Monday, February 29, 2016

Angela's Advice...PTA vs. PTSA

Parent-Teacher-Student Association
  • ·         PTSA is usually present in the High School buildings but do not be afraid to introduce it at the Middle School Level
  • ·         Allow Students to hold board positions (with the exception of Treasurer) to help cultivate future leaders for PTA as well as other organizations; Recording or Corresponding Secretary would be a good fit for a student depending on which building level you are working with as would committees like Legislation, Talent Show, etc.
  • ·         Hold Mock Elections to introduce the students to Parliamentary Procedure and the nominating and election process
  • ·         Having a Back to School Bash or some kind of social gathering for the students early on in the year and maybe again mid-year would be a great way to recruit student members.  The cost they would pay to enter the event can become their membership dues.
  • ·         Listen to the voice of the student members to help guide your program selection for the year as well as what other resources you can provide that would benefit the student body
When we think of March Madness, we think of the college basketball teams competing to move forward in their divisions. We all wait to see which teams will fill the brackets each day and advance to the Final Four. I challenge you to think of Membership in the same way. Perhaps you have met your goal of a 5% increase or more; perhaps you are still working on it. Everyone has an equal chance of fighting for a spot in the PTA Final Four.

This month, we would like to present another unit Membership Challenge! Turn in 16 more members in the month of March and be entered into a drawing to win a cash prize for your unit to be announced at Convention! Why 16 you ask? The tournament starts with the “Sweet Sixteen” teams and so we will have a goal of 16 Sweet New Members per unit! You will receive one entry for every 16 new members. Turn in 32 members, get two entries, 48 members gets you three entries, etc. Invite people to be a part of your Sweet Sixteen and help your unit and Ohio PTA achieve the championship.

The prizes for our “Final Four” will be $100, $50, and two $25 prizes! We set a goal for this year of 70,000 members and we are at just about 85% of that goal!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Share The Ohio PTA Voice March 2016 Issue

We hope you are gearing up to attend the 110th Ohio PTA Convention and Exhibition! Your attendance is vital to voice your opinion on a number of proposed bylaw changes.

Vendor Application 2016 Ohio PTA Convention

The Ohio PTA cordially invites you to join us for our 110th Annual
Ohio PTA Convention and Exhibition on April 8 - 10, on the Upper

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Parents for Healthy Schools

Source: CDC
Parents for Healthy Schools banner image
Parents have a powerful role in supporting children’s health and learning. Engaged parents help guide their children successfully through school, advocate for their children, and can help shape a healthy school environment.1 CDC has developed a set of resources called Parents for Healthy Schools to help schools and school groups (e.g., parent teacher associations (PTA), parent teacher organizations (PTO), school wellness committees) engage parents to create healthy school environments.
These resources will:
  • Educate parents about
    • School nutrition environment and services
    • School-based physical education and physical activity
    • Managing chronic health conditions in school settings
  • Provide parents with practical strategies and actions to improve the school health environment
  • Provide suggestions for ways to track progress in engaging parents in changing the school health environment.

Comment period now open for revisions to Ohio’s Learning Standards in English language arts and math | Ohio Department of Education

Comment period now open for revisions to Ohio’s Learning Standards in English language arts and math | Ohio Department of Education

Monday, February 22, 2016

Angela's Advice...PTA and the School

Host an event that brings school, parents and PTA together such as a presentation about the state standardized tests.  Find out what information parents are seeking and offer a program to match at your own building or in conjunction with other units in a larger location in the district such as a high school auditorium.  It may be drug and alcohol awareness or college readiness.  There is always something the parents would like to stay informed about.  Be sure to advertise that the PTA hosted this program and encourage people to join before and after the event.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Celebrating Black History through PTA


Selena Sloan Butler, founder and first president, National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers 1926-1931

Selena Sloan Butler was past president of Georgia Congress of colored Parents and Teachers 1919-1926. On May 7, 1926, the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (NCCPT) was formed. In 1928, Mrs. Butler was appointed as a member of the President’s National Conference on Child Health and Protection.
Selena Sloan Butler goes International: Selena Sloan Butler presented early childhood information at conferences of the Nursery School Association of Great Britain.
Mrs. Butler died in October 1964.


