Ohio Connections Academy named 2022 Purple Star Designee

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 19, 2022

COLUMBUS — Ohio Connections Academy was recently selected by the Ohio Department of Education as a 2022 Purple Star designee recognizing the online school’s commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military. This is the fourth year the school has received the esteemed award.

“Many of our students have one or both parents who are serving in the military. It makes us proud to learn our efforts to support those families received this recognition,” Ohio Connections Academy superintendent Marie Hanna said. “Our primary goal is to ensure that these students and their families have the support they need to overcome the challenges associated with transfers, deployment and other situations that arise for military families.”

In a letter from Dr. Stephanie Siddens, interim superintendent of public instruction, the Purple Star designation is part of Ohio’s strategic plan for education, which recognizes the importance of supporting the needs of the whole child.

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“In order to be successful in school and when transitioning between school settings, Ohio’s military-connected youth require supports to ensure their unique social, emotional and academic needs are met,” Siddens said. “The Purple Star award your school is receiving signifies your school’s demonstrated commitment to service these students and families.”

To receive the Purple Star designation, a school must complete a series of required activities that include:

• The school must have a staff point-of-contact for military students and families who serves as the primary liaison between them and the school.

• The liaison completes professional development on special considerations for military students and families under federal law.

• The liaison identifies and informs teachers of the military-connected students in their classrooms and the special considerations military families and students should receive.

• The school maintains a dedicated page on its website featuring resources for military families.

The school must also complete one of the following optional activities:

•Provide professional development for additional staff on special considerations for military students and families

•Have the school board pass a resolution publicizing the school’s support for military children and families

• Host a military recognition event that demonstrates a military-friendly culture.

Ohio Connections Academy is a tuition-free, online public school for K–12 public students across the state. The school is hosting online information sessions for families interested in learning more about virtual education. For more information about Ohio Connections Academy or to begin the enrollment process, visit www.OhioConnections Academy.com or call 1-800-382-6010.