Purple Star Bulletin
Ohio Association of Purple Star Schools, 2021-2022
Welcome to PSB, School Year 21-22!
Purple Star Bulletin
Welcome back Ohio Purple Star Schools! This is the fifth edition of the Purple Star Bulletin (PSB), created for Purple Star Schools and all supporters of military-connected students.The Purple Star movement began here in Ohio in 2017 with 8 schools and has now grown to close to 400 with the addition of the Round 9 First Time Honorees and Renewals ! Congratulations to all Purple Star Schools - keep the momentum going!
The purpose of the PSB is to connect you to useful resources, to keep you informed of news and issues pertaining to military-connected students, and to share best practices to help you more efficiently take care of your military-connected kids.
Meet the Editor of the PSB
My name is Dr. Michelle Lewis and I am privileged to serve as the editor of the PSB! I am the Point of Contact (POC) at Hyatts Middle School, one of 17 Purple Star Schools in the Olentangy Local School District in Delaware county, a little north of Columbus. I am the mother of an Air Force veteran, a French and Spanish teacher, a USO of Central and Southern Ohio volunteer, a marathon coach, and an enthusiastic member of the Purple Star family!
I am sharing the story of Mr. Rich Doritty, a dedicated veteran that has been helping to run my military kids group for 3 years now. Our veterans are willing to connect with our kids beyond the month of November.
We are living through unprecedented times and our military-connected students need us more than ever, hang in there! I know that I feel very stretched, barely treading water, but I am leaning on friends, family, and colleagues - please take care of yourselves so that you can take care of our kids!
Upcoming Events, Dates, and Deadlines
- Purple Star Round 10 - 1 Application Window for 2021-2022 - opened November 1 and closed December 15. Purple Star Awards are valid for three years, going forward there will be one window each fall for new awards and renewals.
- April is the Month of the Military Child - The DOD designates April 15 each year as Purple Up Day, start your plans early!
- May 31 is the deadline to nominate a military youth or their family for the Janet Wynn Award.
Purple Star POC Change?
Has your POC changed at your school? Please share this information with the PSB editor, via email (email@example.com) once you have "passed the baton".
- Staff/Building position/assignment
- Email address
- Phone number
Purple Star Media Presence
The Ohio Association of Purple Star Schools is on Facebook! Follow the Purple Star Schools Facebook Page and send us your photos and videos so we can share them with the Purple Star community. Not only are we on Facebook, but we are introducing our web page that has many resources for military-connected students and families. Click on the button below to be connected to the Ohio Purple Star Schools website.
This is the fifth edition of the PSB and our goal is to create a communication vehicle for Purple Star schools in Ohio. We hope to share the news about Purple Star Schools and educate you about issues important to military-connected students and their families. In closing this introduction I remind you that the PSB has been created for you and we welcome your input! It is my belief that a good teacher is like a pirate, we take from others and make it our own - no need to reinvent the wheel! We hope to share your ideas through this newsletter but please don't stop there. Follow us on Facebook, like the Purple Star Schools Facebook page and share your joy, creativity, and triumphs with your Purple Star Family!
IN THIS ISSUE:
MIC3 Commissioner Pete LuPiba shares about the Purple Star movement that if growing nationwide and updates Purple Star POCs with important information.
IMPORTANT RESOURCES: The New Google Page
Information about the new Google site for Purple Star Schools is in the IMPORTANT RESOURCES section.
IMPORTANT RESOURCES: Ideas for Purple Up Day from the MIC3
April is the Month of the Military Child (MOTMC), the MIC3 has shared a list of ideas you can use! Send us your pictures!
Apply for the Janet Wynn Memorial Award: has an Ohio military family or school-aged youth in your school displayed exceptional perseverance, grit, and determination throughout a
PCS move or transition between school districts?
Purple Star Schools
Hyatts Military Kids, the military-connected students from Hyatts Middle School in the Olentangy Local School District have a dedicated veteran that has been the "co-pilot" for the group for 3 years! Share your stories with us!
Meet the Purple Star Family: Dave Schklar and Christine Young
You will meet MIC3 member Dave Schklar, Army Veteran and former classroom teacher, and Christine Young, Purple Star POC and Social Studies teacher at Anthony Wayne Junior High School near Toledo.
PD information including the upcoming Purple Star Town Halls, the NURTURES program which includes stipends for teachers.
Purple Star Gear
There is a link at the end of this newsletter where you can find many Purple Star items to share your Purple Star pride!
