Saturday, September 10, 2016



You're Invited!
National PTA takes pride in the work that we do for our children, and back-to-school season is the perfect time for parents and teachers to get involved in the PTA. Next week, we are inviting you to join us next week for a PTA Proudextravaganza!
Tune in Tues., Sept. 13 at 12 p.m. EDT with National PTA's executive director Nathan R. Monell, CAE on Facebook Live. Nathan will be talking about family engagement and student success tips to prepare your child for the year.
National PTA is also hosting a Twitter chat—all teachers, parents and PTA members of the community are welcome to join us next Thurs., Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. EDT! Tweet along using the hashtag #PTABack2School and follow us at  @NationalPTA to chat about back-to-school tips, your PTA and more!
For more info about PTA Proud and how you can get involved, visit the new
Spread the Word About the #PTABack2School Twitter Chat

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Smart Talk

National PTA and LifeLock Help Parents With Back-To-School To-Do List With “The Smart Talk”

Free online tool helps families set technology ground rules as more kids go digital

·         The majority of children receive their first smartphone between the ages of 8 and 121
·         Written agreements tend to have a higher success rate than verbal agreements
·         A child’s identity and well-being can be compromised by their online behavior

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., (Aug. 25, 2016)Everyone knows about the inevitable “birds and the bees” talk between parents and their kids, but what about the “texts and the tweets?” That’s another “talk” that’s rising in importance, especially during the back-to-school season when parents prep their kids with the latest gear and gadgets. National PTA and LifeLock created The Smart Talk—a free, online tool to help families set ground rules for technology use and have open, ongoing conversations about online safety and responsibility.

The creation of The Smart Talk is part of a two-year collaboration between LifeLock, Inc. (NYSE: LOCK), a leader in proactive identity theft protection, and National PTA, the nation’s oldest and largest child advocacy association, that’s aimed to encourage families to have an open, ongoing conversation about making positive, safe decisions online.

“In the fast-moving digital world, a child’s identity and well-being can be compromised by their online behavior,” said LifeLock CEO Hilary Schneider, a mother of three. “As digital natives, today’s kids need to learn the rules of the road for navigating life online. Many parents find the idea of having the technology talk overwhelming because they don’t know what topics to even begin to cover.”

Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in families’ lives and is increasingly being used for teaching and learning. The majority of children receive their first smart phone between the ages of 8 and 12, according to a 2015 LifeLock1 survey. While 79% of families have technology agreements with their children, only 6% of those are written, which tend to have a higher success rate than verbal ones among families that report having technology agreements1.

The Smart Talk engages kids and parents in an interactive experience, leading them through a guided conversation about five key areas:
·         Online safety and privacy
·         Screen time
·         Apps and downloads
·         Texting and calling
·         Social media and respect
Families then create a personalized agreement that can be stored on a computer or printed and posted at home.

“Technology has opened up a world of opportunities in every aspect of life and is essential for the development of skills children need to thrive. As parents, we want our children to learn and have fun through technology, and at the same time, stay safe and develop healthy lifestyles,” said National PTA President Laura Bay, a mother of three. “The Smart Talk brings families together for productive conversations about devices and technology use to help children build good digital habits and ensure they have the skills they need to be safe and responsible online.”

Parents looking to begin the conversation today can visit The Smart Talk website and review this quick guide to get started. More information is available on The Smart Talk Facebook page and YouTube channel.

1Commissioned study conducted by ResearchNow on behalf of LifeLock, adults 18 and older were surveyed online between July 20-24, 2015

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.

About LifeLock
LifeLock, Inc. (NYSE:LOCK) is a leading provider of proactive identity theft protection services for consumers and fraud and risk management solutions for enterprises. LifeLock’s threat detection, proactive identity alerts, and comprehensive remediation services help provide peace of mind for consumers amid the growing threat of identity theft. Leveraging unique data, science and patented technology from ID Analytics, Inc., a wholly -owned subsidiary, LifeLock offers identity theft protection that goes beyond credit monitoring. As part of its commitment to help fight identity theft, LifeLock works to train law enforcement and partners with a variety of nonprofit organizations to help consumers establish positive habits to combat this threat.

Media Contacts:
Jeff Davis & Sydney Brown
LifeLock, Inc.

Heidi May Wilson
National PTA

Thursday, September 8, 2016

SHAPE Up: Child Wellness & Nutrition

SHAPE Up: Child Wellness & Nutrition
Join the Voices Policy Team for our 2nd Public Policy Partner Webinar! Offering the same in-depth content and expert presenters you have come to expect from Federal Policy Webinars, but with a shared focus on both state and federal issues and policies. We will also be sharing updates from our newly revamped Public Policy Advisory Committee and how you can get more involved. 
This month, we are excited to offer a presentation from Carly Wright is the Senior Manager of Advocacy for SHAPE America - the Society of Health and Physical Educators. Carly works on federal, state, and local initiatives related to improving, implementing, and assessing school health education and physical education programs and policies in schools. She also represents SHAPE America before the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and participates in national coalitions which work to elevate and promote health and physical education policies across the country. Carly has led a number of webinars, presentations, and trainings across the United States on advocating for health, physical education and the health of our nation’s children. She has been employed by SHAPE America for nine years and has a B.A. in Communications from George Mason University.
Register Now! 
Visit:               #VoicesSetsTheStage

