BOX ELDER, S.D. — The Douglas School District has many children from military families in its student body.
Those kids, whether in kindergarten or about to graduate, are faced with a problem – many having to move from school to school with little to no warning at times.
“In my lifetime, I have been to seven schools in five different locations,” said Cayla Sirmons, a Freshman at Douglas High School. “Currently, my mom is deployed.”
On Friday, the school district received a Purple Star Designation from the state of South Dakota, recognizing the schools efforts to help the military children in the district adapt. Douglas is the first school in the state to receive the designation. The ceremony coming as part of Purple Up! For Military Kids Day.
“We do recognize that they do come with struggles,” said Ann Pettit, the Interim Superintendent of the Douglas School District. “They move often, they’ve been exposed to different state’s curriculum, graduation requirements and we’re just saying we’ll accept them, work with their families to help continue their education.”
Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden says that the new designation will help kids to overcome challenges that pertain to curriculum, and the challenges of constantly moving their lives.
“The Purple Heart (Star) Designation is a state and local effort for military students to coordinate a curriculum so our students don’t face those kind of problems when they move to a new military base,” Rhoden said.
Air Force personnel are praising the school and what the purple star symbol will bring for future parents and children coming to Box Elder.
“When they see this purple star designation that they’re going to see on our webpage, that they going to see the pictures of, that they see it on Facebook, they’re going to know that they’re coming to a great school,” said Colonel Brady Vaira, the Ellsworth Air Force Base 28th Mission Support Group Commander.
For more information on the designation, click here.