This past weekend, PTA leaders from across Northshore joined alongside those from across the state at the 109th Washington State PTA Annual Convention - three full days of education, networking, inspiration, and fun.
Some of the highlights included the keynote presentations. The first featured Northshore students from The Root of Us/Root of Youth founded by longtime Northshore PE teacher, Fernell Miller. In the second keynote, Teacher of the Year, Jerad Koepp, shared his experiences developing a rich Native American education program and support system for North Thurston students.
PTA leaders from Northshore taught and attended classes in mental health, diversity, equity and inclusion, family and community engagement, and much more. The knowledge leaders gained over this weekend will help strengthen our goal of "Making Every Child’s Potential a Reality".
During the convention, WA State PTA also commended all the amazing work done by dedicated volunteers, many of who are parents and community members here in Northshore. Council, along with several of our local PTAs & PTSAs, received awards in both membership growth and standards of excellence! Visit our awards page to learn more about these.
To learn more about this year's convention, visit the WSPTA Convention information page.
Save the date for the 110th Annual WSPTA Convention which will be held April 14, 2023 - April 16, 2023 in Bellevue, WA.
Now's a great time to check in regarding your membership goal for the year!
Many PTAs focus their Membership Campaign efforts at the start of the school year. However, Council recommends keeping your campaign going all year long - it's never to late to Join PTA!
Washington State PTA is even running a final membership contest of the year as incentive. WSPTA's “Keep those Members Coming” contest just requires your PTA to add seven new members between February 1st and March 14th to qualify.
We are also just 3 weeks away from the deadline for 100% Staff and 100% Membership awards. If your PTA has qualified for either of these awards, please make sure to fill out the application form and return it by the deadline of March 15th. See below for more information about these and WSPTA's Membership Growth Awards.
Washington State PTA gives out two types of PTA Membership Awards:
Membership Growth Awards Levels
Bronze: Recognizes local PTAs, in good standing, for enrolling at least one more member than their previous year’s total membership.
Silver: Recognizes local PTAs, in good standing, for enrolling PTA members equaling at least 105% of their previous year’s total membership.
Gold: Recognizes local PTAs, in good standing, for enrolling PTA members equaling at least 110% of their previous year’s total membership.
Platinum: Recognizes local PTAs, in good standing, for enrolling PTA members equaling at least 120% of their previous year’s total membership.
Membership Achievement Awards
100% Staff Membership Award: Recognizes local PTAs that have at least as many school staff members enrolled in their PTA as there are full-time, certificated staff members employed at the school associated with that PTA. Check out our previous blog for to learn about achieving 100% Staff Membership – it’s easier than you think! Many of our local PTAs earned this award last year - view the recipient list here!
100% PTA Membership Award: Presented to local PTAs that enroll at least as many members as there are full-time enrolled students at the school associated with that PTA. Our very own Sunrise Elementary PTA earned this award in 2019-2020!
Membership Achievement Awards require a local PTA to complete a simple form (available from WSPTA here), get it signed by the principal of the school associated with that PTA, and submit it to WSPTA by March 15th. Submissions can be done by mail or scanned and sent via email. Once forms are received and approved, your PTA will receive a digital awards kit to help celebrate your achievement and be recognized at the WSPTA Convention in May.
Questions about these different awards or need help with your membership campaign? Contact Council's Co-Chairs of Membership, Hanisha Bakshani & Melissa Kline!
Join us for ‘Northshore PTAs Connect’ – an online roundtable discussion for PTA/PTSA leaders to ask questions, share ideas, and connect with one another.
Northshore PTAs Connect Roundtables are designed to support our local PTA/PTSA leaders as we navigate membership, programs, and managing our organizations in an uncertain and ever-changing landscape.
This noon (12pm) roundtable will feature a focused discussion on the topic of F.A.C.E. (Family and Community Engagement) and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). Local leaders will have the opportunity to discuss what they learned and ask questions following the F.A.C.E. and DEI offerings at the upcoming WSPTA Convention (May 18-23, 2021). Local leaders are welcome to attend the Roundtable discussion even if they did not attend the WSPTA Convention.
Date: Thursday, May 27th
Location: Online via Zoom
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 979 4564 2459
Passcode: *Available upon request
For more information or to register for the Washington State PTA Annual Convention, visit https://www.wastatepta.org/convention/. Registration ends May 3rd, 2021.
To view the schedule of F.A.C.E. and DEI trainings, workshops, and roundtables being offered during this year's convention, visit https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fvFXzlRE2-J4Aqdzrv2PrBaqi-tGd2nGD1dtFmdhjSo/edit?usp=sharing.
Questions? Contact Council's Family Engagement Chair, Lauren Lewis.
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.
PTA is a membership-driven association. Sustaining and growing membership builds PTA's power as advocates and change makers not only in your own school community, but also at district, state and national levels. WSPTA recognizes PTAs for their work growing membership as well as for achievements in membership.
Congratulations to our Northshore PTA/PTSAs that have earned
WSPTA Membership Awards in 2019-2020!!!
Membership Achievement Awards:
100% Membership Award
(The 100% PTA Membership Award is presented to local PTAs that enroll at least as many members as there are fulltime enrolled students at the school associated with that PTA. This is the ultimate achievement in PTA membership and recognizes that every child in the school community has a paid PTA member to be their voice.)
100% Staff Membership Award
(The 100% Staff Membership Award is presented to local PTAs that enroll at least as many school staff members as there are full-time certificated employees at the school. This award recognizes the value of teachers and school staff as stakeholders advocating for all children through PTA.)
Membership Growth Awards:
Many thanks to all of our amazing Northshore PTAs/PTSAs for continually striving for membership growth, helping us to have an even more powerful voice for our children!
Congratulations to our award-winning Northshore PTAs!!!