Mayme Williams, president, National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers, 1953 – 1957

Under her term in 1954, Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren issued the Brown v. Board of Education decision that declared school segregation unconstitutional.  President Eisenhower appointed Williams to a special committee to plan a White House Conference on Education.


Ethel W. Kight, president of the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers, 1957 – 1961 

President of the Georgia Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers, 1946-1952, Kight joined NPTA president Karla Parker at the White House Conference on Children and Youth.  This was the golden anniversary of the White House Conference, which had started during the Taft administration to help keep children’s concerns high on the national agenda.


Minnie Jewett Hitch (Mebane), president, National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers, 1964 – 1967

Administration theme:  “Aspiring for One World.” — In 1966, the two associations began formal talks about unification. 

Clara B. Gay

Clara B. Gay “Happy,” president, the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers, 1967 – 1970

President of the Georgia Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers, 1954-1958 and the last NCCPT president – the end of her administration marking the culmination of the two associations’ work to formally merge in 1970.  At their annual convention in Atlanta, Georgia on June 22, 1970 the two organizations formally united to become – the National PTA.  Clara Gay was appointed as an advisor to the National PTA board of managers and was presented with the National Life Membership Award.


Lois Jean White, president, National PTA, 1997 – 1999 (Tennessee)

President White participated in the President’s Summit for America’s Future, where President Clinton, General Colin Powell and other national leaders discussed ways to promote community service and volunteer work to help young people.
President White embarked on a National Media Tour and received significant national press coverage. The 102nd National PTA convention was held in Nashville, Tennessee in 1998 and the U.S. Virgin Island became the 54th PTA Congress. In 1999 the National PTA started a year-long strategic planning process. The 103rd annual convention was held in Portland, Oregon.

Otha Thornton
2013-2015, president
Otha Thornton was installed as the first African-American male president of National PTA at the June 2013 National PTA Convention and Exhibition in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a senior operations analyst with General Dynamics in Fort Stewart, Georgia. He is a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel and his last two assignments were with the White House Communications Agency and United States Forces-Iraq in Baghdad. Thornton earned the Bronze Star Medal for exceptional performance in combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom 2009-2010.

Source: National PTA

Ohio PTA's 52nd President 2013-2015
Lisa Mack, the association's first African American president, loves music so her term theme was: Our PTA Symphony: Bringing Harmony to Every Child's Life. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sandy Hook Promise Comes to Ohio PTA Convention!

110th Ohio PTA Annual Convention and Exhibition
April 8th – April 10th, at the DoubleTree Hotel, in Columbus, Ohio

Paula Fynboh
Paula has studied and practiced social change extensively and believes that real and sustainable change happens when people come together at the grassroots level around seemingly simple, yet powerful actions that shift the narrative and culture of what is acceptable. Paula is a firm believer that hope can counter apathy and strives to provide positive solutions to reduce gun violence. Paula leads the national outreach and program strategy for the organization with the goal of bringing Sandy Hook Promise’s prevention actions and resources to schools, youth serving organizations, and communities across the country.

Nicole Hockley
After the tragic death of her son Dylan, who was one of 20 first-graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Nicole dedicated herself to working for change so that other families might be spared the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence. An eloquent writer and public speaker, Nicole has become an important advocate for the need to turn tragedy into transformation through love. She is focused on bringing people together in honest dialogue and searching for innovative solutions in the areas of mental health, school safety, community building and gun safety. In addition to her work with Sandy Hook Promise, Nicole and her husband also run Dylan’s Wings of Change, a foundation that helps children with autism reach their full potential. Nicole resides in Newtown with her family.

