Eight of 11, or 73%, of Copperas Cove ISD’s campuses have been honored for their support of military families. The Purple Military Star Designation is a new accolade awarded by the Texas Education Agency to reward those schools who are providing support to military-connected students and their families.

More than half of the student population on the campus of Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy are military dependents.

Assistant Principal Heather Peacock said CCISD has many initiatives in place to assist military-connected students as they transition in and out of the district.

“One of these is the military student identifier that helps our staff know who our military students are. Cove was one of the first districts to use this coding diligently,” Peacock said. “CCISD also provides a Military Student Transition Consultant for its campuses to provide support and resources to students and parents, as well as training and support for staff to meet the unique needs of military-connected students.”

Nearly three-fourths of CCISD campuses implemented Student2Student groups during the 2019-2020 school year with every campus having this support network for the 2020-2021 school year. These groups and sponsors help welcome new students to each campus, providing them immediate support and friendship, reducing isolation and loneliness.

Military parents Shannoda and Derrick Gilbert were both active duty with four children who are in three different schools.

“All of the staff members at each school know who among their students are military-connected,” Shannoda Gilbert said. “My kids were able to create a sense of belonging both in and out of the classroom because of this.”

CCISD is the only school district in the nation to be simultaneously executing five Department of Defense Education Activity grants that provide funding for the S2S program, Ranger Reading Camp and Tell Me a Story Night, Bulldawg University, and STEM academies at both junior high schools. The grants are valued at more than $5 million.

“I was amazed at how CCISD makes sure military families have the support they need for each military child. They make sure my children experience a seamless educational experience no matter where they are enrolled within CCISD,” Gilbert said. “As a parent, you always want someone to be there for your children. These CCISD military consultants are the people that I can count on to keep my kids out of trouble and provide them with resources to help them through the school year.”

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