This week, Wayne County Public Schools learned that 20 of its schools earned the Purple Star Award designation from the North Carolina Department of Instruction for their demonstrated military-friendly practices and a commitment to military students and families.
District leaders state that Wayne County Public Schools maintains a strong relationship with Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, and has worked to ensure that its schools have a network of supports to help address the unique challenges military connected families face.
“This state award designation was achieved because of our district’s commitment to ensure strategies are in place for schools to aid military connected students in their academic and extra-curricular efforts,” adds Dr. Michael Dunsmore, WCPS superintendent. “We are especially proud of the supports our schools provide students during their transitions when moving to Wayne County from out of area schools and in times of a parent’s deployment.”
The NCDPI announced the award designations on Monday. WCPS was among 10 districts and four charter schools that earned the Purple Star recognition for the 2019-20 school year.
District administrators add that this year’s application process had a very quick turnaround for schools to submit their applications, and are pleased that 20 schools were able to apply and receive the designation.
“While not every school was able to apply for the Purple Star Award, our remaining schools are already planning for next year’s application window,” adds Dr. Dunsmore. “I would be remiss if I did not express my appreciation to Jamie Livengood, the district’s Military Liaison Counselor, who assisted schools with the application process.”
According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, schools deemed as Purple Star Schools are those that completed several required activities, plus an optional activity, aimed at ensuring strong support for students of military families. Schools earning the Purple Star Award were required to have a staff member as a designated point of contact for military students and families, a designated central administration staff member supporting the point of contact in the school and also the provision of annual professional development addressing special considerations for military students and families.
The WCPS schools which received the Purple Star Award include: Charles B. Aycock High, Eastern Wayne Elementary, Eastern Wayne High, Eastern Wayne Middle, Fremont Stars Elementary, Greenwood Middle, Grantham Elementary, Grantham Middle, Meadow Lane Elementary, Northeast Elementary, Northwest Elementary, Norwayne Middle, Rosewood Elementary, Rosewood Middle, Rosewood High, Spring Creek Elementary, Spring Creek Middle, Spring Creek High, Tommy’s Road Elementary, and Wayne School of Engineering.