You are invited to an upcoming FREE Parent Education event,
"Laying the Groundwork for a More Supportive and Aware Community Around Gender Diversity"
These sessions are intended for families, caregivers, educators, and community members. Students are welcome to attend, however content (and terminology used) may be more suited for middle & high school students.
Registration is required to attend. Deadline to register is Wednesday, February 2nd at 4pm. There is NO requirement to attend both sessions, however only Session 1 will be recorded and shared.
Information Regarding Session 1:
Join gender education specialist Aidan Key with Gender Diversity in examining the topic of gender diversity in children and teens, the challenges faced by these children youth and their families, exploring current research and identifying the best approaches for creating inclusive, supportive environments for these children.
In our TWO PART WEBINAR, Aidan Key will address several key objectives (as well as several more):
Information Regarding Session 2:
Kids have questions. Adults have questions. We can get them answered in Session 2! NOW IS THE TIME to get clarity from a reliable source.
Questions may arise like these:
If you already have questions, please include them in your registration so the presenters can prepare in advance.
This event is co-hosted by Arrowhead Elementary PTA, Canyon Creek Elementary PTA, Canyon Park Middle School PTSA, Cottage Lake Elementary PTA, Hollywood Hill Elementary PTA, Kenmore Elementary PTA, Lockwood Elementary PTA, Northshore Council PTSA, Northshore Middle School PTSA, PACE @ Lockwood Elementary, PACE @ Wellington Elementary, Ruby Bridges Elementary PTSA, Shelton View Elementary PTA, Skyview Middle School PTSA, Sunrise Elementary PTA, Wellington Elementary PTA, Westhill Elementary PTSA, and Woodin Elementary PTA.
Last month Council held their 2nd General Meeting of the 2021-2022 school year. We appreciate all the local leaders from across the district as well as community and school partners who took the time to attend! Continue reading for a recap of this meeting.
General Updates from President Jane Chiodo:
Council Business: The minutes from the September 2021 meeting were approved as written. Council's AIM insurance for the year was renewed and paid for in October. The mid year financial review committee was appointed while the election for the Nominating Committee was postponed until the next membership meeting.
We hope you will join us for our next General Membership Meeting on January 20th, 2022 @ 7pm.
For a full list of our upcoming meetings and events, check out our Calendar.
In our area of the Pacific Northwest, many of us suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Often when
the seasons change to fall and winter and the days get shorter and darker, we might feel sad and not ourselves. We may have trouble sleeping, overeating, and have low motivation. Not only is SAD common in people with depressive disorders, but also those with anxiety, panic, or eating disorders, and those with ADHD. SAD affects mostly women, and generally the onset is between ages 20-30 years of age. This means it may not affect our children as much as us caregivers.
We need to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of our loved ones.
While it is not fully known what causes SAD, research shows that low levels of the brain chemical serotonin plays a large role, as well as high levels of melatonin. Both of these help maintain daily body rhythms, along with sufficient levels of vitamin D. Traditional treatments include light therapy, vitamin D, talking to a therapist, and possibly some medications.
Additionally, with the holidays approaching, even more of us may suffer the Holiday Blues. This time of year can bring more anxiety, depression, stress, loneliness, unrealistic expectations, and even memories of the past that can lead to sadness. It might be helpful to remember that the Holiday Blues are short term, however, the effects can still feel all-consuming and should be taken seriously.
Here are a few ideas for Avoiding the Holiday Blues and SAD:
Get plenty of sleep
Exercise, even a little
Sit by a sunny window
Keep things simple
Eat a well-balanced diet
Set reasonable expectations and boundaries
Do things that make you happy
Take time for yourself to recharge
If these coping strategies do not help, consider talking to your doctor or your mental health professional.
Check out these links for more information:
Tips for Managing the Holiday Blues | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
Seasonal Affective Disorder (nih.gov)
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) | Mental Health America (mhanational.org)
This article was brought to you by Northshore Council's Mental Health Committee. Visit our Mental Health Awareness Resources page to learn more about this committee and the other resources they have provided.
Each year, Northshore Council PTSA requests a list of district families that have opted in to receiving communications from the Northshore School District. Council is happy to share this information with the Local PTA’s that request it from us for the purposes of PTA/PTSA communications.
Requests should be made to our Council Secretaries - Cheri Hardin and Pauline Wray - and must come from the local PTA president only. Along with your directory list, we will send a copy of our 2021 Communications Guidelines for Student Directory regarding responsible use of this information.
Please allow up to 1 week for your directory request to be processed.
What happens if you have a vacant officer position?
If your nominating committee has had no luck finding a candidate to fill a position, if you have started the year with an empty officer position, or if one of your officers resigns from their position mid-year, here is the WSPTA recommended procedure that you should follow. NOTE: You do not have to create a nominating committee to find someone for this empty position! A nominating committee is only formed to find qualified nominees for the election that happens in the Spring for your next school year.
Your executive committee can appoint a person to fill the vacant office.
The appointed officer acts in an "interim" capacity until you can find a person that wants to step into the position in an official capacity and you can elect them OR until the appointed interim officer can be officially elected into their position at the next membership meeting. An interim officer at a local PTA/PTSA has no limitations on what they can/cannot do. An interim officer assumes all the rights and duties of that position.
From the WSPTA Uniform Bylaws:
If a vacancy occurs in a local PTA or council office, the executive committee may appoint a member to fill the vacancy until the next membership meeting. At the next membership meeting, nominations shall be made from the floor with the consent of the nominee. The election shall be by ballot vote. A majority vote is necessary to elect. The election may be by voice vote if only one candidate is nominated for an office. The newly elected officer shall immediately assume the duties of the office.
