Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Saint Patrick School in Carlisle Merits Purple Star Award for Support of Military Children and Families

Saint Patrick School in Carlisle proudly recently received the prestigious Purple Star School Award from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Purple Star designation is awarded to schools that exhibit exceptional support for military-connected children and their families during transitions resulting from a parent’s change in duty station. This accolade underscores Saint Patrick School’s steadfast commitment to serving the needs of active-duty military families and students.

“We are honored and humbled to receive the Purple Star Award. This recognition reflects our unwavering commitment to ensuring that every military-connected child and family at Saint Patrick School feels welcomed, supported and valued,” said Antoinette Oliverio, principal. “We take great pride in our mission to create a nurturing educational environment, and this award serves as a testament to the dedication of our entire school community to serving those who serve our nation.”

“What a great honor that Saint Patrick School has been named a Purple Star School! Military families are such an important and welcome part of the Saint Patrick School community. This school has long been known for its personal care and attention to detail in educating the whole child,” said Daniel Breen, Secretary of Education and Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Harrisburg. “We are delighted that Saint Patrick School is being recognized for providing an excellent education and for meeting the unique needs of the children of military families.”

The Purple Star School Program was officially enacted into law in July 2022. A Purple Star School designation remains active for a period of three years, after which the school undergoes a renewal evaluation. To attain this distinguished recognition, schools must demonstrate their dedication to fulfilling the following requirements:

  • Appoint a staff member as a military liaison, responsible for identifying and assisting military-connected students, facilitating communication with military parents, coordinating school services for military-connected students, and organizing programs tailored to their specific needs.
  • Maintain a user-friendly website with readily accessible information for military families.
  • Implement a student-led transition initiative to support new military-connected students joining the school.
  • Provide professional development opportunities for staff members focused on the unique needs of military-connected students.
  • Establish a resolution, regular commemoration events, or partnership with a local military installation to enhance the connection with the military community.

Saint Patrick School appropriately announced its honor as a Purle Star School during its Veterans Day tribute on Friday, November 10. Now in its 33rd year, the event is a proud tradition at the school, and draws a faithful crowd of active and retired service men and women, military spouses and members of the community.

The Veterans Day tribute is presented by students who demonstrate their talents and patriotism with a parade of flags, spoken tributes, and vocal and musical performances of the Armed Forces theme songs.

“We are excited and honored that you are able to share the love that we have for you. You are very special to our Saint Patrick School community,” Oliverio told the active and retired military personnel in attendance.”

Learn more about Saint Patrick School at https://spscarlisle.org/. For more information about the Purple Star School Program, please visit https://bit.ly/47aG3wW.

(Photos by Rachel Bryson, The Catholic Witness.)

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