The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has named 61 schools the state’s first Military Star Schools. This designation recognizes schools that have made a significant commitment to supporting military families and children of service members.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves established the Military Star School program in February 2022 through Executive Order 1561, making Mississippi one of 31 states with a formal program to recognize schools that support military families.
On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Biloxi, Gulfport, Harrison County, and the Long Beach School Districts were all recognized for this distinction.
Military Star Schools must meet specific requirements that address the unique needs of military students and families. These include appointing a dedicated school liaison for military families, providing student-led transition services and peer support, ensuring professional development for staff to respond to the needs of military students and families, and publicly recognizing service members and their families.
“As a member of a military family, I understand the crucial role our schools play in supporting military-connected students,” said Dr. Robert Taylor, state superintendent of education. “The teachers, staff and leaders of Mississippi’s Military Star Schools have demonstrated their commitment to their students and our nation. I am incredibly proud of the work they do every day to support the children of service members.”
The Military Star School program is designed to help schools respond to the educational and social-emotional challenges military-connected children face during their transition to a new school and keep them on track to be college, workforce and life-ready.
Military-connected refers to children of service members on active duty and in the National Guard and Reserves.
The Military Star School designation remains in effect for two years. Schools can reapply to maintain the designation. New schools can apply to receive the designation in 2024.
Gov. Reeves and Dr. Taylor will honor Mississippi’s inaugural Military Star Schools during a recognition ceremony at Brandon High School on April 18.