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, many PTAs may find it 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.
As always, Council is here to help your PTA have a successful year! If you ever have questions, you can reach out to us anytime via email. Find a list of Council Contacts here.
This summer, Council will be holding Office Hours on Wednesday, 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: 865 9866 8645
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.
Phew! We’ve made it through another year! Oh, how we all could use time to recharge our bodies and minds. Our kids have gone through the wringer this year, with changing Covid protocols, school shootings, and other unpredictable events. These things quickly add up and take their toll on our mental health.
School is almost out, making this a good time to focus on recharging our bodies and minds. These upcoming summer months are a great time to revisit some mindfulness and self-care practices.
Mindfulness practice is an excellent (and simple!) way to ground ourselves in a busy world, to stay fresh, and to simplify our lives. Who couldn’t use that? When you focus on right now, this very moment and not the past or what is coming up tomorrow (or even in the fall), you can be more open-minded, intentional, have gratitude and grace.
One way to practice mindfulness is to start your day with a purpose. When you set an intention, it is more likely that your actions, words, and responses, especially during tough moments, will be more mindful and compassionate. This practice is best done first thing in the morning, before turning on screens or checking social media.
Here are some additional mindfulness exercises to try:
Remember: the purpose of these mindful exercises is to be intentional and focus on one thing at a time. By doing so, you will see improved balance and happiness in your daily lives.
Summer is the perfect time to slow down and smell the roses, as the saying goes. Play that extra board game with your kids before bed. Jump on the trampoline with them after lunch. Take a walk with your partner at sunset. Notice the little things that bring you joy. By being intentional and focusing on one thing at a time, you will see improved balance and happiness in your daily lives.
Be mindful. You, your family, and your mental health deserve it.
This article was brought to you by Northshore Council's Mental Health Committee.
Awards are a great way for PTAs to show their community how much they appreciate them and to celebrate the dedication of those who support your PTA's mission and goals!
Many PTA's do this through WSPTA's formal volunteer award recognition program which allows for local PTAs to award for outstanding educator, advocate, student advocate, and volunteer (Golden Acorn), as well as the honorary life membership award.
Because volunteers are at the heart of everything PTA, Council is excited to share in the celebration of our local Northshore PTA Award Winners!
Please note, we know this is a busy time of year and many PTAs have not yet had the chance to submit their award winners to us for recognition. If you would like to add to our list, email email@example.com.
The meeting kicked off with an approval of minutes from our March 21st general meeting, before moving on to hear the Treasurer’s Report for the month of April from Council Treasurer, Serena Xu.
Next on the agenda were updates from Council President, Jane Chiodo, which included:
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, 2022. 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 in memberplanet as well!
The Council business portion of our meeting ended with a farewell for Dr. Michelle Reid who will be leaving Northshore School District at the end of June to serve as the Superintendent of the Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia.
Jane Chiodo read a letter with messages of appreciation from Council leaders for all that Dr. Reid has done for our district over the years. Click here to read the thank-you letter.
District and Community Reports:
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 17th.
Last, but certainly not least, the evening ended with our 2021-2022 Spring Recognition Event! This event was hosted by First Vice President and Awards Committee Chair, Mary Khouzam.
The event included performances from the Woodinville High School String Quartet and the Canyon Park Middle School Advanced Drama Class. Two of Northshore's Reflections artists were also able to showcase their submissions which received awards from National PTA!
The highlight of the event was celebrating all the achievements of our local PTAs/PTSAs that make us #PTAProud. Council would also like to celebrate the local award winners in a future blog. To include your local recipients, please complete this form.
During our Spring Recognition, Council was also honored to present this year's Council Recognition Awards.
Congratulations to the following eleven (11) individuals:
🌟 Golden Acorn: Diana Christiansen
🌟 Golden Acorn: Jennifer Drury
🌟 Golden Acorn: Rachel Fitzgerald
🌟 Outstanding Educator: Steven Hopkins
🌟 Outstanding Educator: Peter Schurke
🌟 Outstanding Advocate: Clark Combs
🌟 Outstanding Student Advocate: Esther Kim
🌟 Outstanding Service: Jane Chiodo
🌟 Outstanding Service: Melissa Kline
🌟 Outstanding Service: Pauline Wray
🌟 Honorary Life Membership: Tracy Jokisch
Click here to learn more about each of our 2021-2022 Council Award Recipients.
Special thanks to Council Members Jane Chiodo, Jennifer Drury, Rachel Fitzgerald, Mary Khouzam, and Claudine Miller for their work to make this event a success! Many volunteer hours were spent reviewing nominations, selecting recipients, organizing the slideshow, arranging for student entertainment, and surprising the award winners - all to make our 2022 Spring Recognition Event a memorable one!!
We want to thank all the volunteers, district employees, and community members who attended this meeting and all the previous meetings held this year. We hope you will continue to join us for our General Membership Meetings in the 2022-2023 school year.
For a full list of our upcoming meetings and events, check out our Calendar.
As we wrap up another school year, Council would like to take a moment to recap some of the amazing advocacy work that has been done this year.
We also want to thank all of our local PTA Advocacy Chairs, for the work they do at their school and within their community to advocate for all children, and our PTA members, who help strengthen our voice by being a part of the oldest and largest child advocacy organization in the country!
In October, PTA delegates came together for the 43rd Annual WSPTA Legislative Assembly. During this event, PTA delegates were able to learn, listen, debate and vote on additions to our grassroots legislative platform.
Three new resolutions and two amended resolutions were approved during the 2021 Legislative Assembly!
The 60 day 2022 Washington state legislative session ran from January 10th to March 10th. This included the February 2022 Focus Week where PTA Members advocated to elected officials about WA State PTA's Top 5 Legislative Priorities for the current legislative session.
Some key accomplishments from this year's legislative session include:
The end of the legislative session means it’s time to start looking and planning ahead. Here are a few actions you can take before the school year is over:
If you would like to learn more about Council's Advocacy work or how you can get involved, visit our Advocacy page.