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.
LegCon 2021 Recap
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.
3/1 Advocacy Updates
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.
Reflections Roundtable - 10/26
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
Reflections: The 2020 Virtual Edition!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text (425) 319-0016.
2020-21 Reflections: I Matter Because...
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.
Adopted: Furniture Tip-Over Resolution
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.
Reflections: National Qualifiers
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.
School safety webinar