April 16, 2021

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In recognition of April as Month of the Military Child, the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) have re-affirmed their support of the Common Ground program. This partnership of military and community-based organizations focuses on the success of pre-k – 12 students and promotes assistance for military-connected families in schools. As a part of the Board’s April meeting this week in Charleston, a resolution was issued to support all representatives of the partnership.

Each year, Common Ground partners fulfill requests from schools around West Virginia to provide speakers on a variety of topics ranging from career exploration to bullying deterrence and substance abuse prevention. Schools may apply now and the WVDE will issue the Purple Star Award in collaboration with its military partners during the upcoming school year. This new program recognizes military-friendly schools and encourages county boards of education to engage in West Virginia Common Ground Partnership activities.

“While COVID-19 has created barriers preventing normal in-person interactions between school staff, students and military organizations, the WVBE continues to support these efforts and has included enlistment as a career-readiness option for graduating students,” said WVBE President Miller Hall. “We are proud of our partnerships to increase cooperation with schools during the upcoming year.”

“Common Ground is an important support resource provided to schools,” said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “For now, and the foreseeable future, we will need to offer extended academic and social-emotional supports for all of our students as part of our pandemic recovery. It’s a process that will require all our efforts, and we appreciate our military partners that are engaging with us for the benefit of our children and families.”

In 2017, Ohio launched the first statewide Purple Star Award recognizing military-friendly schools and since then this initiative has rapidly grown to include more than 10 additional states. Learn more by visiting https://wvde.us/commonground/purplestaraward/.

To learn more about West Virginia’s Common Ground Partnership, visit https://wvde.us/commonground/.

For more information, contact Christy Day, WVDE Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or Christy.Day@k12.wv.us.

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