National PTA Adopts Position Statement on Addressing Institutional Racism

“Missouri PTA supports and charges all of our PTA members to work in collaboration with National PTA to “eliminate racism and social injustices”.  We must unite as a PTA community to continue our advocating for ALL children, regardless of skin color, race, language or culture.” – Steven Cook, Missouri PTA Diversity Outreach & Engagement Chair


National PTA Adopts Position Statement on Addressing Institutional Racism

As National PTA stands firmly against racism in all forms and the culture of oppression that permeates the United States, the association’s Board of Directors recently adopted a position statement on addressing institutional racism. The statement reaffirms National PTA’s commitment to listen, educate and advocate beyond rhetoric and rise to correct all inequities and injustices.

“As an association that represents all children and families, it is our duty to disrupt the systems that propagate institutional racism,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “Our efforts will be intentional, purposeful and relentless until every person enjoys the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans.”

As outlined in the position statement, National PTA will hold courageous conversations with its membership and communities to understand the impact of institutional racism and how it affects the well-being of children of color. These conversations will include racism, social justice, equitable education, juvenile justice, affordable housing, food sustainability, economic wealth and affordable health care for families of color.

National PTA and its constituent associations will also educate themselves and their communities on the disparities among students of color compared to their white peers related to issues such as housing, healthcare, environmental and community planning, criminal justice and employment. This knowledge is essential to understand the impact of institutional racism on school performance, which is manifested in attendance, discipline, academic achievement and graduation rates of students of color.

As also included in the position statement, National PTA and its constituent associations will advocate at all levels to eradicate the negative impact of institutional racism. National PTA will also work to ensure more comprehensive guidelines and training are required on the use of force by school resource officers, other law enforcement officers and security personnel.

National PTA strongly urges federal, state and local public officials to invest in educating students and teachers on the history and impact of institutional racism. Professional development and training must be provided for all school staff on implicit bias and culturally appropriate curriculum. School staff should also be provided professional development in mental health, trauma-informed care and restorative justice to provide a safe, inclusive environment for all students.

National PTA also urges federal and state policymakers, school district leaders, school administrators and educators to review bias in curriculum, policies, practices and programs to identify and address those that perpetuate inequities toward children or communities of color, resulting in Black and Brown students experiencing lower school achievement rates.

“We can eliminate racism and social injustices when we unite as a community, regardless of skin color, race, language or culture,” said Anna King, National PTA president-elect. “PTA reaffirms our commitment to advocate for all children—including and specifically for Black and Brown children—to eliminate the negative impacts of institutional racism and ensure they have every opportunity to reach their full potential.”

In addition to the position statement on addressing institutional racism, the National PTA Board of Directors also adopted position statements in June on Harmful Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Change EffortsCareer and Technical EducationImproving School Meal Programs and Furniture Tip-Over Prevention.


Request Membership Card Template

Historically, Missouri PTA has ordered pre-printed membership cards to fulfill requests from units each fall. Thousands of dollars are spent annually for printing and postage. Over the years we have found that fewer and fewer units utilize the actual card. Recently we have made available a card template that allowed local units to customize with their specific unit and member information then print as needed.

As we enter the 2020-2021 membership year, your Board of Managers are working to develop a Missouri PTA Mobile App. Among its many benefits will be a digital PTA membership card. Because this will eliminate the need to distribute actual cards, pre-printed membership cards will no longer be available from the Missouri PTA Office. This will be a huge savings to both local units and Missouri PTA. For units that would like to continue passing out membership cards, the customizable template will still be available and can be requested through our website. (Click Here)

While our mission and values remain the same, the way we do PTA is evolving. In this time of uncertainty, more than ever we must continue to be a reliable and relevant resource to our members. And always _everychild. onevoice_ !


National PTA Calls on Congress to Provide More Resources Immediately to Schools

For months, we have been calling on Congress to provide more emergency funding to K-12 public schools to help address challenges they are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources are even more critical now as schools are working to plan and prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, and especially for them to safely reopen for in-person instruction. We cannot wait any longer. For many districts and schools, the new school year begins in just a few, short weeks. Congress must take action and provide these vital resources immediately.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and we cannot downplay the critical nature of the virus. The number one priority of all parents is the health and safety of their children, and it is essential that students return to school in the safest way possible. There cannot be a one-size fits all process for the reopening of schools. Plans for reopening must account for the current impact of the virus on individual communities; follow guidance from health practitioners, infectious disease doctors and public health experts; and include input from parents, families, students, educators and school employees.

“National PTA is calling on Congress to immediately provide more resources for public schools to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19 and to address the health, safety, infrastructure and physical, psychological, social and emotional needs of students, educators and staff. Our association is also urging Congress to provide dedicated resources to connect students to the internet; emergency funding for family engagement; funding for students with disabilities through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; and to increase funding for child nutrition programs to prevent, prepare for and respond to food insecurities related to the pandemic and help schools adapt to new food service and meal protocols as students go back to school.

“It is also critical that Congress in no way attach incentives or conditions on federal funds for the physical reopening of schools or create voucher programs or other mechanisms to funnel public dollars to private schools in the next COVID-19 relief package. Children are the future of our nation, and we must keep them safe. Decisions on how to reopen schools must be based on what is best and safest for children and educators in individual communities. Our public schools are already woefully under-resourced, and they should not have to compromise students’ health and safety to get the funding they need to help every child learn, grow and reach their fullest potential.

“National PTA remains committed to advocating to safeguard the health and safety of our nation’s children and make sure students, families and schools have what they need during this challenging time.”

