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Para leer en español, clic aquí.                                                                PTA Connects - August 26, 2021
IN THIS ISSUE: Welcome back to a new school year! This year, as always, PTA will host membership drives, provide continuing education scholarships, celebrate student art with Reflections, and support our local leaders.  The pandemic has us all especially focused on creating safe school communities, supporting everyone’s mental health,  social-emotional and physical well-being, and re-engaging with families during this challenging time.

Conquering Anxiety As We All Head Back To School

Every day, we hear a multitude of opinions about how to keep schools safe. Thankfully, the California Department of Education, the California Department of Public Health, and the U.S. Education Department are all providing solid, research-based information that can guide your actions.

Read the full article on our blog for tips for conquering anxiety about school safety and helping others in your PTA do the same.


Back to School Safely

All over California, the back-to-school ritual has begun. This year, of course, that experience is so different. For many students and families, it’s the first time in more than a year that in-person school has even happened.  We have updated information that PTA leaders, parents, and families need to know now:

1. Check out our updated COVID -19 pages including FAQs, Resources for PTA Leaders, and Resources for Parents and Families
2. Get the latest Back-to-School Guidance from the California Department of Public Health
3. Read our blog post for CDC resources to ensure every child starts school healthy.
4. Listen to Carol Green, California State PTA President's interview on Fox40/Sacramento on ways parents can support teachers and staff.
5. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is of particular importance this year. Learn how families play a major role in social and emotional learning by watching this five-minute video from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning recommended by our State PTA Family Engagement Commission.
"We want to do everything possible to ensure our kids can return to school safely. California State PTA is in favor of all educators and school staff being vaccinated to protect children and others who cannot be.  If vaccination is not possible weekly testing is essential to protect our most vulnerable children and allow everyone to return to in-person learning. We stand by our position that educators are essential workers and we know in-person instruction is vital to our student's social and emotional well-being.  We think the Governor’s action is a positive step forward based on science to protect our schools' communities."
~ Carol Green, President, California State PTA

Save-the-Date & Reminders

September 1 - The 2023-2024 Reflections theme search starts
September 2 - Interactive Zoom on Test Scores - for families
September 13 - Membership Helpline - for leaders
September 16 - Communications Monthly Call - for leaders
September 27 - Membership Helpline - for leaders

  • Members, Leaders and Administrators - Check out our Family Engagement Friday Series on the Blog
  • Financial Officers - Upload these current documents to Myptez as soon as possible after adoption:
    • Fiscal Year Budget
    • End of Year Audit for Prior Fiscal Year
    • Annual Budget Report for Prior Fiscal Year 
  • Stay informed and in the know by signing up for the California State PTA Newsletters, or follow us on social media!

What We're Reading 

1. A thoughtful piece from National PTA about why changes during the pandemic should perhaps become a new way to do PTA
2. Expanding the use of outdoor space in schools is part of safe re-opening, but there are lots of other benefits as well.
3. A comprehensive look at the education funding increases for the 2021-22 school year.
4. Los Angeles Unified is providing an example for other school districts on the critical issue of internet access.
5. Learn how new California law changes how independent study is defined and administered.

Inspire your School Community with Reflections

Reflections is a PTA program that local school PTA units sponsor. It’s a great way to get your school community involved with PTA and with the arts.

This year’s theme is “I Will Change the World By…”   Getting kids started on their projects, based on this year’s theme, is a great way to get them inspired as the new school year begins.  You’ll find everything you need in the Reflections section of our website or read the Reflections Committee's most recent blog post for FAQ, an inspirational link to last year's winners, and details on how you can be the person to get started if your PTA doesn’t currently do Reflections. 


School Smarts Parent Engagement Program to
Re-engage Families During These Challenging Times

The time has come to build back our schools and communities. California State PTA’s award-winning, research-based School Smarts parent and family engagement program is an important resource school districts can bring to their communities to re-engage families and ensure parents become involved in their child’s education. Parents, grandparents, guardians, and whole families can participate in weekly sessions which will prepare them for the educational journey ahead and empower them to use their voice to improve their child’s education. 

 By implementing School Smarts, school districts satisfy LCFF/LCAP family engagement requirements under Priority 3. The program is offered in 6 languages and is available online, in-person, and as a hybrid option. We encourage all local PTA Leaders to share this information with your school district administrators and have them contact Bianca De La Torre at to get started!



To help you continue on your educational path, the California State PTA is proud to offer several scholarship programs.

For PTA Volunteers
PTA volunteers with at least three years of service are eligible to apply for the $500 Continuing Education Scholarship. Your scholarship must be used for advanced studies at accredited California colleges, universities, trade and technical schools.

For Teachers, Counselors, Nurses and School Staff
Credentialed teachers, counselors, nurses, and school staff who have a minimum of three years of experience in a California public school are eligible to apply for the $500 Continuing Education Scholarship. You must be employed in a California public school during the preceding year and plan to continue working in a California school. 

College bound class of 2022 Seniors
Applying to college is a complicated process, so College Board has created the Opportunity Scholarships program to guide you through it. This program is open to all students and it doesn't require an essay, application, or minimum GPA. Instead, it rewards your effort and initiative. Complete key steps along your path to college for chances to earn scholarships!

Did you know that the 2021 PTA Leaders Welcome Packet has sections for each officer on your board? Find resources and information for Treasurer, Membership Chair, Parliamentarian, Communications Chair, and Reflections Chair (and more!) in the online Welcome Packet on our website


Just for Parents: an Interactive Zoom on how to use Testing to Gauge Progress

We often think of test scores as the ending point of a student’s learning, a “final score.” But test results can actually be the start of learning. In this presentation, you’ll learn how to use the results of state testing to gauge your child’s academic progress after a difficult year.   
Join us on September 2, 2021, from 4:00 - 5:00 pm for an interactive Zoom meeting with ETS and Metametrics, sponsored by the California State PTA. 
Register Now

Communication Monthly Call 

All PTA leaders are invited and welcome to join the State's Communication Commissioners on September 16 at 7 pm for our first monthly call of the year.
  • Be the first to see the New Social Media Kits for California State PTA units, councils, and districts. Here's the link to last year's archives! Reminder: only call attendees get the template link for all images (to make changes quickly in Canva). 
  • Learn how your PTA/PTSA can apply for a free Premium Canva Subscription.
  • See a live Canva demo on how to create (and customize) graphics
  • Be inspired by our September Communications Spotlight Presentation: 8th District PTA's Bitmoji Social Media Training graphics using Google Classroom 
Register Now
Content has been provided by the California State PTA Communications Commission. PTA leaders can email for more information or assistance. 
Copyright © 2021 California State PTA, All rights reserved.

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