Issuu on Google+

the

Georgia

VOICE December 2016

Inside this issue MESSAGES FROM: Georgia’s PTA President & President Elect and Georgia’s State School Superintendent

ARTICLES ABOUT: Health & Wellness, Family Engagement, Resource Development and Male Involvement

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Save the Date for CLT 2017, Bullying Prevention, FAFSA Changes, Family Reading Experience and more!


Message from the Georgia PTA President

W

e did it! “This group, this unlikely coalition of forces – Republicans, Independents, Democrats, students, parents, educators, empty-nesters, elected officials, and more – were represented. We found something we could all believe in. Sure, we had different ideas about the best way to approach things, and in the beginning it was hard to imagine that we could ever get pointed in the same direction on anything. But in the end you know what happened? We came to the realization that each of these groups had talents, and something unique to lend to the cause. When we all started working on our areas of expertise or reach, we started to see the natural overlap – a common purpose and vision, defeating Amendment #1 We all wanted to stop a bad law from taking effect. The law is a unifying and equalizing force. When you stop at a stop sign or a red light, your politics don’t matter. Your education, the color of your skin, and content of your bank account don’t matter. We all stop, because it is the law; not stopping has consequences. Not stopping government overreach when we see it will also have consequences. These very consequences are the reason Georgia PTA voted unanimously to oppose this amendment but even among our BOD we had very different ideas about how to best set out to defeat this measure. In the end, allowing everyone to bring their unique ideas to the table was the right way to handle this. Our Hispanic Latino State-wide PTA took to the radio waves, our Higher Education PTSA recorded video messages and shared them with social media. We jumped into unchartered territory with press conferences and rallies, and I am very proud of Tyler Barr, Tynettia Elrod and our legislative team for their commitment. Leadership and Development took on Power Point presentations, and created tool kits, yard signs, buttons, and a social media grassroots campaign the likes of which I have never seen before. For me personally, I was so excited to see my own Cherokee County School Board of Education adopt a resolution to oppose this legislation, and I believe they were very instrumental in getting other local school boards to get behind them – more than 50 state-wide! But it wasn’t enough for just teachers and Board members to buy into the problems with this legislation. It was far too easy for those in favor of this amendment to attribute their position to the fact that they wanted to keep the money and control for themselves, with no mind to what would happen for the children trapped in failing schools. We needed voices from people who stood to gain nothing by defeating this. The Voices Came!! In all shapes and sizes!! I was excited that my Cherokee County Board of Commissioners adopted a formal position, and later, when the Cherokee County Republican Party came out against it, I really felt like we had momentum. Voices speaking up about concern with the loss of local control. Voices opposed to privatizing our schools. Voices concerned about the jobs and welfare for the teachers and administrators at risk, and most of all, about an unaccountable appointed school superintendent. Happy or unhappy with education, folks turned out to vote in this election. People that are happy didn’t buy the rhetoric that their schools would not be affected. We understand economy of scale, and know that if someone else gets the federal, state and local dollars while we maintain our schools for them that the math doesn’t add up. All children would be affected- Parents want a say in their child’s education. Ask any parent if they want a good education for their child, the answer is always yes. Sadly, some of these same parents didn’t have a great role model for a parent, don’t have a great education themselves, and are often intimidated to participate in schools, or worse – can’t leave their paying jobs to do so. So it took this unlikely group of believers, the Keep Georgia Schools Local Coalition, and all of their friends to be a voice for those children and those parents. We set out to communicate a unified message, determined to persuade others with facts, sincerity, relatable stories, and the credibility of our combined associations and efforts. No one group or person was more pivotal or important, it took all of us to achieve this goal. We were helped along the way of course, by our Governor who chose to frighten, intimidate and insult people to convince them of his way of thinking. The hypocrisy of our elected officials sending their own children to private school while writing laws to benefit themselves and their tuition costs does not go unnoticed. That messaging did not work here. Now, we are facing November the 9th, and there is no time to rest. No politics are coming to save these schools....It will take communities as a whole to break the ravages of poverty that affect these communities. Starting with the very basics like attendance, explaining that the very act of getting your kids up and to school on time can change their chances of success. Help with school supplies and wrap-around services for these schools will make the change we want to see. You guys are the hope and change that will make a difference. It will take regular people, like you, like me. I am just a mom. A proud mom, but just a mom – and if you think one concerned parent can’t effect change, you are dead wrong. Just look what happens when folks underestimate the power of an informed voter. I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve alongside the fine men and women of this coalition, and to humbly serve out my time as the President of Georgia’s oldest and most respected child advocacy association, Georgia PTA. Thank you, and Good Night! Lisa-Marie Haygood, Georgia PTA President, lmhaygood@georgiapta.org

2

Georgia PTA « THE VOICE


Thank You Letter to Georgia’s Families

T

he Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) works to serve students, families, and local school districts to provide high-quality programs that improve teaching and learning across the state. All GaDOE-sponsored programs share a common goal of offering Georgia’s students an education that affords them the opportunity to move on to college, the military, or directly into a meaningful career.

Be Involved in ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Implementation! Georgia Department of Education

To support you with best practices in November and year-round, the Georgia Department of Education has an array of materials for Title I schools and parents. You can download brochures, school transitional materials, and other resources on the Information for Parents webpage at http://gadoe.org/parent-information.

The Every Student Succeeds Act – the replacement for the law commonly known as No Child Left Behind – offers an enormous opportunity to reshape Georgia’s education system. The new law allows states and local districts to develop plans addressing standards (what children are required to learn), testing, school and district accountability (including school ratings), and special help for struggling schools and students. There are still federal requirements by which states must abide. However, in many areas, ESSA hands decisionmaking authority to states and local districts. Visit www.gadoe.org/ ESSA to learn more.

On behalf of our schools and school systems, I want to personally thank all the parents and families who have taken on the significant role of engaging in their children’s education. The importance of your support is immeasurable; schools simply cannot succeed without you.

National PTA Family engagement matters! Make sure parents’ voices are heard in ESSA implementation at www.PTA.org/ESSA

Research on family engagement suggests that when schools, families, and communities support each other, students of all backgrounds and ability levels achieve at the highest levels. The message to all of us in the research is clear: educational programs are more effective when parents are actively engaged in them. Engaged parents and family members give students the support they need to be successful. The importance of parental support is highlighted during the month of November as Georgia celebrates Family Engagement Month. Schools across the state plan special events to honor the crucial role that parents play in students’ education. In addition, November 17 was National Parent Involvement Day, a time for all parents to reflect on ways they can get more involved in the education of their children. I invite you to follow the Parent Engagement Program on Facebook (GaDOEParentEngagement) to view and “like” the video campaign schools and districts submitted for the Family Engagement Month video contest.

Sincerely, Richard Woods, Georgia’s School Superintendent

Did you know that all PTAs have to file 990 forms with the IRS each year?

Y

es, it’s true! Every year each PTA must file form 990 with the IRS to maintain 501(c)(3) non-profit organization status. Not sure what is involved in the PTA tax filing process? Watch the Quick Guide to 501(c)(3) Basics to find out more! This PTA finance e-Learning course provides local PTAs with the information needed to understand the tax filing process on behalf of any PTA.

Visit the eLearning course library at www.PTA.org/eLearning to get started on a course today!

December 2016

3


Georgia PTA Board of Directors

Message from the Georgia PTA President Elect

President, Lisa-Marie Haygood

Dear PTA Advocate,

President Elect, Tyler Barr 1st Vice President, Jacqueline Angel Little 2nd Vice President, Evelyn Cunningham Secretary, Kizzy Weathersby Treasurer, Neatie Green Parliamentarian, Kyle Wallace

District Directors 1st District Director, Vacant 3rd District Director, Vacant 4th District Director, Becky Lawhon 5th District Director, Thomas Wheeler 6th District Director, Sandra Narcisse-Jones 7th District Director, Shanda Ross 8th District Director, Sheila McCants 9th District Director, Irene Barton 10th District Director, Lisa Martin 11th District Director, Jesse “Jay” Cunningham 12th District Director, Dee Dee Jackson 13th District Director, Tracy Thompson

Standing Committees Bylaws, Sandra Perrino Convention & Events, Dawn Stastny Diversity & Inclusion, Tammie Jenkins Education, William Green, Jr. Early Childhood Education, Caroline Harris Family Engagement, Kym Evans Health-Wellness, JoAnne Hammermaster Hispanic/Latino Outreach, Jose Cerrato Leadership Development, Susan Hayes Legislation, Tynettia Elrod Membership, Margie Ringfield Reflections, Janice Gurley Resource Development, Paula Tate Youth Services, Sophronia Qualls Immediate Past President, Rita Erves National PTA Board Member, Leon Hobbs

Specialists/Consultants DOE Liaison, Amy Park Environmental Education, Travis Williams

O

n behalf of Georgia PTA, I want to thank you for your support in the general election and helping us to defeat Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed “Opportunity School District” by voting “No” on Constitutional Amendment 1. Georgia PTA, along with your support, definitely made a historical impact and possibly tipped the scale in our favor. The amendment was defeated by approximately 2.3 million people which equates to 60% percent of the vote. This moment was an important and critical time for us to work together and our actions made a difference to position us to better shape the future of public education without a state takeover. Today, we must remain engaged and continue to support Georgia PTA’s advocacy efforts to make this association much greater and create solutions to solve the most pressing and relevant challenges impacting our children. In addition, I want to thank our coalition partners and other advocacy groups which invested nearly $4.7 million and other significant resources. Together, our participation to defeat Amendment 1 established a strong foundation of grassroots advocacy to become a more powerful voice for every child regardless of social and economic differences. Moving forward, in conjunction with the defeat of Amendment 1, the month of November is National Family Engagement Month. Georgia PTA urges students, families, and educators to join our discussions and collaborate with us to share best practices to support students’ learning and healthy development both at home and at school, and engage regular opportunities to effectively strengthen their knowledge and skills. As Georgia PTA defines and implements our next strategic plan to help underperforming public schools in Georgia, we encourage strong partnerships between families and educators to make equitable decisions that positively affect children and families and advocate to local and state education agencies and governments to work with us to inform, influence, and create policies, practices, and programs to improve student performance. In addition, National Family Engagement Month (also known as Parent Involvement Month) is a common theme or “call to action” for families to be engaged in their school’s academic and enrichment programs to support student achievement. In fact, research shows that family engagement in a child’s education increases student achievement, improves attendance and reduces dropout rates.

