West Virginia PTA is a partner of the Common Ground Military Parnership. Partnering organizations focus on increasing the capacity of schools to ensure student success. By sharing each organization’s programs, opportunities, resources and information with schools, students will become aware of opportunities to serve as leaders within their communities and experience positive outcomes throughout their lives. This includes shared goals that all students will stay in school and graduate from high school, college and career ready. The partnership contributes to developing strong communities with a productive, civically active and well-educated workforce. The Common Ground website offers information supportive of schools, students and military families.
Visit the Common Ground Webpage for additional information and resources.
The Purple Star Award is a designation assigned to schools which display a special commitment to supporting military children and their families. Common Ground Partners review applications and the West Virginia Department of Education issues awards to schools meeting the award’s eligibility criteria. Schools receiving the award are issued an official certificate and additional electronic materials which may be used to pridefully display their status as a military-friendly school throughout the building. This award contributes to our partnership‘s efforts to build strong bonds between schools, military service members, and community organizations which meet the specialized needs of our children and enhance the success of all students. To learn how your school may become designated as a Purple Star School for a three-year period, please review the application below or contact WVDE Coordinator, Mr. Robert Mellace at rmellace@k12.wv.us or 304.558.3119.
Applications for the first class of the Purple Star Award will be accepted from April 15, 2021 – November 12, 2021. Upon review and approval by Common Ground Partners, schools deemed eligible to receive the award will be recognized during the month of December 2021. To apply, please complete the application below and submit all required documentation. If you encounter issues with the application process, please contact Mr. Robert Mellace at rmellace@k12.wv.us or 304-558-3119.

Children in Military Families 

  • Nearly 44% of active duty military members, and 43% of Reserve members, have children—an average of two children per military family. There are currently 1.2 million children of active duty military members worldwide.  [1]

  • Approximately 2 million children in military families have experienced a parent’s deployment since 2001.  [2] During that time, 41,000 children have experienced a deployed service member parent being killed, wounded, injured, or seriously ill.  [3]

  • Military family moves may provide both positive and negative experiences for children, including increased family cohesiveness and resilience as well as stress and loneliness.  [4]

[1] Clever, M., & Segal, D. (2013). The demographics of military children and families. Future of Children 23(2), 13–39.

[2] Ibid.

[3] U.S. Department of Defense. (2010). Report on the impact of deployment of members of the Armed Forces on their dependent children. Washington, DC: DoD. Retrieved from http://download.militaryonesource.mil/12038/MOS/Reports/Report-to-Congress-on-Impact-of-Deployment-on-Military-Children.pdf

[4] Weber, E. G., & Weber, D. K. (2005). Geographic relocation frequency, resilience, and military adolescent behavior. Military Medicine, 170(7), 638–642; Kelley, M. L., Finkel, L. B., & Ashby, J. (2009). Geographic mobility, family, and maternal variables associated with psychosocial adjustment of military children. Military Medicine, 168, 1019–1024; Marchant, K. H., & Medway, F. J. (2007). Adjustment and achievement associated with mobility in military families. Psychology in the Schools, 24, 289–294; all cited in Clever & Segal, op. cit.

Key Strategies for Inclusion

  • Initiate contact. Identify military-connected children in the school and initiate contact with their families.

  • Support successful transitions. Develop strategies to help military families move through key transition issues. Be flexible with meetings and events to accommodate military schedules.

  • Facilitate educational continuity. Facilitate continuity in educational progress, records and placement by talking with children, parents, teachers and school administrators.

  • Recognize sensitive issues. Provide guidelines for families and teachers to discuss issues related to military action.

  • Advocate for military children and families. Consult the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

PTA Resources