The Northeast Academy of Aerospace and Advanced Technologies is one of 288 North Carolina schools and seven Department of Defense Education Agency schools in North Carolina recently recognized by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction for extraordinary service to military families.

NEAAAT received the Purple Star Award Designation from the N.C. Public Instruction, one of only five charter schools to earn the recognition. DPI began the program in the 2019-20 school year to honor schools that demonstrate military-friendly practices and show a commitment to military students and families.

Schools deemed Purple Star Schools are those that completed several required activities, plus an optional activity. Schools were required to have a staff member serve as a designated point of contact for military students and families, have a designated central administration staff member supporting the point of contact, and provide annual professional development that gives special consideration for students of military families.

Purple Star schools also feature a dedicated page on their website for military family resources or provide links on the page to military family resources. They also feature a transition program to support inbound and outbound students from military families, along with a checklist for their use.

Purple Star schools also completed at least one of the following activities: hosted an annual military recognition event such as Month of the Military Child, Month of the Military Family, Purple-Up! For Military Kids!, Veterans Day or Memorial Day. Schools may also have conducted a support project connecting the school with its local military community, such as adopt-a-school, letters or care package collections for troops, a staff common-read book about military students or a school video or slideshow of pictures to highlight certain aspects of the school facility on its website as a way to help orient new students transitioning to the area.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, both the optional and required activities for Purple Star status could be completed virtually this year. Many of the schools held virtual Veterans Day ceremonies or professional development events. Some also held drive-thru Veteran’s Day parades or web-based recognition events.