Wednesday, November 1, 2017

How will your PTA change the lives of children in 2018?

Source: PTA One Voice Blog

The school-year kick-off is past and holiday craziness is on the horizon. Right now it’s time to grab a pumpkin spice latte, sit back and take stock.
Did the membership year start off with a bang? Maybe a mid-year drive is in order. Plan to start right after the holidays when potential members refocus on school. What value has your PTA already delivered? What value do you plan to deliver in 2018? Call attention to your success and ask for support for the future. Position membership in your PTA as a way to support students and PTA.  Ask people to join a successful movement to improve your school community.  People want to be part of successful teams. They want to know that their dues dollars have impact. Tie PTA membership with positive results.
Will your PTA meet its goals? Now is a good time to acknowledge successes and plan next steps. No goals? It’s not too late. Gather the board and decide what can be accomplished in 2018. Focus on empowering families to support student success.  Find a community agency or organization to partner in hosting a family event. Research your school’s goals and brainstorm ways to align PTA’s efforts to achieve goals together. Concentrate on making an impact and providing value to your community.
Are a few overworked volunteers trying to do the work of many? Consider how you ask for help: “Come be part of our success” vs. “We need people” and “400 children and family members had a blast in 2017. We’re aiming at 500 this year. Help us build an even better 2018 Spring Fair” vs. “We need volunteers for the Spring Fair.” Tie volunteer opportunities to outcomes, tell people they will be part of successful events, and help volunteers feel their volunteer hours have an impact. Break down opportunities into small jobs and find ways people can help from home or with their families—look for ways to help people say, “Yes” to the opportunity.
Candy canes will soon replace candy corn and PTA thoughts will take second place to planning family gatherings and holiday celebrations. Now is the time to make plans to jump-start the New Year. How will your PTA change the lives of children in 2018?
Deborah Walsh is a National PTA Service Manager. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

School Safety Requirement in Ohio

The Ohio Department of Education would like your assistance in getting a message to schools about compliance 
with a school safety requirement. Since the new school safety law went into effect in January 2015, the 
Center for P-20 Safety and Security has worked hard with each school in Ohio to have a compliant safety plan. 
In 2017, we have begun to enforce the final component of the law — the Emergency Management Test or EMT. 
The EMT requires schools to test their school emergency management plans and report to the Ohio 
Department of Education certain data about the EMT. To assist schools, we have provided resources and 
FAQs at, click on the blue emergency management test button on the right. 

Schools with plans deemed compliant in 2015 and 2016 are required to complete a test and report it 
by Dec. 31, 2017. Please let your schools know that this requirement must be fulfilled by the end 
of this year or superintendents and principals could be referred to the Office of Professional Conduct.

If your schools believe they have completed this requirement, they can check in SAFE to see the date of 
their EMT in the EMT column. If a school still sees “add 2017 EMT,” please call (614) 644-2641 for assistance. 
If you have additional questions, call the Center for P-20 Safety and Security at (614) 644-2641 or send 
an email to