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Seven Ysleta ISD schools are among 150 in the state to be awarded this year’s Purple Star campus designation, signifying that these schools show exceptional commitment to supporting and meeting the unique needs of military-connected students and their families.

All seven Purple Star campuses are located in the district’s Parkland Learning Community in the Northeast area of El Paso. They include:

  • Desertaire Elementary School
  • Dolphin Terrace Elementary School
  • North Star Elementary School
  • Parkland Pre-K Center
  • Parkland Elementary School
  • Parkland Pre-Engineering Middle School
  • Parkland High School

“Our military families have chosen an honorable path of service that presents a specific set of challenges and opportunities for their children, including having to relocate and transition to new cities, homes, and schools,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Xavier De La Torre.

As a result, Ysleta ISD created earlier this year a new HERO Military Program designed to make it easier for military families to enroll in the district and become acclimated to the local community. The HERO program includes a military liaison to guide families through enrollment, and special programs and events throughout the school year to celebrate and serve the military community.

“Our HERO program makes sure military families are supported and welcomed with open arms, and their children benefit from the highest quality education in the El Paso region,” Dr. De La Torre added. “We are hopeful that for however long they are stationed in El Paso, our military families will feel as though they’ve found their forever home at the Ysleta Independent School District.”

To receive the Purple Star designation, campuses must also create and maintain an easily accessible webpage that includes information for military-connected students and their families; a campus transition program for military-connected students; and a military family assistance initiative.

All Texas public schools are eligible to receive a Purple Star Campus Designation, regardless of their military-connected student population size. Applications for the designation are accepted annually.

“Campuses with a Purple Star Designation let military families know that they are dedicated to providing the best quality educational experience for their children while in Texas public schools,” said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath.

The Purple Star designation is just the latest in a series of Ysleta ISD efforts to welcome, support, and serve its military-connected families. Thanks to a $30,000 grant last year, the district provided military-connected students at select schools with additional layers of social-emotional learning in the form of special kits, books, small-group supplies, and military events/field trips. In addition, students celebrated April’s Month of the Military Child with movie nights, kite days, parades, and pep rallies.