As part of its effort to advocate for and support students, families, educators and schools amid the pandemic, National PTA is joining other education groups this evening on a webinar about the impact of COVID-19 on children and how we can help mitigate risks for transmission in schools. The webinar will feature physicians from the Infectious Disease Society of America and will take place beginning at 7 p.m. EDT. To register, visit https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NThhMubYR9Sa4Ucdzl6S1Q.


Special Joint Event: How Can We Safely Reopen Schools in the Fall?

How Can We Safely Reopen Schools in the Fall?

A special event for the education community and parents to dialogue with health experts

Webinar | July 16, 2020 7:00–8:15 pm ET

A recording of the webinar can be viewed at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3671308889552138

The slide presentation is accessible here: https://www.pta.org/docs/default-source/files/advocacy/2020/reopening-event-slides-7-16-20.pdf

Please submit your questions or comments to: govtaffairs@pta.org.

 

When COVID-19 began its slow spread across the country, schools in every state shut their doors to help flatten the curve—and they stayed closed for in-person instruction through the rest of the 2019–20 school year. And while businesses and other industries are beginning to reopen, it’s clear that the economy relies on our public education system for true recovery. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics have released their guidelines for reopening K–12 schools, though many questions remain as states and school districts develop their plans for the fall. Join physicians from the Infectious Diseases Society of America as they discuss what is known about COVID-19 and its impact on children and youth, as well as how we can help mitigate risks for transmission in schools for students and staff.

 

Moderator

The Honorable John B. King Jr.
President and CEO, The Education Trust
Former U.S. Secretary of Education

 

Presenters

Wendy Armstrong, MD
IDSA Board of Directors, Emory University School of Medicine

Tina Tan, MD
IDSA Board of Directors, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Co-Hosted by:

AASA, The School Superintendents’ Association

American School Counselor Association

Association of Educational Service Agencies

Association of School Business Officials International

Council of Administrators of Special Education

Infectious Diseases Society of America

Learning First Alliance

National Association of Elementary School Principals

National Association of School Psychologists

National Association of Secondary School Principals

National Association of State Boards of Education

National Association of State Directors of Special Education

National Education Association

National PTA

National School Boards Association

School-Based Health Alliance

The Education Trust


National PTA Disappointed with Supreme Court’s Ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue Case

National PTA is disappointed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, allowing taxpayer dollars to be diverted to private schools. Tax credits and vouchers fund the education of only a few, select students; divert resources from the students and schools that need it the most; and lack accountability measures. National PTA opposes any private school choice system that drains vital public-school resources. Public dollars must remain in public schools for the benefit of all students and the future of our nation.

Our public education system provides all children access to opportunities, experiences and knowledge that improve their overall well-being—regardless of their race, religion, ability or socioeconomic status. Taxpayer dollars for education must carry the responsibility for providing public access, governance and accountability. National PTA has long advocated for equitable, high-quality public education to ensure all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

As part of this advocacy work, National PTA joined with the National School Boards Association to file an amicus brief in opposition to the tax credit scholarship program. Our association remains committed to advocating for public dollars to remain in public schools so that every child’s potential becomes a reality.


National PTA Adopts Position Statement on Reopening of Public PreK-12 Schools for the 2020-2021 School Year

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the National PTA Board of Directors has adopted a position statement on the reopening of public preK-12 schools for the 2020-2021 school year. The statement calls for any decision to reopen schools to involve parents, families, students, educators, school employees, public health experts, health practitioners and community members in the planning, implementation and monitoring stages of reopening. It also calls on federal and state governments to provide the funding necessary to ensure that schools have the resources they need to reopen as safely and successfully as possible.

“Our utmost priority during this crisis continues to be the health and safety of all students, educators, school employees and families. Our association remains committed to advocating for our nation’s students, families and schools to ensure they have what they need during this challenging time,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “National PTA believes that inclusive stakeholder engagement is essential for effective decision making and successful implementation of school reopening plans, particularly engagement with parents and students to address unique family needs. We also need significant, immediate and continuing federal and state funding as many of our nation’s school districts are already working without the resources they need to provide an equitable education to all students, and recovery from the pandemic is an added strain.”

National PTA’s position is that plans for reopening must incorporate the best available science and expertise of infectious disease doctors and health practitioners. Plans shall also strictly follow the most up to date Center for Disease Control guidelines, including but not limited to reasonable social distancing, rigorous sanitizing processes and viral screening and testing protocols. The association recognizes that there will not be a one-size fits all process for the reopening of schools.

As outlined in the position statement, effective stakeholder engagement must be inclusive, transparent, provide multiple opportunities for input and include meaningful, clear and concise communication. National PTA recommends that all information and protocols be disseminated to parents, families, students and communities, following current best practices for family and student engagement. The association urges that all communications must be accessible to parents with disabilities and available in other languages.

As also included in the position statement, National PTA strongly supports a robust federal investment to address the impact of budget cuts on public schools and to help pay for the costs for schools to reopen safely and successfully. Recent cost-analyses by national education groups have demonstrated the urgent need for congressional action to ensure schools have what they need to operate safe and healthy environments and provide high-quality teaching and learning. National PTA urges Congress to provide at least $175 billion in funding for preK-12 education in the next COVID-19 relief package. These resources need to be provided now so that schools can begin planning and preparing to reopen in the fall.

“Our public education system is the major vehicle for perpetuating the basic values of a democratic system of government. However, our public schools have been woefully under-resourced for decades,” added Boggs. “Investments in our public education system are more critical now than ever before. Investments must be made immediately to ensure every public school has the proper resources to help every child learn, grow and reach their fullest potential while keeping them safe and healthy.”