  • Terrific Town Hall featuring “Sandy Hook Promise” presenters on Friday night
  • Wonderful workshops
  • Neighborly networking
  • Notable General Meetings and so much more on Saturday and Sunday

Registrations made by March 24th are buy one get one free (BOGO)

Attention Members: Come and participate in lively discussions during the general session meetings about proposed amendments to the Ohio PTA Bylaws that includes a 75 cents membership dues increase.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Early Exposure to STEM is Key to Driving Continued Interest

Source: National PTA One voice blog

Careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) will increase over the next few decades, so it’s understandable that many parents are looking for ways to spark their child’s interest in STEM.
And it’s not hard to get them interested! STEM can naturally excites kids because they are innately fascinated with building things, taking them apart and then putting them back together to see how they work. STEM-related activities encourage discovery and open up imaginations!
Affordable, after-school programs and camps in Robotics, Engineering, Coding and Math at Sylvan Learning Centers help kids build a love of STEM at an early age. These school programs and camps benefit students when they enter the workforce, because those who go on to work in STEM fields earn an average of 26% more than their non-STEM counterparts, according to the federal government. It’s also notable that the top 14-highest paying bachelor degrees were all in engineering.
This National Engineers Week, Feb. 21-27, we’d like to offer some advice for parents looking to make STEM a bigger part of their children’s education.
Make it Real
Studies show early exposure to STEM is one of the greatest factors in whether students continue to seriously pursue STEM in their studies. Give your children a strong start by introducing them to STEM professionals that can educate and inspire them on what the future holds. It not only raises awareness of different fields, but it makes a STEM career more tangible. Children love learning about what adults do—and most adults love talking about what they do—so reach out to local engineering, programming, or design firms in your area and ask them to speak at your school or PTA meeting. The more opportunities children get to meet people in STEM-related fields, the cooler (and more real) the future can become.
Give them STEM Experiences
After-school STEM programs and summer camps are on the rise and parents can find lots of affordable experiences in the area. Look for STEM programs that have project-based learning that give kids the hands-on experiences they love. Consider STEM camps during the summer or after-school programs throughout the year. It’s something you can fit in your schedule like other extracurricular activities such as sports or dance—just having them work out those important brain muscles.
Many science and technology museums offer “STEM days” featuring fun STEM-related activities and many libraries have STEM clubs. It’s also exciting to take young ones to a local science event—or even aMaker Faire. When they see what the older kids can create, it can generate a spark like nothing else!
Activate STEM in your school
See if your school is offering after-school STEM programs and enroll. If your school isn’t currently offering after-school programs, we would be happy to talk to you, your PTA or your school administration about options to bring turnkey solutions right to your school for Coding, Engineering, Robotics or Math.
We love STEM. And what’s cool about kids doing STEM is that it challenges them to experiment, test and troubleshoot when something goes wrong, developing strong problem-solving skills that are valuable in all aspects of their life!

Amy Przywara - Sylvan Learning CMOAmy Przywara is the chief marketing officer for Sylvan Learning. She likes to read, attend sporting events and travel with her husband and three children. 
Sylvan Learning is a financial sponsor of National PTA. National PTA does not endorse any commercial entity, product, or service, and no endorsement is implied by this content.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Angela's Advice...Challenge Others to Recruit

Make it a contest among your board and current members to sign up one or more new members each meeting.  Offer incentives for this such as a gift card or free admission to future events that would require payment.  Be sure to make personal attempts to reach past members that have not joined yet for this year.  A phone call is always a good option or even a hand written letter.  Recognizing these members on an individual level goes a long way for retention. 

Offer classroom incentives so the teacher can help you recruit families, use business cards and have current members pass them out with their info and the date of the next meeting to make it an invitation to check out what your unit has to offer.  Keep using social media to promote the events your unit has hosted for the students along with a Join Now link. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Ohio's Children in Poverty

Click on the above link for resources on children's poverty / plan to participate in:

An Important Webinar on Child Poverty in Ohio
Join the Ohio PTA Directors of Advocacy (Tandra Rutledge), Education (Jackie Arendt), Family-School Partnership (Pam Bonnett) and Health, Welfare & Safety (Lisa Catalano) for an important must participate webinar. “Making Sense of Poverty: The real costs to education and PTA’s investment in children” will take place on Founders' Day (February 17th), at 8 pm. To register for the webinar, please email

Smart Talk Contest Update! (contest ends THIS TUESDAY 2/16/16)

Enter the Smart Talk contest to win a trip to Disney World. The Smart Talk is an online tool designed to help parents empower their children to become smart digital citizens in an increasingly connected world. It’s the result of collaboration between LifeLock and National PTA.