Resources, Acronyms, References
There are useful resources to Purple Star POCs such as RISFAC, and Troops to Teachers. There are links to the NVMM. What is the NVMM or a RISFAC or a POC? Check out the Useful Acronyms list that grows with each issue as we combine educational and military acronyms.
Purple Star : Born in Ohio!
Ohio's MIC3 Commissioner Pete LuPiba reflects upon Ohio's efforts to help military-connected families.
Photo: Commissioner Pete LuPiba and State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Paolo DeMaria.
Come July, the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) for Ohio will enter in to its thirteenth year as a state law and body of support for Ohio’s local schools and America’s Military (MIL) families. What intense community, global challenges we have experienced as local and state K12-MIL leaders in 2021? And of course, those of our MIL families…every day with every move, milestone. Together – we made it through 2021, colleagues and friends on this sacred Purple Star mission.
The five year anniversary of the launch of Purple Star at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton will be marked in late April, during Month of the Military Child 2022. With the start of 2022, Ohio has honored ten classes of Purple Star schools since the fall of 2017. At these 400 schools, we implement the MIC3 law locally and fully but more so, Purple Star faithfully supports the whole military-connected child. We have already announced one class of renewal schools – a first in the nation!
Ohio is noted by the United States Department of Defense as an “Air Force State” due to the plurality of population for Active Duty belonging to this Branch of Service. Ohio is the proud home of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, along with hundreds of Service-members and their families belonging to the additional Branches. The T D Rutan MIC3 State Council is collaborating partners with the leadership of Wright-Patterson and our state’s School Liaison Officer, Trina Pauley (MIC3 Council Member). Education Specialist Chip Merkle (MIC3 Council Member) with the Ohio Army and Air National Guard, and I coordinated with the United States Army’s leadership of their School Liaison Officers across the globe this winter to better connect with Ohio’s Soldiers and their families.
The Annual Business Meeting of MIC3 was hosted 4-5 November 2021, the second year in a row of virtually, nationally meeting as the 50+1 Member States. For more information, please log on to www.mic3.net and consider joining the Ohio delegation next year by representing fellow K12-MIL leaders and our Buckeye State MIL kids! We are grateful to the service of team members Julie Davis (Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators) and Dave Axner (Buckeye Association of School Administrators), rotating and retiring off the T D Rutan MIC3 State Council. MIL family and student applications for the Janet Wynn Memorial Award will be accepted in 2022. Please see T D Rutan MIC3 State Council Members Jason Durell, Michelle Lewis, or Ashley Twedt with any questions, and to submit worthy MIL families and kids for this distinguished honor!
In November (2022) National Military Family Appreciation Month, I will have had the honor of serving on behalf of our Governor and Ohio’s MIL families for a decade. The absolute best part, of every school year and in between? The mission is growing and working, we’re connecting and supporting, and the state council, team, network has never been one person out there alone or stuck inside I-270. To each of you, my gratitude on behalf of MIL families and the State of Ohio for your expertise and professionalism and time, simply could not be greater! Thank you!! Should you as a Purple Star School Liaison (PSSL) have concerns, issues, or questions on the MIC3, and need support for a Military family in your community, please reach out to any member of the Ohio K12-MIL team. As we enter the third year of this pandemic, we are grateful to the health officials, medical professionals, and you, the educators on these frontlines of care, support for America’s MIL kids. Please do not hesitate to call, email, text (614-949-8584) should you need support for your Purple Star school and community, just email Pete.LuPiba@obm.ohio.gov. Thank you for your unwavering dedication of service to Ohio’s MIL families in the school year 2021-2022.
The Janet Wynn Award
The Janet Wynn Memorial Award highlights an Ohio military family or school-aged youth that has displayed exceptional perseverance, grit, and determination throughout a PCS move or transition between school districts.
Nominations for the award are accepted from September 30 to May 31 each school year. The nomination form can be accessed here.
Who was Janet Wynn?
Janet Wynn was a devoted mother, wife, educator, advisory board member of the Tom Rutan State Council of the MIC3, and School Liaison at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) who worked for the United States Air Force as a civil servant for more than 15 years. Janet always enjoyed working with children from her college days when she worked in a daycare to earning her degree in early childhood elementary education from West Texas A&M. She started her educational support career in the Air Force as a training and curriculum specialist with child and youth services. WPAFB is Ohio’s largest military base and Janet was the only Student Liaison in the state. With this large military population, Janet was able to conduct professional development, deployment support, and provide countless resources to educators.
Janet adored her family and loved her daughters immensely. She left an indelible impression on everyone she worked with from military families, service members, community members, students, staff, and professionals across the country. Janet passed away in April, 2020 after a fierce battle with cancer. This Award serves as a constant reminder of how one dedicated, passionate and loving person can positively influence thousands of others.
