Over the past few years, Moorlands Elementary PTA has been working on campus beautification, beginning with the installation of a bottle cap mural and culminating in the completion of a garden surround. The years of effort have resulted in a school entrance that is both beautiful and welcoming.
Two elements of the beautification project
Bottle cap art mural – The bottle-cap mural which serves as a colorful backdrop to the new garden was originally completed in 2016. This collaborative project was an experience of tremendous support and community-building and so many positive lessons for Moorlands students. The process has done so much more than just teach students about the environment and using recycled materials to make something beautiful. The lessons that it has taught them in pulling together resources, goal-setting, project process and hard work and perseverance has been invaluable in their educational experience. They all have such pride and ownership of their work now that the see the mural up on campus. They will never look at another bottle cap the same-- and many have expressed interest in making their own bottle cap art project, so this experience really doesn’t end here.
The Garden: In the spring of 2018 a garden committee was created. The support within the Moorlands community was overwhelming to move forward with finishing the beautification project since everyone was so proud of the mural. The garden was built to be used-- for families and visitors to walk the path, sit on the bench, smell the flowers and admire the beloved mural. Garden Chair Janna Snider elaborated, "My hope for the garden is that staff will use the space for meetings on sunny days, for class volunteers to take small groups outdoors to read and discuss literature, a place to calm a child down who is struggling, and for parents to take their child’s picture on the first day of Kindergarten. It is truly a community space for all to enjoy."
Congratulations to Moorlands PTA and to the Moorlands Elementary community on completion of this amazing collaborative project! #PTAProud
25 volunteers, 5 work parties, 15 yards of dirt removed, 14 new yards added, and 175 plants! The bench, paid for by the PTA and made out of recycled milk bottles, was custom made for Moorlands and measures about 19’ long.
Thank you to Janna Snider, Garden Chair, Moorlands PTA, for sharing her before and after project photos!
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:
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.
Threads & Treads provides Northshore families free, quality donated clothing for school age youth, teens, young adults and parents. Clothing items include: school-appropriate clothing for the school day and special events, sportswear, shoes, and accessories. All NSD families in need of clothing assistance are welcome to shop each month for 3 outfits and school event attire.
They are open weekly each Wednesday afternoon from 3-6pm. **NEW in 2019-2020** Starting Saturday, October 5th, Threads & Treads will also be open one Saturday a month from 9-12pm.
Please consider helping to spread the word about this Northshore community resource via your PTA communication channels! Download a poster or suggested write-ups that you can share via social media and/or your website. Or consider printing a poster that you can hang at your school (check with your office administration regarding poster guidelines at your school).
Threads & Treads Needs Donations!
Threads & Treads Needs Volunteers! Visit this link to sign-up today: https://cpptsa.org/ways-to-help/volunteer-sign-ups/
Threads & Treads donation wishes:
If you have any questions or would like information to provide to your school, please feel free to contact Kelly Hennessey.
Thank you for your help in supporting this vital community resource!
THIS PROGRAM IS COORDINATED AND SUPPORTED BY CANYON PARK MIDDLE SCHOOL PTSA.
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:
This amazing community resource is available to our community thanks to Canyon Park Middle School PTSA in partnership with the school district and Bothell United Methodist Church. It is a huge responsibility to operate a resource like this and it is a testament to the dedication of CPMS PTSA and the many caring volunteers who make the time to operate this resource for Northshore families.
At Northshore Council PTSA's general meeting on September 16, 2019, Threads & Treads Coordinator Kelly Hennessey briefly spoke to the work that they do and the families they serve and invited Northshore PTAs to contribute their support either by budgeting an annual financial donation or by volunteering. She also shared that at the during this year's NSD Back to School Fair, they provided outfits to more than 100 people, and in just the first few weeks of school, they have been averaging 50 people a week who visit and take home clothing. And they are working to help broaden their impact by offering Saturday shopping hours once a month.
The importance and relevance of Threads & Treads in our Northshore community cannot be understated. And CPMS PTSA and the Threads & Treads volunteer leaders are working hard to make that known! Through email campaigns, social media, and by sharing their story with local PTAs and community leaders at our Northshore Council general meeting, they are already seeing successes and gaining additional support.
Seeing the work CPMS PTSA and their dedicated volunteers are doing to not only operate Threads & Treads-- but also to help it grow and become an even stronger resource in our Northshore community-- makes us PTA Proud!
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.
A big shout-out to Westhill PTSA on their incredibly successful back-to-school membership campaign that resulted in 161 sign-ups BEFORE school even started! That is only 7 members short of their total membership for all of 2018-2019!
How did they do it??? Westhill PTSA kicked off its membership year with a social media campaign in their Westhill Elementary PTSA Facebook group. On August 19th They shared their Olympics theme for the year and announced their "Gold Medal Goal" of reaching 200 members (nearly a 20% increase over their 2018-2019 total) and encouraged families to sponsor a teacher.
In the two weeks that followed, they offered regular updates and encouraged families to sponsor their teachers and staff members. They shared a video that debunks common membership myths (watch the video) and promoted their online membership sign-up option (which they offered through their website, www.westhllptsa.org). A week into the campaign, they shared an update, listing the teachers who had been sponsored so far, and hyped up their teacher sponsorship efforts. One day, they posted 7 times throughout the day, giving regular updates as more sponsorships came in. It really built excitement and gave a lot of visibility to the campaign and drove even more families to participate. This prompted Westhill PTSA to broaden their focus to encouraging people to sponsor staff members as well. By the next day, they only needed 14 more memberships to ensure every staff member could join. A few more posts with updates (9 more! 7 more! 5 more!) and by August 31st, they had received 60 total sponsored memberships-- enough to cover the ENTIRE Westhill Elementary staff.
The campaign was conducted entirely via social media and word-of-mouth and their community responded to the challenge in a big way.
"The level of donations was incredible and we were able to get people to sign up and tack on a teacher. We were able to share with the staff during their in-service day and they were very excited and thankful," reported Westhill PTSA President, Lindsay Christiansen, who credited their Membership Chair, Missy Cornwell, for her creative approach and for driving the campaign.
Not only did Westhill PTSA kick off their membership year in a fabulous way, but they were able to build excitement and bring their community together while also showing their support for their school staff in a big way.
Way to go, Westhill PTSA!!!
The Washington State PTA Standards of Affiliation Agreement Checklist 2019-2020 is now available!
If you are looking for it from the home page, navigation is as follows:
This checklist is a tool to help your PTA keep up with its legal requirements, both as a non-profit and as a PTA. The requirements come from the IRS, the State of Washington, your insurance company, and WSPTA.
What your PTA needs to do:
New this year on the Standards of Affiliation Checklist is to update IRS Form 8822-B. The IRS added this requirement in 2018 for security reasons. Form 8822-B should be filed when the PTA’s mailing address changes or the identity of the “responsible party” as listed on the IRS Form 990 changes. The "responsible party" for a PTA should be a principal officer (usually the president or treasurer). There is no penalty for late filing, but it is important that records with the IRS are up to date. Do it as soon as you can!
Because this form requires that the responsible party include his/her Social Security Number, the suggested best practice is that the outgoing responsible party should make sure that this form is filled out by an incoming responsible party during transition, to ensure their personal information is not left on this account.
This video from WSPTA offers a great overview of SOA and what it means for your PTA:
In addition, WSPTA offers a number of tools to help support your PTA in completing the SOA checklist, including:
Remember that sharing the progress of your SOA with your members also lets others know about how your PTA operates and shows the work that goes on, often behind the scenes, to keep your PTA legal, safe and operating within the very best practices of our state.