In addition to the position statement on reopening of public preK-12 schools for the 2020-2021 school year, the National PTA Board of Directors also adopted a position statement in April on Distance and Remote Learning for K12 Students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further, National PTA launched a comprehensive webpage at PTA.org/COVID-19 with resources, tools and information to support families and educators amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The association has also focused several episodes of its Notes from the Backpack podcast on topics of concern for families due to COVID-19. Additionally, National PTA is granting $1.5M to PTAs across the country to help meet critical needs of students, families, teachers and schools due to the virus.

“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on and presented many challenges for families and schools,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA and PTAs across the country remain committed to supporting students, families and schools in this time of crisis.”


Grant Opportunity for COVID-19 Relief Funding

Phase Two funding is now open nationally to all local and District/Council/Region PTAs. Applications can be submitted through our grants portal from June 1 – July 12th. https://www.pta.org/home/run-your-pta/Awards-Grants/covid-19-relief

In addition to providing the funding to PTAs and school communities, National PTA launched a comprehensive webpage at PTA.org/COVID-19 with resources, tools and information to support families and educators amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, National PTA has been advocating for access and support for families and schools for online learning, access to school meals, funding for family engagement, and fiscal and policy relief for state and local education agencies.


PTA Grant Announcement – Larimore Elementary PTA

Missouri PTA is pleased to announce Larimore Elementary PTA (Hazelwood School District) is a recipient of a PTA COVID Relief Funding Phase One Grant. The funding is made possible by PTA Proud National Sponsors TikTok, Google, Bayer Fund, Mathnasium and Life360.

“COVID-19 has presented many challenges for families and schools. Now more than ever, PTAs nationwide are working hard to ensure our students, families and educators are safe, healthy and have what they need—focusing on social and emotional wellbeing, resources for distance teaching and learning, bridging the digital divide and addressing food insecurity,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA.

The 1st round of relief funding was a direct invite to PTAs who were actively working towards School of Excellence recognition during the 2019-2020 school year. Larimore PTA will receive $5,000 to support their work to meet the most pressing needs of their school community during the ongoing pandemic. 

Phase Two funding is now open nationally to all local and District/Council/Region PTAs. Applications can be submitted through our grants portal from June 1 – July 12th. https://www.pta.org/home/run-your-pta/Awards-Grants/covid-19-relief

In addition to providing the funding to PTAs and school communities, National PTA launched a comprehensive webpage at PTA.org/COVID-19 with resources, tools and information to support families and educators amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, National PTA has been advocating for access and support for families and schools for online learning, access to school meals, funding for family engagement, and fiscal and policy relief for state and local education agencies.


June 2020 News from National PTA

LEARNING HEROES: Learning Heroes has released their NEW parent/guardian report, Parents 2020: COVID-19 Closures – A Redefining Moment for Students, Parents and Schools. The survey found that despite significant challenges, many parents are engaging deeply in their children’s remote learning and will show up differently next school year. Read the new #Parents2020 report now and share!

NATIONAL PTA FOOD INSECURITY WEBINAR: According to the USDA, 37.2 million people lived in food-insecure households in 2018. Over the last few months, we have seen firsthand how families struggle with food insecurity and hunger. Join National PTA in our four-part Food Insecurity Webinar Series designed to engage with PTAs and parents on food insecurity and empower them by providing tips on how to work to reduce food insecurity within their schools and for their families. Get webinar details and registration information here.

JUNE 1 – SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE: Enrollment for the 2020-21 School of Excellence program opens on June 1 at PTA.org/Excellence. Encourage your local units to make the commitment to rebuilding in the wake of COVID-19 for an improved family-school partnership and earn recognition for their accomplishments. Encourage and track enrollment using the resources provided on the State Excellence Library at PTA.org/StateExcellenceLibrary, a hidden website designed only for State PTA Excellence Leaders.

National PTA Statement on Racial Inequity and Injustice in America

“National PTA condemns the inequitable and brutal treatment of all African Americans in this country. No human being should be subject to what we saw happen to George Floyd last week. Millions of people are outraged by the killing of another unarmed black man, and like so many Americans, we mourn the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other African Americans who died, unable to achieve their full potential in life.

“This ongoing problem of unequal justice has led to protests across this country and continues to have a profound effect on African Americans and communities of color, who feel hurt, frustrated, angry and afraid. Our nation must do better, and PTA stands with those who peacefully seek to inspire meaningful change.

“While we understand significant reforms are needed to create lasting change that will end the systemic discrimination and injustices that have existed for far too long, PTA has a rich legacy in coming together to help solve the toughest problems facing our children and families. PTA can help lead the way with our collective voice.

“For over 120 years, PTA has been the conscience of this country, speaking on behalf of our nation’s most valuable and vulnerable resourceour children. This year, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the unification of the National Parent Teacher Association and the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers, we recognize we are experiencing times that mirror why the unification was necessary. It is imperative that we remain united and supportive during this difficult time.

“Our transcendent goal has always been to change the lives of children for the better and we will continue to ensure our society values and protects every child. We encourage PTA members and all concerned citizens to speak out and demand that every child be afforded the opportunity to make their potential a reality. Together, we can move above and beyond the perceived division of our diverse experiences and build a shared experience—the experience of working together as human beings, intent on building a better nation and world for our children’s future.”

The preceding statement can be attributed to National PTA President Leslie Boggs and National PTA Executive Director Nathan R. Monell, CAE


Emergency Meal Distribution Equipment Grants

School districts across the state have worked hard and quickly to get food to kids during school closures. The need for equipment to help distribute the food safely, create grab-and-go curbside pick up and mobile delivery has been a challenge for many districts. Action for Healthy Kids is providing Emergency Meal Distribution Equipment Grants to help!