…Research shows that family engagement in a child’s education increases student achievement, improves attendance and reduces dropout rates.

Georgia PTA will empower local PTAs to educate their communities about available resources such as the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, the passage of Georgia PTA’s “Operation Ready to Learn” resolution, and community-based schools. As President-Elect of Georgia PTA, I seek to lead efforts to provide real solutions to unique problems of our students and families we serve and support ideas where teachers, families, community members, and service providers can come together in coordinated, purposeful and resultfocused partnerships. Furthermore, I look forward to connecting and collaborating with you and sharing our passion to make Georgia PTA the most relevant child advocacy association in Georgia. Together, we will achieve excellence! Tyler L. Barr, Georgia PTA President-Elect, tbarr@georgiapta.org

Male Involvement, Keith Schumacher Scholarship Specialist, Anita Hagins Jones Special Services Advisor, Barbara Pitts Student Advisor, Daniel White Teacher Advisor, John Palmer

4

Georgia PTA « THE VOICE


Amendment 1 Defeated

W

ell… we did it! I am so proud of the work that went into defeating the Georgia Constitutional Amendment 1. The grassroots effort was phenomenal! I am very excited and know that your advocacy will continue because our work is not done. I have been told that this coming legislative session will be a challenging one. We will need to keep close watch on the legislation being pushed this session. Please make sure you are signed up to receive Capitol Watch messaging. You can simply visit the Georgia PTA website, click of the red, white, and blue Capitol Watch icon to create an account. Capitol Watch is the advocacy communication tool Georgia PTA uses to send important advocacy and legislative messages out to account holders. Through Capitol Watch you can identify and message your elected officials as well as keep track of past and current legislation. During the Georgia General Legislative Session, I will distribute weekly legislative updates and if you are signed up to receive Capitol Watch messages, you will receive the updates in the form of an email. If you have any questions, you can also message me back. The 2017 Georgia Legislative Session will begin on January 9, 2017. The pre-filing period began on November 15, 2016. The Georgia General Assembly consists of 180 Georgia Representatives and 56 Georgia Senators. They gather inside the gold dome of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta every year and make important decisions including those concerning the well being of the children of Georgia. This year, I would like to see a sizable amount of our PTA members and leaders at the Capitol when these decisions are being discussed. Let your voices be heard in the committee meetings. Page your Senators and Representatives and voice your concerns or support on legislation involving our children. Let them know that we are PTA Proud and we are relevant! The Georgia PTA Legislative Committee is gearing up to take on or support any legislation that will be introduced this session and asks for your continued support. Thanks! Tynettia Elrod. Georgia PTA Legislative Chair, telrod89@gmail.com

It’s time for Family Reading Experience Sign Up!

Sign up by Dec. 1 for the Family Reading Experience program.

Sign Up to Receive a FREE Solaro Subscription!

O

n behalf of Georgia PTA, I want to thank you for your support in the general election by voting to defeat Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed “Opportunity School District” (Constitutional Amendment 1). As Georgia PTA defines and implements our next strategic plan to help underperforming public schools and increase student performance in Georgia, we are very excited to announce an important partnership that has been entered into between Georgia PTA and Castle Rock Research. Through this relationship, Castle Rock will provide a subscription of its SOLARO educational resource to students in Georgia for FREE. We are delighted by this generous offer and want to encourage all PTAs/PTSAs to share this information with your parents, teachers, and school administrators to take advantage of this valuable resource from a company that has helped hundreds of thousands students with their studies over the past 21 years. Castle Rock has created SOLARO, a comprehensive Digital Study Guide that is 100% aligned to Georgia Standards of Excellence in Math and English Language Arts across grades 3 to 12. SOLARO is accessible via the web or through mobile devices, providing students with review lessons, study aids and thousands of practice questions with detailed solutions. To learn more about SOLARO and Georgia PTA Partnership, please visit www.solaro.com/pta

How can local PTAs, students, parents, and teachers benefit? Our local PTAs/PTSAs can distribute licenses to families and students in each school who are PTA members, as well as to those who are not. All that is requested of your local PTA/PTSA is to simply direct families to the designated website at http://www.solaro.com/pta so that they may receive free licenses for their children. We believe that our partnership with Castle Rock, and the resources that will be accessible to students and parents will foster family engagement and help improve academic achievement. Our hope is that every local PTA/PTSA and families at every school in Georgia will fully participate in this opportunity.

Three easy steps to sign up for your free subscription: 1. Go to http://www.solaro.com/pta 2. Click “Get Solaro Free” 3. Sign Up

www.pta.org

December 2016

Tyler Barr, Georgia PTA President-Elect, tbarr@georgiapta.org

5


After OSD: What Comes Next?

O

n November 8th, the voters of Georgia sent our governor and legislators a clear signal that they wanted to keep local control of our schools, and did not want to grant the state the ability to take over our public schools and hand them over to for-profit charter schools. The defeat of the “Opportunity School District” was only possible because the members of the Georgia PTA stood with teachers, administrators, and school boards, and worked diligently to educate the public about the dangers of Amendment 1 and the deceptive language that was used to attempt to ensure passage. While we can all celebrate the victory over OSD, we must begin to look forward to what comes next. The governor and legislative leadership previously promised that major legislation would be introduced this year dealing with the Education Reform Commission (ERC) proposals. Their displeasure with education groups, boards of education, superintendents, and teachers who opposed their signature OSD legislation has many speculating that there may be retaliatory legislation this upcoming session. Governor Deal’s Education Reform Commission (ERC) met throughout 2015, and was comprised of legislators, school superintendents, business men and women, and charter school leaders. There were no members on the ERC from parent organizations such as the GA PTA, nor were there any active teachers or representatives from education organizations such as the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) or the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE). The ERC presented its final recommendations last December, and it is now up to the governor and his legislative leaders to take those recommendations and submit legislation in the upcoming session. While the exact legislation is still unknown, we can make some educated guesses based on the ERC recommendations. A proposal to “reform” the Quality Basic Education (QBE) funding formula is at the forefront of the ERC’s recommendations. Everyone agrees that the 30-year old QBE formula is in need of an update, but the formula proposed by the ERC only redistributes QBE funding. It does not update this amount to make sure that Georgia’s students have the resources they need to meet the state’s educational goals for today, not the goals from 1985. The ERC’s funding formula contains no adjustment for inflation. It also eliminates the annual increase in state funding for teachers’ salaries based on their training and experience. This salary adjustment operates as a default inflation adjustment in today’s QBE formula, which lacks an inflation adjuster. Instead the proposed formula requires legislative action for any future inflation adjustments or other increases to keep pace with rising costs and changing student needs. The legislature has not updated the state teacher salary schedule since 2009 and adjustments to other components in the QBE formula have also been infrequent – a sign that education funding could flatline for years. Without an adjustment built into the new formula, local districts may soon find themselves with fewer funds, relative to inflation, every year. This could lead to higher class sizes, fewer elective classes like art and music, fewer experienced teachers, and an increased local tax burden for families. The ERC’s proposed formula also requires every district to create a new teacher compensation system, which must include a measure

6

of their performance. The possibility of using student test scores to decide teacher pay could affect students as much as teachers. Georgia parents and teachers have been pushing back against the over-testing of children for the past few years. In 2016, legislation was passed that reduced the amount of testing our children are subjected to each year. Instituting a pay-for-performance model based on test scores could require every student be given standardized tests in every subject. This will only increase the amount of instructional time used instead for testing, as every teacher in every subject would have to give some form of standardized test to their students.

The defeat of Amendment 1 was a historic victory for public schools and was only possible because of the broad coalition of public education advocates, community and church leaders, school boards, teachers, and parents.

There may also be legislation that addresses the Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS), and attempt to do away with the current retirement system. Georgia’s TRS is one of the strongest retirement systems in the country, and is a major factor in keeping quality, experienced teachers in the classroom. Doing away with TRS and changing teacher compensation could lead to a much younger, inexperienced teacher workforce in our schools working with our children. The defeat of Amendment 1 was a historic victory for public schools and was only possible because of the broad coalition of public education advocates, community and church leaders, school boards, teachers, and parents. The Georgia PTA played a pivotal role educating the general public on the deceptive language used on the OSD ballot measure, and can do so again with the Education Reform Commission legislation. Any changes in school funding, teacher compensation, school and teacher evaluation, and curriculum should be evaluated by the effect those changes would have on the children, not by any political lens. As we move forward, the issues facing our schools and our children will not disappear with this vote. We still have districts that are underfunded, schools that are underperforming, and children who are in need of assistance. There must be serious discussions ahead on how we can improve Georgia’s public schools, and these discussions must involve all schools stakeholders. We are hopeful that the Governor and the General Assembly will now include leaders of teacher organizations, leaders of parent organizations, school board leaders, and leaders from the communities where our students are struggling. Together we can work to make Georgia’s schools work for all children. Members of the Georgia PTA are encouraged to speak to their State Representative and State Senator before the 2017 legislative session and begin conversations about the future of public education, and the future of public education funding in Georgia. When we speak with one voice, for the children, we can accomplish great things. John Palmer, Georgia PTA Teacher Liaison, jpalmer@georgiapta.org

Georgia PTA « THE VOICE


Message From Your Georgia PTA First Vice President, Angel Little

G

reetings Georgia PTA family members around the Peach State. For many of you, including myself, the past several months have been filled with activities related to educating people about the “ABC’s of OSD (Opportunity School District - Amendment 1). This was a serious piece of legislation, the core of which goes against everything that our Association stands for. Plain and simply put, if Amendment 1 had passed, the children would have suffered. You might ask why am I so passionate about this issue? Let me share a little bit about my story with you. I have two daughters that have been out of school for several years. They are both getting ready to graduate from college soon (Marissa is majoring in Hospitality Administration at Georgia State University, and Morgan’s major is Film Production at Full Sail University. I am also a retired Army wife of 23 years. However, the vested interest that I have in the welfare of children is just as strong as it was when my two were in school. I still enjoy going into the schools and working firsthand with children, and I get to do just that when I substitute teach, primarily in elementary schools. After a very long stint in various PTA leadership roles, I am still a very active part of this incredible volunteer movement. I love children! When I am in elementary schools, looking at those precious little people, I see them growing to become our future PTA volunteers. I also can visualize the ugly dollar signs that Amendment 1 would have had on those precious little people, had the OSD legislation passed. Congratulations, to everyone who stood with Georgia PTA and the other coalition groups to defeat this (Opportunity School District – Amendment 1). I encourage each and every one of you to continue your fight for our children to have a quality education. I know that you join me in celebrating like we have never celebrated before, because I believe the children are our future. However, our work is just beginning. Thank you for supporting the position of Georgia PTA and I look forward to working with you in the next phase of our journey. Every child, One voice. Angel Little, Georgia PTA 1st Vice President, jlittle@georgiapta.org

Thank you, Georgia!

