The average military-connected child will experience 6 to 9 different schools during their K-12 education experience. With more than 1.1 million such students attending schools, issues surrounding school transition have become a top priority for families and some schools. Students from military families can also be affected by parents’ deployments. The Purple Star Award is a result of conversations among veterans, educators, military family members, students, service members and others about ways schools can better serve military students and their families. 

The Purple Star Award for military-friendly schools recognizes schools that show a major commitment to serving students and families connected to our nation’s armed forces. Purple Star awardees receive a special Purple Star recognition to display in their buildings.The Purple Star Advisory Board (formed by representatives of the NDDPI, Minot and Grand Forks AFB, ND National Guard, Large and Small School District, School Counselors and Military parents) helps decide eligibility.

How to Qualify

Schools must fulfill all the required activities listed below.

  1. Designate a staff point of contact (POC) for military students and families. The POC serves as the primary liaison between the military connected student, their family, and the school. The individual may be a counselor, administrator, teacher, or other staff member.
  2. Establish and maintain a dedicated page on its website featuring information and resources for military families.
  3. Maintain a student-led transition program to include a student transition team coordinator.
  4. Provide professional development for additional staff on special considerations for military students and families.

Optional school activities

  • The local school board passes a resolution of the school’s support for military children and families.
  • The school hosts a military recognition event to demonstrate a military-friendly culture at the school.

How to Apply

Purple Star Program Application

Additional Details

The NDDPI will provide schools with a Purple Star of Distinction that can be used on their websites, social media, and banners or certificates. Each building may publicize its Purple Star designation for five years. After five years, schools may reapply for the Purple Star Award. For additional information, please contact Steve Snow at 701-328-2236.


Military Connected Student – children in P-6 schools, adolescents in Middle and High School and students who are adolescents or young adults in Trade Schools, or Institutions of Higher Education (2 or 4 year schools) that are official dependents of a Military Service member. A military-connected student has one degree of separation from their military sponsor; the connection may be biological, because of an adoption, through foster parenting or with in loco parentis authorization.