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.
NEW! Virtual Military Signing Day May 12, 2021
Each year high school students across the Nation are recognized for signing athletic letters of intent and for accepting scholarships for attending college and universities. This year schools across the Commonwealth are being encouraged to set aside time to recognize those students who have elected to enter military service whether through direct enlistment or by entering college ROTC programs. VDOE will be holding a Virtual Military Signing Day to honor the commitment being made by these students. The event will be held on May 12, 2021 from 6:30 PM -7:30 PM and will be livestreamed on the VDOE YouTube Channel. Students, parents, school personnel and members of the community are encouraged to attend.
COVID-19 Assistance for Military Families
The VDOE Military Student and Families Specialist has developed the "COVID-19 Guidelines for Military Families-This is a Word document." to assist school personnel on how to support military-connected students and their families during the pandemic.
For the latest updates on the novel Corona virus, visit Military OneSource: Coronavirus Information for our Military Community. This is updated frequently and includes material from DoD, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Military Health System. The resources include Military OneSource options, Spouse Education & Career Opportunities (SECO), MyCAA, Online Digital Libraries, Tips for Teleworking, Guidance for DoD civilians, support for financial stresses caused by COVID-19, what the travel restrictions mean for service members, their families and a PCS, and even scams related to COVID-19. For additional stress-management materials and suggestions, click the “Health and Wellness” category on both the public side of the website and the “Member Connect” (log in) side for more excellent information.
Military Kids Connect – This site is designed for military youth ages 6 – 17 to provide online resources, videos, an online forum and tips for coping skills, a parent deployed, etc. Many of our military youth have parents who are health-care providers who are on the front-line of COVID-19 and helping the military community. Three areas are highlighted:
- Feelings – in particular, there is a section about worry – short- and long-term.
- Message Board – the goal of Military Kids Connect is to connect military kids with each other. This is a safe and secure message board for military kids to share information and concerns. All content is moderated.
- Parents – a section for ‘Caring for our Youth’ detailing what is on the website and suggestions for parents for youth of all ages.
Military Child Education Coalition (MECEC): COVID-19 Supportive Resources – MCEC has compiled a list of COVID-19 supportive resources to assist students, parents and teachers during this time.
NEW! The Military Families Resources page now offers a new resource for military families with students who receive special education services. Partners in Promise is a non-for profit organization run by military connected parents. This organization is leading the way in shaping the conversation about supporting military connected students who receive special education services. The site is a great resource for those who want to know more about the P.R.O.M.I.S.E Act or simply connect to others who know the challenges of raising special needs students in the military culture.
“Purple Up! For Military Kids” Day! Wednesday April 21, 2021
Each year schools join in solidarity to support military connected children. On April 21, 2021 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.
24 Schools Selected for 2020-2021 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 2021-2022, will be made available April 1, 2021.
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.
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 2019 there are more than 80,000 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