In the state to state competition, we are in FIRST PLACE right now ahead of Pennsylvania PTA for the first time. WOO HOO! Ohio PTA has 377 and PA PTA has 356 entries. Pennsylvania PTA wants to win the state to state competition as bad as we do SO Ohio PTA it is time to step it up in HIGH GEAR.

Be sure to enter daily and have friends and EVERYONE you know do the same. E-blast your members again and other contacts -- we can do this IF everyone pushes hard between now and the contest end date Tuesday, February 16th.

Remember: you don’t have to be a PTA member, NO PARTICIPATION in Smart Talk is required, and you can enter daily.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

National PTA Statement on President Obama’s 2017 Budget Proposal

On February 9th, President Barack Obama presented to Congress his proposal for the Fiscal Year 2017 budget. 

“President Obama’s proposed increase of 2% over the Fiscal Year 2016 appropriation for education is positive, and there are key investments in programs that support students and schools,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “However, National PTA is disappointed that funding for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program was not included in the president’s proposal.”

The Statewide Family Engagement Centers program is included in the Every Student Succeeds Act—the new law governing the federal role in K-12 education. The program would provide states and districts with the capacity to support effective implementation and enhancement of family engagement policies and initiatives that are proven to make a difference for children, schools and communities.

“For years, PTA members and families nationwide have been advocating for the prioritization of family engagement as it is critical to student success and school improvement efforts,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA remains committed to working to ensure the administration and Congress adequately invest in the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program to give families the tools to support their children’s achievement and give districts the resources to build meaningful family-school partnerships.”

In addition to the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program, National PTA also is disappointed that considerable increases for special education were not proposed. Greater financial support is essential for schools to be able to provide a quality education to children with disabilities.

National PTA is pleased, however, to see President Obama emphasize the importance of early learning and designate more resources for disadvantaged students. The association commends President Obama for proposing an increase of $450 million for Title I—which provides assistance to schools with high percentages of children from low-income families—and an increase of $100 million for Preschool Development Grants, which fund state efforts to expand and strengthen pre-K programs.

“One of the best investments our nation can make in a child’s life is in high-quality early education,” said Bay. “National PTA applauds President Obama’s continued commitment to improve access to early learning programs for all children to better prepare them for long-term success.”

About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA, (703) 518-1242

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Statewide Membership Committee Call Agenda

Thursday February 11th: We will have our monthly Membership Committee Conference call at 7:30 p.m.
Call in number: 712-775-7031
Access Code:   124-091-395

Statewide Membership Committee Call Agenda
Guest Speaker: Eric Snow from W.A.T.C.H. D.O.G.S
·         Male Involvement-Part 2
·         Family Engagement
·         March Madness Membership CASH Incentive

Please join us for this call and pass this information on to anyone else you think may be interested in joining. Thank you for your continued work with Membership!  As of January 25th, Ohio PTA has 59,122 members! We have reached 84% of our goal for this year. We are really hoping to reach 70,000 so please keep turning in dues each month and encouraging your units to keep recruiting new members. Get ready to take part in our March Madness Membership CASH Incentive!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ohio PTA Accepting BOGO Registrations for Annual Convention

Ohio PTA is accepting registrations for its 110th Annual Convention to be held April 8 – 10 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 175 Hutchinson Ave., Columbus, Ohio.

The event includes opportunities for PTA members and others to learn about a variety of topics including how to rethink parent involvement for the 21st Century, creating successful and sustainable wellness practices, and understanding college credit plus in high school curriculums.

To register, go to The cost is $125 per person. Registrations made by March 24 are buy one get one free.

