Council recommends local PTA leaders do two important things this summer:
A board retreat can be a powerful way to kick-start your PTA's new year. If fact, it can be such a powerful tool that Washington State PTA considers having one to be a PTA best practice. A retreat is more than just a regular meeting; it is an opportunity to:
There are many things to consider when planning for your retreat. While board retreats can take place in person, due to Covid guidelines or the individual needs of your board members, it maybe be best to plan a virtual retreat, which adds a few more items to that list.
Great retreats also include a few key social elements that serve as ways to allow board members to connect, bond, and get to know each other, all of which work to help build a more cohesive team:
The extended nature of a retreat means that a board can have time for conversations and discussions with more breadth and depth. Consider some of the following discussion areas and questions as you build your board retreat agenda:
Finally, remember that some of the most important work will happen after the retreat ends as ideas are put into action. Take time through the year to reflect and check-in with one another regarding discussions, action items, and progress toward goals.
Recently, Council has been sent several questions asking about our upcoming School Board Candidate Forum and felt it was best to address those questions publicly.
On June 22, 2021 at 7pm, the Northshore Council PTSA was scheduled to host the first of three scheduled Zoom Forums for each of the three open positions on the Northshore School Board. Unfortunately, all but one of the candidates pulled out at the last minute. We will leave it to the candidates to share their reasons. Due to this, the first recording was not able to be done. We are currently working on rescheduling this forum.
Northshore Council PTSA has held many candidate forums in the past including school board candidate forums and most recently state representative forums in 2018 and 2020. Council volunteers have done their best to create a fair, non-partisan forum in which each candidate is asked the same questions and has the same time to answer the questions. Council took input from PTA/PTSA members as well as community members for these questions which represent a wide spectrum of issues and concerns from across the district. The three recorded Zoom Forums, though recorded on different days, would be all posted to our website on the same day and will not be edited or altered in any way.
Members of the community have asked about the possibility of us hosting an in person forum. Due to the short time-frame, we do not have time to find a venue and organize an in-person forum before the primary school board election, but we will consider hosting one before the general election. Click here to learn more about the format of Council's 2021 School Board Candidate Forum.
We hope that given another chance, all school board candidates will choose to participate in our Zoom Forums as it is important for voters to have the opportunity to hear about their experiences, views, and vision for the education of Northshore students in order to make informed choices.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to our Co-VPs of Advocacy by emailing email@example.com.
Are you new to your PTA role this year?
Are you on a Nominating Committee and looking for the best candidate?
Is your PTA looking to fill a role or create a new one?
Then you might find our newest resource helpful: PTA Job Descriptions!
We've added a new section to our Forms, Documents, & Procedures page that now includes PTA Job Descriptions. These descriptions are provided by Council to help your PTA better understand some of the different roles within PTA. We recommend that you create these for your specific PTA as well. Providing a job description is a great starting place for someone new to the role or when you are working on recruiting a new volunteer to your board.
Have a PTA job description for your local PTA that you don't see listed on our site? Feel free to share it with Council so we can share it with our local PTAs! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's Time to Update Officers & Committee Chairs for the 2021-2022 School Year!
Please have each member of your 2021-2022 PTA/PTSA complete this form https://bit.ly/3oyjEUP before July 1st.
This includes positions such as the executive committee (aka: elected positions), board members, committee chairs, etc.
Council gathers this information in order to support all Northshore Local PTA/PTSA Leaders. Contact information is used to connect with leaders including receiving our twice a month eNews, sending invites to Council events, relaying important and timely information about program specific areas (such as Advocacy or Reflections), and more!
Questions? Contact our VP of Communications, Rachel Fitzgerald.
Remember to update officers into memberplanet as well!
Northshore Council PTSA is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a 2021 Northshore School Board Candidate Forum just in time for the 2021 School Board Primary. This forum is being held to educate voters within Northshore School District about the school board candidates that are running in the Primary election. We will be sharing this pre-recorded event on July 15th. We will use social media as well as our website to promote the forum to the voters within Northshore School District. It is a great chance to get to know the candidates!
The format will include 3 separate videos, one for each of the three seats that are up for election. Candidates from each seat will appear with their opponents. The moderators will be from the Northshore PTSA council’s advocacy team. There will not be an audience. We have offered each candidate two minutes for an opening statement. Following that will be a short question and answer period rotating between the candidates. The questions are being solicited from citizens of Northshore. Concluding, we will offer one minute to each candidate for a closing statement.
