National PTA Designates Sept. 14-18 ‘Back-to-School Week’

National PTA has designated Sept. 14-18 Back-to-School Week to support families, teachers and PTA leaders as schools reopen across the country. Throughout the week, National PTA will share information and resources on social media using #PTABackToSchool and at PTA.org/BackToSchool to help school communities navigate the new school year and address the challenges that have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. The association will also launch the third season of its Notes from the Backpack podcast. National PTA’s Back-to-School Week is sponsored by PTA Proud National Sponsor Office Depot.

 

“This is a school year like no other as the COVID-19 pandemic continues,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “Whether school communities are returning to classrooms in person, virtually or a hybrid of both, we want to make sure everyone gets a great start; support families, teachers and students’ success; and ensure the critical needs of every child are met.” 

 

Each day of Back-to-School Week, National PTA will share resources for:

 

  • PTA Leaders in Action
  • Learning at Home
  • Family-School Partnerships
  • Teacher Support

 

On Wednesday, Sept. 16, National PTA will launch the third season of Notes from the Backpack. The season will feature nationally acclaimed guests and episodes about digital learning, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and the importance of civic engagement. Episodes will be released every week this fall and will be available to stream at PTA.org/BackpackNotes. The first episode will feature the award-winning children’s book author Kwame Alexander.

 

“Since our founding, National PTA has been committed to supporting students, families and teachers; promoting the health, safety and well-being of all children and youth; and making sure every child has the resources they need to learn, grow and thrive,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “We are pleased to launch another season of our podcast and mark our Back-to-School Week to help make this unique school year a success.”

 

National PTA has also compiled resources, tools and information at PTA.org/COVID19 to support families and educators during the pandemic. National PTA has also provided over $1 million in grants to local and district/council/region PTAs to help meet critical needs of students, families and teachers during this challenging time. In addition, the association continues to call on Congress to provide more resources immediately to schools.


National PTA 50th Anniversary Unification Webinar

National PTA is holding a special event on August 20th, 2020 at 10:00 AM (Central) to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the unification of  the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (NCCPT) and the National Congress of Parents and Teachers (NCPT) to form National PTA.

“In these unprecedented times, we must be unified in our advocacy for all.  Please join and learn how it all started, as we continue to make advancements in diversity, equity, and inclusion so that everybody feels a sense of belonging within PTA.” – Steven Cook, Missouri PTA Diversity Outreach & Engagement Chair, Vice-President Elect & Director of Membership

See the following letter from National PTA President Leslie Boggs for more information about the event:


As many of you know, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the unification of the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (NCCPT) and the National Congress of Parents and Teachers (NCPT) to form National PTA. We have decided to celebrate this momentous occasion all year in 2020 – from Founder’s Day recognition to virtual Convention highlights of Selena Sloan Butler and more.

To further honor this anniversary, next week on Thursday, August 20th at 11:00 AM EST we are holding a special webinar:

“PTA History 101: The National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers and Unification.” In it, we will hear from Dr. Christine Woyshner of Temple University and author of the book

National PTA, Race, and Civic Engagement: 1897-1970 about the history of the NCCPT and the behind-the-scenes process that led to the unification of our two Congresses to form today’s PTA.  I will also be joined by Anna King, President-Elect and Sylvia R. Reyna, Chair of the Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach Committee, to reflect on Dr. Woyshner’s research and the lessons learned from this important history.

This history is critical for every PTA leader, so we hope that you will join us and help promote it within your networks. The webinar will be recorded and available to anyone who registers. You can register here:

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8875535345124786447?fbclid=IwAR0tMtSpd92Be9FV4rIXhzT-6PYP6vJ7qDFaqxsL7GAU89NrD2eqBfT55ws

I know how committed all of you are to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion so that everybody feels a sense of belonging within PTA and are able to contribute to making our mission a reality. Thank you again for your service.

Warm wishes,

Leslie Boggs


New Resources from The Center for Family Engagement

8/20 @ 11 am EST Webinar: PTA History 101 – The National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers and Unification

50 years ago, the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (NCCPT) and the National Congress of Parents and Teachers signed a declaration of unification forming the National PTA. On Thursday, August 20th at 11:00 AM EST, join Dr. Christine Woyshner of Temple University to learn about the important contributions of the NCCPT and the behind-the-scenes process of unification. Also hear from National PTA President Leslie Boggs, President-Elect Anna King, and Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Sylvia R. Reyna to explore lessons learned to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in today’s PTA.

REGISTER NOW

 

Season 3 of Notes from the Backpack: a PTA Podcast

New episodes Notes from the Backpack will be available on September 16th! This season we’ll be answering the questions that are on your mind like…

– How do I talk to my kids about race and racial justice?

– How in the world am I going to survive another semester of virtual learning?

Already an avid listener? Don’t forget to  our show and provide feedback via our !

SUBSCRIBE NOW

NEW RESOURCES FOR PTA LEADERS

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Explore our beliefs and definitions of diversity, equity and inclusion — as well as what these values look like in action.

READ NOW

Facilitating Listening Sessions Toolkit is available in 5 new languages

It’s important for PTAs to provide opportunities for families whose native language isn’t English to share their thoughts and opinions. In order to help you better serve your community, our Facilitating Listening Sessions Toolkit is now available in MandarinArabicSomaliVietnamese and Haitian.

EXPLORE THE TOOLKITS

Join the Schools of Excellence Program

By enrolling in this program, your PTA and school administrators make a year-long commitment in identifying and implementing an action plan for school improvement based on PTA’s National Standards for Family-School Partnerships and Transformative Family Engagement. We hope you will join us in recovering from the effects of COVID-19 and building family-school partnerships at your school!

LEARN MORE


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.


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.