Nominate Your Favorite PTA Advocate! National PTA is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Advocacy Awards! If you know of an outstanding youth or individual PTA advocate, or a local unit or state PTA that has done great advocacy work, nominate them to receive an award for their efforts from National PTA at the 2017 Legislative Conference. You can also nominate yourself! Award Categories: • Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year Award • Outstanding Youth Advocate of the Year Award • Outstanding Local/District/Regional PTA Advocacy Award • Outstanding State PTA Advocacy Award The deadline to submit a nomination is Sunday, December 18, 2016. Visit www.pta.org for award details and applications.

Here are the final numbers on Amendment 1.

ShopPTA.com Apparel, awards, gifts, supplies and more!

Order PTA products online and have them delivered right to you! Fast, easy and convenient way to get your PTA promotional items.

December 2016

7


Georgia PTA Gets in Shape

T

Moving the Needle One Step at a Time The PTSA has a strong influence in schools. We support and put on so many wonderful programs for students and staff. One area in which we can have strong influence is for school fundraisers. In July 2014, new rules regarding food fundraisers came into effect. In essence, any food sold to students during the school day has to meet certain nutrition standards (the school day is defined as midnight the night before to 30 minutes after the school day ends). This includes items such as a la carte lunch items, vending machines, school stores, and school fundraisers. It does not impact events such as evening sports events or items that are given to students during the school day (not sold to students).

hank you to all the families and friends who participated in the Georgia PTA Gets in Shape day on September 17, 2016. We had a beautiful day at Stone Mountain and received great photos from around the state. The purpose of the event was to encourage family, friends, clubs, etc., to get outside and have fun moving around. The Georgia PTA partnered with the Georgia Shape program, Walk Georgia, and the Stone Mountain Memorial Association. We are very proud to work with these organizations that are making big strides (literally!) to create healthy lifestyles for children and their families. The Georgia Shape program has a great Power Up for 30 Day each September. Your school can do fun activities to add 30 minutes of movement during the day like the Bremen Academy in Bremen City Schools this year. They did a grade level walk/hike/run during one of their periods. To get ready for the day, they discussed healthy living and exercise, and created flags to use during their activities. Walk Georgia and UGA Extension team up with community members to promote healthy lifestyles and fun events like their Veteran’s Day 5k on November 12, 2016 to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. We are proud to partner with schools around the state and these great organizations to leave a large footprint on fun fitness! For more information, contact JoAnne Hammermaster, Georgia PTA Health & Wellness Chair at jhammermaster@georgiapta.org.

We realize this is a very sensitive subject. Schools may have annual fundraisers that have been very successful for many years but now do not meet the new standards (known as Smart Snacks). Georgia schools are eligible for exemptions for fundraisers: schools can exempt 30 three-day long fundraisers each year. In those instances, the fundraisers do not have to meet Smart Snacks. But do continuing to sell cupcakes, donuts, and other items help to address the high rates of overweight and obese youth in our state? With approximately 30% of our youth in that category, we need to do our part so students can have a healthy future. The Georgia PTA has compiled a list of fun fundraisers to give you some new ideas for fundraisers at school. Need other ideas? Visit the Health & Wellness page of the Georgia PTA for additional ideas. Being healthy and strong includes having balance in the foods we eat. Let’s be a leader and set the example to students. We can definitely start to move the needle to impact the health and wellbeing of students in our schools JoAnne Hammermaster, Georgia PTA Heath & Wellness chair, jhammermaster@georgiapta.org

8

Celebrate 120 Years of Changing Children’s Lives at the 2017 National PTA Legislative Conference (LegCon)! PTA has an amazing legacy of advocacy. This year’s LegCon attendees will celebrate incredible milestones and honor policy makers and PTA members whose efforts to make every child’s potential a reality. The 2017 National PTA LegCon will feature workshops on key education issues facing the new Congress, with discussions and trainings on how PTA advocates can shape public policy at home and on Capitol Hill in 2017 and in the years to come. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to celebrate with PTA members nationwide! For more information about 2017 LegCon and to view the schedule, visit www.PTA.org/LegCon.

Georgia PTA « THE VOICE


Healthy Lifestyles: Eliminate Sugar Cravings

D

id you know that November is Healthy Lifestyles Month? From the National PTA’s website, they created Healthy Lifestyles Month because research shows that a healthy child can achieve and learn more. PTAs nationwide are encouraged to plan events and activities throughout the month of November to promote health and wellness in their communities.” Did you see the recent article to help parents navigate the holidays and all those wonderful sweet treats? We all love to indulge this time of year, so how do we balance it for our families? From the Our Children publication:

How to Tame Your Child’s Sweet Tooth Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas: It’s that time of year when sugar consumption is on overload for children. How can parents regulate their child’s sweet tooth? Is it possible to do it without looking like the bad guy? “I think during the holidays, the best thing parents can do is to monitor and make sure their kids don’t go overboard,” said Sharon Hawks, registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist and certified diabetes educator. “It is the holidays and there’s going to be indulging going on but the key is to upfront, set limitations on how much sweets and all the different extras kids can have during the holidays.” Hawks advises that parents allow their child to choose one dessert before holiday dinner and let the child know that they are allowed to consume one serving of it after the holiday meal. But what is a parent to do when their child insists on having more sugary treats than they need? Sarah Hamaker, a certified Leadership Parenting Coach and a mother of four, shared her words of wisdom concerning this common issue. “My kids know that when I say ‘no’ that’s it,” she said. “Begging and pleading and temper tantrums only gets them in trouble.” But how can you say “no” to your sugar-craving kids without sounding like the bad guy? Elizabeth Maddrey, mother of two young boys, thinks that being seen as the “bad guy” by your children comes with the territory of being a parent and it’s not something to be feared. “As the adult, you know best,” Maddrey said. “You’re not there to be a friend or a sibling. You’re there to train up your children in the way they should go. That means setting limits and sticking to them.” Hamaker shared five tips to help manage your child’s sweet tooth during the holidays: • Tip #1: Allow for overindulgence for a limited time. Let them each as much as they want for Halloween Day and Christmas Day. • Tip #2: Set parameters on eating the rest of the candy such as a piece a candy a day or on Saturday, you can have candy. • Tip #3: Don’t ban candy entirely from your house. • Tip #4: Set a good example yourself. If you as a parent can’t regulate your own candy intake and they see you eating candy but not letting them eat candy all the time that could be a problem. • Tip #5: Remember that candy itself isn’t evil. It can be part of a healthful diet in moderate amounts. Jared Taylor, father of two children, suggests avoiding refined sugar all together as a way to curb your child’s sweet tooth. “You don’t develop a sweet tooth unless it was given to you,” he said. “So, if you’re not accustomed to candy and that’s not part of your diet, then you’re not missing anything. I would think that avoidance is one of the best approaches.” At end of the day, Taylor’s advice to parents who are struggling to satisfy their child’s penchant for holiday sweets without overdoing it is simple. “You can get sweets through fruit,” he said. Get more tips on limiting your child’s sugar intake from registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist and certified diabetes educator Sharon Hawks in Ask the Nutritionist. Alexis A. Goring is a writer who loves helping people through the art of storytelling. Healthy Lifestyles Month is a wonderful opportunity for school communities to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that all students show up each day healthy and ready to learn. Local PTAs participate by conducting programs and events that promote health education, physical activity and parental involvement. This can be something as small as featuring an article in their newsletter or as big as organizing a 5K walk. PTAs also encourage families to increase their physical activity, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, participate in their community’s physical activity programs and promote lifelong healthy behaviors. Want to learn more? Visit the National PTA website on Healthy Lifestyles month at: www.pta.org.

December 2016

9


Immediate Removal of Co-Vice President from the Local Unit Bylaws On October 14, 2016, the Georgia PTA Board of Directors approved the following change to the local unit bylaws: It was recommended by the Georgia PTA Bylaws Chair and approved by the Board of Directors to amend the local unit bylaws to approve a first vice president and second vice president, up to no more than eleven (11) vice presidents, which will include the first vice president and second vice president. These positions of office shall be elected and not appointed. All duties of these officer positions shall each be clearly defined. “Please clearly record each officer duties and responsibilities in the minutes and/ or Policy & Procedures. Attach the information to the front page only of your bylaws and send to the state office to be filed for information”.

Effective immediately, the use of co-vice president will be removed from all local unit bylaws.

Georgia PTA has taken the Pledge for a Healthy Workplace: Will Your Workplace be Next?

