Legislative Assembly is over, but advocacy is ongoing!
Here are three things you can do to stay engaged in PTA advocacy:
1. Make sure you are signed up for advocacy information and action alerts through the WSPTA Action Network Group.
2. Familiarize yourself with Washington State PTA's updated legislative platform:
3. Mark your calendar now for Focus Day: January 20, 2020, a day of advocacy in Olympia. Join fellow PTA/PTSA advocates in Olympia to meet with legislators, tour the capitol, and demonstrate advocacy in action. Want to ride in style and comfort for free? Let us know that you want to join Northshore Council’s Focus Day Transportation.
RSVP for your ride to Olympia on January 20, 2020!
Questions? Do you want some help on figuring out how to approach an advocacy issue in your PTA's community or beyond? Contact our co-Advocacy VPs, Nancy Chamberlain and Charla Griffy Brown.
Washington State PTA held its 41st Annual Legislative Assembly October 26-27th at Bellevue College. The theme was “Superheroes of Advocacy”, and Northshore advocacy heroes made up more than 10% of the total attendees statewide!
A Focus on Mental Health
Additional workshops, panels and classes to help legislative assembly attendees become better superhero advocates included:
New this year was a student track of classes and workshops:
Updates to the WSPTA Legislative Platform
The “work” of legislative assembly is to adopt new public policy positions for WSPTA and its local PTAs, councils and members to advocate on. These include both short-term legislative issues, which are actionable in Olympia, and long-term positions which can be used at any level of decision-making: school, school district, city, county, state and nationally.
Since the WSPTA Legislative Platform runs on a two-year cycle, this year delegates only had one new issue to adopt for the 2020 platform: Equitable Identification of Highly Capable Students. Delegates also amended the top 5 issue Prevent Gun Violence. The new and revised issues can be found on the 2020 WSPTA Legislative Platform (be on the lookout for new and updated one-pagers for each of the issues coming soon).
Delegates also adopted a new permanent legislative principle on Family and Community Engagement, and four new permanent resolutions. Three of the new resolutions are fundamental to how PTAs should address their mission, outlook on membership, and fundraising. The titles of the new resolutions are:
In addition, delegates also amended fifteen existing resolutions with updates to ensure their continued relevance for ongoing advocacy work.
The list of all WSPTA resolutions can be found on the WSPTA Resolutions webpage (updated text for all of the new and updated resolutions will be available soon!).
Stay engaged in PTA advocacy!
The Northshore Council PTSA has been asked by Northshore School District Superintendent Dr. Reid to gather feedback on pick up and drop off issues at our schools. The survey may be taken more than once to give feedback for more than one school.
Council will present the anonymous results to the school district as they seek solutions that make our transportation system more efficient. Please share this survey with your school community - and take the survey too!
Click the link below to take the survey:
Survey Deadline is Friday, October 18, 2019.
Preparedness for emergencies and disasters, as well as the prevention of accidents is a serious concern of those who care for children in the home, at school, and in the community. Activities to promote safety/injury prevention can be incorporated in all PTSA/PTA interests.
To help inform our communities about the value and importance of emergency preparedness (e-prep), Northshore Council PTSA E-Prep co-Chairs Robin McKenzie and Tracy Jokisch have compiled some sample blurbs that local PTA/PTSAs can customize and include in their communications.
See some examples below (scroll all the way to the bottom for an easy, downloadable version!).
Be Prepared, Not Scared
Did you feel our 4.6 earthquake near Monroe in July? Are you prepared at home for an emergency or a disaster? Here are 12 ways you can get ready (click on the picture):
The Great Washington Shake Out: October 17th
On October 17, at 10:17am, [school name] will be participating in the Great Washington Shake Out, an earthquake preparedness drill. Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes– wherever you live, work, or travel. Remember to drop, cover and hold during an earthquake! Stay where you are for several minutes afterward, bracing for possible aftershocks. Click on the picture for more information.