If you have questions you would like asked during this forum, please email them to email@example.com.
Keep an eye out for this important resource arriving on our website and social medias around July 15! Ballots should be arriving around the same time. See below for more information on the Primary and voter registration.
This is a great resource for your PTA members and school community - please share it out!
Diana Christiansen and Jennifer Drury
Co-Vice Presidents of Advocacy
Northshore Council PTSA 6.10
Voter information and registration can be found at http://vote.wa.gov/.
This summer, Council will be holding Office Hours on Tuesday, July 13th from 12:00PM (noon) to 1:00PM. This is the perfect time to connect with Council, ask questions about the upcoming year, or even just stop in to say hello!
This time is designed to support our local PTA/PTSA leaders as you begin to navigate membership, programs, and managing your organization for the upcoming year. We hope you will join us!
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 949 5556 2974
Passcode: *available upon request*
If you have questions and need to connect with Council prior to this, please visit our Contact Page for a list Council Officers and their emails.
As this school year comes to an end, Council President, Jane Chiodo, would like to leave our local PTA leaders with this end of year message:
This year forced our PTAs to rethink how we serve our communities and, I have to say, that our PTAs met that challenge head on. From pivoting to hold cherished events virtually, holding meetings over Zoom, appreciating our school staff members from afar, and gathering members when you couldn’t even reach out a hand to shake and say hi…. We’ve seen so many incredible things come out of this challenge to our PTA norms! There has been renewed work on supporting our community through the creation of services such as new food banks as well as highlighting the importance of mental health while helping to give our families tools and tips to help them through the anxiety and weather the changes brought about this year. Many advocacy issues took a center stage with major strides made in making sure that everyone is heard and seen. We saw more PTAs than ever before partner together to bring education events and fun to their communities. We also saw PTAs buckle down and weather the storm. Everyone knows how important PTA is – you did what you had to do. You’ll come out on the other side of this ready to rock. I am so proud to be part of the Northshore School District family of PTAs!
Thank you to our hardworking local PTAs for everything they have done for their schools, their families, their students and their communities at large. Thank you to the PTA officers who held the ship together, the PTA board members who continued to push the mission and hold to the goals, and to all of the PTA volunteers who found ways to help when we couldn’t physically be together. You are all amazing and what you do is amazing.
I also want to take a moment to thank the Northshore Council PTSA team. Through the personal ups and downs, your work at your local PTAs, your 9-5 jobs, taking care of your families, and everything in between you were able to continue to work to support our local PTAs through your selfless dedication and incredible work ethic. I am humbled and constantly amazed by this team and their ingenuity in the face of adversity and their unwavering care for their community.
As a council, we worked hard to figure out how to support our local PTAs as best we could. We’re hoping that we did a good job. But, in order to know if we did, we need YOU to let us know! Please take a minute to fill out our survey and let us know how we can support you better as we move into the next school year. We will be taking survey responses up until midnight on Friday, June 25th.
Please take time this summer to rest, relax, and rejuvenate – and, don’t forget the sunscreen! Thank you and have a great summer!!
President, Northshore Council PTSA 6.10
Thank you to everyone that attended our fifth and final membership meeting of the school year! This meeting was especially impactful as there were over 55 attendees from our local PTA’s and community partners in attendance.
The meeting kicked off with an approval of minutes from our March general meeting, before moving on to hear the Treasurer’s Report for the month of May from the Council Treasurer, Liz Nord. May’s report reflected income from membership service fees, as well as expenses related to the Spring Recognition Event, Moneyminder software renewal, WSPTA scholarship funds, WSPTA convention registration fees and awards.
Next on the agenda was an update to the Northshore Council PTSA Standing Rules. Changes recommended were:
Our VP of Communications, Rachel Fitzgerald, then shared with everyone the importance of updating the contact information for positions being filled for next year in your PTA. If you are an officer next year, please update your contact information before July 1st, 2021. This information will be used to contact you by council board members that want to support your PTA. It is also how you will be on the list to receive communications from council, including the council newsletter, that will keep you updated on events and happenings in our district. Remember to update officers into memberplanet as well!