I

n 2016 the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) developed a new initiative promoting a healthier workforce, improving public health programs, and promoting self-management of chronic conditions. By “taking the pledge” to promote physical activity, create a healthy eating environment, support breastfeeding, and become tobacco free, the Georgia PTA worksite became a part of the Georgia Working on Health network. We have received window clings, the Work Healthy Georgia Toolkit, and ongoing resources to assist in creating programs and policies. In an effort to promote this program throughout workplaces around the state, DPH provides an overview of policies that can be implemented as a part of this initiative:

EAT LIVE HEALTHY — Increase physical activity & create a healthy eating environment: • Adopt a healthy meeting policy to encourage healthy eating behaviors and provide access to at least one of the following: o Fruits and vegetables throughout the day as a smarter substitute; or o Space to store and heat up meals (including a refrigerator). • Adopt a policy to encourage employees to engage in physical activity during work hours by allowing all employees access to at least one of the following: o Flexible work hours to allow for at least 30 minutes of physical activity during the day; o Clean, safe, and appealing stairwells; or

With exception, you may continue using the term until the election of new PTA officers or at the end of officers term. The use of co-vice president will be completely removed from our bylaws documents.

TOBACCO AND SMOKE FREE:

Sandra Perrino, Georgia PTA Bylaws Chair, sperrino@georgiapta.org

SUPPORT BREASTFEEDING:

o 2-3 micro stretch or movement breaks.

• 100% tobacco free indoors and outdoors; and • Support employees and community members in quitting tobacco and nicotine through the promotion of the Georgia Quit Line (1-877-270-STOP).

• Breastfeeding is acceptable in all business areas that are open to the general public; • Increase staff awareness of breastfeeding support and the needs of breastfeeding mothers; and • Support a mother who is breastfeeding in an area of your business that is open to the general public. This includes ensuring that a mother will not be asked to move to another area or stop breastfeeding. Promote your school as a healthy workplace! Get your window clings today, and display them to announce your commitment to a healthier community. Take the pledge and help us create an environment that supports healthy habits to create a healthier workforce and a healthier Georgia. https://dph.georgia.gov/working-on-health For more information, contact JoAnne Hammermaster, Georgia PTA Health & Wellness Chair, jhammermaster@georgiapta.org.

10

Georgia PTA « THE VOICE


Georgia PTA Higher Education Community PTSA

H

ello everyone. My name is Katie Killeen, and I am the President of Georgia PTA’s Higher Education PTSA. I am so happy that I have been afforded the opportunity to speak on behalf of the recently elected officers of this PTSA by means of this letter. I am sure that most of you know about this unique PTSA. However, just in case you do not, I will share a little bit of the rich history associated with the establishment of this “college community.” If you were not aware that this PTSA existed, do not feel bad. Guess what? I just learned about this amazing student movement last year. During Georgia PTA’s 2013-15 administration, the concept of having a statewide PTSA whose primary focus was to engage college students from around the state to become a more active part of the PTA was created. After many months of planning, on a beautiful spring day in April of 2014, the Higher Education PTSA was chartered. The officers of this PTSA are all very proud to be involved with something that had never been done before in the history of Georgia PTA. The election of new officers took place on September 11, 2016. It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to them: President: Katie Killeen (University of Georgia) katie.killeen14@gmail.com Executive Vice President: Maia Nichols (Mercer University) maiamnichols@gmail.com Vice President of Programs and Development: Brandi Amantine (recent college graduate) amantine4@gmail.com

(left to right): Brandi Amantine, Sydney Foster, Katie Killeen, Dominique Henry

Vice President of Intergovernmental Affairs: Emily Maloney (University of Georgia) emily.maloney24@gmail.com Secretary: Dominique Henry dominiquehenry0@icloud.com Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer: Sydney Foster (Georgia State University) sqfoster@yahoo.com I think that some of the titles of our officers will readily attest to the fact that we are involved in work that can really make a difference in the lives of every child. We are just like some of you probably are in that some of us do not have a long history of PTA leadership experience. However, you all know how millennials are! We have no problem diving into the books and learning, and that is exactly what we are doing. We were excited about the flash drive of the Georgia PTA Leadership Resource Guide (“LRG”) that we were given. We have been privileged to have the First Vice President for Georgia PTA, Angel Little, working with us and providing the training that we will need to be successful in our respective roles. She has been absolutely wonderful and has a boatload of patience with us. Mrs. Angel has a daughter that attends a Georgia college (Marissa goes to Georgia State University and is a member of our PTSA!). Also working closely with us in providing support is the Immediate Past President, Rita Erves. This college community PTSA was a part of her vision for Georgia PTA when she served as the state president from 2013-15. We are learning so much from both of them, and for that, we are grateful. You will be delighted to hear that we have “hit the ground running.” Many of us are proud graduates of public schools. We have tackled the Amendment 1 (OSD) issue head on and take it very seriously. We were vehemently against it actually view it as a form of “legalized robbery.” Some of us attended OSD coalition meetings, and Emily and I set up OSD informational tables at our UGA campus. I was privileged to speak at the Georgia PTA Advocacy Day’s Press Conference. The highlight for the Higher Education PTSA was the opportunity we were afforded to let everyone hear how we feel about the OSD. Ms. Rita and Mrs. Angel worked with us to create OSD videos that were released on October 27.

December 2016

I hope that you had an opportunity to see them. One was actually in Spanish, and two college students assisted with this initiative (Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA’s Communications Chair, Lezlie Osorio and Jackie Howell). We were all energized to take a stand against this bad deal We thank you all for leading the way in this fight, and we are confident that that the needs of the children of Georgia will be better served by having defeated this legislation. The PTA is a member-driven association. Believe us, we get that. We need your help with increasing our membership. Although we have members that attend various colleges around the state (UGA, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Mercer, Kennesaw State University, etc.), our membership is open to everyone, not just college students. Won’t you please join our unit? Our membership dues are $10.00 per year. Will you also help spread the word about our PTSA to students you know that would be interested in membership and/or leadership opportunities (perhaps your children in college; relatives or any other persons that may have interest)? The Georgia PTA State President, Lisa-Marie Haygood, has joined our unit along with many other member of the State Board of Directors. Her two daughters, Ashley (KSU) and Katie (high school senior), are both members. Rita Erves’ daughter, Terrylin, is also a member of our PTSA! We will be electing committee chairs very soon and would love to receive references that you may have. We will also need individuals to serve on our committees. We have received a warm welcome and much support from the Georgia PTA Board of Directors, and the Georgia PTA staff has also been very welcoming and helpful to us. We are so happy to be working alongside you all and hope to get to know some of you in the near future. Katie Killeen, Georgia PTA Higher Education Community PTSA President

11


Calling all PTA/PTSA Secretaries!

M

y name is Kizzy Weathersby, and I serve as your State Secretary for Georgia PTA. I am sure you will agree that being a secretary is not an easy job; however, it certainly is a rewarding one. We have one of the most important jobs on a PTA Board, don’t we? “If it is not in the minutes, it did not happen.” We have all seen and heard that quote, haven’t we? By virtue of our position, we are afforded the opportunity to record the history for the local unit PTA/ PTSA, council PTA, district PTA or state PTA! I thought that it would be helpful to share some tips that will help us as we are recording the history for the PTA: 1. Meeting minutes should include all points of order that may arise during the course of a meeting, together with the reason given for the point of order. 2. The name of the maker of a motion should be entered in the minutes. The name of the seconder can be included only if ordered by the general membership, your executive committee or board of directors. 3. We know that the PTA president (or in the case of districts, the district director) is assigned duty of presiding over meetings. NOTE: While presiding over a meeting, the officer cannot make a motion. 4. When a rising vote has been ordered, or if a vote is by ballot, the number of votes on each side should be entered in the minutes. When the voting is by roll call, the names of those voting on each side and those answering “Present” should be entered in the minutes. 5. If your PTA has not invested in a recording device, please do so as soon as possible. The use of this device can be of great benefit in preparing the minutes. However, we should never transcribe every word spoken for meeting minutes.

Our position is such an important element of PTA governance and is in fact one of the offices that no level of PTA can be without [local unit, council district, state and national cannot operate efficiently without us]. We record the history for the PTA. There are four (4) tools that are “Must Haves” for every PTA secretary. I have listed all four of them and the reason why they are essential: 1) Your bylaws. Why? They contain a section that lists your primary duties; 2) Meeting Agendas. Why? They provide an easy outline of what took place sequentially in meetings. Use it as a basic guide for what must be recorded in your minutes; 3) Georgia PTA Leadership Resource Guide. Why? Secretary – Pages 71-83 4) Robert’s Rules of Order [most recent edition] Why? Note the following directive contained in your bylaws: Article XXII. Parliamentary Authority: “The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Georgia PTA and its constituent associations in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not in conflict with these bylaws, the National PTA Bylaws, or the articles of incorporation.”

Tips and Tidbits to Nibble On

Adoption of the Agenda: Is it mandatory to consider the proposed meeting agenda? Yes. A PTA meeting should begin with the consideration of the agenda. A motion is required in order to adopt an agenda as presented or to adopt the agenda as amended. Rule for Establishing a Quorum: Once a quorum has been established, does it continue to exist regardless of how many members leave during the course of the meeting? No. Once a quorum is established in the beginning of a PTA meeting, the continued presence of a quorum is presumed to remain unless the chair or any other PTA board member notices that a quorum no longer exists. Any individual that notices that an apparent lack of a quorum exists should make a point of order. IMPORTANT NOTE: If there is clear proof that no quorum was present when business was transacted, the presiding officer can rule that business invalid (subject to appeal). Point of Order: When is it appropriate for a “point of order” to be called during a PTA meeting? It should be called immediately after the individual chairing the meeting (customarily, the PTA/PTSA president) violates the rule of order. “The group as a whole, not the chair, is the final authority in judging whether the rule has been violated.” Kizzy Weathersby, Georgia PTA Secretary, kweathersby@georgiapta.org

12

Georgia PTA « THE VOICE


On behalf of the Georgia PTA Family Engagement Chair

The 6th Annual Georgia Parent Leadership Awards Nominations Are Now Open!

