← Back to portfolio

Harrison, Walton Elementary Receive Purple Star Designation For Excellence in Supporting Military Families

Published on

PRINCE GEORGE, Va. - Prince George County Public Schools’ David A. Harrison and William A. Walton Elementary Schools have been selected to receive the 2020 Virginia Purple Star Designation from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on the Educational Opportunity of Military Children in recognition of both schools' commitment to serving students and families connected to the military.

For a school to receive the Purple Star Award, they must have a staff point of contact (POC) for military students and families who serves as the primary link between the military family and the school. Additionally, the school-based POC must complete specific VDOE modules relating to supporting military-connected children in the school setting. Other requirements include

  • The school keeps or links to a division-wide page dedicated to military student and family support that includes information on moving to and from the school division, academic planning, special needs navigation, and parental rights, and other matters of importance to military-connected families;
  • The school division has assigned a central office staff member to be the contact for the school-based liaison and military families;
  • The school maintains a student-led transition program to include a student transition team coordinator. This program should provide peer support for newly enrolled and withdrawing students to include those that are military-connected; and
  • Division-wide efforts to support military students and families, including resolutions passed by the local school board and events aimed at recognizing the military and demonstrating a military-friendly culture across the school division community.

"Receiving the Purple Star Designation recognizes the efforts and accomplishments of the students, faculty & staff at Harrison Elementary," Harrison Elementary School Principal Christopher Scruggs said. "In comparison to other schools in our district, Harrison has the largest percentage of military families. Often, our military families remain with us for short periods of time, but no matter the amount of time, we always strive to provide the greatest impact while having fun too. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with our military families, and for the things they have taught us. Working together is what makes us Harrison Strong!"

“We are honored to receive the Purple Star Award,” Walton Elementary School Principal Chrystal Barnwell said. “We are committed to building strong relationships with our students and families. We are delighted to know that the VDOE and the Virginia Council recognize the many efforts of our faculty and staff to strengthen our partnership with our military families.”

“Prince George County Public Schools is proud of the accomplishments of Harrison Elementary and Walton Elementary in receiving this prestigious honor from the Virginia Department of Education,” Division Superintendent Dr. Lisa Pennycuff said. “Serving the needs of all our students, including our military-connected families is an important responsibility we take seriously. We thank Fort Lee and its military leaders for being valued partners in our educational efforts and their continued support of our school division.”

Both schools will be recognized for their achievement during the Nov. 2, 2020 Prince George School Board meeting.

Harrison Elementary and Walton Elementary are the latest PGCPS schools to receive a Purple Star Designation from The Virginia Council and VDOE. In October of last year, L.L. Beazley Elementary and North Elementary were among schools across nearly two dozen Virginia localities to be awarded the Purple Star.

To learn more about the Virginia Purple Star Designation Program, visit the Virginia Department of Education’s website at http://doe.virginia.gov/support/student_family.