Local schools among first in Ohio to receive state honor

OHIO (WTVG) - The Ohio Department of Education announced it had awarded eight schools in the state with the Purple Star Award, recognizing districts that serve military-connected students and families.

The list includes Oak Harbor Middle School in the Benton-Carroll-Salem school district and Swanton Middle School in the Swanton school district, both in Northwest Ohio. Both schools are among the first eight in the state to be recognized for this honor.

“A supportive school environment can have a significant impact on our military-connected students,” said Superintendent DeMaria. “These Purple Star schools provide our 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.”

The Purple Star Award for military friendly schools recognizes schools that show a major commitment to serving students and families connected to our nation’s armed forces. Purple Star awardees receive a special Purple Star recognition to display in their buildings. 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 because purple symbolizes 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 also 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.

The first eight schools to receive the Purple Star Award are:

• Beverly Gardens Elementary School (Mad River Local Schools, Montgomery County)

• Caldwell High School (Caldwell Exempted Village Local Schools, Noble County)

• Hamilton Township High School (Hamilton Local Schools, Franklin County)

• Liberty Middle School (Olentangy Local Schools, Delaware County)

• Oak Harbor Middle School (Benton-Carroll-Salem Local Schools, Ottawa County)

• Swanton Middle School (Swanton Local Schools, Lucas County)

• Trebein Elementary School (Beavercreek City Schools, Greene County)

• Wooster High School (Wooster City Schools, Wayne County)