T

he Georgia Parent Teacher Association (“PTA”) and the Georgia Department of Education created an award to recognize parents across Georgia who utilize their various skills and talents to strengthen our schools and positively impact the lives of our children, particularly those in Title I schools. It is the highly-coveted “Georgia Parent Leadership Award.” Please take the time to nominate a deserving parent in your school. Nominations will only be accepted by school personnel during Parent Engagement Month November 1st - 30th. This happens to be a short month for schools, so please hurry and get your nominations submitted soon. The award hopes to inspire all parents to use their unique talents, no matter how big or small, to lead the way in building positive outcomes for every child! Please see the Georgia Parent Leadership Award Application for eligibility, criteria and more information. Link to application: http://www.gadoe.org/School-Improvement/Federal-Programs/Partnerships/Pages/ParentLeadership-Recognition.aspx Completed nomination packets must be received by Friday, December 2, 2016 to Dawn Scott, Family Engagement Specialist by email at dscott@does.k12.ga.us. Please note: Submissions will not be accepted by fax or mail.

FAFSA Changes

O

ctober means new changes to FAFSA! That stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and if you have not yet had the chance to experience the joy of completing this application, brace yourself — it is coming. If your child will graduate this spring and plans to attend either a traditional college or technical school, it is a good idea to complete this application now. I never planned to file for federal aid since Ashley was attending Kennesaw State on the Zell Miller Scholarship, but we learned that the University wants you to complete the FAFSA even for the merit based monies awarded. In years past, the application opened up on January 1, and you had to do estimates for your upcoming tax year and return to update the application after filing your taxes. President Obama signed reforms into law that have backed up the application date to October 1, and allow you to use the prior year tax information. In fact, if you have already completed your taxes, the application will now allow you to use the IRS data retrieval tool to automatically import the information, which will save a lot of time and effort. The application for Federal Aid may actually surprise you with grants (not loans to be paid back) depending on your family income, especially for families that have multiple children in college. I have long been an advocate for saving money for your children to attend college, but learned through this process that 529 plans in the name of your children actually might count against you in this FAFSA process. The reason is the application compiles a great deal of personal data, and provides an “Expected Family Contribution” number for your student based on income, assets, and the balance of their college savings plan. You might consider instead opening a Roth IRA, that allows you to also save tax free and choose to use that money for school and avoid the FAFSA believing you have more to contribute to college for your kids. Note: I am not a financial planner or advisor — just a regular parent that has been there, done that! Lisa-Marie Haygood, Georgia PTA President, lmhaygood@georgiapta.org

December 2016

13


Can You Tell Me Who the Most Trusted Parent Group in Georgia is?

Georgia

The Georgia Parent Teacher Association (“PTA”)

W

as that the answer that readily came to your mind when you initially saw this question? I do not know about you, but when the question was first posed to me, I could not think of any other group but Georgia’s Parent Teacher Association. A few of my very own PTA colleagues have said that they believe that Amendment 1 will pass and that it will not be defeated. However, the overwhelming majority have always believed that we would overcome the odds and defeat it. I remember the beautiful fall day in September of this year when I was in attendance at a PTA district training as a presenter. This was the very first time that I had heard someone speak of the Georgia PTA as the most trusted parent group in our state. Verdaillia Turner, the President of the Georgia Federation of Teachers, an individual for whom I have the utmost respect for, approached me and presented the question in rhetorical form. It was not that I did not already know this, but there was nonetheless a feeling of pride for our Association that overwhelmed me when she said it. Amendment 1 has done a miraculous disappearing act – NO more OSD! This represents a story with a very sweet ending that many did not expect. Yes, the odds were monumental, which is the primary reason why the opponents never imagined this story’s ending. The Opportunity School District (“OSD”) fight has been a long, hard battle, but every single second spent for every single child was time well spent. This is affirmation that the people of this state trusted that Georgia PTA knew the difference between a bad deal and a good deal. What does all of this mean for our children that could not advocate for themselves? It means that the children that could not advocate for themselves are the real winners. Georgia PTA took to heart the meaning of their famous tagline, everychild.onevoice and proved that it is alive and well in our state! This victory affirms the fact that that when we talk, people listen. We have always known that there is strength in numbers, which explains how and why the PTA’s 250,000, quarter of a million strong voices rang out nonstop loudly and clearly. Without a doubt, this legislation evolved into a major hot button topic comparable in significance to none that we have seen over the past several years. Therefore, it was crucial for the PTA to be at the forefront of fervent opposition to this Amendment. PTA history tells the story, doesn’t it? Georgia PTA led the way, and their local unit, council, district and community PTA leaders took this matter very seriously. Now, we can sit back for just a little while to savor the moment and count some of the ways in which we successfully got the job done! 1) PTA districts held OSD forums; 2) Georgia PTA initiated a project wherein PTA District leadership reached out to local school boards in their respective areas to formally notify them of the stance of opposition that we took and to ask them to stand with us in opposition to this Amendment; 3) Enormous amount of ideas that were implemented to edify the throngs of people that were unaware of perils of this proposed legislation; educational OSD materials and toolkits prepared; 4) Effective use of the Georgia PTA website, state newsletter, social media, broadcast news (television and radio); newspaper articles and blogs for spreading the word; 5) Hosted two OSD Press Conferences, and the one held during the October 6 Advocacy Day was a huge success with multiple television stations and newspapers reporting on it. We were delighted to have our Immediate Past National PTA President, Otha Thornton be with us and speak at the conference. 6) Otha created the idea for us to host an OSD information table throughout our entire state convention (Convention Leadership Training). Many attendees paid frequent visits to the table to get their questions answered and to obtain OSD materials; 7) Many OSD speaking engagements by various Board members all around the state;

14

8) Implemented Local Control Rules campaign (local units around the state used actual rulers for conveying this message and to promote our oppositional stance); 9) We recognized the fact that it would take a village to defeat the OSD, so we worked with various education-focused groups; teacher organizations, etc. around the state in our fight; 10) Our two statewide community PTAs contributed towards getting the word out by taking the following measures: a) Videos were created/released by the Higher Education PTSA (college community PTA) wherein people got to hear the OSD message directly from the mouths of students; b) The Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA leaders have contributed to this effort , i.e., assisted one of coalitions with translating a digital ad campaign into Spanish; participated in an OSD radio interview on Radio Informacion (metro Atlanta’s Spanishlanguage talk radio) with Jose Perez, Program Director and On-Air Analyst and House of Representatives member, Pedro “Pete” Marin (District 96); and educated and empowered Hispanic/Latino parents regarding the devastating impact that passage of Amendment 1 could have on children The words on the back of one of my t-shirts with wise sayings will forever remind me of the determination demonstrated by our Association with regard to its long list of OSD initiatives created and implemented. It reads: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead Another one of my favorite wise sayings is a picture perfect reflection of the hard work that Georgia PTA expended in the fight against OSD: “Let us have no more croaking as to what cannot be done; and let us see what can be done, and above all see that it is done.” Alice McLellan Birney Rita Erves, Georgia PTA Immediate Past President, rerves@georgiapta.org

Georgia PTA « THE VOICE


Georgia PTA Continued Quest to Promote Cancer Awareness A collaborative effort initiated by three of Georgia PTA’s committees: Early Childhood Education (Chair: Caroline Harris), Family Engagement (Chair: Kym Evans) and Youth Services (Chair: Sophronia Qualls) September 11, 2016: Cancer is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 15, and September was National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. At the September 11 Atlanta Braves/Georgia PTA Family Day game, these committees joined forces to man a table filled with “fight cancer” stickers and pins that were distributed to many people attending the game. They also gave away free bottles of water, and they were particularly pleased to have little Noah Weathersby, who has come to be referred to by many as our “PTA Poster Child,” feverishly engaging in the work of handing out water and stickers. Evelyn Cunningham, who was recently elected to serve as Georgia PTA’s Second Vice President, was the Resource Development Chair at the time of this event and is the individual that had organized the September the Atlanta Braves Family Day. She was also right on board with us and stopped by to pay a visit to the cancer awareness table when she could get a break away from her tasks. Angel Little, Georgia PTA’s First Vice President, Rita Erves, Kizzy Weathersby, Georgia PTA’s Secretary, Rita Erves, Georgia PTA’s Immediate Past President and Doree Henry, District 11 Legislative Chair, Dominique Henry, the Georgia PTA Higher Education PTSA’s Secretary, also provided support at this event. It was a HUGE HIT for the attendees, and the Committee members had a blast hosting this table for such a noble cause. October 8, 2016: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night Walk” came into existence to find cures and ensure access to the best available treatments for all blood cancer patients. It is an unfortunate reality that children have also been attacked by this monstrous disease (blood cancer). We felt that our participation in the walk and our donations would make a difference. The committees extended invitation to our state Board of Directors, Specialists/Consultants, staff and to all of our leaders across the state to join us in this walk to fight cancer. We were excited about the donations that came pouring in and are pleased to report that Georgia PTA was represented at this important Walk! We have provided photographs for your enjoyment that captivated the joyful time that was had at this event! Evelyn Cunningham, Georgia PTA’s Second Vice President, is our former Resource Development Chair and organized the entire Georgia PTA/Atlanta Braves Family Day for the many schools that participated. The cool thing about this initiative Family Day is that the schools were able to have FUN while at the same time generating funds that assisted them in their continued efforts to support the students of Georgia! The parade festivities made the experience even more memorable. We are listing below the PTAs/PTSAs that participated in this FUN/FUNDS event and were so thankful to all of them! October 2, 2016 was the final game at Turner Field, and all the group leads were invited to attend. Evelyn, Georgia PTA’s group lead for Atlanta Braves’ events received invitation and attended. She had the opportunity to meet former President Jimmy Carter and his lovely wife, and a lot of the players. She was also given a bag of dirt from the field, a Braves’ helmet, bat and glove for Georgia PTA. It was indeed an emotional time for all in attendance, including Evelyn!

