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Governor DeSantis Names 114 Purple Star Schools in Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis announced 114 schools in 10 counties across the state will be designated as Florida’s first class of Purple Star campuses in recognition of their support for the children of military families. Governor DeSantis made the announcement when he recently visited Fort Walton Beach High School in Okaloosa County, which has the highest percentage of military child enrollment of any school district in the state. No Orlando schools were recognized, as Orange County Public Schools did not make the list.

Additionally, the Department of Education will work with Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Escambia, and Walton counties to create a first of its kind teacher leadership program at Purple Star schools to both help veterans earn their teaching certification and help other teachers learn how to best serve military families. This program will allow Purple Star schools to fill teaching positions and help qualified teachers receive their certification more quickly.

“Purple Star schools have the tools and knowledgeable faculty needed to help children of military families succeed regardless of the obstacles they face,” said Governor DeSantis. “We also recognize that no one can better relate to these children than those who have served, which is why we are encouraging our veterans to teach at these schools and across the state.”

“Congratulations to the schools that have been designated as Purple Star Schools of Distinction,” said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “Under Governor DeSantis, Florida has raised the bar for military-friendly education initiatives. The Purple Star program is another leap forward in ensuring that military families and students receive the support they need to be successful and the schools that serve them are recognized.”

Purple Star campuses must meet certain requirements designed to support the unique needs of military children and their families as they transition into a new school and navigate a new community. Those requirements include:

  • Designating a faculty member as the military liaison to directly support families; 
  • Updating the school website with resources for military students and families; 
  • Offering a student-led transition program to assist military students in acclimating into a school; 
  • Expanding staff professional development training opportunities on issues relating to military students; and 
  • Reserving controlled, open enrollment seats for military-connected students to utilize to ensure school choice opportunities are available to them, regardless of the time of year their military transfer takes place. 

The Purple Star teacher leadership program builds on legislation signed earlier this year to allow veterans with four years of military experience and an associate’s degree to obtain a 5-year temporary teaching certificate while they work towards earning a bachelor’s degree. Through the program, schools in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Escambia, and Walton counties will actively recruit veterans to become teachers and then help them earn their certification directly from the school, without having to experience any delays from DOE. The program will also connect veterans with opportunities to finish their schooling at nearby colleges, getting veterans experience in the classroom and partnering veterans with mentor-teachers. Learn more about the Military Veterans Certification Pathway here

See the full list of Florida Purple Star schools:

LEA School Name School Type
Brevard Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School Public
Brevard Holland Elementary School Public
Brevard Quest Elementary School Public
Citrus Academy of Environmental Science Charter
Citrus Central Ridge Elementary School Public
Citrus Citrus eSchool Public
Citrus Citrus High School Public
Citrus Citrus Springs Elementary School Public
Citrus Citrus Springs Middle School Public
Citrus CREST Public
Citrus Crystal River High School Public
Citrus Crystal River Middle School Public
Citrus Crystal River Primary School Public
Citrus Floral City Elementary School Public
Citrus Forest Ridge Elementary School Public
Citrus Hernando Elementary School Public
Citrus Homosassa Elementary School Public
Citrus Inverness Middle School Public
Citrus Inverness Primary School Public
Citrus Lecanto High School Public
Citrus Lecanto Middle School Public
Citrus Lecanto Primary School Public
Citrus Pleasant Grove Ementary School Public
Citrus Rock Crusher Elementary School Public
Citrus Withlacoochee Technical College Public
Clay Fleming Island Elementary School Public
Duval Abess Park Elementary School Public
Duval Anchor Academy Elementary School Public
Duval John Stockton Elementary School Public
Duval Mayport Coastal Sciences Middle School Public
Duval Mayport Elementary School Public
Duval Neptune Beach Elementary School Public
Duval Sacred Heart Catholic School Private
Escambia Bailey Middle School Public
Escambia Beulah Academy of Science Charter
Escambia Blue Angels Elementary School Public
Escambia Escambia High School Public
Escambia Global Learning Academy Public
Escambia Jim Allen Elementary School Public
Escambia N.B. Cook Elementary School Public
Escambia Pine Meadow Elementary School Public
Escambia St. John the Evangelist Catholic School Private
Escambia West Florida High School Public
Hillsborough Anderson Elementary School Public
Hillsborough Ballast Point School Public
Hillsborough Collins Elementary School Public
Hillsborough Lanier Elementary School Public
Hillsborough Nelson Elementary School Public
Hillsborough Southshore Charter Academy Public
Hillsborough Stowers Elementary School Public
Hillsborough Tinker K-8 School Public
Hillsborough Warren Hope Dawson School Public
Monroe Sigsbee Charter School Public
Okaloosa Antioch Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Baker School Public
Okaloosa Bluewater Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Bob Sikes School Public
Okaloosa Choctawhatchee High School Public
Okaloosa Crestview High School Public
Okaloosa Davidson Middle School Public
Okaloosa Destin Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Destin Middle School Public
Okaloosa Edge Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Edwins Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Eglin Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Florosa Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Fort Walton Beach High School Public
Okaloosa Kenwood Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Laurel Hill Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Lewis School Public
Okaloosa Longwood Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Mary Esther Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Meigs Middle School Public
Okaloosa Niceville High School Public
Okaloosa Northwest Florida Ballet Academie Public
Okaloosa Northwood Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Okaloosa STEMM Academy Public
Okaloosa Plew Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Pryor Middle School Public
Okaloosa Richbourg School/Fast Track North Public
Okaloosa Riverside Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Ruckel Middle School Public
Okaloosa Shalimar Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Shoal River Middle School Public
Okaloosa Silver Sands School Public
Okaloosa Southside Primary School Public
Okaloosa Walker Elementary School Public
Okaloosa Wright Elementary School Public
Santa Rosa Avalon Middle School Public
Santa Rosa Bagdad Elementary School Public
Santa Rosa Bennett Russell Elementary School Public
Santa Rosa Central School Public
Santa Rosa Chumuckla Elementary School Public
Santa Rosa Dixon Intermediate School Public
Santa Rosa East Bay K-8 School Public
Santa Rosa East Milton Elementary School Public
Santa Rosa Gulf Breeze Elementary School Public
Santa Rosa Gulf Breeze High School Public
Santa Rosa Gulf Breeze Middle School Public
Santa Rosa Holley Navarre Middle School Public
Santa Rosa Jay Elementary School Public
Santa Rosa Jay High School Public
Santa Rosa M.L. King Middle School Public
Santa Rosa Milton High School Public
Santa Rosa Navarre High School Public
Santa Rosa Pea Ridge Elementary School Public
Santa Rosa S.S. Dixon Primary School Public
Santa Rosa Santa Rosa High School Public
Santa Rosa W. H. Rhodes Elementary School Public
Santa Rosa West Navarre Intermediate School Public
Santa Rosa West Navarre Primary School Public
Santa Rosa Woodlawn Beach Middle School Public
Walton Freeport Elementary School Public
Walton South Walton High School Public

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