Check out this back to school update – Don’t miss out on important information!

Hello all parent leaders,

I hope the beginning of school has kicked off well for you. Fulton County Schools started last week, and Atlanta started yesterday! 

With the virus still in play, big issues are facing all districts, more so than in years past. I know that virtual learning is not the best solution for teaching every child, it’s not the best solution for every course, but it is the right way to keep our kids safe right now. I commend the school boards and school leaders for keeping the viral infection rate in mind when considering opening schools. Several school districts – with lower infection rates than Fulton County – opened face-to-face only to have to revert to virtual learning due to the number of infections and people in quarantine. New data suggests our numbers across Georgia are going down, but they are still too high.

Lots to cover right now. Use the links to jump down to what you are interested in.

Membership Drives and Programs

Keep up the excellent work you all do even though you can’t be there in person. Try to think about what support a classroom might need even when it meets online. Ask your teachers and administrators too. Also, be ready to switch gears for when classes go back to face-to-face. Need an idea? We recently held a grant for your best ideas. Find them on our web site and we are highlighting them in our newsletter. Our grant recipients have already been highlighted, but read below to check out another one. We’ll try to add one or two per eBlast. Have an idea – share it with us! 

 

Submit Officers

This newsletter is going to all officers from 2019  and 2020, but very soon I will stop emailing last year’s group – don’t miss out! You must submit this year’s officers in MemberHub. If you haven’t held elections, then you are still the officer of record and need to submit your names and email addresses “until your replacement can be elected” as stated in your bylaws. Make sure you select 2020-2021 year when adding members/officers.  If you need help, contact me.

 

Virtual meetings

According to the governor’s executive order, incorporated local units can hold virtual meetings – including elections – until August 31. It might be renewed. If you heard me or someone else say September 10, that was incorrect – that was the expiration date of a different emergency order. Sorry for the confusion.

If you are an unincorporated local unit – stay on until an election can be held. If a board member resigns, talk to me and I will help you through the process. I encourage you all to incorporate.

 

Training for Local Unit leaders

As a local unit officer, it is super important that you be trained. I’ve seen too many instances where leaders did not go for training, and then found out that something they could have been doing was being dropped – or just plain wrong. It is for your benefit and for the benefit of your children. Connect with your council leaders for specific plans on training, they should be posting those in their newsletters. In addition, Georgia PTA has training material on its web site – position-specific like president and treasurer as well as MemberHub, Bylaws, and PTA in a Pandemic, including presentations that you can use to train others.  Pre-recorded sessions should be available soon at the same link.

The Leadership Resource Guide also has much more information for all leaders, there’s a whole section on nominations/elections for example.

 

District 10 open position – Social Media chair

Congratulations to Tunieka Brown, our current social media chair. Her children are all now grown and in college, and after many years and many positions from local unit, council, district, and state she is stepping down from this District 10 board position. I’ve worked with Tunieka on many initiatives and on several boards. I will miss her wonderful ideas – which will be a part of her legacy, her advice – even when it wasn’t what I wanted to hear but what what was needed, and her tenacity – she always gets done what she sets out to do.

We need someone to fill the opening. The requirements for the position: – be a member of a District 10 PTA, have experience in Social Media for Facebook and possibly at least one other platform (Twitter, Instagram, etc.), administrator-level knowledge is a plus. The goals are to provide meaningful connections with parents, increase our connections, and be a functioning member of the District 10 board of directors. Email me to have your name considered.

 

Racial Inequity committee – need volunteers

District 10 needs six volunteers for our Addressing Racial Inequality committee – preferably two per council. We want to have a sustainable impact, meeting monthly until our Fall Conference (TBD, likely November, probably online) and then continuing afterward hosting periodic discussions and taking action in our communities. Contact your council president to be nominated, or contact me

 

Best Ideas

We’ve already highlighted our grant winner’s ideas in the last newsletter. This month, we’re focusing on Membership, and so here is an idea that came from Hillside Elementary. You can find all the submissions on our website. http://www.gaptadistrict10.com/best-ideas-for-ptas-in-a-virtual-setting-2020/