Northshore School District Emergency Reunification
The Northshore School District has created a standard Emergency Reunification process for all schools and conducted a drill in May 2019. For information on the process (Click Here) .
[School Name] Family Reunification
Do you know what to do in the case of an emergency or crisis during school hours?
Do not rush to school to pick up your child. Our school is in an area where the additional traffic may impede needed emergency vehicles or personnel from arriving. If a school evacuation is ordered, your presence at the site could delay evacuation and reunification. When the situation is under control, students and parents will be reunited in a safe, orderly, and timely manner.
Please take this opportunity to update the emergency contacts in ParentVueOpens a New Window. and consider including trusted neighbors or others that can respond to the reunification sites in case your response is delayed by other emergencies happening in our region.
How Can you Help?
Please remind your emergency contacts that when picking up a student during an emergency, everyone must have picture identification. These additional contacts will be critical if you cannot pick up your student.
Did you know…. that the supplies used in an emergency by the students and staff of [School Name] are funded by the [school name] PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association)! Parents thank you for your donations to our PTSA!
[insert Picture of School E-Prep Container]
Download them in Word format (.docx) so that they are easy to edit and copy and paste as needed:
How do you share information about e-prep in your community? What ideas do you have about building e-prep awareness? We'd love to hear from you! Email Robin and Tracy with your ideas.
Registration is now open for this year's WSPTA Legislative Assembly on October 26-27, 2019 at Bellevue College, Bellevue, WA!
PTA delegates from across the state will come together to update our WSPTA legislative platform in support of our vision of "Making every child's potential a reality." Delegates will have the opportunity to debate, amend, and vote on long-term resolutions and principles as well as new and amended short-term platform issues that will guide WSPTA's advocacy efforts in the upcoming legislative session.
The WSPTA Legislative Assembly 2019 Voter's Guide, contains information needed to familiarize yourself with these proposals. This year's delegates will be voting on one new legislative principle and one amended legislative principle, one new legislative issue and one amended legislative issue, four new resolutions and 15 amendments to existing resolutions.
As a complement to the Voter's Guide, there is also a downloadable survey available that PTAs can use to gather input from the members of your local PTA or council that can help inform your delegates voting on the proposed issues, resolutions and principles.
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.
Get all the details for this year's Legislative Assembly on the WSPTA website:
Northshore Council PTSA held its first general meeting of the 2019-2020 on Monday, September 16, 2019 at the NSD Administration Building. Co-Presidents Grace Jurado and Stacey Meyer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and took a few moments to introduce this year's Council board members before diving into the agenda.
Council business included a review of the minutes from the May meeting, updating Council's Standing Rules for 2019-2020 (link available soon!) and a review of the end-of-year financial report for 2018-2019 as well as financial reports from July and August. Vice-President Jane Chiodo encouraged local PTAs to apply for an Educational Speaker and Event Grant (the first application deadline is coming up on October 11th!). Cindy Jensen, our Council Reflections Chair, then spoke briefly about the Reflections program and the value of sharing this opportunity in our local PTAs that encourages students to express themselves creatively through this national arts recognition program. Co-VP of Advocacy, Nancy Chamberlain, took some time to promote the upcoming WSPTA Legislative Assembly, taking place October 26-27 at Bellevue College. Then the floor was opened for nominations for the Council Treasurer position, but there were no takers. We are grateful to Tricia Woods for continuing to serve in the role as we work to find a new Treasurer (contact Grace Jurado and Stacey Meyer if you are interested in learning more).
We also heard from district leaders, including School Board Director Jackie McGourty and NSD Partnerships Coordinator Natalie Campbell, each of whom shared information, updates and answered questions about recent projects and current initiatives.
The last part of the meeting was focused on outreach and advocacy.