Who? Districts currently feeding students at school or other sites.
What? Receive a $1000-$2,000 credit for sites in your district to purchase equipment through Hubert.

  • Equipment could include coolers, insulated bags, carts, packaging and even personal protection equipment.

When? ASAP! Grant applications are currently live and will be awarded weekly until all funds are awarded.  No need to wait for a check; within a week of application, you’ll receive award notification and be able to place your order.
Priority: ALL MO districts serving emergency meals are eligible for grants. Priority for districts in the Marshall, MO area, including:  

  • Marshall Public Schools
  • Districts within 30 minutes of Marshall, MO

Questions? Connect with Ellen Dillon (edillon@actionforhealthykids.org), AFHK Senior Field Manager.


JC/DC CRITICAL ACTION ALERT HB 1540

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Tell Your Senator say NO to this omnibus bill!

(An omnibus bill is a bill that combines several bills that do not have to be related in an effort to get the maximum number of bills voted upon at the end of session. Often these bills are hundreds of pages long lending themselves to votes without full understanding of what is in each.)

HB 1540 is another last-minute omnibus bill that will hurt public education and is bad for students!

This bill expands Missouri’s 529 college savings plans allowing for tax-free contributions to be used for K-12 private school fees and costs.  This diverts tax dollars from public education to private and parochial schools that lack oversight and accountability and can be run by out-of-state, for-profit companies and entities without any accountability for providing quality education.  Missouri PTA strongly believes the intent of this bill is to create virtual charter schools without oversight and accountability that the public school system requires.

Tell your Senator to say NO to HB 1540 and to any other omnibus education bill that removes accountability, transparency, and accessibility to quality education for all children or that diverts funding from public education.  This hurts Missouri children and public education!

ACTION NEEDED: PLEASE CALL OR E-MAIL and urge your State Senator to oppose HB 1540!

Dear Senator _____,

HB 1540 is another last-minute combination education bill that would hurt public education and is bad for students like my child!

As a parent and a member of Missouri PTA, I’m concerned that this bill expands Missouri’s 529 college savings plans allowing for tax-free contributions to be used for K-12 private school fees and costs.  This diverts tax dollars from public education to private and parochial schools that lack oversight and accountability and can be run by out-of-state, for-profit companies and entities without any accountability for providing quality education.  

Please vote, “NO” to HB 1540 and to any other omnibus education bill that removes accountability, transparency, and accessibility to quality education for all children or that diverts funding from public education.  This hurts Missouri children and public education!

Sincerely,

 

Your name and PTA

 

Not sure how to contact your state legislators? Click here and insert your street address or 9-digit zip code.


Kristina Wilmoth

Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy

KristinaW@mopta.org


JC/DC CRITICAL ACTION ALERT: SB 528

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Tell Your House Representative to vote NO to SB 528!

 

SB 528 transforms Missouri Course Access Program (MOCAP) into virtual charter schools.
These schools lack oversight and accountability and can be run by out-of-state, for-profit companies and entities without any accountability for providing quality education.  Furthermore, they do not have to prohibit discrimination or ensure equal access to education for all children.   Under SB 528, vendors would not be required to accept all students and could expel students that are “too difficult to educate”.  Vendors also do not provide the same services that public education provides students including healthy lunches and mental health counseling, yet they will receive the same state aid.  

Missouri PTA does not support SB 528.  Missouri PTA is opposed to the lack of transparency, oversight, and lack of accountability in education for all children while diverting funding from the public education.  

Tell your House Representative to say NO to SB 528 and to any other “combination education bill” that removes accountability, transparency, and accessibility to quality education for all children or that diverts funding for public education.  This hurts Missouri children and public education!

ACTION NEEDED: PLEASE CALL OR E-MAIL and urge your State Representative to oppose SB 528

Dear Representative,

SB 528 transforms Missouri Course Access Program (MOCAP) into virtual charter schools.
These schools lack oversight and accountability and can be run by out-of-state, for-profit companies and entities without any accountability for providing quality education.  Furthermore, they do not have to prohibit discrimination or ensure equal access to education for all children.   Under SB 528, vendors would not be required to accept all students and could expel students that are “too difficult to educate”.  Vendors also do not provide the same services that public education provides students including healthy lunches and mental health counseling, yet they will receive the same state aid.  

As a parent, I do not support SB 528.  I am opposed to the lack of transparency, oversight, and lack of accountability in education for all children while diverting funding from the public education.  

Please vote NO to SB 528 and to any other “combination education bill” that removes accountability, transparency, and accessibility to quality education for all children or that diverts funding for public education.  This hurts Missouri children and public education!

 

Sincerely,

 

Your name and PTA

 

Not sure how to contact your state legislators? Click here and insert your street address or 9-digit zip code.


Kristina Wilmoth

Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy

KristinaW@mopta.org


National PTA to Fund $1.5M to PTAs Across the Country to Support School Communities During COVID-19 Crisis

National PTA announced today that $1.5M in grants will be awarded to PTAs across the country to help meet critical needs of students, families, teachers and schools due to COVID-19. The funding is made possible by PTA Proud National Sponsors TikTok, Google, Bayer Fund, Mathnasium and Life360.

“COVID-19 has presented many challenges for families and schools. Now more than ever, PTAs nationwide are working hard to ensure our students, families and educators are safe, healthy and have what they need—focusing on social and emotional wellbeing, resources for distance teaching and learning, bridging the digital divide and addressing food insecurity,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA.

