March 24, 2017

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Month of the Military Child

On behalf of the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), I am pleased to announce that Governor McAuliffe has issued a certificate of proclamationThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website recognizing April 2017 as the Month of the Military Child, a special time to celebrate and honor our military-connected children and their families.  Additionally, the Virginia Board of Education issued a resolution commemorating April 2017 as the Month of the Military Child at its meeting, March 23, 2017.

Frequent moves, family separations through deployments, and the return 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 also 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, VDOE provides resources about the unique support needed for military service members and their families during all stages of transition and deployment.  While April has been designated as the Month of the Military Child, schools and school divisions are encouraged to take time throughout the year to recognize the nation’s military servicemen and servicewomen, their families, and their children.

To assist schools in the planning the Month of the Military Child celebrations, VDOE has developed resources which are available on VDOE’s Military Families web pages.  We encourage schools to use these materials and ideas in planning the Month of the Military Child activities throughout April.

We encourage schools to share their “Purple Up!” and “Month of the Military Child” photos by using the hashtag #PurpleUpVirginia on social media.  The VDOE will be reposting your efforts on our various social media platforms.  Photos and/or descriptions of your activities can also be sent to Dan Dunham, VDOE Military Student and Family Specialist, at Dan.Dunham@doe.virginia.gov, for sharing with the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

For more information on Month of the Military Child or resources for military-connected students, please contact Dan Dunham, VDOE Military Student and Family Specialist, at Dan.Dunham@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-2157.  The VDOE Military Student and Family Specialist is also available to answer questions about implementation of the Interstate Compact or the military student identifier, connect you with your local school liaison officer, and provide training to your school or division.

I hope that you and other educators in your division will take time during the month of April to join with us to celebrate the many contributions of military-connected students and to honor their service to our great nation.

SRS/DLD/nlc