Purple star schools work to serve Bossier Parish military families
BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KSLA) - School might be out for summer, but a few special schools in Bossier Parish are still working hard to serve incoming military families.
Holly George, Bossier Supervisor of Special Programs, says that military children move an average of 6 to 9 times in their educational career and often struggle with adapting to a new school.
“We have a big transition coming this summer as we always do, but the base is gearing up. I’ve been in several meetings with Barksdale and by 2025, 600 more military families will be housed on and around the base, so our numbers are going to continue to go up,” George said.
Jacqueline Robertson, Barksdale school liaison officer, says schools have to learn to embrace the students.
“One thing they have to embrace is that knowing that these children are PCs into a new location. The transition may be a little hard for them as soon as they come in because they’ve left their friends behind. This is a new atmosphere; also, a lot of them are coming also from overseas,” Robertson said.
Bossier Parish is home to seventeen purple star schools, which are schools that are designated to respond to the emotional and educational challenges that military children face. Additional resources are available like a military family life counselor, a school partner and more one on one attention.
Principal Kelly Ogilvie, of Legacy Elementary, says she sees firsthand the difference it makes.
“Those are things that were already a priority at our school, but there are different things that we’ve been able to establish, a sustainable military club so that the students are able to join that as soon as they walk through our doors,” Principal Ogilvie said.
Legacy Elementary is one of the schools that meet the purple star standards and support military children.
“The biggest difference is having a counselor that is here to help support the students. Everyone needs as many adults that care about their life. And so that’s something that this purple star status has provided our school, is just having another adult that cares,” Principal Ogilvie said.
Military parents, who are curious about whether the purple star program is the right choice for their child, are encouraged to contact Bossier schools now to learn more.
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