“Student focused...partnership driven.” Janet Wynn
PURPLE STAR SCHOOLS - Veteran Extraordinaire, Mr. Rich Doritty
Photo above: Mr. Doritty at HMK meeting in March 2019, in the classroom of Dr. Michelle Lewis, POC.
Hyatts Military Kids (HMK) is the activity group of military-connected students at Hyatts MIddle School in the Olentangy Local School District. We hold monthly breakfast meetings where we share stories and learn from our dedicated USAF veteran, Mr. Rich Doritty. He is actively involved in the American Legion, Col Benson Hough Post 457 in Sunbury, and the Delaware County Veterans Association.
Mr. Doritty has been a long serving volunteer to the Olentangy Schools! He has spent close to 20 years working with teachers to develop Veterans Day programs including the program at my school, Living History Day. At Living History Day 2019, I spoke with Rich after our program about where I might find funding for activities that I do with HMK. In the words of Bogart from Casablanca, that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship! Not only did he help me find funding for field trips and breakfasts, but he adopted our group!
An avid collector of military memorabilia, he shares his military treasures with our group at each meeting. Click on this link to see his presentation on U.S. Military Gear and Equipment Throughout History for the Big Walnut Area Historical Society.
He helped us to secure funding and he accompanied us to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM) in January, 2020. Our veterans are treasures throughout the year, not just in November! In addition, having Rich as my co-pilot takes pressure off me and I enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with him.
Photo below: HMK, Dr. Michelle Lewis left center and Mr. Doritty, right center, at NVMM January 2019.
Meet the purple star family
POC Christine Young
Christine Young, pictured above with her sons during lockdown dressed for Month of the Military Child Spirit Week, shares her story! She is a Social Studies teacher and the Purple Star Point of Contact at Anthony Wayne Junior High School in the Anthony Wayne Local Schools near Toledo. The 180th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard is in close proximity to Anthony Wayne Local School District.
is nothing special. As a Social Studies teacher, I had been teaching a lesson each year on Veterans Day about those who served our country. I always felt that my school needed to do something bigger and really up our game in regards to supporting our veterans and highlighting these community members. Thus, in the fall of 2019, I decided to organize a Veterans Speaker Program where veterans would come into each of our sixteen sections of Social Studies throughout the day. Veteran speakers were honored with a special breakfast and lunch potluck for meeting with our students. The day was a great success and all people involved gained a better understanding of the sacrifices our service members make day in and day out for our country. We have continued this program each year but have had to make adjustments so that our guests could join us virtually. In 2020, we were honored to have a pilot and parent from the 180th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard join us all the way from Afghanistan. It was eye-opening experience for our students.
Purple Star Begins
After the success of our first Veterans Speaker Program, I decided we need to connect with our military families within our school. One of our primary schools, Waterville Primary, had established a great program and was the first to become a Purple Star school within the Anthony Wayne School District. Anthony Wayne Junior High needed to continue that program and I decided to take on the effort. Personally, I do have any connection to the military. I am not a military spouse nor do I have any living family members who are veterans. However, with the 180th Fighter Wing within our district, I knew there was a population of students with unique circumstances.
Since earning the Purple Star Designation, I have done my best to learn as I go in regards to the structure of the military, base operations, and positions at the 180th, and, more importantly, how to discover and support our military families here at the Junior High. Every day brings new information and challenges, but I am embracing the process. In the fall of 2020, after returning to school from Covid lockdown, I started a student support group of our military-connected students called the Purple Star Generals. I borrowed the name from Waterville Primary hoping to create a connection between our buildings. My dream is to create a district-wide committee where all buildings have a Purple Star Generals group and we support our military families as a whole.
Activities to Support Military-Connected Families
Our group at the JH has developed many activities to advocate and support the military. One example of these projects was an M&M deployment jar we gave to each military family with a deployed parent(s). Each M&M represented a day the deployed member would be gone and was used as a countdown until their return; a visual reminder to stay positive and know we were in it together. Another fun activity proposed and led by one of my military students was Mustache March. We held a community mustache growing competition in honor of the Air Force's tradition of Mustache March. We also have participated in the 180th Fighter Wing's Trunk-or-Treat event and holiday party.
Connecting with the 180th Fighter Wing
My focus has been to connect and partner with the 180th since the majority of our military-connected students have parents working at the base. I created a strong relationship with the Families Readiness Director and we work together to ensure our students and families feel supported. Like everything in life, the journey and process are slow but very rewarding. Anthony Wayne Junior High hopes to develop more programs to support our military community.
