Registration is now open for the 43rd Annual WSPTA Legislative Assembly!
PTA delegates from across the state will come together to update the WSPTA legislative platform. At legislative assembly, discover the power PTA has to advocate for the success of every child – the whole child. In PTA every member has an equal voice, and your input matters a great deal to the success of PTA's grassroots member-driven platform. PTA is needed more than ever right now, and you can help!
Key Things to Note:
During the 43rd annual Washington State PTA Legislative Assembly, delegates will decide the public policy positions that guide state and local advocacy work for WSPTA and its associated local PTAs and councils. To learn more about being a voting delegate, visit WSPTA's Legislative Assembly Voting Information page which includes the 2021 Voters’ Guide that has been created to help delegates prepare for the caucusing and general sessions.
The Washington State PTA legislative platform is a two-year platform to mirror the Washington state legislative cycle. On the even-numbered years, the new platform is voted on by members at the legislative assembly in the fall. The top five issues become our short-term platform and consist of our priority issues when advocating throughout the year. Other issues are placed on an “also supported” list. Learn about WSPTA's current legislative priorities and other supported issues by clicking here.
Be a part of the process and help direct the course for WSPTA advocacy by serving as a delegate for your PTA! If you are interested in attending Legislative Assembly as a delegate for your local PTA, contact your local PTA president.
Check out the Legislative Assembly web page to learn more about this year's event.
Save the Date for our School Board Candidate Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021!
We are working on finalizing the location and time. At this time we are focusing on planning an in person forum. Details will be posted as soon as they are available.
We are also gathering questions from the community to ask during the forum. If you would like to submit a question, please fill out the form below or email your question to email@example.com.
This is a great opportunity to get to know the candidates better before the November 2nd General Election. To register to vote, update your voter registration information, or learn more about what's on your ballot, visit Vote.WA.gov.
Calling all Advocates!
It's time to get started on PTA Advocacy for the 2021-2022 school year.
Here are 6 Advocacy Action Items to add to your PTA's back to school list of things to do:
Bonus Advocacy Action Item: Let’s Vote Challenge! National Voter Registration Day is September 28th! Did you know that Local PTAs/PTSAs can run voter registration drives? You can also include the graphic below in your e-news and on social media to encourage your members to register to vote! For WA state, voter information and registration can be found at http://vote.wa.gov/ and is provided in multiple languages!
Below you will find links to Q&As from each of the eleven (11) Northshore School District School Board Candidates running in the August 2021 Primary Election. To view the responses, click on each candidate's image which will open a PDF of the Q&A. Note: These are best viewed from a desktop type device.
A message from our Co-VPs of Advocacy:
To reach as many voters as possible and provide them another resource to make informed choices on their ballots, we invited the school board candidates to answer seven questions taken from the most common questions and themes we heard from PTA and community members. We know that candidates are providing information on their own websites and social media, but it can be helpful to have one place where people can access information on all the candidates to compare them more efficiently. We chose questions that cover a variety of interests and concerns from across the district. We emailed each candidate using the email address listed on the King County Elections page.
We asked candidates to submit their answers via a Google form by July 12th to allow us time to publish everyone’s responses before the ballots arrive in the mail. This gave candidates one week to respond. We recognize this was a short turn around but we were eager to get information to the voters of our district after having to pivot quickly after canceling our Zoom forums. The candidates’ answers are cut-and-pasted from the Google form so you will see their complete, un-edited answers. If they have any concerns about how their responses are presented, we have asked them to let us know, so that we may address the issue. We really appreciate that all of the candidates took the time to answer our questions.
NSD School Board Candidates for Director District No. 1
NSD School Board Candidates for Director District No. 4
NSD School Board Candidates for Director District No. 5
Council's virtual school board candidate forums that were scheduled to be published later this month have been cancelled.
For a statement as to why these forums have been cancelled, please see the video below from Council President, Jane Chiodo.
Our hope is to work towards hosting an in-person forum this fall before the general election in November.
For a written transcript of the video below, please click here.
Northshore Council PTSA Mission Statement
Northshore Council PTSA is a welcoming organization that works to support our Local PTAs and serve the children and youth of our community through advocacy, education, mentoring, collaboration, and leadership.
Website Links for School Board Candidates
Contact Information Taken from King County Elections Page 6/29/2021.
¹No website listed. Link directs you to candidate statement on King County elections page.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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!
