Smithfield-Selma High School Is Now A Purple Star School

Smithfield-Selma High School (SSS) has been selected for the 2020-21 school year as a Purple Star military-friendly school. The school has a dedicated link on their website for military families as a resource when they move in and out of the area on a Permanent Change of orders.

These resources and experts in the building accommodate military children, helping to make their stay and transition as easily as possible. Many families move 5-7 times throughout a 20 year military career, and their children move along with them. Having a program in place like this is truly amazing.

Left to right: MSgt Randy Griffin (ret), Cadet Amy Martinez, Cadet ENS Miranda Galindo, Cadet Jenifer Aparicio, Cadet Ana Alvarado, Master Chief Matthew DesChamps (ret).

North Carolina is home to a large population of active duty, guard, reserve, and veteran armed services members, and the state’s public schools reflect that. In 2019, The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction launched the Purple Star Award Designation initiative to recognize the state’s strong military presence and its support for military families.

The Purple Star designation is awarded to schools that demonstrate military-friendly practices and a commitment to military students and families.

Schools across the state applied for the special designation, and schools deemed as Purple Star Schools are those that completed several required activities, plus an optional activity, aimed at ensuring strong support for students of military families.

Schools earning the Purple Star Award were required to have a staff member as a designated point of contact for military students and families, a designated central administration staff member supporting the point of contact, and also the provision of annual professional development addressing special considerations for military students and families.

In addition, Purple Star schools provide a dedicated page on their websites for military family resources, including links to the district’s web page with military family resources. They also have a transition program to support inbound and outbound military students and families, along with a checklist for their use.