PTAs/PTSAs that participated in the September 11 Georgia PTA/Atlanta Braves Family Day: Alexander II ES

Burnette ES

East Paulding MS

Little River ES

Oak Grove ES

Allgood ES

Burnt Hickory ES

Fair Oaks ES

Macedonia ES

Ocee ES

Arnold Mill ES

Cheatham Hill ES

Feldwood ES

Marbut Theme ES

Ragsdale ES

Avery ES

Chesney ES

Fred A Toomer ES

Marietta HS

Scoggins MS

Avondale ES

Chestatee ES

Freedom MS

Mason Creek MS

Shadow Rock ES

Baker ES

Clark Creek ES

Heard ES

Mathews ES

South Forsyth MS

Beaver Ridge ES

Creekland MS

Higher Education PTSA

Mill Creek MS

Sprayberry HS

Berkeley Lake ES

DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts

Hightower Trail MS

Mirror Lake ES

Stonewall Tell ES

Holly Springs ES

Moses MS

Tapp MS

Discovery Montessori Academy

IMHOTEP Academy

Mt. Carmel ES

Vickery Mill ES

Johnston ES

Narvie J Harris ES

WC Abney ES

Knox ES

Norcross ES

Briarlake ES Bryant ES Burgess-Peterson Academy

December 2016

Dugan ES

15


Response to Intervention

A

major concern for parents and teachers is how to help students who experience academic, social or behavioral difficulties in school. Many believe that having the student evaluated and identified as disabled is the only way to access additional help for these students. But there are supports available through the Response to Intervention (RTI) process. Response to Intervention is a process to provide appropriate academic, social and behavioral supports to each and every student. In Georgia, the RTI process is part of the Pyramid of Interventions, which is divided into 4 levels or tiers of support. All students receive grade level instruction at Tier 1. For students that may have weaknesses or gaps in specific areas, additional supports or interventions are added at Tiers 2 through 4. These interventions are layered on top of Tier 1 instruction. The interventions should be supported by research and also matched to the needs of the students. The student’s response to the intervention is evaluated using progress monitoring measures, usually some type of specific test or assessment of the skill being addressed. If the student does not show the expected improvement on the progress monitoring measures, then the interventions are adjusted, intensified or changed in order to find the right intervention matched to the needs of the student. As the intensity of the interventions provided increase, the student may be moved from Tier 2 to Tier 3. Tier 4 of the Pyramid of Interventions is for specialized instruction, which includes special education services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA). Many students receive supports at Tier 2 or Tier 3 and the gaps in specific areas are closed or remediated. One of the biggest benefits of an RTI approach is that it promptly provides supports to a student in the general education setting rather than waiting for the student to fail or for the gap to become so large that the student requires very intensive interventions. It also helps to focus on the specific needs of the student and promotes a problem solving process. The RTI process also helps to distinguish between those students whose achievement difficulties are due to a disability versus those students whose difficulties are due to other issues, such as a lack of prior instruction. How can parents help with the RTI process? 1) Review the Georgia Performance Standards / Georgia Standards of Excellence for your child’s grade or course. These can be found at www.GeorgiaStandards.org. 2) Review and ask questions about your child’s progress on assessments (tests) during parent conferences. 3) Become knowledgeable about the classroom intervention process in your school or district. 4) If your child is being supported with an intervention, request progress updates so you know if the intervention is working. Footnote from IDA-GA: Even though RTI isn’t a special education program, it can help general education teachers pick up on early signs of learning issues. Federal law says that when deciding whether a student is eligible for special education, the school district can use a “process that determines if the child responds to scientific, research-based intervention.” If your child qualifies for special education, the interventions used during RTI can help the school decide which types of services and supports to include in his Individualized Education Program (IEP). For more about specific reading struggles and the challenges of dyslexia, please contact the International Dyslexia Association at info@idaga.org, 404-256-1232, or visit www.idaga.org. Cathy McKenzie, Ed.S., ABSNP

Students may receive help without an IEP In this column, the International Dyslexia Association - Georgia Branch (IDA-GA) hopes to provide parents and teachers with information to help struggling readers. This month, Cathy McKenzie, Ed.S., ABSNP and Cherokee County School District Psychologist on Special Assignment for RTI and 504, discusses the Response to Intervention (RTI) process.

16

Georgia PTA « THE VOICE


Father Involvement: It’s More Than a Donut

I

n my work and travels, I have spoken to many people who passionately advocate for our nation’s children and education. We have committees, programs and initiatives for “family engagement”. We have politicians who promote parental involvement. In fact many school policies, practices and protocols actually require a dedicated amount of parent volunteer involvement. Quite often, I ask parent leaders and educators how they specifically reach out to the fathers and father figures of the children in their school. In many cases, I get a blank stare. In other cases, I get a response that the men don’t want to be involved. Sometimes, I’m told that there are no fathers of the children in their school. Occasionally, I’m told that they have a “family engagement” program. But when asked, they have nothing directly targeting men to back it up. Then, there are those who are proud to tell me, “Yes, we have a great father involvement program. We do “Donuts with Dad”. This is great! But, what about the other 179 days of the school year? How do you engage them then? Of course, the ones that really make my day are the ones that are excited to brag about the success of their true father engagement program such as Watch D.O.G.S. or All Pro Dads. These are the people who actually “get it”. Homer Simpson is quoted as saying, “Donuts - is there anything that they can’t do?” Donuts are great, but one thing that they can’t do alone is engage a father in his child’s education. Many schools only offer cute gimmicks such as a one day DWD or mundane “muscle work” for dads. Setting up and tearing down at festivals and events is needed, but it still does not engage men. This just sends the signal that dads are only welcome on one or two days a year. We should never miss an opportunity to ask for membership from anyone. But, many “father events” seem to be nothing more than PTA fundraisers. These men see their PTA membership as nothing more than an annual donation. The PTA gets their money and can count them in your membership numbers, but then offer nothing to actually engage them. After speaking to thousands of fathers over the past 8 years in this work, I can tell you that fathers DO want to be involved. They just need the opportunity. Unfortunately, the general culture in the educational environment still blocks men from getting involved. There is simply a tremendous amount of misconceptions and bad information out there. As I’ve said before, if men are not responding to your programs, it’s NOT the men, it’s the programs. In PTA, we know that National PTA tells us that the two main reasons that men don’t join PTA are 1) No one asks them (because PTA leaders assume that they aren’t interested) and 2) They don’t think that they have enough time. We know that both of these are easy to overcome. We just have to be willing to do it. With “one voice”, I believe that we, as PTA should be advocating that every child should have a positive male (and female) role model in their life. Let’s first focus on the dads that are basically present in their children’s lives. That’s the lowhanging fruit. We know that it is not easy to make a living and support a family. Many of our students see very little of their father due to work commitments. Many dads work long hours or travel for a living. Personally, in working two jobs plus PTA work, I do both. I know how hard it can be. As parent leaders and educators, we need to make every effort to give these guys a chance to support their children’s education. This is an easy fix. All we need to do is get educators and parent leaders to be willing to be open minded and make a small effort. You just have to believe that it can be done. I like to paraphrase, Mike Hall, a friend of mine in a joke that he often uses. “A recent study shows that 100% of all children have a father.” Of course, this is true. But as we know, in this day and age, the biological father may not be present. I do not believe that this is an excuse for not making an effort for any child to have a positive male role model in their life. It does not have to be a biological father if he is absent for some reason or another. Families, educators and parent leaders need to work to ensure that every child has a positive male role model that they can trust and turn to for advice. This is especially true in the middle school and high school years. Step-fathers, grandfathers, big brothers, uncles, pastors, priests, rabbis, coaches and many other men are ready and willing to step in. It’s what good men do.

December 2016

In many areas, local churches have followed the example of the Harbor District of United Methodist Church in North Carolina. UMC churches in Eastern North Carolina have adopted the Watch D.O.G.S. program as their community outreach. This is a part of their Congregations for Communities (“C4C”) program. These churches are spending less than $500 for a Watch D.O.G.S. Start-Up Kit and donating it to the local school. Then men form the church men’s ministry, along with the dads of the school community work together and volunteer as WatchDOGS. This gives positive male role models to all children, even those who do not have a WatchDOG of their own. This has been tremendously successful and has had a phenomenal impact in these communities. Pat Litzinger, the coordinator of the C4C program volunteers in an inner-city school in Wilmington. At that particular school, there are only 4 families who are documented as having a father living in the home. He told me that one day he was working with a child who had been struggling with a reading assignment. When the child finally grasped a concept and was excited that he had reached this new understanding, Pat said to the boy, “I’m so proud of you!” Pat said that the boy’s face changed and he looked Pat straight in the eye and said, “No one has ever said that to me before”. Pat told me that it was difficult not to be emotional, but he knew that he had made a significant impact that day. This little effort may have changed this young man’s life. I often say that the only reason that a school does not have a Watch D.O.G.S. program is because they don’t know enough about the program. I firmly believe that. The same can be said about the All Pro Dads program as well. These simple and inexpensive threshold programs give men the chance to have the onramp to be engaged in their child’s education. They send the message that dads are welcome in the school. If you don’t have a PTA recognized father involvement program in your school, I ask you to please make a small effort to check out Watch D.O.G.S. and/or All Pro Dads. Fathers are out there and waiting for you to give them the opportunity. You just have to believe it can be done. Keith Schumacher, Georgia PTA Male Involvement Specialist, kschumacher@fathers.com

