News & Announcements
We welcome all military families to Virginia and look forward to a successful school year. If you are a military family member and have questions about schooling options or need help with your transitions please feel free to contact Dan Dunham, Virginia Department of Education Military Student and Family Specialist.
“Purple Up! For Military Kids” Day! Wednesday April 20, 2022
Each year schools join in solidarity to support military connected children. On April 20, 2022 schools and communities are encouraged to wear purple and this could continue even when we are under quarantine. Purple represents the blending of the colors of the five branches of our armed forces. Here in Virginia, we are proud to be home to Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, National Guard and Reserve families. VDOE has provided a save the date flyer to display in your school for the Purple Up! Celebration. To download the flyer visit the Month of the Military Child.
95 Schools Selected for 2021-2022 Purple Star Designation:
The Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children are recognizing 123 schools as “Purple Star” schools. The Purple Star designation is awarded to military-friendly schools that have demonstrated their commitment to meeting the needs of military-connected students and their families.
To qualify for a Purple Star, schools must have a staff member designated as the point of contact for military students and families. The point of contact serves as the primary link between the military family and the school. Schools must also demonstrate their commitment to meeting the needs of military students by providing peer transition teams, resources and programming on issues important to military families. Applications for the next round, SY 2022-2023, will be made available April 1, 2022.
Refer to Purple Star Designation for more information on this award program and to see a list of schools who received this year’s designation.
Military service members and their families are resilient and resourceful, many also face unique challenges and have special considerations related to the service of their country. When military families have a student with a disability, it adds another layer of complexity to accessing information and supports, while ensuring their students receive a free, appropriate public education.
PEATC, in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education, invites military service members and their families who have students with disabilities, as well as the educators and other support professionals who serve them, to join us for an IN-PERSON conference designed with their interests in mind!
There will be an exhibitor’s hall and meet and greet on Sunday, May 8, 2022 from 6- 8 pm, allowing attendees to network with each other, the presenters, the keynote speaker and gather important resources.
Monday, May 9, 2022 will be a day filled with a host of information and presentations from professionals with experience and a passion for Special Education and the military family. This year’s conference will include topics on special education, PCSing (Permanent Change of Station) with an IEP, transition services, and more.
Virginia is home to some of the nation’s largest and most important military installations, so it is not surprising that Virginia schools educate more military children than any other state in the nation. As of September 2021 there are more than 79,000 military connected students residing and attending public schools across the Commonwealth.
Frequent moves, family separations through deployments, and reintegration following deployments can make school, home, and community-life challenging for military children. Yet, even in such circumstances, these students continually demonstrate resilience and perseverance. Their contributions to our schools and communities include unique and valuable perspectives on learning, friendship, and growing up.
Virginia is a proud member of the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children and is committed to the care and education of the children of the men and women of our armed forces. By partnering with school liaison officers, military leaders, educators, and community organizations, the Virginia Department of Education provides resources and support for military service children and their families during all stages of transition and deployment.
School Liaison Officers & Exceptional Family Member Program Managers
Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps school liaison officers connect military families with educational opportunities and critical information about state and local school laws, policies and standards. School liaison officers work in partnership with local school divisions and the leaders of military commands and installations to enhance the public-school experiences of military children. Liaison officers equip school division staff with resources and information about the challenges faced by military children while working in partnership with schools and community organizations to raise awareness about the needs of these students. School liaison officers promote parental involvement and assist parents, teachers and administrators and commanders in troubleshooting and finding solutions to education-related problems. Refer to the School Liaison Officers Contact Information-This is a Word document. to connect to a military school liaison officer.
Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Exceptional Family Member Program Managers (EFMP’s) are equipped provide information, resources, skills and support to help military families with special needs navigate their systems of care. As families gain confidence, they become effective advocates for themselves and their family members, improving the quality of life.
Refer to the Exceptional Family Member Program Managers-This is a Word document. to connect to a Virginia military EFMP.
Use the menu to the right to navigate to sub-sections of this topic:
- Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
- Guidance Documents & Training Materials
- Virginia Laws Related to the Education of Military Children
- Military Family Resources
- Month of the Military Child
- Purple Star Designation Program
For more information, contact:
Virginia Department of Education
P. O. Box 2120
Richmond, VA 23218-2120