A Sandy Hook Promise Town Hall meeting will be from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 8. Sandy Hook Promise is a national, nonprofit organization led by several people whose loved ones were killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. They are focused on preventing all forms of violence before it happens by educating and mobilizing parents, schools and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals. The Convention presentation focuses on easy to implement prevention resources available to schools at no cost. Paula Fynboh, who leads the national outreach and program strategy for the organization, and Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was one of 20 first-graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, will facilitate.

Another highlight of the Convention is recognition of Reflections winners from throughout the state. The Reflections program is designed to enhance art education programs and provides opportunities for students to express themselves and to receive positive recognition for their artistic efforts. PTA’s Helping Hands, Outstanding Educators, Oak Tree and School Nurse Award recipients will also be honored.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Congratulations National PTA Advocacy Award Winners!

National PTA Honors Outstanding Advocacy Efforts for Children and Education

Parent and youth honorees to be recognized at 2016 National PTA Legislative Conference

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 5, 2016) — National PTA is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2016 Outstanding Advocacy Awards, which honor parents and youth from across the country for their leadership and commitment to being a powerful voice for all children and a strong advocate for public education. The honorees will be recognized at the 2016 National PTA Legislative ConferenceWednesday, March 9 during a luncheon at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Outstanding State PTA Advocacy Award – Massachusetts PTA
Committed to speaking up for every child, Massachusetts PTA dedicated its efforts over the past year to advocating for the education, health, safety and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth to ensure they have every opportunity to reach their full potential. As part of its efforts, Massachusetts PTA established a LGBTQ chair position on its Board of Directors and formed a committee comprised of LGBTQ students and parents. Massachusetts PTA also partnered with other local and national advocacy groups and secured a seat at the table to help shape policies impacting LGBTQ students and families. The association’s efforts and leadership contributed to the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education unanimously passing a measure to update the school system’s handling of LGBTQ issues, which had not been updated since 1992. A key component of Massachusetts PTA’s LGBTQ advocacy plan also involved increasing family engagement and strengthening partnerships between PTAs, schools and the LGBTQ community across the state to ensure all families feel welcomed, supported and are empowered to support their children’s success.

  • Outstanding Local PTA Advocacy Award – Rochester Community PTA Council (Michigan)
Rochester Community PTA Council is being honored for its efforts to educate families throughout the community on legislative issues impacting children and schools and the importance of getting involved. The Rochester Community School District proposed a $185 million bond issue for inclusion on the ballot in the November 2015 election. The passage of the bond was essential for the district to make much needed renovations and upgrades to school facilities, technology and infrastructure to ensure students are provided a high-quality education and have a safe environment in which to thrive and learn. Among its many advocacy efforts, Rochester Community PTA Council worked to educate all PTA members and families communitywide on the specifics of the bond issue and the importance of getting out to vote. With the efforts and contributions of Rochester Community PTA Council, the bond issue passed with 73% support.  

  • Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year Award – Joy Grayson (South Carolina)  
Joy Grayson is a passionate advocate for education opportunity and equity for all of South Carolina’s children. As vice president of advocacy for South Carolina PTA, Grayson led the adoption of an annual legislative platform for the association; organized and moderated an annual state legislative conference; and revamped the state membership unit to become a state advocacy unit, engaging community members in PTA who had no affiliation with a local unit. The association also partnered with other education advocacy organizations in South Carolina to develop a Collaborative K-12 Public Education Policy platform. Under Grayson’s leadership, South Carolina PTA has had a significant presence at the table. Elected officials have asked for the association’s input on key issues, interest groups have attended meetings to present information, and state officials have participated in South Carolina PTA conventions and conferences. In addition to working at all levels to build and strengthen South Carolina PTA’s position as a compelling education advocate, Grayson has traveled throughout the state to empower all stakeholders to stand up for children.

  • Outstanding Youth Advocacy Award – Brian Rodriguez (Florida)
Brian Rodriguez has worked to promote civic engagement and increase community involvement among youth of all ages in the Miami area. As a member of the Miami-Dade County Youth Commission and the Miami Lakes Youth Activities Task Force, Rodriguez has collaborated with city officials and education and faith leaders to offer new approaches to provide youth with avenues to be actively involved in the community. Rodriguez’s passion, dedication and leadership have increased youth engagement in the community, helped families grow stronger and improved the local economy. Communities and constituents across the state of Florida have sought Rodriguez’s guidance to help strengthen youth engagement and create a bridge between students, families, schools and civic leaders.