17


News from the Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA

T

he officers of this Community PTSA have continued to work overtime to bring awareness to the meaningful benefits that can be derived from PTA engagement. We are very proud of the fruits of our labor. We recognize the ever growing need to assist you in chartering Hispanic/Latino PTAs in your schools, and we are committed to providing you with the training and resources needed for a seamless process. The need for these PTAs is apparent as the population of Hispanic/Latino children in school districts around our state continues to grow. We believe in the “hands on” approach and will without let up diligently reach out to those that have identified a need for us to charter Hispanic/Latino PTAs in your school. Our primary goal is to heighten understanding of the powerful benefits of family engagement in education. Our very unique Statewide Community PTA is pleased to formally announce the chartering of the very first high school PTSA! The election of the Campbell High School Hispanic/Latino High School PTSA was conducted in Spanish, and the families were all very engaged during the process. We are all ecstatic about this step forward to continue to promote diversity and inclusion in our PTAs across the state. In the words of Juan Delgado, Georgia PTA Statewide Hispanic/Latino PTA’s Membership Chair, “This is what we have been working and waiting for!” This particular high school has a population of about 3,000 students, of which approximately 1,000 are Hispanic/ Latino. Please join us in congratulating the Campbell High School Hispanic/Latino High School PTSA. I had the privilege of attending the District 9 Fall Conference where I had the opportunity to hear Mr. Casey Bethel, Georgia’s 2016 Teacher of the Year, talk about the importance of “building” even stronger communities. He talked about three essential components that are necessary for building initiatives: “1) Vision; 2) Courage; and 3) Support.” Hearing this was something that both myself and the Georgia PTA Immediate Past President Rita Erves readily related to. Our community PTA is making significant strides in bridging the gap that often results from the language barrier in many schools. A significant degree of courage was undoubtedly needed to take on a project of this magnitude. We have been fortunate to have an overwhelming amount of support on this building journey. Not soon after Georgia PTA identified the need to fervently and passionately work towards building new Hispanic/Latino local units

Juan Delgado/Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA (he’s at Radio Informacion doing OSD interview in Spanish!  pic taken at station with GA House representative Pedro Marin, Duluth, who supported PTA’s position on Amendment 1.Jose Perez, producer of Radio Informacion.org

throughout our state, the vision became crystal clear. The endeavors of Georgia PTA’s Statewide Hispanic/Latino PTA will continue with regard to “meeting people where they are;” providing parents with the means by which they can have a “real seat at the table” with their own officers and stand-alone local unit. We have successfully formulated local unit bylaws in Spanish and have also been instrumental in the development of well thought out and well-designed training materials. These helpful resources are being used in formal training sessions. The leadership from Georgia PTA’s Districts and Councils is collaborating with us to ensure that this opportunity is made available in all areas of the state. Several allotted time on their conference agendas for a presentation regarding this unique arrangement available to schools with high Hispanic/Latino populations. This way, we are allowed to educate their members and promote this amazing, break-through initiative. Georgia’s Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA has also been actively involved in the fight against the Opportunity School District (“OSD”) and recognizes that this can in no way serve to enrich the lives of our children. To the contrary, passage of Amendment 1 would have served as a hindrance in their path towards academic success. We actively communicated with parents about the perils of the OSD and also distributed materials to them in Spanish. Juan Delgado, our Membership Chair, participated in an OSD radio interview on Radio Informacion (metro Atlanta’s Spanish-language talk radio) with Jose Perez, Program Director and On-Air Analyst and House of Representatives member, Pedro “Pete” Marin (District 96). He also assisted one of coalitions with translating a digital OSD ad campaign into Spanish. Lezlie Osorio, Communications Chair, spoke out against OSD in Spanish in a video that was created to provide more insight on this Amendment. As part of our concerted effort to remain closely connected with you, we are going to have a group photo of the officers of the Georgia PTA Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA, along with our names and email addresses, on the Georgia PTA website so that we will be more readily accessible. On behalf of our officers and Board of Directors, thanks to those of you that continue to support our efforts in diligently working to identify those have a need to form a Hispanic PTA in their respective schools. We will strive to ensure that every child’s potential becomes a reality. We are committed to keeping the excitement and momentum going! Mercedes Cerrato, Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA President, mercedescerrato@aol.com

18

Georgia PTA « THE VOICE


Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership Celebrates 15 Years

T

he Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership is proudly celebrating its 15 year of family engagement work on behalf of families of children with disabilities. The GaPMP’s mission is to build effective family, school, and community partnerships that lead to greater achievement for students, especially those with disabilities. Growing from six mentors in the pilot project, to over 100 mentors, the GaPMP is led by Georgia Department of Education Division for Special Education Services and Supports Director Zelphine Smith-Dixon, and Family Engagement Specialist Anne Ladd. Although the DOE provides funding, parent mentors are hired by their local districts to serve as part of the local special education leadership team, providing information to parent of students with disabilities to assist them in navigating the special education system and in identifying activities that could help improve outcomes for their children. They also support teachers and administrators in planning and implementing activities that would support family engagement in schools. The Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership was based on an Ohio program and was created by the late DOE Director Phil Pickens and a parent, Patti Solomon. Parent Mentors receive training with a focus on building family engagement, confidentiality and as well as early intervention services, statewide initiatives, and, transition. Many parent mentors engage in advocacy efforts outside their schools by participating in SAP (State Advisory Panel for the GaDOE), Partners in Policymaking, Parent to Parent of Ga., various PTO and PTA roles and numerous other agencies and organizations. To find out if your local school district has a parent mentor, go to the website www.parentmentors. org, click on the Our Mentors tab and go to “Find A Mentor” where you can click on the map or scroll down and find your district (counties are listed first and then city districts and state schools follow). For more information, contact Anne Ladd 404-657-7328 or aladd@doe.k12.ga.us.

Georgia PTA to Host Online Book Fair

W

e’re excited to announce a statewide book fair to benefit deserving students throughout Georgia. This is a 100% online book with Children’s Bookstore. The book fair is scheduled for November 28th to December 12th, 2016. The book fair will raise money for the Georgia PTA Larry P. Perrino, Sr, Scholarship Fund. Georgia students enrolled in college, university and technical programs are eligible for scholarships. As a PTA leader, we need your help to get the word out about the book fair. If we act together, we can truly help deserving students throughout Georgia. Here’s how you can help: 1. Become familiar with the book fair. Go to https://www. childrensbookstore.com/go/gpta/ to visit our book fair page. We will earn 30% of every purchase made at the online book fair. 2. We need to spread the word as much as possible. Please send book fair announcement emails to your District, Council and Local Unit email lists. There are more than 200,000 books available from baby books to young adult books. Every book on the website is eligible for our book fair. When you do your Christmas shopping for books, you’ll be helping students all over our state. If you arrive at the website through a page other than our book fair page, please enter this code to reach our book fair page: GAPTA

December 2016

Safe Drinking Water in Schools: What Families Should Know Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 3:00 p.m.

E

very family expects its children to have access to safe drinking water at school. Unfortunately, that is not the reality in many communities across the country, where dangerous levels of lead have been found in homes and schools. Family members are invited to participate in this webinar to learn more about the dangerous issue of lead-contaminated drinking water in schools, the signs and symptoms of lead exposure in children, how to advocate to change in communities and tools that are available to increase access to safe drinking water in schools. Featured Speakers: Derrick Byrd—Chair, National PTA Health and Safety Committee Christina Hecht, PhD—Senior Policy Advisor, Nutrition Policy Institute Maria Fletcher, PhD, RN—National PTA Health and Safety Committee Member Shannon Sevier—Vice President of Advocacy, National PTA Caitlin Merlo, MPH, RDN—Health Scientist, School Health Branch, Division of Population Health, CDC Register here: https:// attendee.gotowebinar.com/ register/2921850274581248260

19


Council Leadership PTA Mission: To make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.

Why council leadership is for you! – You have PTA experience at your school but want to see a bigger picture – You enjoy networking with others, sharing best practicing and exchanging ideas – You welcome the opportunity to encourage others – You believe in the mission, vision, values and purposes of PTA Have you enjoyed your experience as a leader at your local unit and want to continue to have an impact on students, families and school communities? Then consider being an officer at the Council PTA level! • Council is the “big picture”. Leadership at the council level is an opportunity to speak for and positively impact potentially THOUSANDS of children. • Council leadership gives you the opportunity to learn new skills — community engagement, building partnerships, conflict management, public speaking, event planning — and much more! • Now it’s your turn to be a teacher. Training other people is fun! • Council leaders build relationships with school administrators in the Council footprint as well as school board members • Bring people together! You have the opportunity to facilitate schools assisting each other to implement programs, work together, and overcome challenges.

What is a Council? Georgia PTA organizes and charters groups of three or more local PTAs in cities, counties, or communities to promote the basic polices of PTA and for the purpose of unifying and strengthening PTA activities in a designated area. These groupings are called “councils.” They provide support and assistance to the local units within their area.

• Serving in a Council leadership position allows you to still assist with school level events, boards, and projects while building stronger community relationships. • At the council level, you have the opportunity to assist the District Director in identifying potential schools to charter as a PTA and, once chartered, assist in the training and development of the new PTA leaders.

“Good leaders are not born. They develop.” Source: National PTA Annual Resources

20

Georgia PTA « THE VOICE


National PTA’s Commitment to Positive, Safe Environments for All Students

B

ullying in schools can prevent many students from reaching their full potential. Now more than ever, it is critical that all students are supported in learning and receive a high-quality, well-rounded education in a safe and healthy environment. National PTA® offers resources to help students, parents and educators prevent bullying behavior and create positive and safe school environments with supportive, inclusive peer relationships. Bullying is a harsh reality for many of America’s school children and one of the most pressing issues parents and educators face today. Research shows that one of the most effective ways to prevent bullying behavior is to create a positive school climate. Positive school climates exist in schools where students, families and educators all work collaboratively to build a culture of respect and inclusivity which are the foundations of healthy learning environments. National PTA believes that all children should have access to safe, supportive and inclusive learning environments, so they can focus on achieving academic success and preparing for their futures. Educators and parents should also have the best information and resources available to help prevent and respond to bullying. National PTA has also developed several tools to help school leaders and families prevent bullying and support positive school climates:

Connect for Respect Toolkit Connect for Respect (C4R) is National PTA’s initiative to help students, parents and educators to create school climates full of safe and supportive peer relationships. This program builds ownership among the student body, educators and parents to improve relationships and climate in the school: • Build a team. Invite students, teachers, community members and parents to work together in improving school climate. Give students a leadership role. • Assess the current school climate. Take inventory of the current challenges and strengths of your school climate and chart your progress. • Engage the school community in dialogue. Bring students, parents and school leaders together for a productive discussion and brainstorm on ways to overcome weaknesses found in assessment. • Develop an action plan. Create a plan that educates and empowers students, families and the broader school community around bullying prevention and safe school environments. • Educate and empower students, families and the community. Sustain your efforts over time by convening a C4R team that works on this issue throughout the school year.

