Purple Star Designation

Purple Star Schools

Logo for Purple Star AwardThe Purple Star Award recognizes schools that show a major commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military. Schools that earn the award will receive a special Purple Star recognition to display on site.

A school will be honored with the Purple Star Award if it completes all the required activities, plus one optional activity, listed below. The Purple Star Advisory Board helps decide a school’s eligibility for the award.

Class of 2024 Purple Star Schools

Ohio's Purple Star Schools

Register to attend the Ohio Purple Star Summit 

The Thomas D. Rutan State Council of the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission and the Ohio National Guard Youth Program are hosting the 2024 Ohio Purple Star Summit on June 20, 2024. The Summit is free and will occur in person at Big Walnut High School. Registration is open until May 9, 2024. Access this link for details about available sessions. Please contact Chip Merkle with any questions or concerns. 

How to Qualify

A school will be honored with the Purple Star Award if it completes all the required activities, plus one additional activity, listed below.

Required Activities

  • The school must have a staff point-of-contact for military students and families who serves as the primary liaison between them and the school.
    • The liaison completes professional development on special considerations for military students and families under federal law. Visit the Military Family Liaison web page for roles and responsibilities. The liaison can complete any professional development they choose to fulfill this requirement. A variety of online learning options are available.
    • New liaisons need to complete one of the following options:
      • The Military Children in Ohio’s Schools course available on the Department's learning management system (access by logging into your OH|ID account). Under "My Apps," select "Learning Management System (LMS)" and click "Open App." Then search for the course in the course catalog. 
      • The Military Child Education Coalition offers virtual learning opportunities for education professionals.
    • Liaisons renewing their Purple Star designation need to provide evidence of continuing professional development. This can come from any source. Some examples include: 
      • Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness
      • Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission;
      • Purple Star USA National Convening;
      • Ohio Purple Star Roundtables;
      • The Ohio Department of Education and Workforce's "Supporting Military-Connected Students" webinar series; and
      • PsychArmor.
    • The liaison identifies and informs teachers of the military-connected students in their classrooms and the special considerations military families and students should receive. Visit Identification of Military-Connected Students for more information on the required and best practices related to this activity. 
  • The school maintains a dedicated page on its website featuring resources for military families and lists contact information of the liaison.

Additional Activities

  • The school provides professional development for staff on special considerations for military students and families.
  • The school hosts a military recognition event that demonstrates a supportive culture. Schools are encouraged to consider hosting a military recognition event in addition to their Veteran’s Day celebrations for this activity.
  • The school implements social and emotional development programs with the military child in mind. Examples of these programs include a monthly club for military-connected students, lunch groups, and regular check-ins between the liaison and identified students.
  • The school implements a peer-to-peer transition program that trains student ambassadors to provide tours and engage in activities with all students that are transitioning in or out of the school or when a service member deploys. 
  • The school celebrates the Month of the Military Child (April) with events or programming honoring military-connected students.

For more information about activities, visit the Military Family Liaison web page.


Once all requirements are met, schools can apply for the Purple Star designation. The award designation is renewed every three years. The application cycle is as follows: 

  • ​Application window opens Nov. 1;​​
  • Application window closes Dec. 15
  • Awardees are announced each April, the Month of the Military Child.

Applicants will be contacted after the application window closes if there is an issue with their application that requires remediation. 

New Applicants

Interested schools can prepare to apply for the award when the next application window opens and begin activities supporting students in military families immediately. The new school application will be posted to this web page when the application window opens.

On the application, schools are asked to share the following:

  • The web address of the school's military families resource page;
  • Professional development activities completed by the school military family liaison;
  • Activities completed by your school that demonstrate the school's ongoing commitment to supporting military-connected youth and their families;
  • The school's process to identify and inform staff of military-connected students;
  • The number of military-connected students currently enrolled;
  • How staff connects with military-connected students; and
  • The school's plans and strategies to support military-connected students.

Renewal Applicants

Schools need to renew their Purple Star designation every three years. Renewal applications will be emailed to the school's liaison on Nov. 1 of their renewal year. Email PurpleStar@education.ohio.gov to update your liaison's contact information. Schools renewing their award will provide the same information on their application as listed above except: ​​​

  • A liaison renewing their application needs to demonstrate continuing professional development. If a new liaison has been assigned since the last award, they will complete the new liaison professional development requirements. 
  • The school's plans and strategies for continuing to support military-connected students.

If you have any questions, please email PurpleStar@education.ohio.gov and include your school name in the subject line. 

Last Modified: 4/16/2024 9:50:43 AM