State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria recently announced the newest schools across Ohio that received the coveted Purple Star Award this school year. Springboro Junior High School (SJHS) is one of the newest schools to be recognized has a Purple Star recipient by the Ohio Department of Education.
The Purple Star designation recognizes schools that demonstrate a major commitment to serving students and families connected to the United States Armed Forces. “Over 30% of our Junior High students (7th-8th grade) have a family member who currently serves, or has served, in the United States Military,” said Jon Franks, Principal at SJHS. “Some of these students will attend six (6) to nine (9) different schools from kindergarten through high school, and our staff is looking to provide help for these students throughout their education.”
Springboro Schools’ Board of Education recognized this honor at its February 12th meeting by reading a proclamation to various community members in attendance. “Springboro Schools recognizes that military families face unique challenges, and our district strives to do all that is possible to help our students and their families throughout the school year. We're here to help,” said Interim-Superintendent of Springboro Schools Carrie Hester.
Among the requirements SJHS had to meet to receive the Purple Star Award was designating a staff member to serve as a liaison between military-connected students, their families, and the school. The liaison is to inform teachers of the military-connected students in their classrooms and the special considerations military families and students should receive.
SJHS also had to establish a webpage (springboro.org/MilitaryFamilies.aspx) for military families, which provided resources necessary for attending public school. Springboro Schools’ other five (5) buildings: Clearcreek, Five Points, and Dennis Elementary, as well as Springboro Intermediate and the High School plan on taking similar steps to apply for a Purple Star designation the following school year.
The Purple Star Advisory Board — formed by the Ohio departments of Education, Higher Education, Veterans Services and Adjutant General — helps determine school eligibility.
“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 Paolo DeMaria, State Superintendent of Instruction. “Today we recognize the schools showcasing these supports and inspiring all of us by their commitment to our military families.”
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said, “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. 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.”
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.