When most U.S. schools closed due to the pandemic, over 70 PTA grant recipients were scheduled to host sponsored family night programs, ranging from science festivals and math nights to Be Internet Awesome events.

“All of our sponsors impacted by this situation agreed to allow the grant money to be repurposed to meet immediate needs created by COVID-19. These companies really stepped up, and with this money, these PTAs will be able to make even more of a difference for their school communities during this time,” added Boggs.

Collectively between TikTok, Google, Bayer Fund, Mathnasium and Life360, over $160,000 in sponsored program grants is being redirected immediately to address critical community needs.

Google, a founding sponsor of National PTA’s PTA Connected initiative, was the first to agree to this pivot and also had the largest amount of grants pending in the field.

In addition to the grant money, TikTok has named National PTA as a beneficiary of its Community Relief Fund, donating $2M to the association. A significant portion of this funding will be granted in phases to district, council, region and local PTAs, with an application opening June 1.

“We understand the importance of continuing educational success for students who are physically away from the classroom and have been inspired to see students and teachers connecting on TikTok. We are grateful to our educators and the PTA for supporting critical K-12 programs for distance learning as well as addressing food insecurity, and hope our donation towards these needs will provide some relief to the families impacted by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Eric Ebenstein, director of public policy at TikTok.

As another part of TikTok’s Community Relief Fund effort, May 5—which coincides with Teacher Appreciation Week and the global #GivingTuesdayNow campaign—TikTok will be celebrating the critical work of educators and PTAs, including hosting livestreams with TikTok creators and encouraging donations by TikTok users to National PTA. The company has pledged to match up to $10M in donations by TikTok users to National PTA and a handful of other chosen beneficiaries through May 27.

National PTA has also kicked off a “family video challenge” on the TikTok app to encourage families to show how they are learning during this time of school closures using the hashtag #AlwaysLearning and apply TikTok’s new Donation Sticker to their videos to allow viewers to make donations to the association within the TikTok app.

In addition to providing the funding to PTAs and school communities, National PTA launched a comprehensive webpage at PTA.org/COVID-19 with resources, tools and information to support families and educators amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The association has also focused several episodes of its Notes from the Backpack podcast on topics of concern for families due to COVID-19. Further, National PTA has been advocating for access and support for families and schools for online learning, access to school meals, funding for family engagement, and fiscal and policy relief for state and local education agencies.

“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on families and our nation’s education system,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA and PTAs across the country remain committed to supporting and advocating for students, families, schools and communities in this time of crisis.”


More meeting restrictions and school closure extensions

So what does this mean for PTAs in Missouri?

Missouri PTA realizes that many of our units and councils are concerned that our ability to conduct regular business, officer elections and transitions is being impaired by the current health concerns. Governor Parson’s recent announcement of the stay at home order through April 24 brings more uncertainty about when meetings will be able to take place. There have been many questions and discussions regarding if, how or when meetings can take place. These are unprecedented times and it is impossible to know all of the answers or foresee what things will be like in 30 days or three months from now. It is important to follow our bylaws, our governing document as we look for guidance.

Read your bylaws and ask Missouri PTA questions if you are unsure.

Many PTA/PTSA units have provisions in their bylaws that allow for electronic voting by the Executive Committee or Executive Board. Often the articles that cover the Executive Committee or Executive Board do not include the activities of the general members, (the election of officers, bylaws, and budgets). These important decisions are not normally delegated in bylaws to a board or other governing body. Please review your bylaws carefully regarding electronic voting and what authority your Executive Committee or Executive Board has. If you
need a copy of your bylaws or have questions please contact bylaws@mopta.org.

Please do not jump to the conclusion that voting electronically or digitally is “ok” and no one is going to care.

There are many things to consider when trying to meet this way and what to include on the agenda. Does every member have the capability to hear and speak simultaneously? If your unit has 250 members, how are you going to accomplish this? We know that not all of our families have the same digital capability because of the challenges schools are facing with remote learning. It does not matter if only 10 people usually show up for your “normal” monthly general meeting and those same 10 members were on the Zoom meeting or conference call. What does matter is that 10 other members could not dial in. Our bylaws are in place to protect the rights of the individual member. It is when that member’s rights are not considered that problems occur and voting results are contested. Let’s make sure in our rush to move forward or help we are not bypassing our processes. We still need all voices at the table to have open honest discussions and sharing of ideas.

Our parliamentarian, Dr. Leonard Young has provided guidelines regarding electronic meetings. The detailed explanation is available through this link, but in summary:

“The key is they (electronic meetings) must be authorized in the bylaws and must, at a minimum, provide for simultaneous aural communication.  So just doing voting electronically without the provisions for the give and take associated with a real meeting (making nominations, debating, making motions, etc.) is not permissible.”

Hold Informative Meetings
If you are not authorized to meet electronically then you cannot conduct business (vote) electronically. Those decisions will have to be put on hold. Informative meetings are allowed and should be held. Financials can be distributed and committee reports shared. Invite your district to share updates. Discuss ideas on how the unit will be moving forward. Get member input and do some initial planning (similar to committee work) so that you will be ready to conduct business as soon as you can meet in person. We need to be engaged and connected. Be the resource our families are needing.

Here are some guidelines and suggestions to consider when trying to develop a plan to move your PTA forward.

