Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) recognized partnerships that support military-connected children during its April meeting in Charleston today. April is the Month of the Military Child – an opportunity to highlight ongoing efforts in West Virginia schools to assist children from military families and the unique challenges they often face.

The Month of the Military Child gives national focus to the strength and resiliency of military-connected children. It is supported by the Common Ground Partnership, a collaboration established in 2011 between the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE), the WVBE, U.S. military organizations and other entities, that works with schools and communities to offer mentorships, public speakers and other important resources for students and families.

On average, military children experience school transitions six to nine times during their elementary, middle and high school years. This can lead to lower academic achievement, feelings of anxiety when family members are deployed and difficulties in connecting to the larger community. The WVDE and its Common Ground partners are working to alleviate these challenges by focusing greater attention on students’ needs.

In the Mountain State, 270 schools have earned a Purple Star Award recognizing their commitment to support military children and their families, and 14 counties have earned the Purple Star District award with 100% of their schools recognized as Purple Star Schools.

The WVDE has published a toolkit on its website offering resources to help schools promote activities in April and beyond. Additionally, schools and communities are encouraged to participate in several upcoming activities:

  • Purple Up Day, April 19, 2024
  • Spirit Week, April 15-19, 2024, to create a military-friendly climate for students
  • Military Signing Week, April 22-26, 2024, to honor students who plan to serve in the military before or after they graduate high school

Forty-two (42) schools have planned events this spring. Information about the Common Ground Partnership is available on the WVDE website.

Milken Educator Network Recognition

Members of the Milken Educator Network were joined by Milken Family Foundation Vice President Stephanie Bishop to update the WVBE on ongoing initiatives and activities. West Virginia was the first state to implement a Milken Network to provide a platform for these exceptional educators to support school, county and state activities that impact student learning and achievement.

Among the Network’s most important tasks is mentoring the state’s Grow Your Own Pathway to Teaching high school students. These students enroll in this program as early as their freshman year in high school and graduate having completed significant college coursework. This allows them to finish college and earn a teaching degree at reduced costs and time. The Network meeting began Tuesday and will continue Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in the Building 3 conference room of the State Capitol Complex.

WVDE Regional School Safety Meetings

Dates have been scheduled for the 2024 Regional School Safety meetings that were announced during the March WVBE meeting. These will bring together county and school administrators as well as school safety personnel to share administrative updates that are important during a crisis event. Topics include updates on how to submit plans and code student data.  Dates and locations include:

May 7, Embassy Suites, Charleston

Boone, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Putnam, Roane, Wayne, Wirt, Wood counties

May 10, White Palace at Wheeling Park, Wheeling

Barbour, Brooke, Doddridge, Hancock, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Pleasants, Preston, Ritchie, Taylor, Tyler, Upshur, Wetzel counties

May 13, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Lewisburg

Braxton, Fayette, Gilmer, Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Summers, Webster, Wyoming counties

May 16, West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (WVSDB)

Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan, Pendleton, Randolph, Tucker counties and the WVSDB

WVBE Policies on Comment

Several WVBE polices were placed on public comment during the April meeting. To review these, please visit the WVBE’s policies page.

Documents and items presented at the meeting are available on the 2024 WVBE Meeting Event page.

The next regularly scheduled WVBE meeting is 9 a.m., Wednesday, May 8, 2024, in Building 6, Suite 600, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, West Virginia.

For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, WVDE Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or

Follow the WVDE on: