Seventeen greater-Fort Hood area schools in Killeen and Copperas Cove Independent School Districts were recognized as Purple Star Schools on Oct. 29 by the Texas Education Agency.

The campuses received the designation by meeting specific criteria. This included having a designated, campus-based military liaison; creating and maintaining an easily accessible web page that includes information for military-connected students and their families, and a campus transition program.

Campuses also must have offered at least one of the following initiatives. They must have published a resolution showing support for military-connected students and families, or have participation in Month of the Military Child or Military Family Month, or they must have a partnership with a school liaison officer to encourage and provide opportunities for active-duty military members.

TEA designated nine Killeen ISD campuses Purple Star schools. Nestled alongside the largest military installation in the world, KISD proudly supports the unique needs of military-connected students and their families.

The Texas Education Agency’s Purple Military Star designation was created by Senate Bill 1557 and passed by the 86th Texas State Legislature.

KISD Purple Star schools include Audie Murphy Middle School, Clarke Elementary School, Clear Creek Elementary, Meadows Elementary School, Oveta Culp Hobby Elementary School, Reeces Creek Elementary School, Roy J. Smith Middle School, Skipcha Elementary School, and Venable Village Elementary School.

“We are very proud of our campuses and their efforts to support our Military-connected families,” KISD superintendent John Craft said in a prepared statement released by the district. “This is a tremendous acknowledgment of their hard work.”

All nine campuses will receive a special Purple Military Star recognition to display proudly. Cavazos Elementary earned the Purple Star Recognition in 2017.

Eight of Copperas Cove ISD’s schools also received the designation by TEA.

More than half of the student population on the campus of Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy are military dependents. Assistant Principal Heather Peacock said CCISD has many initiatives in place to assist military-connected students as they transition in and out of the district.

“One of these is the military student identifier that helps our staff know who our military students are. Cove was one of the first districts to use this coding diligently,” Peacock said. “CCISD also provides a military student transition consultant for its campuses to provide support and resources to students and parents, as well as training and support for staff to meet the unique needs of military-connected students.”

The Texas Education Agency’s Purple Military Star designation was created by Senate Bill 1557 and passed by the 86th Texas State Legislature.

A total of 106 campuses across the state received the honor.