1. First stay calm and realize you are not alone. Units, councils and states across the country are in that same boat.
2. Read your bylaws to see if meeting electronically is allowed. If permitted follow RONR guidelines for electronic meetings and your bylaws for meeting notifications and quorums.
3. Your bylaws include provisions for just this type of incident. Article VI Section 7 states officers serve until their successors are elected. So technically until new officers are elected, the existing officers are still in place and that is when their term will end. This allows for the unit to continue on with business until schools are open and officer elections can be held during a general meeting with a quorum present.
4. PTA does not stop in May. It is ok to hold meetings during the summer if that is what works best for your unit.
5. Changes on bank accounts usually require minutes from meetings that the elections took place and signatures from individuals. These will be obtainable once your unit is able to meet again. For some, it may be this fall.
6. Current budgets are not “frozen”. Expenses included in the current approved budget are still allowed. Amendments are not allowed. For example, senior scholarships. Budgets can be prepared for the next school year but will need to be approved or amended at a general meeting.
7. There are many ways to help in this time of need but remember we are restricted as a nonprofit organization when it comes to monetary donations.

Richard Bach stated, “Every problem has a gift for you in its hands”. We need to reflect on why we became involved in PTA and focus on navigating the interim. Let’s be positive and proactive for the upcoming school year and make it the best ever! Check out the suggested ways to utilize this time to Get Ready for Next Year.

The uncertainty about when schools are going to be back in session combined with our desire to “help” our students, families and school staff may be adding to your stress in this very overwhelming situation. I understand because I am having the same feelings. We have those feelings because we are PTA volunteers dedicated to our school community. In the 150+ years PTA has been in existence it has navigated many big bumps in the road including the Depression, several wars and influenza. We will survive this too and be even stronger.

We are currently working on some key points to look for in your bylaws that will help guide you moving forward. An informative conference call is being planned to allow unit/council leaders to ask questions and collaborate on solutions. Look for information on these resources next week. Remember Missouri PTA is here to answer questions and help however we can. We are all a part of the same team.

It is times like this that we need to work together and rely on each other.

Susan Rupert
Missouri PTA President


Message from Our MOPTA President

Hello Missouri PTA Members,

Our 104th Annual State Convention scheduled for May 1-3, 2020 has been canceled as well as the Reflections Student Showcase scheduled for Sunday, May 3.

Delegate registration fees that have been paid will be fully refunded. Payments made by PayPal will be refunded through PayPal. Those individuals, units or councils that paid by check will receive a check from Missouri PTA. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding while we process these refund payments.

Missouri PTA cannot make any changes in hotel reservations made by delegates. Individuals will need to contact the Hilton Frontenac directly at ph. (314) 824-6015.

Sadly, we are unable to come together as planned to celebrate the talent of our young artists that were recognized at the state level of Reflections this year. Nevertheless, we want to make sure they are aware of how proud we are of their achievements. Plans are being developed regarding the program recognition and awards. We will update you when these details are available. If you have an “outside the box” idea, email reflections@mopta.org !

Being at home right now allows me to work on all those unfinished projects, try some new crafts and clean house. My husband keeps saying, “Stop moving the furniture!” Most of all, it is an opportunity to wear my PTA hat more. Your Board of Managers continues to work hard to serve you while ensuring the safety of their family and their own. We are striving to find ways to navigate the challenges and opportunities before us. We will keep you updated!

Stay healthy PTA Family!

Susan Rupert
President
Missouri PTA


Reflections Announcement

Missouri PTA is so proud of all of our State Reflections Award recipients! Recognizing the creative efforts of our Missouri students is of the utmost importance and while sadly we have to cancel the State Showcase in May, we are working to display the artwork digitally. We are working on the details of this new experience and will be in contact with local leaders and families as we know more and fine tune some details. Thank you to all of our participating Reflections units and to the award recipients!

Reflections is timeless and enduring and we will overcome the current challenges to bring Arts
Education to the forefront. Stay tuned for details and the announcement of the 2020-2021 theme and
logo!


Tips for Parenting During Coronavirus Crisis

Every day, the Child Mind Institute publishes a video and social tile with a tip for supporting families through the coronavirus crisis. You can sign up to receive these tips and other coronavirus advice daily by clicking below.

Opt In to Receive Daily Tips

More Information from Child Mind Institute

HOW TO MAKE HOME FEEL SAFE FOR KIDS

Creating a secure home environment is important so that you and your children can deal with stress and uncertainty in a healthy way. Drawing from developmental psychology, here’s what parents can do:

  • be predictable and consistent
  • be responsive
  • be nurturing and affectionate
  • model calm reassurance and thoughtful problem solving

National PTA Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19

The outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a rapidly evolving public health situation. State and local PTAs must follow the direction and guidance of their respective health and education departments.

In order to assist and support the most vulnerable children and families, PTAs should reach out to their local school districts and departments of health to determine high-need areas and collaborate with community groups—such as food pantries—to provide essential services and support.

We have compiled a number of resources for our community to use to help navigate the pandemic.

How do I talk to my child about the Coronavirus?

Children, as well as adults, are likely to experience anxiety in this uncertain time. Several resources have been created by leading mental health experts on how to have age-appropriate, fact-based and reassuring conversations with you children about the outbreak and the steps they can take to stay healthy.

How to Talk to Your Child about the Coronavirus, Kids Health

Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource, National Association of School Psychologists

Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Where can I go for information on the Coronavirus and its impact on education and children?

There are several resources available for parents about the Coronavirus. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has resources to assist education leaders in protecting student privacy and ensuring students with disabilities continue to receive services required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) during school closures due to the outbreak.

The ED also released important information for K-12 educators on flexibilities the Department could grant when it comes to the accountability standards required by law under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). We particularly recommend reviewing COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has additional guidance and further resources, including:

Colorín Colorado is a good resource for English Language Learners and their families, as well as educators. We particularly want to call attention to their Multilingual Coronavirus Resources for Schools.

