Distinguished Purple Star Schools

FCPS is Committed to Supporting our Military-Connected Students and Families

Fairfax County Public Schools is honored to participate in the Purple Star Designation Program!

Purple Star Schools have been recognized by the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children for their dedication to helping military-connected students and their families. These schools provide a lot of support to our military families in different ways.

award winners

To be recognized as a Purple Star School, the schools must meet the requirements in each of these areas:

Point of Contact

The school must have a point of contact (POC) for its military students and families. This POC can be a teacher, counselor, administrator, or any other staff member. As POC, this individual must have completed VDOE Modules on supporting military-connected students and families.

Student Ambassador Program

Schools must offer a student-led transition program, including a student transition team coordinator. This program should provide peer support for newly enrolled and withdrawing students, including those that are military-connected. This program provides new students with a friendly face to ease their transition during their first days at their new school.

For more information on these programs within FCPS, please visit Student Ambassadors.


Military Family Webpage

The school must have a webpage or link to a division-wide webpage specifically dedicated to support for military families and students. These websites must include information regarding:

  • Military Families: Planning Your Arrival
  • Military Families: Preparing for Your Move
  • Academic Planning for Military Families
  • Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children
  • Special Needs Navigation and Parental Rights

It is also recommended to include information such as extracurricular activities, parent organizations, and an events calendar.

Professional Development

At least 70% of the school’s staff must complete professional development regarding special considerations for military students and families and an introduction to the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

Division-Wide Activities

The division provides at least one of the following:

  • Opportunities for professional development in supporting military students and families
  • Recognition events honoring our military students and families
  • School board passes a resolution publicizing the school division’s support for military students and families

Central Office Staff Member

FCPS provides a central office staff member to be the contact for the school-based liaison and military families. Meredith Ayala, Family Partnerships Specialist, proudly serves in this role.

Fairfax County Public Schools Strategic Plan 

The Virginia Purple Star Designation Program aligns with the FCPS Strategic Plan 2023-30. Purple Star Schools positively impact military-connected students, both academically and socially. 

FCPS Strategic Plan Goals, Measures, and Equity Commitments:

  1. Strong Start: Pre-K-12
    Purple Star Schools ensure authentic and affirming partnerships with military families, and support Measure F. Students meet standards at defined entry and transition points by providing intentional support through transitions. 
  2. Safe, Supported, Included, and Empowered
    Purple Star Schools amplify student voices to inform approaches, honor students’ identities and experiences, and ensure student safety and well-being in an inclusive school climate and culture. Peer-led Student Ambassador Programs support all Goal 2 measures, by creating a sense of belonging for all students and a positive school climate. 
  3. Academic Growth and Excellence
    Purple Star Schools utilize available evidence to provide access to challenging academic programs and necessary supports that celebrate military-connected students’ humanity, growth, and attainment of high levels of academic performance. They do so by supporting the transition of all students and providing them with comparable services, addressing Measure A. Growth and performance in coursework (e.g., course grades, grade point average, meeting IEP goals, and language acquisition goals) (including students with 504s).  
  4. Equitable Access and Opportunity 
    Purple Star Schools prioritize data that describes student outcomes and lived experiences to allocate resources and supports that are responsive to military-connected students’ strengths and needs. Purple Star Schools support all Goal 4 Measures by providing equitable access and opportunity to military-connected students. 
  5. Leading for Tomorrow’s Innovation    
    Purple Star Schools center student voice data and use evidence to ensure military-connected students are ready to make informed decisions, prepared for a wide range of post-secondary options, and can successfully navigate their future path. Purple Star Schools support all Goal 5 Measures by supporting military-connected students' on-time graduation and preparation for life after high school. 

The Virginia Purple Star Designation Program for Schools

If your school is interested in applying for their Purple Star Designation, email Family and School Partnerships or contact Family and School Partnerships staff members:

Each of the following schools continues to support our military-connected families in a variety of unique ways. These schools are building comradery, understanding, and fellowship within their community that benefits all students and families, with military kids’ clubs, Veteran’s Day breakfasts, advisory panels, and exceptional Student Ambassador Programs.

Dad and daughter

military family