RALEIGH — Four charter schools and 126 traditional schools in 10 North Carolina districts are being recognized as “Purple Star” schools for 2019-20 school year. The Purple Star award is given to applying schools which demonstrate both military-friendly practices and a commitment to military students and families.
North Carolina is home to the third-largest military population in the country and has over 790,000 military veterans currently living in state.
State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced he will honor Harnett County Schools with the Superintendent’s Purple Star District Award. The district has earned this distinction due to every school in the district qualifying for the Purple Star designation.
Schools that applied earlier this year for the award had to fulfill a list of six required activities and one optional activity which leant support for students of military families.
The schools were also required to designate a staff member as the point of contact for military students and families and a central administration staff member as point of contact for the school.
Other requirements include annual professional development and training on the special needs that arise for military students and their families, a dedicated resources webpage on the school’s website and a transition program to support both inbound and outbound military students.
The final requirement was to answer all questions regarding military awareness and Interstate Compact Law completely.
The Department of Defense in partnership with the National Center for Interstate Compacts and the Council of State Governments has developed an interstate compact that addresses the educational transition issues of children of military families. North Carolina was the 11th state signatory of the Interstate Compact on Aug. 7, 2008.
The schools were also required to do at least one of five optional activities, with many of the schools choosing to do more than one. Activities included a school-hosted military recognition event, a support project by schools to the military community, school staff could read a book about military students, or the school could run a video or slide show of pictures to highlight certain aspects of the school facility to help new students to transition.
The 2019-20 Purple Star Award has been granted to schools in Carteret, Craven, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Moore, Onslow, Pender, Polk and Wayne Counties. The list of individual schools can be found on the Department of Public Instruction website.
Charter schools receiving the award are Alpha Academy in Fayetteville, Anderson Creek Academy Charter in Spring Lake, Lincoln Charter in Denver and Wayne Preparatory Academy in Goldsboro.