What if I do not have internet access in my home? What is being done to support equitable access to the internet for student learning?

Several internet providers have announced that they will make their services available for free for households with K-12 and/or college students who don’t already have internet through the company. Further installation fees may also be waived for new student households. Please contact your local internet provider for additional information.

National PTA has joined several other education groups in calling for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to temporarily allow schools to utilize E-Rate program funding to provide Wi-Fi hotspots or devices with Wi-Fi capability to students who lack internet access at home. This action would help ensure that all students can remotely continue their education during the current public health emergency.

The coronavirus pandemic is shining a bright light on the so-called “homework gap” experienced by 12 million students in this country. The gap refers to those students who do not have internet access at home and are unable to complete their homework—at a time when over 70% of educators assign schoolwork that requires the internet.

As a parent, how can I support learning at home?

Recognizing that not all families or children will have the resources to access and leverage digital learning opportunities, PTAs should work with their local school and district to understand what plans are in place or are being developed to equitably support student learning during school closures. PTAs can (and should!) work with schools to help develop student learning plans during school closures and help communicate these plans to families.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), has developed 10 Strategies for Online Learning During Coronavirus Outbreak. The Today Show has curated some free educational activities that students and families can engage in here.

What is being done to ensure vulnerable youth have access to school meals?

Nearly 22 million students depend on subsidized breakfasts and lunches served at schools. All Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) programs—including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs—have flexibilities and contingencies built-in to allow them to respond to on-the-ground realities in the event of a disaster or emergency situation. You can view the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Response to COVID-19 here.

PTAs should connect with their local schools and district to learn about the plans for meal distribution and how best to support and promote those efforts. Members of Congress have introduced bipartisan legislation, COVID–19 Child Nutrition Response Act to protect students’ access to school meal benefits during school closures related to COVID-19.

What legislative action is Congress taking regarding the Coronavirus?

Legislation is currently pending in Congress. Specifically, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers.

Additionally, members of Congress have introduced the Supporting Students in Response to Coronavirus Act (H.R. 6275) which will provide needed resources to early childhood programs, K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. The legislation will provide $3 billion dollars in grants to provide support services to students, including mental health and technology and funding to clean school facilities.

You can write to your elected officials about these and other bills using our Take Action Network.

What if I have concerns about end-of-year state testing?

The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance on assessments and accountability. The Department of Education generally does not grant statewide waivers of assessment requirements under section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA.

However, due to the unique circumstances that may arise as a result of COVID-19, such as a school closing during the entire testing window, it may not be feasible for a State to administer some or all of its assessments, in which case the Department would consider a targeted one-year waiver of the assessment requirements for those schools impacted by the extraordinary circumstances.

States with schools that must close due to the COVID-19 may also want to consider whether it is possible to adjust or extend the testing window to accommodate as many students as possible, including students in schools that were closed for some period. Please contact your state PTA and/or our SEA with questions about testing in your state.

What type of consideration should be taken regarding the 2020 National PTA Convention & Expo?

National PTA continues to closely monitor all developments and restrictions created by the spread of COVID-19 and the impacts on our June 2020 Convention.

We have extended early-bird registration to April 20 and we will communicate any convention-related decisions to our membership in a timely manner.

Learn more about the event at PTA.org/Convention.


Missouri PTA Announcement

Hello Missouri PTA Members,

In response to the health information and recommendations related to the coronavirus outbreak, many school districts have closed and suspended building access to groups that utilize their facilities. Missouri PTA knows this combined with the CDC guidelines for meetings/gatherings creates many concerns for our PTAs across the state.

I would like to address our nominating and officer election process.  The March 31 deadline for providing officer information to our state office is set in our bylaws and is a requirement of good standing.   This date cannot be changed without a bylaws amendment approved at our state convention. We understand that units/councils could be delayed in completing their election process and forwarding this information to the state office. Please be assured that Missouri PTA is sensitive to these extenuating circumstances and will support our units and councils every way
we possibly can. Once officer information is received, units’ and councils’ good standing status will be updated accordingly.

Good standing is a factor when verifying eligibility for awards, recognition, scholarships, grants, etc. The Missouri PTA Executive Committee has voted to exempt applications from the 2020-2021 officer information submission deadline of March 31. This exception will end on September 1, 2020.

An update regarding the status of the 104 th Annual State convention scheduled for May 1-3 is forthcoming. We appreciate your patience in the meantime.

This is an unprecedented situation filled with lots of questions and uncertainty for all of us especially our students. I hope that we, as PTA members will see this as an opportunity to find ways to work with our education partners to support our families.

Susan Rupert
President
Missouri PTA


Child Mind Institute – Supporting Our Kids Through the COVID-19 Crisis

With more and more schools and workplaces closed and public life suspended, parents everywhere are wrestling with how to keep children healthy and happy while confined to home. Many of us are struggling to juggle childcare and remote work, even as we manage our own anxiety about COVID-19.

At the Child Mind Institute our experts are coming together to offer guidance about how we can most effectively support our children’s well-being — and our own — during this crisis.

Today we offer their suggestions for structuring this time at home, modeling a calm and positive approach, and engaging kids in ways that will help them build resilience.

We’ll be offering more tips for supporting kids in the coming days and, as the situation evolves, continuing to create new resources to help families everywhere stay strong.


Information from Action for Healthy Kids and Active Schools

Action for Healthy Kids and Active Schools understands the challenges schools and parents are facing right now and the concerns they have about COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Your safety and that of your families, students and their families is our highest priority. View our full statement here.