Thank you to all that attended our fourth membership meeting of the school year! Each general meeting provides us with an opportunity to connect with our wonderful local PTA leaders and community partners and learn more about the great things happening across our district.
A little bit of fun:
We started off our meeting with a 30 minute “social” time. We invited all to join us to chat with Council and other local PTA leaders. We had great conversations and learned that “Flight” was the most desired superhero power in our fun poll!
Our guest speaker this month was Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid who graciously answered questions regarding the upcoming shift to hybrid learning in NSD. A great range of questions were asked including but not limited to: how PTAs can support the return to classrooms, the thinking behind the hybrid model, vaccination progress for teachers, when the learning model will be decided for Fall, what hybrid will look like for those 100% remote, and the latest updates on SBAC testing. We thank Dr. Reid for taking the time to join us during such a busy and stressful time.
After approving our minutes from our January general meeting, we moved on to hearing the Treasurer Report for the month of February. We then moved on to learning about our 2021-2022 preliminary budget. Our budget committee worked along with our Treasurer, Liz Nord, to evaluate what our needs would be for next year taking into consideration the decrease in memberships that we had experienced in 2020-2021 possibly continuing next year. A few changes were recommended, such as lowering our income expectations and cutting costs where we could (obtaining a smaller PO Box, lowering line items such as hospitality, grants, office supplies, etc.). We also added line items for our new DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) position and our new Mental Health committee. The preliminary 2021-2022 budget was approved by a unanimous voice vote.
Next up on the agenda was electing our 2021-2022 officers! Thank you to our hardworking Nominating Committee, Grace Jurado and Liz Nord, for putting together a rocking slate for next year! Liz Nord read the Nominating Report. The self-nomination period was held with no others submitting their names for nomination. The election script was followed with a reading from the WSPTA bylaws. A motion was cast to accept the slate as presented, seconded, and unanimously approved by a voice vote.
Congratulations to our incoming 2021-2022 officers!!
Tracy Jokisch, our Emergency Prep and Safety Co-Chair, gave us an update regarding the bulk purchase of Stop the Bleed kits for district schools. There will most likely be over 500 kits ordered in total, which will include 2 kits per school contributed by Council. In conjunction with the Stop the Bleed effort, Clark Combs, district Eprep specialist on the district Safety and Security team, has been offering virtual ACT training to staff.
Diana Christiansen, our Council Vice President of Advocacy, gave us an update regarding the exceptional attendance by WA State PTA members at this years National PTA Legislative Conference. It was great to see big representation especially at “Hill Day” when attendees met directly with legislators and their staffers. Check out our NPTA LegCon recap here!
We got an update on the Reflections program. 55 pieces were forwarded to the state competition and we were waiting to hear results. (Results now in - check them out here!) The Council Reflections Celebration website was a big hit allowing many families – as well as family and friends around the country! - to experience all the works of art from artists all over the district. Next year’s theme was announced as, “I Will Change the World By…”.
Diana Christiansen and Karrie Palis announced that our Council Recognition Awards Nominations were open. They are looking for nominations for the following awards: Outstanding Educator, Outstanding Advocate, Outstanding Student Advocate, Outstanding Service, Golden Acorn, Honorary Life Membership. They are also looking for members to join their committee to review nominations and select winners.
Melissa Kline gave an update regarding membership. Three (3) PTAs had reached 100% staff membership and, in total, we have reached 4,826 members which is 62% of last year’s number. Melissa also gave an update about the newly formed Mental Health Committee. The committee had their first meeting recently, at which they discussed goals and things they would like to work on which included communicating about mental health awareness programs.
Lauren Lewis, our Council F.A.C.E. (Family and Community Engagement) Chair, talked about the Equity Inventory Committee, which was established to assess where our Council stood in regards to equity and diversity. The goal of the committee was to look at all facets of our operation through a DEI lens and then to make suggestions on areas that we could improve on. Lauren was also working on finding a presentation about how to navigate the US high school system that could be offered to families in our district that speak other languages or who have moved here from other countries. Natalie Campbell, the District Partnerships and Volunteer Coordinator, said that we could partner with her and Elizabeth Meza to bring something like this to the district. It was also noted that through the Council Educational Speaker and Community Events Grants program, Woodin Elementary was offering "Guide to Helping Your Children Succeed in Elementary and Beyond", presented by Sistema Escolar, USA, to district parents.
District and Community Reports:
School Board Director David Cogan presented an update in regards to Northshore School District that included, but was not limited to:
Natalie Campbell, NSD Partnerships and Volunteer Coordinator, reported the following:
Carmin Dalziel of the Northshore Schools Foundation gave updates regarding her organization and their work to support NSD:
Our last guest was Patsy Treece of the Citizens for Northshore Schools group to talk about Bond and Levy support. Her group’s purpose is to give citizens information about the bond and levies on the ballot and to urge them to vote. Bond and levy votes only happen every four years. Bonds need 60% to pass and levies need 50%. She was looking for volunteers to serve the group and was particularly interested in adding diversity so that all voices could be heard. She also asked if PTAs could add a line item to their budgets to help support the Citizens group. Learn more about Citizens for Northshore School here.
Our next membership meeting will be held on Monday, June 7th. We hope to see you there!
National PTA hosted the 2021 Legislative Conference (LegCon) March 9-11. This year’s LegCon was held virtually, making it possible for over 50 WSPTA Members to attend, including Northshore Council PTSA Leaders Nancy Chamberlain, Diana Christiansen, and Rachel Fitzgerald.
LegCon attendees were able to participate in a variety of PTA Advocacy Spotlights and Workshops. Some of these included “Driving Digital Equity”, “Advocating for Federal Resources”, “Keeping Students Safe at Home & School”, and “Supporting and Educating Families During the Pandemic”. One of the highlights of LegCon 2021 was the Mental Health Panel that provided attendees with a spirited discussion of the importance of mental health.
In addition to sharing great PTA ideas, members participated in NPTA’s first ever Virtual Hill Day. Hill Day provides the opportunity for PTA Advocates to meet with national congressional officials. In the pre-Covid times, this would have involved traveling to Washington D.C. to meet in person with elected officials. This year, however, advocates met virtually allowing a lot more members to participate in the meetings with our Senators and Representatives.
Highlights from Hill Day
During the Virtual Hill Day visits, PTA called upon our Members of Congress to:
Advocates representing Northshore PTAs were able to meet with staff members from the offices of both Senator Cantwell and Senator Murray as well as Representative DelBene. During these meetings, attendees were given exciting updates about the COVID Relief Bill which will have over $100 billion for K-12 education. Washington is expected to receive $1.8 billion of that funding. Some of the big features this bill is addressing include childcare issues, after school and summer learning, head start, and higher education.
PTA Members Speak Their Own Truth to Advocate for Every Child
Many members shared personal stories and related them to our asks from congress. One of the most memorable stories was when former Seattle student, Aneesa Roidad, spoke on the importance for students to have access to nutritious food to be able to be focus on learning during the school day. She explained that it is important to improve and fully fund the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. She also emphasized the need for students to feel safe in their schools and how this especially impacts students of color and marginalized students. She asked Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell to support infrastructure funding for schools in the Reopen and Rebuild American’s Schools Act of 2021 so that buildings are clean, safe, and healthy.
Another powerful Hill Day testimony came from Olena Bedendo who shared how difficult it was for her children to keep up in school this year due to a pause in the ESL and reading programs that her children are eligible for. Her story emphasized how important Family Engagement is in a child’s education. One of National PTA’s asks is to increase federal funding for Statewide Family Engagement Centers to $20 million. Currently only 13 states have these programs because they are not fully funded (WA State is not one of them). We know that students whose families are involved in their education attend school more regularly, earn better grades, enroll in more challenging academic programs, and have higher graduation, which makes it even more important to advocate for!
Shannon Otto also provided moving testimony when she spoke on supporting policies which protect all students, including those from historically marginalized populations and communities. Shannon is part of the View Ridge Elementary community, a school which made the news this year because staff members locked a student in a cage on the playground routinely. (Click here to read an article published by KUOW Public Radio about the incident.) Shannon, along with the other advocates from Washington State PTA, asked Senator Murray to reintroduce the Keeping All Students Safe Act, which she has sponsored in past years. Senator Cantwell’s assistant said she would speak to the senator about our concerns.
It was inspiring to hear the personal testimonies as PTA members were advocating for every child. The many events of LegCon 2021 gave advocates a voice nationally and strengthened their PTA knowledge in many different areas. If you want to learn more about how you can increase your advocacy efforts – locally, state-wide, or nationally – visit our Advocacy Page or contact Council’s VP of Advocacy, Diana Christiansen.