District and Community Reports:
School Board Director David Cogan shared an update in regards to Northshore School District that included, but was not limited to:
Lauren Lewis, acting NSD Partnerships and Volunteer Coordinator, reported the following:
After the updates were given by the community partners there was a reminder to the local PTA attendees to please remember to fill out the end of year survey from Council. This survey lets us know how we can better serve your PTA with your valuable feedback. We will be taking survey responses up until midnight on Friday, June 25th.
Our Council President, Jane Chiodo, then shared a personal message of thanks to the council as well as the local leaders and community partners. Click here to read that message.
Last, but certainly not least, the evening ended with our 2020-2021 Spring Recognition Event! This event was hosted by our Co-VP of Events, Mary Khouzam and Karrie Palis. The theme was "Thank You for Making Lemonade". This was such a fitting theme since all of our local PTA’s did exactly that this year, when handed lemons, they made some lemonade!
The event included performances from Skyview Middle School's symphonic band, orchestra, and choir as well as a performance from the Bothell High School Bel Canto Choir.
The highlight of the event was celebrating all the achievements of our local PTAs/PTSAs as well as the recipients of their Recognition Awards. Council was also honored to present this year's Council Recognition Awards. Congratulations to:
🌟 Outstanding Educator: Natalie Campbell
🌟 Outstanding Advocate: Cathi Davis
🌟 Outstanding Student Advocate: Diya Gupta
🌟 Outstanding Service: Melissa Kline
🌟 Golden Acorn: Lauren Lewis
🌟 Golden Acorn: Liz Nord
🌟 Honorary Life Membership: Nancy Chamberlain
Click here to learn more about each of our 2020-2021 Council Award Recipients.
Thank you to our Council Awards Committee Members Diana Christiansen, Rachel Fitzgerald, and Karrie Palis for the beautiful awards presentation and speeches given during the event!
Thank you to all that attended this fun evening! It was a fun night with lots to celebrate for making it through this unprecedented school year! Looking forward to our next membership meeting in the fall. Have a wonderful summer and enjoy this much deserved time to relax with your families.
Marie Sullivan, Washington State PTA Legislative Consultant, hosted a legislative session recap on June 8. Over 300 bills were passed by the Washington State legislature despite the challenges of the pandemic. WSPTA had some great wins on our Top 5 issues and supporting resolutions.
If you would like to view Marie’s recap, it was recorded and can be found on the Washington State PTA YouTube Channel. Her final end of session report will be out soon!
Questions about how you can get involved in Advocacy? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Each year, Northshore Council PTSA recognizes a few special people who have gone above and beyond in service to our community and who promote the well-being and education of children in our district and beyond. During our Annual Spring Recognition Event on June 7th, Northshore Council was proud to recognize seven amazing individuals. Learn more about them and why they were deserving of these achievements in the videos and stories below:
Dave Wellington, West Region Assistant Superintendent, when asked about Natalie had this to say, “Spend any time in any elementary and you will see Natalie’s work. Everywhere. In the happy faces of students participating in before and after-school programs. In the thousands of volunteer hours on a host of activities from Fall Prep to Reading Buddies. And in the beautiful student artwork, created under the guidance of Art Docents, that brighten classrooms and hallways. In every classroom you will see Natalie’s impact on an entire community.”
Natalie is not only a leader and educator who has made an impact in our NSD community, but a superhero too. Another colleague of Natalie had this to say, “Besides being friendly and caring, she’s a one-woman show of dedication, inspiration, and creativity. She has a passion for our District and [goes above and beyond] to implement new programs and events to better our school community. Her work over the past year has been nothing short of heroic!”
Cathi often quotes American Philosopher, Dr. Cornel West, who says “Justice is what love looks like in public,”. Cathi lives up to this quote every day when she wakes up determined to ensure that her work as a principal and leader is a manifestation of that commitment to create more just communities of learning as an act of love for her students and families.
More so than ever in our current state, advocating for our students and their needs is crucial. Cathi has made it her mission every day to do so and looks at the bigger picture in how to best support our students and families. One staff member at RBE said, “that even through this pandemic, Cathi has led the team with grace, humility, vulnerability, and above all a vision for inclusivity and belonging.” Because of her passion, this staff member looks forward to walking beside her in continuing to make this world a more equitable place for all the River Otters (Ruby Bridges’ students). From the beginning, Cathi has always made all students and families in the Ruby Bridges Community feel welcomed and championed for their voices to be heard. Our district is blessed to have a principal and leader who not only leads with a strong passion, but one with a big heart too!
