Laurel Oaks Career Campus in Wilmington is one of two career centers in Ohio named Purple Star schools by the Ohio Department of Education.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria announced last week that 57 schools received the Purple Star designation for their commitment to serving military-connected students and their families.
“On this National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we’re honored to recognize these schools for creating inclusive and supportive communities for their military families,” DeMaria said. “Purple Star schools provide our military children and families with the resources they need to be successful. We’re thankful for their service and honored to continue the important work of improving services for Ohio’s military families.”
Laurel Oaks staff and students welcome all branches of the military into the school throughout the year. They plan activities for students with the help of military personnel and former students who are now enlisted, and beginning next year will encourage parents who are currently active to notify the school so that Laurel Oaks staff can help students and families take advantage of resources available to them. Laurel Oaks counselor Scott Anderson will also attend the Marine Educator Workshop at Camp Lejeune in April.
The Purple Star designation for military-friendly schools recognizes schools that show a major commitment to serving students and families connected to the nation’s armed forces. The Purple Star Advisory Board, formed by the Ohio departments of Education, Higher Education, Veterans Services and Adjutant General, helps decide eligibility.
A Purple Star school will receive the designation for two years. After two years, the school must reapply. The Purple Star emblem was selected to symbolize support for military families.
There are 34,000 children in Ohio with one or more parents serving in the military. This includes the children of active duty, reserve and Ohio National Guard members. Some of these children will attend six to nine different schools throughout their K-12 educational experiences. In addition to changing schools often, a student can be affected by a parent’s deployment. Schools can help students and families face these issues by connecting them with the resources they need.
Submitted by Jon Weidlich, director of community relations, Great Oaks Career Campuses.