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Texas Purple Star Campus Designations Announced

Education

Purple Star Campus | Image by Killeen ISD

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More than 170 public schools in Texas received designation as 2022-2023 Purple Star Campuses, according to a September 22 press release from the Texas Education Agency.

The Purple Star Campus Designation was established in 2019 by the Texas Legislature to recognize public schools in the state for meeting the needs of students with a connection to the military.

Mike Morath, the Texas education commissioner, shared that these campuses are committed to supporting these students and their families.

“I am extremely proud of the work these schools are doing to meet the needs of students and families that have sacrificed an incredible amount in service to our country,” Morath said in the press release. “We recognize the challenges military-connected students often face when transitioning schools. However, these campuses are committed to maximizing the availability of high-quality supports to make that transition easier and to help set these students up for success.”

A total of 179 schools were given the designation this year, which is the largest round in the program’s history. This year’s Purple Star Campuses almost quadrupled the campuses that were designated in last year’s round, the press release shares. Nearly 200 public schools applied this year.

Texas is considered the second state in the nation in terms of military-connected students, according to the TEA press release.

“To be eligible, campuses must designate a campus-based military liaison, create and maintain an easily accessible web page that includes information for military-connected students and their families, institute a campus transition program for military-connected students, and support a military family assistance initiative,” the TEA press release states.

The campus-based military liaison should be able to offer professional development opportunities to staff on issues related to students that have a military connection and offer support for military-connected students and families, according to the Texas Education Agency website.

Transition programs should include student leaders or ambassadors that are supported by staff members, participating in creating and hosting activities or social events, and introductions to the school processes and environment. As stated by the Texas Education Agency, these programs should have initiatives to accompany newcomers to lunch for the first week of their transition and offer guided tours of the campus.

Eligible campuses must also offer one of three initiatives, according to the TEA website.

These include:

  • “A resolution showing support for military-connected students and families;
  • Participation in Month of the Military Child or Military Family Month; or
  • Partnership with a school liaison officer to encourage and provide opportunities for active duty military members.”

Any public school campus can apply for Purple Star Campus designation, the press release states, and applications open each year. The designation lasts for two years. Schools can apply no matter how many military-connected students they have.

It is unclear whether any Dallas ISD schools submitted an application for the designation, but somehow, despite it being the second-largest school district in Texas, not a single Dallas ISD school was named a Purple Star Campus.

In fact, only one campus in virtually all of North Texas earned the designation, Lake Dallas High School of Lake Dallas ISD, located just north of Lewisville in Denton County.

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