PTA Takes Action


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September 8, 2016
New Poll Shows the Importance of Family Engagement in Education
The annual Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) poll on the public’s attitude towards education was released last month. The poll found mixed views on the overall purpose of education but showed a strong relationship between school satisfaction and strong family-school partnerships.
The survey found that a school’s ability to effectively communicate with families and provide frequent opportunities for input greatly influenced the parent’s opinion of the school’s performance.
Read more about the poll on National PTA’s One Voice blog.
National PTA Endorses the Get the Lead Out of Schools Act
National PTA recently endorsed the Get the Lead Out of Schools Act (H.R. 5833) introduced by Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL-08). The bill ensures that schools across the country are periodically tested and consistently monitored for unhealthy lead and copper levels.
The bill also establishes a grant program for districts that voluntarily test for lead and provides funding to help replace outdated plumbing with new lead-free plumbing.
5 Things You to Know About ESSA
The start of the new school year is a busy time for many families as they juggle hectic schedules with homework, extracurricular activities and meeting new learning goals. However, the school year is not the only big event to begin this fall. Parts of the new education law, theEvery Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), will begin to take effect and it is important for parents to know how this law effects their child in the new school year.
Read National PTA’s Our Children Magazine article to learn the five things you need to know about ESSA before the school year is in full swing.
Learning First Alliance Issues Back-to-School Tools
The Learning First Alliance recently released a resource to help educators communicate with their parents and communities. 
Entitled "Working Together for Student Success: A Back-to-School Communications Toolkit," the toolkit contains advice for local school leaders and other educators to help publicize and explain their successes in implementing college- and career-ready standards.
Check out the toolkit at
Advocate of the Month
Arkansas PTA created a bus safety public service announcement which was shown at their Summer Leadership Conference in July. They also successfully advocated to get the video shown as a preview in movie theaters around the state.
Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key recognized Arkansas PTA’s work on this important safety issue and appointed Keli Gill, President of Arkansas PTA, to the ESSA implementation taskforce in their state. Check out the video
Tools & Resources
On the Blog
Career and Technical Education Improves Student Achievement
ACTE-infographic.PNGDid you know that students enrolled in career and technical education (CTE) courses are more likely to develop problem-solving, time-management and communication skills than other students?
Check out this infographic—from National PTA and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)—that demonstrates how CTE can help every child develop the 21st century skills they need to reach their full potential in college and career.
School Fundraising Policies and Practices: A Shifting Landscape
Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. EDT
Join Healthy Eating Research, Boise State University and the Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods project for a webinar that will present results from a new report on healthy school fundraising.
Building Your Advocacy Family Tree: A Genealogy Approach to Advocacy Networking
Sept. 19 at 1 p.m. EDT
The Congressional Management Foundation will explore how to coach local leaders to recruit allies in their communities.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

2016 PDK Opinion Poll on the Nation’s Public Schools Underscores Need for Improved Family Engagement

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Aug. 31, 2016)—Yesterday, Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) released the results from the 2016 Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. Among the topics covered, the need to improve family engagement in education and strengthen family-school partnerships is demonstrated by the findings of the survey.

In the poll, Americans and parents were asked their satisfaction with school efforts to keep them informed and give them opportunities to offer their opinions and input.

·         55% of parents responded that they would like to be kept more informed about how their child is doing in school.
·         51% of parents indicated they would like to be invited to visit their child’s school more often to see what is going on.
·         56% of parents replied that they would like to be given more opportunities to offer their opinions and provide input on how things are done in their child’s school.

The poll also showed a strong relationship between family engagement and school satisfaction. Parents who rated their schools positively on keeping them informed, offering them opportunities to provide input and showing interest in their input gave their schools an A or B grade overall.

“One of National PTA’s founding principles—and continued top priority—is its dedication to ensuring families are engaged in education, families and schools work together, and families have a seat at the table when decisions are made that impact their children and schools,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “The PDK poll underscores the importance of prioritizing family engagement and family-school partnerships, which are proven to advance children’s learning and growth, increase student achievement and positively impact school improvement efforts.”

The findings from the poll come as states and school districts are working to create new education plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—the new federal law governing K-12 education. ESSA provides an important opportunity for states, districts and schools to improve family engagement and strength family-school partnerships as it requires that parents are meaningfully consulted in the development and implementation of the new education plans.

“Families play an important role in the successful implementation of ESSA and ensuring that all children receive a quality education by providing their input and holding states and districts accountable,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA remains committed to working with families, educators, administrators, policymakers and other stakeholders to make certain family engagement is prioritized in ESSA and beyond. Systematic and sustained efforts to integrate families into the fabric of our schools is key to their success and our children and our nation’s future.”

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.

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