star designation to recognize military-friendly schools that have demonstrated their commitment to meeting the needs of military-connected students and their families.
“Virginia is proud to have one of the nation’s largest numbers of military-connected students in our schools, but we also know that repeated relocations or separation when a parent is deployed can be challenging for military families,” said Governor Northam. “I commend the students, educators, and administrators at these 59 schools for leading by example and working to create supportive learning environments.”
“As a former Marine, I recognize and appreciate the sacrifices required of each member of a military family,” said Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “When we celebrate schools for their commitment to these military-connected students and families, we also celebrate and support the efforts of our Armed Forces.”
This is the first year VDOE and the Virginia Council have designated Purple Star schools. To qualify for the award, schools must have a trained staff member designated as a primary point of contact for military families and students. The point of contact also serves as a liaison between the school and local military communities. Schools must also demonstrate their commitment to meeting the needs of military students by providing resources and programming on issues important to military families, such as transitions and academic planning.
Schools earning the award receive a Virginia Purple Star commemorative coin to display and are listed as a Purple Star school on the VDOE Military Families webpage. Purple Star schools retain the designation for three years before being required to reapply.
Virginia is home to several of the largest and most important military installations in the nation. The Defense Manpower Data Center estimates that there are more than 73,000 school age military-associated children of active duty members in Virginia.
The Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children was created in 2009 to consider any and all matters related to the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. The compact expresses the commitment of participating states to removing barriers to academic success for children of military families.
Weems will be recognized at the November 13, 2018 School Board meeting during the Superintendent’s Spotlights and Announcements time.