The Wyoming Purple Star School Designation Award for military-friendly schools recognizes schools that demonstrate a major commitment to serving students and families connected to our nation’s armed forces.
The Wyoming Purple Star School Program recognizes the efforts of Wyoming K-12 schools that are committed and supportive of military students and families as they transition to their new homes and schools. The program was designed to help with the challenges of high mobility by setting standards of commitment for the school’s award of the military-friendly Purple Star designation. All Wyoming public and private schools are eligible to apply for the Purple Star School Award.
With more than 1.1 million military-connected students attending schools, issues of school transition are a high priority for families. The most current data indicates that Wyoming has 2,140 military-connected students in our schools. The frequent relocations required of military personnel mean that, on average, military-connected children move six to nine times between kindergarten and high school graduation. As they transition between schools, these students must adapt to varying cultures, school populations, curricula, standards, course offerings, schedules, and graduation requirements. As a result, military-connected students often face unique academic and social-emotional challenges. A mission deployment of a parent or parents can also contribute to impactful stress on a student.
To qualify for the Purple Star Designation award, schools complete a Purple Star School application and submit documentation of required activities.
Congratulations to Laramie School District #1’s Freedom Elementary, McCormick Junior High, and Central High Schools for earning Wyoming’s first Purple Star School Designations!
How to Qualify
Schools must fulfill all the required activities, plus at least one of the additional activities listed below.
Wyoming Purple Star School Designation Application and Participation Requirements
The school must designate a staff point of contact (POC) and alternative contact that serves as primary liaisons between military students and families and the school. The contacts could be counselors, administrators, teachers or other staff members.
The liaisons complete the WDE-provided Canvas Wyoming Purple Star Course or the Military Child Education Coalition Student 2 Student (S2S) professional development course on special considerations for military students and families.
The liaisons identify and inform teachers of the military-connected students in their schools and the special considerations military families and students should receive.
The school maintains a dedicated page for the Purple Star Program on its website featuring resources for military families.
The school develops and maintains a student-led transition program with a faculty or staff advisor. This program should provide peer support for newly enrolled and transitioning students.
The school must actively support and comply with existing district or school anti-discrimination policies.
Additional activities (must include at least one):
The school provides professional development for additional staff on special considerations for military students and families.
The local school board passes a resolution publicizing the school’s support for military children and families.
The school hosts a military recognition event that demonstrates a supportive culture.
The school establishes a partnership with a local military installation that provides opportunities for military members to volunteer at the campus, speak at an assembly, or host a field trip.
Applications are submitted via the Wyoming Department of Education website at Wyoming Purple Star School Application. Applications may be submitted at any time.
Applications will be reviewed by the Purple Star Application Review Committee during the next review cycle (September or March). The Review Committee may contact the school’s point of contacts for additional information.
Wyoming Purple Star designations will be awarded in November and May. Award announcements are within thirty (30) days of approval by the Wyoming Purple Star Schools Committee.
Each awarded school will receive a Wyoming Purple Star School certificate to display on campus. Designated Purple Star Schools will be listed on the Wyoming Department of Education Purple Star Schools web page.
Each Purple Star school holds its designation as long as it continues to meet the requirements. The School liaison shall submit a letter or e-mail verifying compliance to this email annually by September 1.
Wyoming districts with schools that have achieved the Wyoming Purple Star School status shall be designated as Purple Star Districts and may use this designation on the district website.
- Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3)
- Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) – Programs
- Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) – Resources
- Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) Parent Webinars
- Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) Professional Development
- Harvard Graduate School of Education For Military Kids, Resilience and Challenges
- Military Kids Connect
- Resources for Military Children Linking military-connected school personnel with evidence-based resources and support
- Sesame Street for Military Families
- Tough Topics for Military Kids