School closings and restrictions on large gatherings are likely impacting the work you or your school may currently be doing for kids’ health, so we have modified many of our plans for the rest of the school year and compiled some resources for you.

Resources for Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Emotional Health

Keeping kids active and nourished at home is especially important right now, so view some of our favorite at-home activities, as well as our list of resources from partners and other organizations to help schools and families stay healthy and informed.

School Grants & Every Kid Healthy Week

We have extended the deadline for grant applications until May 1, 2020. If you have questions or concerns, contact us through our online contact form and select School Grants. We will be reviewing grant applications on a rolling basis, so if you are able to submit your application before the extended deadline, please do so.

While Every Kid Healthy Week remains on the calendar (this year April 20-24, 2020), we are not encouraging or expecting schools to host events, even if the schools are open. We advise you to follow the guidance from your schools, districts and states and recommendations from the CDC and federal government. That said, we encourage you to bring the celebration home! You can find activity ideas on our Every Kid Healthy Week resource page, in our Game On Activity Library, and in this curated list of at-home activities.

Questions?

View our full list of FAQs around COVID-19 here, or reach out to us at contactus@actionforhealthykids.org.

Yours in health,

Rob Bisceglie
CEO
Action for Healthy Kids


Missouri PTA 2020-2022 Term Officer Nominees

The following individuals have been nominated for office for the 2020-2022 term of Missouri PTA.
 
President-Elect                                                                        Christine Kent 
Vice-President and Director of Legislation and Advocacy     Paula McKinney 
Vice-President and Director of Membership Services            Steven Cook 
Vice-President and Director of Field Services                        OPEN 
Vice-President and Director of Programs                              Angie Warner 
Vice-President and Director of Communications                   Kristina Wilmoth 
Secretary                                                                                 Stefanie Adair
Treasurer                                                                                 Sarah Day
 
According to the Missouri PTA bylaws;
Article X Section 1d, “additional nominations may be made from the floor, provided consent has been obtained from the nominee and provided that nominees running from the floor give to the state PTA president thirty (30) days notification before the beginning of the convention of their intent to.”  
Notifications must be emailed to president@mopta.org by midnight April 1, 2020.   
 
Article IX Section 3 outlines the qualifications for Missouri PTA Officers.  “Any elected or appointed officer must reside in the State of Missouri and be a member of a PTA in that officer’s local school district. If there is no local PTA in the officer’s school district, that officer must be a member of a PTA within the State of Missouri.  To be eligible for the office of president or president-elect a person must have served on the Board of Managers for two (2) terms immediately prior to assuming office.
     a. To be eligible for any other elected office a person must have served on the Board of Managers for one (1) term immediately prior to assuming office. 

Preventing Suicide – Article from Child Mind Institute

Child Mind Institute

Helping children when and where they need it most

Many people are reluctant to talk about suicide, fearing that being open about it will make more people — especially adolescents — see it as a viable way out of whatever distress they’re feeling. But evidence shows the opposite: Asking a child we are worried about if she has thoughts of killing herself can actually help prevent her from going through with it. 
Today is National Suicide Prevention Day, and we join many other groups in sharing information about ways we can fight the sharp increase we’re seeing in adolescent suicides. We explore warning signs that a child might be feeling suicidal, ways to lower the risk of a suicide attempt, and how to help kids cope with the suicide of a classmate, as well as their own painful feelings.
Caroline Miller, Editorial Director | 
Signs a Child Might Be Suicidal

Signs a Child Might Be Suicidal

What to watch out for and how to help.
Self-Injury and Suicide

How Are Self-Injury and Suicide Related?

The intent is different, though one can lead to the other.
Teen Suicide Risk Factors

Teen Suicides: What Are the Risk Factors?

Temperament, family and community all play a role.
What to Do if You're Worried About Suicide

What to Do if You’re Worried About Suicide

A parent’s guide to helping children in distress.
Supporting Children After the Suicide of a Classmate

Supporting Children After the Suicide of a Classmate

Responding to a painful loss in the healthiest way possible.
Preparing for College

Preparing Kids for College Emotionally

Problem-solving skills can help students keep from being overwhelmed.
Facebook Live: Why We Should Talk About Suicide

Why We Should Talk About Suicide

Join the Child Mind Institute for a special Facebook Live this Thursday
Mood Disorders Center

Mood Disorders Center

Help for kids with depression and emotional dysregulation
Dan Reynolds #MyYoungerSelf
Dan Reynolds on Living With Depression
Recursos en Español

Recursos en Español

Read childmind.org articles in Spanish
Symptom Checker

Symptom Checker

Worried about a child? Use our tool to get informed

2019-2021 Schools of Excellence

The following Missouri PTAs have been designated a 2019-2021 National PTA School of Excellence.

  • Alexander Doniphan PTA, Liberty
  • Barry Middle School PTSA, Kansas City
  • Belton Middle School/Freshman Center PTSA, Belton
  • Cold Water Elementary PTA, Florissant
  • Hawthorn Elementary PTA, Parkville
  • Thomas B. Chinn PTA, Kansas City
  • Trailridge Elementary School PTA, Lee’s Summit
  • Union Chapel Elementary School PTA, Kansas City

Congratulations on earning this prestigious recognition, which symbolizes your incredible work as national leaders in developing strong family-school partnerships.

The 2019-2021 National PTA Schools of Excellence are designated in recognition of their commitment to building an inclusive and welcoming school-community where all families contribute to enriching the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.

To enroll:

https://www.pta.org/home/programs/National-PTA-School-of-Excellence

Video on how to enroll:

https://youtu.be/Z8nZXg9ttwo