Military Star School
Welcome to Heritage Academy in Columbus, Mississippi where many of our students, faculty, and staff are military-connected families. Heritage Academy works diligently to support military families and address transitional challenges through the efforts of our students, teachers, counselor, and school administrators.
We are committed to partnering with you to ensure excellence in the education of military-connected students and in finding innovative ways to support our military families. For example, we celebrate military children and families with numerous special events throughout the school year, such as Veteran's Day assemblies, "Purple-Up" Day, and more! If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Guidance Counselor Amanda Shelton (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Director of Admissions Beth Lucas (email@example.com).
Transition Planning for Military Families
Ms. Amanda Shelton, our school guidance counselor, and Mrs. Beth Lucas, our school admissions director, work closely with military families to help them transition to life in Columbus, Mississippi and Heritage Academy. They provide information to families on available resources in our area, as well as online.
We know that moving is challenging, especially for military families. It is typically easier for new students to transition into a smaller sized school where the student can quickly learn his/her way around campus, get to know teachers, make friends and have the opportunity to participate in some of the many extracurricular activities offered. Children of active military duty members moving to our area can be enrolled at Heritage Academy at any time during the school year. Interested families can schedule a time to come for a school visit. Tours can be scheduled during the school day or after school to accommodate your schedule.
If you would like to apply for admission, fill out our online Heritage Student Application and upload the following items:
- Student’s birth certificate
- Student’s MS Form 121 (shot record)
- Student’s social security card
- Academic records for student entering 1st – 12th grades (include copy of IEP or Service Plan if applicable)
Check out this Transition Checklist to help students in grades 4-8 develop a plan to successfully transition throughout the middle grades.
Visit our Admissions webpage for more information or contact Beth Lucas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mississippi School Liaison Information
Columbus Air Force Base
email@example.com (662) 434-2792
Kessler Air Force Base
firstname.lastname@example.org ph (228) 376-8505
Gulfport Construction Batallion
Mona.email@example.com ph (228) 871-2117
Meridian Naval Air Station
Larry.firstname.lastname@example.org ph (601) 679-2473
Academic Planning for Military Families
Academic planning is essential to student success. Heritage Academy partners with students and families to ensure that a course of study is developed that meets the individual academic and social needs and interests of the military students we serve. Families of students in PreK-6 experience an interdisciplinary, child-centered approach to learning. Students learn to communicate clearly, think logically, solve problems, and develop their creativity. Our teachers and faculty present rich, academic learning environments that promote active, student-centered learning. Music classes, art lessons, library trips, STEM classes, and physical education are only a few of the experiences enriching the curious minds of Heritage Academy students. Our outstanding team of teachers guide students in developing academically, as well as socially, physically, and spiritually using innovative, instructional strategies. For more information about the elementary school and its academic offerings visit Heritage Academy Elementary curriculum webpage.
Families of students in grades 7-12 experience a rigorous course of study that helps prepare them for college and for life. All of our classes are college preparatory. In addition to our core courses, advanced courses, and electives, Heritage offers Honors, Advanced Placements, and Dual Credit courses. Our guidance counselor is knowledgeable of the needs, requirements, and processes that students need as they transition to life at Heritage Academy and beyond. For more information about the high school and its academic offerings visit Heritage Academy High School curriculum webpage or email Ms. Shelton at email@example.com
For military famililes interested in free, online tutoring assistance and/or homework help, visit this academic support website.
Resources and Educational Opportunities for Military Students
Military OneSource from the Department of Defense is a 24/7 resource for military families. This online resource provides information, resources, and confidential help to service members and military families to help them reach their goals, overcome challenges, and thrive. Utilize this resource for tax services, spouse employment help, webinars and online training, relocation and deployment tools, and much more.
Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) works to ensure that every military-connected child is college, workforce, and life-ready through inclusive and quality educational opportunities. MCEC delivers programs and services to meet the needs of military students and parents. MCEC provides educational resources, support, and connections that empower our military children.