“Advocacy is critical to improve education and the lives and futures of our nation’s children. Massachusetts PTA, Rochester Community PTA Council, Joy Grayson and Brian Rodriguez exemplify what it means to speak up and take action,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “Their efforts and leadership have truly made a difference for children, families, schools and communities. We are pleased to recognize them with the 2016 Outstanding Advocacy Awards.”

Every year, the National PTA Legislative Conference brings together PTA leaders and advocates from across the country to explore the association’s public policy priorities and actively advocate for the education, health and well-being of every child.

During the conference — themed, “Family Engagement Drives Student Success” — attendees will hear from speakers and participate in interactive workshops and advocacy skill-building trainings. Attendees will also amplify their voices by meeting with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill, Thursday, March 10. For more information, visit

About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA, (703) 518-1242

How to Use Social Media to Market Your PTA (and increase membership)"

"How to Use Social Media to Market Your PTA"
If you missed the terrific November statewide communications committee conference call with National PTA media expert--Heidi Wilson--don’t miss out on this opportunity to interact and learn from her boss. 

SAVE THE DATE--Super Bowl Sunday, February 7th, 7 pm--statewide communications committee conference call featuring LaWanda Toney, Director, Strategic Communications for National PTA. 
Dial-in # (712) 775-7031 / Access Code: 276-129
This is the committee’s last statewide conference call for the 2015-2016 school year. Be sure to call in. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Senate Agriculture Committee Moves Forward on Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act

Posted: 04 Feb 2016 11:19 AM PST (Source: PTA One Voice Blog)
Last month, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry unanimously passed bipartisan legislation—Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016—to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act/Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act for five years.

The bipartisan reauthorization in the Senate comes after years of debate on how to move forward with school nutrition standards—even though the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in October that 97% of schools were successfully meeting updated nutrition standards.

As part of the bipartisan compromise, the bill would keep the current fruits and vegetables requirement intact—that all students must have at least a half cup of fruits and vegetables with every federally funded school meal. However, grain and sodium requirements are expected to change through USDA’s rulemaking process (instead of the legislative process) before the next school year.

The new regulations for rulemaking would consist of delaying target 2 sodium restrictions in schools from school year (SY) 2017-2018 to 2019-2020 and lowering whole grain-rich requirements from 100% of grains served in schools to 80%. Although National PTA is not in favor of these changes, our association is still in support of the overall bill.

The bipartisan compromise preserves the progress made on school nutrition standards as well as school breakfast and lunch programs while keeping the child nutrition reauthorization process moving forward.

The bill also contains many key elements of the School Food Modernizations Act (S. 540)—that National PTA supported. The reauthorization bill would establish loan assistance and grant programs to help school districts upgrade their food service facilities and assist with staff training opportunities.

The Senate child nutrition reauthorization bill would also require studies on the effects of serving children healthy and nutritious meals at school, which include research and reviews of:
  • Nutrition education best practices
  • State training and technical assistance for schools to serve healthy school meals
  • Effects of selling varieties of milk on milk consumption at school
  • Target sodium requirements for schools and the effect on childrens’ health and school nutrition programs
The Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act is expected to move to the Senate floor for consideration in the coming months. The House Education and the Workforce Committee has not released their reauthorization of the child nutrition act yet and the possibility of the House taking up the Senate bill is still unclear.

Sign-up to receive our PTA Takes Action e-newsletter and follow @NationalPTA on Twitter for updates on the bill and information on other National PTA legislative priorities.

Joshua Westfall is the government affairs manager at National PTA.

Upcoming Events/Deadlines

Communications Committee Conference Call
Super Bowl Sunday (2.7.16) 7 to 8 pm
Special Guest Speaker: LaWanda Toney, Director
Strategic Communications for National PTA
Topic: How to Use Social Media to Market Your PTA
Dial-in # (712) 775-7031 / Access Code: 276-129

Membership Conference Call
Thursday, February 11th, at 7:30 pm
Dial-in # (712) 775-7031 / Access Code: 124-091-395

Head to to enter to win Disney World vacation! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.), Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands 21 years and older. Ends 2/16/16. To enter and for official rules, including odds and prize descriptions, visit Void where prohibited.

