Military Connected Students
Over 32,000 students identify as being from a military family. These students face unique experiences due to regular moves and deployments of loved ones. Washington state acknowledges their resilience and unique life experiences that may need specific attention.
Purple Star Awards
Since military children move as frequently as every 2-3 years, districts granted the Purple Star Award provide educational and social-emotional supports to these students and their families as they transition to new schools. Beginning in 2024, the Washington State Purple Star Award is issued every two years to districts meeting specific criteria. About the Purple Star School Designation Award (SHB 1346)
MCEC (Military Child Education Coalition) is the national advocate for the Purple Star Program supporting military-connected children relocating to new schools due to a parent’s change in duty station.
For school districts to be designated the Purple Star Award, they must:
- Maintain a webpage dedicated to providing resources for military families
- Have a staff point of contact for military families and their children/students that:
- Works jointly with the state military family educational liaison of the Interstate Compact Council to serve military families;
- Serves as the primary liaison between military families and the school district;
- Completes professional development on special considerations for military students and families; and
- Identifies and informs teachers of military-connected students in their classrooms and the special considerations military families and students should receive under the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.
To receive the designation, a school district must also engage with one of the following optional activities:
- Provide professional development for additional staff on special considerations for military students and families;
- The local school district board of directors passes a resolution publicizing the school’s support for military children and families; or
- Host a military recognition event that demonstrates a military-friendly culture.
Contact Christine Hurley or Dixie Grunenfelder at email@example.com.
School districts are required to collect data regarding ethnicity from active-duty military families and active reserves from all branches, as well as the Washington National Guard, to meet the unique needs of military connected students. 2015: SSB 5163
The compact seeks to make transition easier for children of military families so they are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children, and not penalized or delayed in achieving their educational goals. Applicable to transfers among public school systems, it addresses key education issues encountered by military families in the areas of eligibility, enrollment, placement, and graduation.
- Caring for Kids After Trauma and Death
This is the official website of the Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission. The goal of the interstate compact is to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents. The compact seeks to make the transition easier for children of military families, so they are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children and not penalized or delayed in achieving their educational goals. Applicable to transfers among public schools, it addresses key education issues encountered by military families in the areas of enrollment, eligibility, placement, and graduation.
- Military Child Education Coalition
MCEC provides training and leadership to ensure quality, inclusive educational experiences for all military children.
- Military Student Mentoring
Our online training program for mentors working with military students. Find information specific to using the MentorConnections Model of school-based mentoring for military students.
- Tough Topic Series: Military Kids
Tough Topics for Military Kids offers guidance on supporting military-connected students. This series is complemented by a 12-page companion booklet for educators.
- MIC3 Training Toolkit for Parents
- Military Kids Connect
This site helps military kids connect with each other and share common concerns.
- Military One Source
Military OneSource’s military-trained consultants are also available 24/7 to help with education consulting and special needs consultingquestions. To schedule an appointment, call 800-342-9647, set up a Military OneSource live chat, or view international calling options.
- Successful School Transitions: Guide for Parents, School Officials, and Public Administrators
- Talking with Children about War and Violence in the World
Tutor.com for U.S. Military Families (Tutor.com/military), funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CMGA), is a program that allows eligible students in grades kindergarten through college to connect to a live tutor online at any time (24/7/361) for one‐to‐one help with homework, studying, test prep and more, at no cost.
- What is the Compact? Guide for Schools and Parents
The Interstate Compact also covers children with special needs changing schools
- Special education: If the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act covers your child, your child has the right to comparable services provided by the most current Individualized Education Program, or IEP.
- Reevaluation: The new school system may reevaluate your child’s eligibility for special education services to determine a new IEP.
In addition to provisions in the Interstate Compact, Military OneSource offers these educational resources for families with special needs:
- The Education Directory for Children With Special Needs: The directory provides the information you need to make informed decisions about education and early intervention services.
- Exceptional Family Member Program: Your local installation EFMP Family Support staff can help you identify and access programs and services related to education, outreach, local school, and early intervention services.
- Special Needs Consultants: Military OneSource’s military-trained consultants are also available 24/7 to help with special needs consulting questions. To schedule an appointment, call 800-342-9647, set up a Military OneSource live chat, or view international calling options.