Saturday, June 25, 2016

NEW! ESSA Stakeholder Engagement Principles

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

This message is sent on behalf of Laura Bay, National PTA president and Nathan Monell, National PTA executive director.

Dear PTA Leaders:

In the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), parents and other education stakeholders are required to be meaningfully consulted and engaged in the implementation and evaluation of the law. Parents, families and other education stakeholders will now be able to provide critical guidance and expertise to improve our nation’s schools and ensure that every child has the opportunity to reach his/her full potential. This is a significant and much-needed change from current practice. The law, however, gives few details on what constitutes meaningful engagement and how stakeholders should work together to determine policies and practices. 

To help facilitate meaningful stakeholder engagement under ESSA, the Learning First Alliance (LFA) has created a set of principles to make sure the right people are at the table and the process moves forward in an effective manner. LFA is a collaborative group of 14 of the nation’s leading education organizations, including National PTA. 

National PTA is committed to ensuring the successful implementation of ESSA. In addition to helping develop LFA’s set of principles, the association will continue to create and curate resources at to educate and empower state and local PTAs to be a part of the process. We hope that you will use the principles, along with other National PTA ESSA materials, to further conversations on effective stakeholder engagement, take steps to make sure parents and families are at the table and provide valuable input on important state and local education policy decisions. We encourage you to share the principles and other ESSA resources with PTA leaders and members in your state so that they can effectively engage in the process as well.  

The opportunity for a significant change in education policy-making is at hand. It is essential that meaningful stakeholder engagement occurs as intended and that parents and families are active in state and local implementation of ESSA to make the promise of the law a reality for all children.


Laura Bay Signature                                              
Laura M. Bay                                                                          Nathan R. Monell, CAE
President                                                                                 Executive Director
National PTA                                                                           National PTA

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Tips for Incoming PTA Leaders

Source: National PTA One Voice Blog
Posted: 23 Jun 2016 05:56 AM PDT
Summer vacation is here! While these months can be filled with road trips to the beach, summer camps, long nights and lots of “R&R” time—summer is also an opportunity plan a smooth transition into the upcoming school year. Just as teachers must plan the next school year’s curriculum, PTA leaders have an assignment of their own, too.

At the end of their term, outgoing leaders transfer their procedures books to the incoming leaders. Even if an outgoing leader thinks the information is of no value, with these books you will have a better idea of what was done in the past and how the PTA went about doing it. Outgoing leaders can also offer valuable insight on things yet to be done, what they would do better and suggestions on how to be more effective and efficient in the performance of your new duties. Take notes and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Start planning now for your own smooth transition into office. Here are a few tips for incoming local leaders to consider:

Share contact information with outgoing leaders and set up a directory to be and remain connected. With previous leaders’ contact information, you’ll be able to reach out for additional support throughout the year or to ask for insight as problems arise.

Review procedures books given to you from outgoing leaders. If there are none, do not worry; start one by getting and reading your local unit bylaws. The PTA unit’s secretary should have a copy. If you can’t find it, call your state/congress office; they’ll be happy to mail or email you one.

Visit and review the sections that may apply to your new position.  If you don’t see your position listed, the information this website contains is of value to the entire PTA board.  Even if you’re an experienced PTA leader, it is worth reviewing every year as it is updated with the most current information and trends to help you and your unit to be successful.

Check out your state PTA’s website.  They may have information that can start you off on the right foot for the year. For example, templates, training opportunities, resources, program materials, newsletters, etc. You might find ways to connect with your state through Facebook, Instagram, Legislative Alerts, Twitter, etc.

Take advantage of the e-learning courses. National PTA offers online training courses to help you grow as a leader at Although you may want to start with what you’ll need for your own PTA position, please take all courses. As a board member, it’s important to know the role of each position and what to expect.

Meet with your school principal to learn about school goals and objectives for the incoming year. Share with the principal the programs the PTA would like to hold (ReflectionsFamily Reading Experience Powered by KindleHealthy LifestylesFire Up Your FeetTake Your Family to School WeekTeacher Appreciation WeekConnect for Respect, etc.) and how these programs will support the goals and objectives of the school. Think about becoming a School of Excellence in the process!

Set up a communications plan. Newsletters and social media keep everyone informed, engaged and proud of what the PTA is doing. Go through your PTA’s goals, identify specific strategies your PTA or committee will use to achieve each goal and then create a step-by-step plan for each strategy. This is key to growing membership and gaining members and community support.

Have a successful PTA year and thank you so much for your dedication and commitment to the mission of PTA!

Ivelisse Castro is a national service representative at National PTA.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

National PTA Supports Department of Education’s Guidance for Stakeholder Engagement in Every Student Succeeds Act

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (June 23, 2016)—Today, the U.S. Department of Education releasedguidance to help states and school districts effectively engage stakeholders in the implementation of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA requires that stakeholders—including parents—are meaningfully engaged and consulted during the implementation process. However, few details are provided in the law on what constitutes meaningful engagement and how stakeholders should work together.

“ESSA recognizes the critical expertise and firsthand knowledge that parents, educators, practitioners and other stakeholders can bring to the table to help improve our nation’s schools and make sure every child has the opportunity to reach his/her full potential. This is a much-needed change in education policymaking,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “National PTA has called on the Department of Education to provide best practices for effective stakeholder consultation and engagement to ensure this occurs as intended in the law. The association is pleased the Department has heeded this call and issued the guidance.”

As outlined in the guidance, the Department of Education recommends that states and districts design their engagement strategies to involve the many stakeholders affected by the law, including representatives of all students and families. The Department also recommends that states and districts design a process that allows stakeholders the opportunity to provide substantive input throughout the development of plans and policies related to ESSA. Additionally, the department offers ways in which states and districts can remove barriers that limit authentic engagement.

“The real impact of ESSA on children and schools depends on effective implementation of the law, which must include parents from the beginning,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “It is essential that meaningful stakeholder engagement occurs as intended and that parents and families are active in state and local implementation of ESSA to make the promise of the law a reality.”

National PTA is committed to engaging parents and families in ESSA implementation. The association has created and curated resources at to educate and empower families and PTAs to be a part of the process. The association also has collaborated with the Council of Chief State School Officers on A Guide on Stakeholder Outreach, as well as with the Learning First Alliance on a set of principles to help direct stakeholder engagement. 

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 family engagement 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.