School Earns Purple Star Status

Posted: November 9, 2022

Katherine G. Johnson Elementary School in Newport News, VA, is a 2022-23 Purple Star School.

The Virginia Department of Education awards this designation to schools that meet their high standards for service to military-connected students and their families.

To be named a Purple Star school, there must be a staff member who has completed VDOE training in meeting the needs of military students and serves as a point of contact for their families.

Purple Star schools must offer online information specifically designed for military families and must offer new students peer support to ease their transition. At Johnson Elementary, a team of fourth and fifth grade students known as Anchored4Life (A4L) team leaders, welcome new students, support students who are moving, and support military students going through the deployment of a parent.

For one of its schools to be awarded the Purple Star, the school system must also demonstrate its support for military families. In September 2021, the Newport News School Board passed a resolution committing to support the approximately 6,500 military-connected students in the school system through on-going professional development for teachers to prepare them to best meet the needs of this population and through focused communication to keep these families informed of the school and community resources available to them.

Newport News Public Schools now boasts two schools that have earned Purple Star status. General Stanford Elementary was named a Purple Star School in 2021. Once earned, schools maintain this status for three years.