The ASVAB Career Exploration Program helps students identify and explore occupations and develop an effective strategy to realize their goals. The ASVAB Career Exploration Program includes a validated aptitude test and interest assessment.
To find out about scholarships for families of the military (active, reserve, retired) and veterans, visit Fischer House Scholarship Program.
Heritage Academy offers a diverse range of extracurricular and co-curricular activities to students PreK-12. We are committed to providing all students with opportunities to participate in extracurricular and co-curricular activities to support the development of well-rounded adults and to address students’ interests and aptitudes. We recognizes the value of athletics, student government, clubs, and other activities in order to attain the objectives of the instructional program. Please visit Academics and Programs on our school’s website for extracurricular programs and activities or click the following links for additional information.
Student-Led Transition Program
As part of the Heritage Academy enrollment process, prospective students are paired with a current student for a "shadow day". Upon enrollment, the student is again paired with the current student to ensure they are taken care of as they transition to their new learning environment. Shadow students help their friends find their classes, introduce them to other students, and assist them in other things the new student may need.
Exceptional Student Support Services
Heritage Academy offers a dyslexia therapy program designed for students in grades 1-6. Students receive 45-minute sessions four times each week provided by our dyslexia therpist during the school day. Therapy session class sizes range from one to five students. For more information about this program contact Cass Hudson Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also offer an on-campus tutorial program that is available to any Heritage Academy student in grades 7-12 before, during, and after school designed to meet each student's individual needs and promote a successful learning experience at Heritage.
Upcoming Military Recognition Events
Stay informed on important events and dates happening at Heritage Academy by checking the Heritage Academy Calendar.
- Veterans Day Program-November 11, 2022
- Purple Up Day-April 19, 2023
Mental Health Challenges
Students of military families often experience mutltiple stressors before and during a parent's deployment and when they return home. Without appropropriate mental health support systems, children of military personnel may be at a significant disadvantage compared to their peers in non-military families. Military students are resilient, but there are resources available to help.
At Heritage, we address all needs of students, including mental health. Ms. Amanda Shelton, our guidance counselor, is available to assist students with any personal, peer, or academic concern such as in deployment and reintegration, family dynamics, and positive coping mechanisms. She facilitates groups and training to build leadership skills, manage anger, build self-esteem and confidence, and strengthen communication. In addition, our school counselor assists with individual student academic planning and goal-setting, provides school counseling classroom lessons based on student success standards, provides short-term counseling to students, provides referrals for long-term support, and collaborates with families/teachers/adminstrators, and community for student success. Additional information can be found at Heritage Academy Guidance or by emailing Ms. Shelton at email@example.com
Other resources to help military-connected families are:
Military Families Making Their Mark!
- Heritage Academy Senior Sid Stegall was named Gatorade Mississippi's Boys Cross Country Player of the Year. Sid also signed a Track and Field scholarship with Mississippi College. Congratulations, Sid! We are so proud of you! Gatorade MS Cross Country Player of the Year
- Heritage Academy Senior Andrew Salyer was recognized as Heritage Academy's STAR Student for 2023. The STAR program recognizes outstanding students and teachers in Mississippi. STAR students are selected based on academic excellence in the classroom as well as performance on the ACT. Andrew chose Christy Shivers as his STAR teacher. Congratulations, Andrew and Mrs. Shivers! We are so proud of you!
- Retired Black Hawk fighter pilot and Heritage Academy parent Jason McElveen recently spoke to Heritage Academy Elementary third grade students about his military career and the importance of the Black Hawk helicopter in battle. Mr. McElveen also shared information to students about the role of black Americans in the military. Thank you, Coach McElveen, for your service!
- Congratulations to Heritage Academy Senior Luke Fisher who signed a letter of intent to play football at the United States Air Force Academy. Luke also achieved Eagle Scout and was recognized in a special ceremony for that accomplishment. Way to go, Luke! We are so proud of you!