To learn more about nominating committee, elections, and officer resignations or removals see:
If you are still have questions or are in need of guidance, please reach out to Council - we are here to help!
Northshore Council PTSA is proud to announce the recipient of our 1st round of Educational Speakers & Community Events Grants for 2021-2022!
Local PTAs/PTSAs interested in partnering with Northshore Council PTSA to host speakers or events were able to apply for a Northshore Council PTSA Educational Speakers and Community Events Grant. 2021-2022 grants are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis and applications will be reviewed by the Northshore Council PTSA until the Council Programs budget is used in its entirety. The submission deadline for the next round of Educational Speakers & Community Events Grants is November 26, 2021.
For more information about the grants program, visit our Educational Speakers and Community Events Grant Program page.
We hope you find these resources helpful as you continue to navigate these often stressful and strange pandemic times. Always remember: Mental Health matters and reaching out for help if you are struggling is as important as going to the doctor if you feel physically unwell.
“Are you thinking about suicide?”
This could be one of the most important questions you ever ask.
September is Suicide Awareness month.
Many of us are unaware that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34 and was the 10th leading cause of death overall in the United States in 2019. Among high school students, 1 in 5 has seriously thought about suicide, and nearly 9% have attempted. Four out of five teens who attempted suicide have given clear warning signs.
These statistics are scary, but there is hope! We can prevent this tragedy by identifying and supporting young people who are struggling with mental health symptoms, including thinking about suicide. Some individuals and communities are more at risk than others, including people of color, indigenous peoples, and the LGBTQ+ community.
Creating a caring community lets those in need know that they are not alone and that there is hope. Remember, silence hurts us all.
It has been proven that asking the tough question, "Are you thinking of hurting yourself?" does NOT lead to suicidal tendencies. In fact, it can reduce ideations and attempts. We should encourage everyone to become comfortable talking about suicide and make sure to check on friends and loved ones. The more we talk about it and provide support and understanding, the more lives we can save.
If you suspect someone is struggling, ask them or tell someone who is in a position to help. Don't be afraid to reach out to the parents of your child's friends or the student’s school counselor about their struggles or warning signs you see. This could save a child’s life! Kids need to learn how to spot signs in their friends, too, and feel impowered to speak up when necessary. If your student needs advice or assistance, their school counselor is always a good place to start.
Signs to Look For & Steps to Take
There are quite a few things that have been associated with increased risk for suicide. It is important to be aware of these signs:
• Prior suicide attempts
• Family history of suicide
• History of mental health conditions
• Substance misuse
• Impulsivity or aggressiveness
• Serious family problems
• Breakups or other major relationship losses
• Access to means for self-harm
• Social isolation
• History of traumatic experiences
There are also several things that might indicate that the person’s thoughts of suicide are escalating or that there is more acute risk, including:
• Talking, joking, or posting online about dying or life not being worth living
• Feelings of hopelessness, shame or of being a burden to others
• Extreme sadness, anger, or irritability
• Planning or researching ways to die
• Withdrawal from others, saying or posting “goodbye” messages, giving away possessions
• Erratic or disorganized behavior
• Seeking means to self-harm
If you have observed any of these signs or risk factors, and are concerned about someone, here's 5 steps you can take:
► Start by offering compassion (not advice), avoid judgment, acknowledge their suffering, and just listen.
► After that, ask them if they are thinking of suicide. Be calm and direct. Asking will NOT put the idea into their mind.
► If you are confident that they are not in immediate danger, and they have a mental health treatment provider, contact them for next steps. If they do not have a mental health provider, contact the person's primary doctor or pediatrician.
► If you feel their life, or someone else’s life is in danger, then take away all objects that could pose a danger (medications, firearms, knives, ropes, chemicals).
► Next, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or any other resource listed. Call 9-1-1 in an emergency or last resort. Let the operator know that this is a mental health crisis.
Additional Resources & Helpful Websites
This article was brought to you by Northshore Council PTSA's Mental Health Committee.
Start the school year off right by being sure to check these important tasks off your PTA To-Do list!
This is a busy time of year for PTA Leaders with so many things to get done in order to run your PTA, plan programming for students, and provide support to your school community. Here at Council we want to make sure a few key "to-do" items don't get overlooked so we've created the checklist below. We've included links and resources for these items, but remember, Council is always here to help and support our local Northshore PTA Leaders! Visit our Contact Page to connect with a Council officer.
The 2021-2022 school year is upon us and the PTA year is about to get into full swing! By now your PTA has held its summer board retreat and has begun planning a membership campaign. So what's next?
Now it's time to plan your first general membership meeting of the year! While some PTAs may be planning for in person meetings, many will plan for their meeting to be held virtually, which may require a little additional preparation.
If you are new to hosting virtual meetings, get to know your virtual meeting tool’s online support – there should be tips for setup for all the features, including screen sharing, enabling closed captioning, and login requirements.
TIP: Host one or more practice meetings with a few board members ahead of time to get accustomed to the online meeting tools and platform you'll be using.
Whether the PTA meets virtually or in person, the same items of business must be done.
Bonus Tip: Plan on having something additional to offer your members once the business is complete. The first meeting is a great opportunity for your principal to give an update on the start of the year – there are lots of things about this school year that are different! Plan ahead with your principal and make sure you know what format for taking questions they are comfortable with. During the meeting, act as the moderator by setting ground rules and expectations for how members will participate and ask their questions.
Questions about planning your 1st general membership meeting of the year? Contact Council - We are here to help!
Information provided in this blog was originally posted by WSPTA in a 2020 article. Click here to read that article.