FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — All 26 schools within the district are assisting military families to eliminate educational barriers faced by their children, according to a news release from FSPS.

After Fort Smith Public School Board of Education passed a resolution in January to support military families, the Arkansas Council for Military Children recognized the district as a Purple Star District.

“As a Purple Star District, we are committed to connecting with this important group of youth and their families as they call Fort Smith home for a short or extended period of time,” said Dr. Michael Farrell, FSPS Supervisor of Student Services and District Military Liaison. 

With over 200 military-connected students within the district, achieving Purple Star status helps students know they will be supported and welcomed. The Purple Star banner will be displayed in the building and recognized on the Arkansas Department of Education of Elementary and Secondary Education website.

“As military families transition to Fort Smith, it is important they know that the Fort Smith Public School District is supportive and welcoming of military-connected children and their families,” Dr. Farrell said. “The Purple Star District designation will help the District to achieve this awareness among military families in the community.”

To achieve Purple Star District the schools have to engage with activities and other requirements.

A cookout supporting military-connected students will start at 5:30 p.m. on April 21, 2022 at Cook Elementary School. For more information about the event contact Christina Williams at