Purple Star Campus Designation
The Purple Star Campus Designation is a prestigious recognition highlighting Texas district and charter schools' dedication to creating a supportive environment for military-connected students and their families.
This special honor was created by the 86th Texas Legislature through SB 1557 and further described in agency rule (19 TAC, § 61.1063), effective April 9, 2020.
Every fall, TEA awards the Purple Star Campus designation to campuses that apply and meet the established criteria (see below). Selected campuses will receive a special Purple Star recognition to display on campus or the school website. Campuses selected will also have their designation featured on the TxSchools.gov web page.
"We recognize the challenges military-connected students often face when transitioning schools, and by fostering an environment that embraces their unique experiences, these schools are creating a nurturing atmosphere where every individual student can thrive," said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. "Campuses with a Purple Star Designation let military families know that they are dedicated to providing the best quality educational experience for their children while in Texas public schools."
Find out more at the TEA Purple Star Campus Designation page.
CRITERIA FOR PURPLE STAR DESIGNATION
To receive the Purple Star designation, schools must meet specific criteria. Here's a checklist of the requirements:
1) Designate a campus-based military liaison that must:
- Support military-connected students and their families.
- Offer professional development opportunities for staff members on issues related to military-connected students.
2) Create and maintain an easily accessible web page that includes information for military-connected students and their families.
3) Must have a campus transition program that includes:
- Introductions to school environment and processes.
- Student leaders or ambassadors, supported or sponsored by a campus-based staff member.
- Participation in organizing and hosting newcomer social events, facilitating guided tours of the campus, and accompanying new students to lunch during the first week of school.
4) Offer at least one of the following initiatives:
- 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.
To see the Purple Star Campus Designation rule in its entirety, visit 19 TAC, Chapter 61. School Districts, Subchapter FF. Commissioner's Rules Concerning Veterans and Military Dependents. Division 2, Military-Connected Students, § 61.1063.
HOW TO APPLY
Applications for the 2024-25 school year will open in April 2024.
Schools in Texas can apply for the Purple Star Schools designation, and to qualify, they must meet certain criteria and demonstrate their support for military-connected students.
To qualify to earn the Purple Star Designation, campuses must:
- Submit an application (available in April 2024).
- Designate a campus-based staff member as a military liaison.
- Create and maintain an easily accessible webpage with information for military-connected students and their families.
Examples: Comal ISD, Grapevine ISD - Middle School, Houston ISD - Brookline Elementary, Kaufman ISD - High School, New Caney ISD
- Demonstrate that they have a campus transitional program supported by a campus-based staff member (not the same member designated as military liaison).
- Participate in at least 1 of 3 military-connected student initiatives listed in TAC 61.1063.
2024-2025 PURPLE STAR CAMPUS APPLICATION INFORMATION
Purple Star Schools typically offer services such as counseling and support for students adjusting to new schools, flexibility for military students and their families when it comes to registration and enrollment, and a welcoming and supportive environment for military families.
“This designation shows families that there are programs in place to help the transition process and support is available to bridge the educational gap that may be caused by constant relocation,” says Misty Cantrell, the military liaison at PHS. “As a member of the military myself, I always relied on other military families to help select the right school for my children. This designation helps identify schools that support military families when searching for the next school your child will attend prior to the move.”
San Angelo ISD:
“As the Goodfellow Air Force Base School Liaison, I take great pride in our local community and the education we are providing our preschool through 12th grade students. The distinguished state honor of Purple Star campuses showcases the incredible partnership initiatives between San Angelo ISD and Goodfellow AFB,” said Goodfellow School Liaison, Theresa Goodwin. “The continued commitment of advocacy, support, and scholastic exploration widens the local academic opportunities for all SAISD students to include military-connected students. This vested partnership is creating foundational building blocks for lasting educational success!”
El Paso ISD:
“Providing a wide variety of support systems to meet our military-connected students’ needs is absolutely a top priority for the entire EPISD leadership team,” said Alan Weirnicki, EPISD chief quality officer and EPISD’s liaison to Fort Bliss. “We are always looking for better ways to improve support for the unique requirements of our Fort Bliss families as they transition in and out of El Paso and our school district. The TEA’s Purple Star Campus designation is evidence that our schools are among the best in the state in terms of doing just that.”