How to Tell When Your Child is Struggling Emotionally National PTA and the American Psychological Association hosted a webinar featuring board-certified clinical psychologist Dr. David Palmiter to discuss the impact of stress on teens’ health and how you can model healthy stress management strategies.

Every Child in Focus National PTA’s Every Child in Focus is a campaign to ensure all students and families feel welcomed in a school community. The campaign provides resources and advocacy tools to help understand the needs of every child and deepen family-school partnerships to support the unique needs of our nation’s diverse student population.

National PTA Resolution against Bullying In 2005, National PTA adopted a resolution against bullying (http://www.pta.org/programs/ content.cfm?ItemNumber=943). National PTA and its constituent organizations support policies and programs that address the prevention, intervention and elimination of bullying. National PTA is committed to supporting students, families, schools and communities in coping with and preventing bullying. Every student deserves to learn and grow in an environment that is safe. The protection of students is of utmost importance, so that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential. Media Contact: LaWanda Toney Director of Communications (703) 518-1237 ltoney@PTA.org

December 2016

21


Elberton Community PTA Receives National PTA’s Kindle e-Reader Award

W

e want to share a history fact that some of you may not be aware of. For years, the National PTA has proudly recognized Georgia PTA as a premiere state in terms of its continuous outstanding work. Georgia PTA has in fact contributed greatly to National PTA’s Resource Bank with a plethora of the innovative ideas and initiatives that have resulted in our continued success. Among these successes are our three (3) community PTAs that were created. One of these community PTAs, the Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA, was awarded with the National PTA Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion Award at its National convention in June of this year. Fast forward to October, 2016; do you want to know who is being recognized by National PTA? You guessed it - another one of Georgia PTA’s very own community PTAs, the Allen Wentfred Jones Elberton Community PTA. It is unique in that it is the first and only PTA of its kind in the state of Georgia organized in a local community setting. In a press release issued by the National PTA on October 26, 2016, it announced its prestigious list of only twenty-five (25) PTAs from around the country to be awarded a classroom of Kindle e-readers for family engagement and childhood literacy efforts. This generous donation of a total of 20 Kindles that this Community PTA will receive is a PTA Family Reading Experience, Powered by Kindle program. It is also an ongoing collaboration between National PTA and Amazon to encourage family reading, promote a love of literature and support student success. According to Laura Bay, National PTA President, “Families play an essential role in helping children develop their literacy skills, and e-readers are a powerful tool to engage children in reading.” History of the Elberton Community PTA: It is located in the hometown community of the Immediate Past National PTA President, Otha E. Thornton, Jr. In fact, the active pursuit of developing a PTA presence in this county all began at his behest. It was a long-standing desire of his, and he fully supported all of the efforts expended by Georgia PTA’s 2013-15 administration during his tenure as our National President. Elberton is in District 12, and its District Director, Dee Dee Jackon, took this charge very seriously. After much effort by various Georgia PTA leaders over the past

22

few years that were all committed to seeing #FamiliesRead this through, we were absolutely thrilled when the Director of the Allen Wentfred Jones Tutoring Center, Lillvian Jones, and Dee Dee Jackson connected and worked tirelessly, without letup, to bring the community together to form Elberton’s first PTA. Only seven months ago (March 22, 2016), this PTA was chartered. Having Elberton’s own Otha Thornton, returning home to address the attendees at the charter meeting was “icing on the cake.” His mother, Mrs. Estelle Winkfield, was not only in attendance but was also extremely excited. The Elberton County School District was well represented with Mr. Chuck Bell, Superintendent, Ms. Angela Moton, Associate Superintendent and two of Elberton’s Commissioners and a host of concerned citizens and current and former educators were also there. The officers are: Lillvian Jones, President; Mary Fortson, 1st Vice President; Mary Clark, 2nd Vice President; Doris Hughes, Secretary; and Reverend Elnora Alexander, Treasurer. Since its charter, Ms. Lillvian has attended CLT 2016 in Athens and the District 12 Fall Conference. As further evidenced by winning this award, which required an extensive application process, she and the officers are all dedicated and committed to this Community PTA being truly “engaged.” In words spoken by Otha in many of his speeches: Ms. Lillvian is the epitome of a committed volunteer leader, as opposed to a convenient one. Please join us in wishing the Allen Wentfred Jones Elberton Community PTA much continued success with the noble endeavor of bringing the entire community together for the purpose of making “Every Child’s Potential a Reality!” Kym Evans, Georgia PTA Family Engagement Chair, kevans@georgiapta.org Caroline Harris, Georgia PTA Early Childhood Education Chair, charris@georgiapta.org

Georgia PTA « THE VOICE


Save the Date

Convention Leadership Training June 15-17, 2017 Hyatt Regency, Atlanta

MEDIA LIABILITY COVERAGE Do you know the risks of social media? There are millions of people on social media every day and while there are many benefits, there are considerable risks and you could be held liable. Pictures – do you have permission? • Invasion of privacy by posting a photograph that has not been released for use. Outside company logos – do you have occasion to include company logos for events? • Infringement of copyright, trademark, or logo, when you accidentally post something. Could someone feel you misrepresented details of your event and hold you responsible? Could you show support for a certain group (ethnic, age, political, gender) and be sued for discrimination?

Know the Local Unit “In Good Standing” Requirements

• Misinterpreted or misconstrued messages by your readers.

D

Do you make public ANY information that could be considered confidential?

uring the 2014 Convention Leadership Training the convention voting delegates approved to amend the Georgia PTA bylaws to include “A local unit in good standing is one that…“f. Shall pay annual membership dues as assessed by the affiliate council PTA per Article VI, Section 5 of council bylaws, if applicable.” Local units should receive an invoice to pay their councils dues from their council treasurer. The council treasurer will notify the state PTA office on a monthly basis of those units having paid council dues. A local PTA/PTSA in good standing is one that: a. Adheres to the purposes and basic policies of the PTA; b. Remits the state and national portion of the dues, on a monthly basis, to the state PTA. The state shall remit the national portion to reach the national office by dates designated by the National PTA; c. Has bylaws approved according to the procedures of each state; d. Submits an annual audit report to the state office by the last business day of September;

• You could be held liable for disclosing of confidential information. These are just some of the innocent mistakes made every day by wellintentioned people. Don’t put you or your organization at risk by not having Social Media Liability coverage! Contact your insurance provider for more details and to ask if your PTA is protected.

e. Shall submit annually to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the appropriate Form 990 by the applicable IRS due date; and f. Shall pay annual membership dues as assessed by the affiliate council PTA per Article VI, Section 5 of council bylaws, if applicable.

Payment of your Council dues is a requirement to be In Good Standing. December 2016

23


Scenes from Around the State

Forest Park HS Thanksgiving Feast and PTSA Meeting

Margie Ringfield vising Northbrook ES PTA

Advocacy Day – October 6, 2016

Family fun at Georgia PTA Day at the Braves!

Photo Winners and participants Westside ES Ashley Brumby filling in for Shelley Kelley Reflections Chair

Douglas County Board of Commissioners proclaiming September as “PTA Membership Month” Lockheed ES celebrating their National PTA School of Excellence designation

Tynettia Elrod and Angel Little joined with Michelle Easley, Ed.S. at the Georgia Library Media Association Breakfast.

24

Georgia PTA « THE VOICE


Our Fight Against OSD – Thank you, Georgia!

December 2016

25


Important Dates to Remember December 2:

State Reflections Entries due to State Office

9:

Georgia PTA Past Presidents Luncheon

18:

PTA Day at the Falcons (Falcons vs. 49ers)

January

Online Training www.vimeo.com/georgiaptatraining

February

We understand that it isn’t always possible for our PTA leaders to attend in-person training sessions at the state office or at Council or District meetings. Georgia PTA has created a series of online training videos for PTA leaders to watch from the comfort of their homes.

1:

PTA University – Report Writing – 10am

Georgia PTA’s Training Videos

4:

PTA University – Report Writing – 10am

4:

PTA University – Nominations and Elections – 12:30pm

8:

PTA University – Nominations and Elections – 10am

16:

PTA Day at the Capitol

17:

Founders Day Tea – 10:30am

17:

Council Reports Deadline

20:

Deadline for Letters of Interest 2017-2019 Election

March

President (also in Spanish) Treasurer (also in Spanish) Secretary Membership Reflections New PTA Officers – Jump Start Your PTA Success

4:

District 10 Spring Conference

7-9:

National PTA Legislative Conference

10:

Reports Due to Georgia PTA

Developing Your PTA Communications Plan

11:

District 12 Spring Conference

How to Fill an Officer Vacancy

15:

PTA University – Transitioning Your Teams – 10am

18:

PTA University – Transitioning Your Teams – 10am

28:

Student Advocacy Day

TBD:

State Reflections Ceremony

April

Build a Better Board

Grassroots Advocacy Opportunity School District – Georgia PTA’s Position Council Leadership Training

Best Ideas

Transitioning Your Team

The Voice Official publication of the Georgia PTA A Branch of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers

25:

District 9 Spring Conference

Georgia PTA

27:

District 4 Spring Conference

29:

District 8 Spring Conference

114 Baker Street, NE Atlanta, GA 30308

Georgia

404-659-0214 or 1-800-PTA-TODAY

May Council Reports Due

June

Fax: 404-525-0210 www.georgiapta.org President: Lisa-Marie Haygood Editor: Susan Hayes, Leadership Development Chair

15-17: Convention Leadership Training (Hyatt Regency, Atlanta)

26

Report Writing Understanding the Common Core State Standards

Why PTA?

District 6 Spring Conference

22-25:

Keys to Successful Family Engagement

Nominating Committees & Elections

1:

1:

Trouble on Board – How to Deal with Conflict

National PTA Convention (Las Vegas, NV)

Information from this newsletter may be excerpted for other PTA publications at the local, council and district levels as long as credit is given to Georgia PTA and any byline that may appear with the item must be included.

Georgia PTA « THE VOICE


Georgia PTA's The Voice_December 2016