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!
Congratulations to the 30 Northshore PTAs/PTSAs that participated in this year's Reflections program and to the artists who made it to Council-level judging!! It was fun celebrating you all on our 2020-2021 Reflections Virtual Art Showcase website where we displayed 229 pieces of artwork! We hope you were able to share this with friends and family! The Virtual Art Showcase will be available until March 31st, 2021 for viewing.
Judging Results: There were 55 State Qualifiers (SQ) who continued on to Washington State PTA for further judging. There were also 59 pieces that received the honorable Judge's Choice Award (JC). Congrats to all the students who made it to the Council Level for judging!
We'd also like to honor and congratulate the following six (6) artists for their awards at the state level. The three (3) Outstanding Interpretation winners will advance to the National PTA for the final round of judging!
Please visit the Reflections Showcase here. Viewing extended through the end of March 2021.
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 Advocacy is still going strong!
Read below to hear about some of the things that have been happening recently and find out how you can still get involved at both the State and National levels!
PTA Supports Clean Drinking Water in Our Schools.
WSPTA supports House Bill 1139, which would pay for and require testing for lead and remediation of public-school outlets that have elevated levels of lead (above 5 ppb). We encourage you to ask questions, educate your parents, and advocate where necessary for clean drinking water. Read this Seattle Times article for more information on the proposed bill. View the bill itself here to find out more and even comment directly on the bill by clicking the “comment” button on the upper right.
PTA Call to Action: Addressing Firearm Safety Measures to Increase Public Safety
We have the opportunity to restrict the access of these most deadly weapons in SSB 5078, which would limit the sale and transfer of high-capacity magazines over 17 rounds. This common-sense legislation was requested by our Attorney General’s office. PTA Advocates can write their legislators and encourage their friends and community members to take a few minutes for the safety of our kids. Add your personal request or story into the accompanying message provided in the Action Network link. Legislators have told us that hearing your personal touch makes a huge impact!
Reopening School Buildings - Role of PTAs
PTA is the oldest and largest child advocacy organization in the United States. Washington State PTA and all its affiliated PTAs have the mission to advocate for the health, safety, well-being, and education of the 1.1 million K-12 students across all of Washington state. The role of PTA in advocacy regarding students returning to learning in school buildings is complicated and you may find yourself asking "What CAN PTA leaders do?". WSPTA has put together this resource to help local leaders navigate this unprecedented time.
Washington state legislators are well into their session. Some highlights of what they have done so far:
To see current bills and their progress check out WSPTA's Week 8 Bill Status Report.
Don't forget about National PTA LegCon 2021 which starts next week!
There's still time to join NPTA March 9-11 for their first virtual Legislative Conference! You can now register up until the last day of the conference. Don’t miss this opportunity to network with other PTA leaders and learn how to advocate for every child. Check out the full schedule of events and workshops. Read about the benefits of attending LegCon and be sure to register today!
Ways to Continue PTA Advocacy Education for You & Your Members
Check out our 2020-2021 Reflections Virtual Art Showcase!
This is a multi-media Showcase event! Guests are able to view the dance and film pieces, listen to the music composition, read the literature pieces, and view the photography and visual arts pieces.
All 229 Northshore PTSA Council Qualifier student artworks are on display and we've listed the State Qualifiers and Judge's Choice Award recipients in each arts category.
We wish we could be with you all in person but have great hopes for the in person Art Celebration next year! For now, visit the Virtual Art Showcase link so you can enjoy and marvel at the courage and creativity of our Northshore student artists!
Please note, the Virtual Art Showcase will be available for viewing for one week only: Friday, February 26th through Friday, March 5th.
Join us for a special Monday Night Roundtable focusing on Reflections!
This roundtable is designed to support our local PTA/PTSA leaders as with any questions they may have about the Reflections Program.
Date: Monday, October 26th
Location: Online via Zoom
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 992 5779 6923
Passcode: *Available upon request
Due to our extraordinary circumstances, the 2020 Reflections program is going Virtual!
Even though parts of the Reflections Program will feel a little different this year, there are many aspects of the program that have not changed - especially the parts that are student facing. Students will still fill out their entry form, write their artists statement, choose a category and create their work of art using the theme "I Matter Because..."!
New for 2020! Online Submissions:
Below are some resources to help support your Reflections program:
Still have questions? Please contact Council's Reflections Chair, Rachel Northquist, at email@example.com or call/text (425) 319-0016.
This year's Reflections Theme is "I Matter Because..."
The Reflections Program is a National PTA and WSPTA cultural arts competition. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for students to use their creative talents by expressing themselves through their own original works for the theme of "I Matter Because...".
Reflections is so much more than "just an art contest." It helps kids take risks, be inspired, think creatively, receive positive recognition and be celebrated for their works of art. It also allows our community to celebrate our students' creativity!
Encourage art by offering Reflections at your PTA!
Council is here to help make it easy! Check the Reflections page on for regular updates, join the Northsore Council PTSA Reflections and Art Docent Chairs Facebook group and be sure to sign up for our "almost weekly" Reflections communications.
Dates to Note:
Questions? Contact Council's Reflections Chair, Rachel Northquist.
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.
CONGRATULATIONS again to our 47 Northshore students who qualified for state-level judging!
Washington State PTA judged over 900 pieces of art and the competition was tough. The results are in and we have ten students who placed at the state level, three of whom achieved Outstanding Interpretation and will continue onto National PTA for further judging. Student entries submitted to the national level go through two more rounds of review by esteemed arts professionals across the country before the winners are decided.
The 2018-2019 national winners will be announced May 1, 2019 via PTA Live! Honorees will be celebrated at the at National PTA's Convention & Expo, June 2019.
Best of luck to our National qualifiers!
Visit our Reflections page.