Meet the Purple Star Family: MIC3 Member Dave Schklar!
Photo: Jim Petro (left) colleague of Dave Schklar (right).
In each issue of the PSB you are introduced to a member of the MIC3 council in order to familiarize with their role and to possibly provide you with another resource for your military-connected families.
What is your background?
I am a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel with a total of 28 years serving in active-duty, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard units. I currently have 20 years in education serving as a science classroom educator for 10 years and various administrative positions for an additional 10 years. Outside of education and the military, I am married and the father of 3: 2 daughters, 29 and 30 years old, both married, and 1 son (27). I have coached youth soccer when my kids were very young and currently coach youth shooting sports (rifle/pistol).
How did you become involved with the MIC3?
Being the Ohio Troops to Teachers Program Coordinator located at the Ohio Department of Education, I assist transitioning active-duty, currently serving reserve component service members and military veterans enter the K-12 education career field as a credentialed teacher or administrator. Who best to understand the trials of military life on a child than a military veteran; many of which were military connected students themselves? Therefore, the synergy between the missions of Troops to Teachers and the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) made being a member of the Ohio MIC3 Thomas D. Rutan State Council a “no-brainer”. I contacted the MIC3 commissioner, Pete LuPiba, and pleaded my case. Commissioner LuPiba agreed that the Ohio Troops to Teachers Program Coordinator should have a seat on the board.
What is your involvement with Purple Star?
The value of the Purple Star Designated School Program is that it is the premier “ground level” program helping military connected students and families negotiate challenges they experience due to being connected to the military. Military connected students and families deal with short-term and long-term separations of a parent or sibling due to training or operational deployments forcing many students to become care givers and accept other responsibilities. Military connected students with a parent(s) in one of the reserve components also must support the service member parent(s) that experiences the stresses of dualling careers and conflicting schedules.
My involvement with Purple Star is assisting schools to increase the number of qualified service members and military veterans on the faculty. Who best to understand these challenges and offer support than a currently serving military service member or veteran?
The Purple Star Program Coordinator and I both work for the Ohio Department of Education. I, also, sit on the Purple Star Designated School selection committee.
What motivates you to continue to serve?
Service to others is a calling and resides in my heart. For a democratic society to work, the population must take an active part. Throughout my life, our family and I have been active participants serving our community and country.mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
PD: click below to access the MIC3 website
PD: Ashland University
In addition, Dr. Basinger worked with the Purple Star team to create the Ohio Purple Star Schools web page: it has resources that you and your military-connected students and families might need will be located in one easy website. The Ohio Purple Star Schools button below will connect you to these resources.
PD: Important to understand: MIC3
What is the Compact?The Military Interstate Children's Compact is an agreement or compact among the 50 states and the District of Columbia that attempts to level the playing field for military dependents of active-duty service members. The Commission (MIC3) is the group that meets to discuss the needs of military-connected students and their families. The Ohio MIC3 Rutan State Council is lead by Navy veteran Commissioner Pete LuPiba.
Why the Compact?
The purpose of the Compact can be summed up in one word - TRANSITION. The purpose of the compact is to ease the transition of military-connected students.
Who is covered by the Compact?
Children of active duty members of the uniformed services, National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders, commissioned officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Unites States Public Health Service (USPHS), and members or veterans who are medically discharged or retired for one year are eligible for assistance under the Compact. The Compact also covers students of members who perish on active duty for a period of one year following their death.
The Compact attempts to reduce education challenges such as, eligibility, placement and graduation for transitioning military families. On average, military students will attend six to nine different school systems during their K-12 years.
The Commission - Ohio Creates Purple Star Schools!
The Ohio MIC3 is a very active group that sought to take the Compact one step further by creating the Purple Star School designation in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). The idea was not just to solve problems through the Compact but perhaps avoid problems and provide support for military-connected students and their families.The Ohio MIC3 The Purple Star Point of Contact (POC) is the critical link in a school to provide information to military-connected families.