Kelly Hennessey is the Coordinator of Threads & Treads, a clothing resource for Northshore families that is operated by Canyon Park Middle School PTSA. She came forward to share information about the work they are doing to serve the community and asked for the support of Northshore PTAs as they work to expand their outreach to include Saturday hours. An exciting moment came as Northshore Schools Foundation (NSDF) Executive Director Carmin Dalziel committed the foundation's financial support to help ensure those Saturday hours through the end of the school year! Thank you NSDF!!!
Finally, the membership of Northshore Council PTSA voted to adopt a Furniture Tip-Over Prevention Resolution. The idea to make this a PTA resolution came from Moorlands PTA member (and librarian) Crystal Ellis. Crystal lost her two-year old son to a tragic accident involving an unsafe dresser. She has turned her grief into action, founding Parents Against Tip-Overs and advocating with members of Congress for legislation that would lead to safer furniture. Northshore Council PTSA will now submit the Furniture Tip-Over Prevention Resolution for adoption at the National PTA Convention in 2020.
The meeting closed with some fun door prize drawings followed by Fall Training classes on a variety of topics, including Treasurer Basics, How to Be a Membership Chair, Volunteers: Find Them and Keep Them, as well as Secretary: More than Just Minutes.
Council meetings are a great way to network with other PTA leaders and learn about what is happening in the district and PTA. We hope you'll join us at our next general membership meeting on Monday, November 18th!
The membership of Northshore Council PTSA adopted a Furniture Tip-Over Prevention Resolution at its membership meeting on September 16, 2019. The full resolution is available for download below:
The idea to make this a PTA resolution comes from Moorlands PTA member (and librarian) Crystal Ellis. Crystal lost her two-year old son to a tragic accident involving an unsafe dresser. She has turned her grief into action, founding Parents Against Tip-Overs and advocating with members of Congress for legislation that would lead to safer furniture. She has even testified before Congress for passage of a law to improve and make mandatory regulations to prevent furniture tip-overs.
The bill, the STURDY act, has now passed the US House of Representatives with bipartisan support:
Northshore Council PTSA will now submit the Furniture Tip-Over Resolution for adoption at the National PTA Convention in 2020.
In addition, WSPTA's Legislative Consultant, Marie Sullivan, has written some articles that also provide great insight into some of the new legislation. Check out her analyses:
UPDATE!!! EVENT CANCELLED!!!
via Washington State PTA's Facebook page:
Everyone's health and safety is important to us. We have been watching the weather, and we believe that conditions necessitate cancelling Monday's event in Olympia. Advocacy Week will continue, however, and we encourage you to participate in the action alerts that are sent each day.
Join Washington State PTA for Focus Day on Monday, February 11th and meet with our legislators in Olympia! Let's join together to show lawmakers that parents and students support excellence in education!
This year we will begin at The United Churches of Olympia located at 110 Eleventh Ave SE (the corner of Capitol Way and 11th, across the street from the Capitol grounds).
Wear BLUE to show PTA unity!
The Focus Day program will begin at 9:00 am with a presentation designed to help you better understand WSPTA priorities, the legislative process, and tips for talking to legislators. The program should end around 10:30 am.
Register for Focus Day here: www.eventbrite.com/e/wspta-focus-day-2019-tickets-55040539736
Bus with Us to Focus Day!
Don't want to drive??? Once again, Northshore Council PTSA will be offering a "bus" for members who wish to attend Focus Day in Olympia on Monday, February 11th. We'll be leaving from the NSD Admin building at 7:30am with a planned return time of 3:30pm.
Email FocusDay@northshorecouncilptsa.org to save your seat on the bus!
There is a wealth of information about Focus Day available via Washington State PTA. Resources include:
Join us as we meet with our Northshore legislators in Olympia to show that parents and students support excellence in education! Once again, Northshore Council PTSA will be offering a "bus" for members who wish to attend Focus Day in Olympia on Monday, February 11th. We'll be leaving from the NSD Admin building at 7:30am with a planned return time later that day of 3:30pm.
Email FocusDay@northshorecouncilptsa.org to save your seat on the bus!