An Important Webinar on Child Poverty in Ohio

Join the Ohio PTA Directors of Advocacy (Tandra Rutledge), Education (Jackie Arendt), Family-School Partnership (Pam Bonnett) and Health, Welfare & Safety (Lisa Catalano) for an important must participate webinar. “Making Sense of Poverty: The real costs to education and PTA’s investment in children” will take place on Founders' Day (February 17th), at 8 pm. To register for the webinar, please email

Advocacy Award
PTA members can earn this award by taking part in advocacy activities at the local, state, and federal levels within an one‐year time period (March 1 –February 28).  PTA members who accumulate 150 or more advocacy‐ based points will earn an Ohio PTA Advocacy Award.  The award consists of a certificate, pin, and recognition at the Ohio PTA Convention and in the Ohio PTA Voice. Due March 1st
M.A.C.K. Award
Apply for the M.A.C.K. Award...due March 1st
Prose, poetry and drama are all accepted. The entry must relate to the program theme, “HOW A MALE POSITIVELY CHANGED/INFLUENCED MY LIFE.” Whether an entry uses a variety of techniques or a simple approach, it will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme. There will be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner chosen from each division – Primary (Preschool – Grade 2), Intermediate (Grades 3 – 5), Middle School (Grades 6 – 8), and High School (Grades 9 -12). The 1st place winners will receive $100.00; 2nd place winners will receive $50.00; and 3rd place winners will receive $25.00. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Every Student Succeeds Act

Posted: 03 Feb 2016 09:43 AM PST (Source: National PTA One Voice Blog)
The U.S. Department of Education released guidance to help states and districts improve the quality of assessments and eliminate redundant and misaligned tests. Of significance to PTA, the guidance encourages Title I schools to conduct assessment literacy nights to increase understanding and communication between families and schools about the use of assessments and how to use test results to support learning at home. Acting U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King Jr., also released this video explaining more about the guidance.

National PTA acknowledges the important role that high-quality assessments play in promoting equity and improving the outcomes of all of our nation’s children. Assessments provide valuable information to parents, teachers and school leaders about the growth and achievement of their students. At the same time, National PTA recognizes the concerns many parents and educators have about the over-emphasis on testing and impact it has on student learning opportunities in the classroom. We applaud the Department’s guidance to help address the current challenges and provide actionable opportunities for states and districts to carry out the work of improving assessments.

The letter to Chief State School Officers by the Department of Education follows President Obama’s Testing Action Plan that was released in October 2015 and identifies key principles for good assessments. While the newly enacted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) encourages movement away from high stakes testing, the Department’s new document provides immediate opportunities for states and districts to take advantage of current federal resources to reduce testing and support more effective assessment systems since the new law will not take full effect until the 2017–2018 school year.

National PTA recognizes that many states are still working to implement high quality assessment systems that seek to provide valuable information to parents, teachers and school leaders about the growth and achievement of their students. The National PTA Board of Directors recently adopted a position statement on assessment that outlines several recommendations that were highlighted in the Department’s guidance such as auditing of assessment systems to reduce unnecessary tests, ensuring appropriate development, reliability and implementation of high quality assessments, clear and multiple means of communication and engagement with families on assessment, improving the timeliness and comprehension of assessment results, and providing adequate professional development to educators on assessment.

As stated in the PTA Board of Directors adopted position statement, National PTA believes a sound and comprehensive assessment system should include multiple measures of student growth and achievement that reflect the depth and breadth of knowledge and skills that students are expected to acquire, as well as their capacity to perform critical competencies. The association has long held that neither one test, nor a single data point should ever be the sole determinant of a student’s academic or work future. High-quality assessments play a vital role in providing valuable information to parents, students and teachers on student progress.

Jacki Ball is the director of government affairs at National PTA.