PD: House Bill 244
This is part of the press release from the Ohio House of Representatives on July 14, 2021.COLUMBUS – State Representatives Andrea White (R-Kettering) and Brian Lampton (R-Beavercreek) today announced that House Bill 244, legislation that expands educational opportunities for Ohio’s military children, has become law. HB 244 will help ease military children’s transition into a new school as their families move in and out of Ohio. The bill specifically allows local education agencies to permit children of military families to participate in both virtual school enrollments and advance enrollments as they prepare to move to a new military installation with orders in hand. The legislation allows students to participate, or continue to participate, in a school district’s virtual schooling as they move in and out of a district. HB 244 also waives the proof of residency requirements until the student begins school. With military families moving six to nine times during their children’s growing up years, Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Lampton’s and White’s House districts, and other Ohio military installations bring thousands of school-age children to the Buckeye state. “House Bill 244 removes barriers and enables our schools to be more flexible and welcoming to families at a time in their service that can be extremely stressful,” said White. “It’s important for supporting our military families who sacrifice so much for our freedom, and it’s important for our state as we seek to remain a vital partner for our nation’s defense and a host to strategic military installations which drive innovation and economic growth across Ohio.”
Click on the link below for full access to the information included in HB 244.
PD: ESSA and the MSI
Finding Military-Connected StudentsMost Purple Star Schools are not located near a base so our military-connected students are not as obvious, they are hidden among the general population. The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) requires that all states collect and report assessment data on military-connected students. Implementation of ESSA began in the 2017-18 school year. Ohio schools have been phasing in the use of the Military Student Identifier (MSI) as the instrument used to identify military-connected students. This is will be the third year of implementation of the MSI in most schools in Ohio.
Trying to Identify Military-Connected Students?
Someone in your district has information about military-connected students who have been officially identified. At my school, no one had the information directly, but it was easily obtained. I talked with a school counselor who emailed our district statistician who had the information to me in a few minutes. This information is a starting point but IT WILL NOT IDENTIFY ALL MILITARY-CONNECTED STUDENTS! Why? Well, first and foremost it is information that is voluntary from parents. Also, it does not identify students who have siblings who are serving, it is only about parents.
What Has Worked for You in Identifying Military-Connected Students?
Please share your stories and ideas - we welcome your input!
Ohio MIC3 and Purple Star Schools Google Site
Ashley Twedt, Purple Star POC from Bellville ES in Clear Fork Valley Local Schools near Mansfield, is sharing her work to help give POCs a central location for information.
Ashley, what can you share with us about the Ohio MIC3 and Purple Star Schools Google Site?
Ohio's MIC3 and Purple Star Google Site is a central hub for information for military and veteran families as well as those who work with our military connected youth. The site will stay current with important dates, helpful resources, and celebrations from around our purple state! Click on the link below to be connected!
Month of the Military Child - Purple Up Ideas from the MIC3
Regional Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee (RISFAC)
The RISFAC is a group of community partners that meet in order to share resources and find ways to better address the needs of active duty service members and their families as well as veterans. It is a great way to network in order to find out about services and opportunities for your military-connected students and their families. Although in-person meetings are paused at the moment, the RISFAC contacts can point you in the direction of information or resources. You can click on the map or the link below to be connected to the most current information.
Show your purple star pride!
ABM: Annual Business Meeting of the MIC3
AFJROTC: Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps
DOD: Department of Defense
DODEA: Department of Defense Education Activity
ESSA: Every Student Succeeds Act
ISFAC: Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee (Ohio, state level)
LEA: Local Education Agency
MCEC: Military Child Education Coalition
MIC3: Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission
MOTMC: Month of the Military Child
MSI: Military Student Identifier
NVMM: National Veterans Memorial and Museum located in downtown Columbus, OH
NJROTC: Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps
ODE: Ohio Department of Education
OHSAA: Ohio High School Athletic Association
ONG: Ohio National Guard
PCS: Permanent Change of Station
PD: Professional Development
POC: Point of Contact, military family liaison (PSS)PSB: Purple Star Bulletin
PSL: Purple Star Liaison (POC)
PSS: Purple Star School
RIF: Reduction in Force (education)
RISFAC: Regional Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee
USO: United Service Organizations
USOCSO: United Service Organizations of Central and Southern Ohio
Klein, A. (2016, March 31). The Every Student Succeeds Act: An ESSA Overview. Education Week. Retrieved Month Day, Year from http://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/every-student-succeeds-act/
Miltary Interstate Childrent's Compact Commissionhttp://www.mic3.net/background.html
Mesecar, D. and Soifer, D. (September 2018). The Lexington Institute.Getting School Districts Ready for the Military Student Identifier. Retrieved August 5, 2019 from https://forstudentsuccess.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/MSI-Lex-Report_final.pdf
Adams, J. (2016, June 1). Schools Will Begin to Track Students from Miitary Families. EdSource. Retrieved August 5, 2019 from https://edsource.org/2016/are-students-from-military-families-succeeding-schools-will-begin-to-track/565042