With this unforeseen challenge, Diya started to rethink about how to still make this program happen. This school year, she presented a virtual idea to district leaders. She hosted information sessions, workshops, recruited student volunteers, created how to videos, and answered countless questions. Due to her advocacy efforts, more than 60 elementary students from across the district were able to participate.
The pandemic may have changed many everyday activities, but Diya got creative and still made this program possible. A parent whose child participated in the program had this to say about Diya, “One quality I'd particularly like to recognize is [Diya’s] dedication to inclusivity. My son is a unique learner, and from the very beginning, [she] embraced his needs and made him feel welcome in the competition. [Diya] sought answers when needed from [my son’s] local school and NSD staff. [Diya] paved the way to making sure his IEP supports were extended to the test-taking component of the competition. I remember one day when [she] wrote an email that said something like, ‘I want to learn how Olympiad organizers can better meet the needs of all IEP students in the future.’ WOW! Even amid all the other details of running this Olympiad, [Diya] took the time to make sure learners like my son were able to participate equitably. And [she] looked ahead and started blazing that trail for others to follow.”
Diya has a proactive attitude and is forward thinking. She is an inspiration to how the future can be better by the actions and voices of the next generation!
Additionally, she has spent her time this year, reaching out to other organizations to help make people aware of mental health resources in our communities and as well as helping to form Northshore Council's Mental Health Committee. Melissa has a positive, generous spirit and is one of those leaders that often leads from behind, making sure each need is met and each person is supported.
A fellow PTSA volunteer, when asked about Melissa, had this to say, “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Outstanding Service award than her! Throughout this whole year, Melissa has kept the well-being of the students in our district, especially those who are most vulnerable, at the forefront of her volunteer work. She is always striving to help others whenever needed. Her passion is what I admire most about her.”
Melissa’s commitment and dedication to the students and families of Northshore are always shown through her actions, and we are fortunate to have her in our NSD community!
"Her heart is truly with all of our kids. Grateful for her leadership!” and “She is always ready to step up and give a helping hand whether it's to the parents getting info from the school, providing the accurate resource when needed to our NSD families, or helping to deliver food bags by the district meal program and many more.”
Lauren served as Council’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Chair this year as well as president of North Creek High School PTSA. She has hosted FACE roundtables and spearheaded an equity inventory for council. Because of her volunteer work, families were connected to services they might not have otherwise known about, and PTA leaders were challenged to grapple with topics like racism and ableism. Lauren has helped move our community one step closer to being equitable!
Another person said, “I can honestly say I wouldn’t have chosen to be as involved as I have without her influence. She is an amazing mentor and advocate who is always willing to answer questions and share her expertise with new volunteer - no matter how many times she is asked. She truly wants to see our local PTA and all of its volunteers succeed.”
Liz has served at Lockwood PTA and has been strongly involved with the PACE program. She has been a dedicated Treasurer for Council this year while also serving on the Region 6 Service Delivery team as the financial specialist. She has also mentored and guided new PTA’s in their development as a recognized organization. Her commitment to her local PTA, our council, and region 6 PTAs is evident through all her contributions and involvement.
Liz is always making sure everyone feels welcomed and that no question is too silly or too small. Council is excited to have Liz serving next year as Area A Vice President for Washington State PTA where we are sure she will continue to shine!
“For as long as I have been involved in PTA there has been this person named 'Nancy'. At first, this "Nancy" person was just a PTA leader who knew everything and was active everywhere. If you had a question, you were directed to ask "Nancy". She was a local PTA superhero who everyone looked up to as a role model and mentor. Rumor had it that she was incredibly knowledgeable regarding all things education and PTA and passionate about advocating for children and families across our district and state.
"As time went on, I actually got to meet this 'Nancy'. All of the things I heard about her were true. But, I also learned that she lived up to the hype and more. Yes, Nancy is a tireless advocate, but she also volunteers time to assist our local PTAs, mentors up and coming advocates, helps to moderate discussion groups, fights against misinformation and for equity and transparency, is approachable, friendly, and caring and lots of fun. She is all that and a bag of chips.”
Nancy's dedication and leadership are nothing short of admirable. We have been lucky to have Nancy here in our district and are excited to have her serving as our next Washington State PTA President!