From staff reports
The South Carolina Department of Education has designated the Beaufort County School District a Military Purple Star School District in recognition of its dedicated programming and resources in support of military families.
A ceremony was held Thursday, May 27 at the District Office.
“South Carolina is proud to be known as a military-friendly state, serving over 16,000 military-connected students and their families,” State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said in a release. “We commend the Beaufort County School District for going above and beyond by putting in place a support system for its military parents and students, and congratulate them on being designated as a Purple Star school district.”
Military Purple Star School District must:
Assign a designated liaison to be a single point of contact for military families and military-connected students who is trained to support issues that face military families, including relocation, deployment, loss and academic training;
Create a website specifically for military families to provide current information about schools and the district;
Adhere to the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) to ensure that students receive transfer credit from previous schools so they will not have to retake classes;
Ensure that transfer students can participate in sports, clubs, and other school enrichment programs; and
Provide specialized training for school counselors, staff, and administrators.
Tremekia Priester, Ed.D, from the South Carolina Department of Education’s Office of Student Intervention Services, presented the Purple Star designation to Superintendent Frank Rodriguez. Additional ceremony participants included military family representation, various district, government, and military officials, as well as all JROTC units and the Battery Creek High School band.
Beaufort County School District currently serves approximately 1,500 children from active-duty military families stationed at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, and Naval Hospital Beaufort.
“It is our goal to support military children by removing barriers that could inhibit their success academically, socially, or emotionally,” Superintendent Frank Rodriguez said. “I am grateful to our military families who have entrusted Beaufort County schools with their children’s education, and I extend a heartfelt welcome to those who are new to our area. These individuals are serving our country, and we value the opportunity to serve their families.”
Beaufort County School Superintendent Frank Rodriguez, center, applauds during the Military Purple Star Distinction Ceremony on Thursday, May 27 at the Beaufort County School District Office. Holding up the official banner are Ethan Kelch, right, 7th grader at Beaufort Middle School, and Gunnery Sgt. Geraldine Henderson, retired. Photo by Bob Sofaly.