Square purple background with a central multi-layered circle, thin outward band is white, next is a bit wider with white writing on navy background of "Virginia Distinguished Purple Star School, for Supporting Military Connected Students," and a central white circle with a 3 dimensional image of a 5-point purple star

The Purple Star Designation is awarded to military-friendly schools that have demonstrated a major commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military. This year, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) recognized 10 Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) as 2022 Purple Star schools.

“We are excited about increasing the number of Purple Star schools in PWCS," said Dr. Dominique James, military achievement specialist for the school division. “Establishing more Purple Star schools in PWCS helps us work toward continuity in the way we support positive school transitions for our military-connected students and how we support them throughout their time stationed in our area. Required activities of Purple Star schools, which include educating school staff on issues impacting military-connected students, help us to be more cognizant of military culture. Having a general understanding helps us to better support our military families and students and create a welcoming and supportive atmosphere.”

The schools that are receiving this designation for the first time are:

  • Battlefield High School
  • Bennett Elementary School
  • Bull Run Middle School
  • Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School
  • Graham Park Middle School
  • Marshall Elementary School
  • Piney Branch Elementary School
  • Potomac Shores Middle School
  • T. Clay Wood Elementary School
  • Westridge Elementary School

These schools join a group that have previously earned the Purple Star designation, bringing the total number in PWCS to 28 schools. View the full list of PWCS Purple Star schools.

Jasmine Smith, career and business teacher at Potomac Shores Middle School and the school’s coordinator for its successful Purple Star application process, shared her thoughts about what their efforts will accomplish for the school’s military families.  

“Although the process took about a year, becoming a Purple Star designated school helped us to create traditions within our school culture to welcome and meet the needs of our military families,” she said. “Becoming a Purple Star designated school means that we stand out as a school that understands the unique needs of military families and are equipped to address them with the proper care and concern that will forge trusting relationships with military families, community partners, and military installations. It is an opportunity that we embrace and look forward to enhancing over the years to come.”