Hillside Elementary – Membership – From a funding standpoint, this year will be complicated. We expect to receive significantly less in donations, but a lot of our budget areas will need more money. For instance, we love to appreciate teachers and staff, but food must be individually packaged this year which is a lot more expensive. Ironically, in a year when teachers deserve even more celebrating, we will struggle to make it happen in our budget. As such, we are being very honest with our families. They know that we are expecting to see a decrease in membership, and we are ensuring they know that even a basic membership helps. More important than the money, however, is what a robust membership says about our program. While increasing our family participation is a goal we always have, 100% teacher and staff membership is where we are focusing this year. When the teachers support the PTA it tells our families, and our community, that they believe in what we are doing. That teachers feel supported by us, and value the relationship we have worked so hard for. To encourage 100% staff participation, we are reaching out to teachers and staff personally, and being very honest about our needs. We would like to have personalized water bottles made for each of the 88 staff members at Hillside. They would say “Teachers can do virtually anything!” We also plan to purchase keychains that can be hung on lanyards as well that will say “Essential Husky.” Our intention is to honor this year, and all the ways it is different, while also highlighting how much we respect our teachers as essential workers. The grant money would help us honor our teachers while showing our community how important our relationships are.


Thank you!

John Martin
District 10 Director, Georgia PTA
jmartin@georgiapta.org
http://www.gaptadistrict10.com
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Planning for the school year? Connect with your Council and District leaders. Also – Member Hub Training just for us.

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From the Desk of John Martin, District 10 Director

Leadership is found in the action to defeat that which would defeat you… You are made by the struggles you choose. ~ C.T. Vivian

Dear parent leaders of District 10,

We lost a few icons of the Civil Rights struggle last week. As we mourn Rep. John Lewis and C.T. Vivian, let’s take this time to also celebrate their lives and remember how much we benefited from their leadership, their sacrifices, and their experience. In their time, they were physically beaten, thrown in jail, thwarted from marching, blocked from voting – but kept their heads held high and were never morally or spiritually broken. Few men in history see their legacy play out during their lifetime, but these two men crossed bridges both physical and metaphysical to forge significant change over the decades, having an impact on all of us.  But while we have come so very far, 2020 reminds us that we still have far to go. In the wake of recent events, Rep. Lewis spoke these words:

“It was very moving, very moving to see hundreds and thousands of people from all over America and around the world take to the streets to speak up, to speak out, to get into what I call good trouble, but to get in the way. And because of the action of young and old, Black, white, Latino, Asian-American and Native American, because people cried and prayed, people will never, ever forget what happened and how it happened, and it is my hope that we are on our way to greater change.” 


Member Hub Training

Please attend one of these training sessions, especially if you are new. Using MemberHub is mandatory – and it is also free. These are specifically for our district, please register soon, they could fill up.

Wednesday, August 5 @ 8pm:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcsdOuprjsrEtefQUq1LexXOH1iPjc0ydfe 
 
Saturday, August 8 @ 10am:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwvde-hqj0sHtecAqR079pjOlip6EBdClmF
 
Includes the following tasks:
– choosing an email address
– profile settings
– switching between organizations
– adding and removing officers and committee chairs***
– adding and removing site admins
– entering members
– differences between “people” and “members”
– locating membership cards
– remitting dues***
– confirming audit and 990***
 
*** These tasks are related to maintaining good standing with PTA. 


Planning for the new school year
 
We at least know how the beginning of the year will look for our children:
– APS will begin the school year operating in an all-virtual format, and the start of school has been pushed back to Aug. 24.
– FCS will start the year fully digital. Instruction will begin Aug. 17 for students.
 
But what does that mean for us? Our D10 Board is meeting early next month and we recognize that we may need new ideas to support you, while that pandemic virus is still going around. If you have a unique situation you can’t figure out, burning questions – or solutions! – please contact us, your council and district leaders.

Watch this spot – We may have another town hall (virtually), Council and District leaders will be offering training soon, and we will plan for a Fall District Conference, likely through Zoom, but let’s be hopeful that we can meet in Spring. 

Thank you for all that you do, and please stay safe!
 
John

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MemberHub Training! Schools re-opening! SPLOST! And a video for you! Don’t miss this one!

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From the Desk of John Martin, District 10 Director

Fellow leaders,

I hope you all are doing well. 2020 is a year we will remember as a time of turmoil due to a pandemic and social unrest, but hopefully history will look back on it as a seismic shift in race relations in America. A time when the majority of Americans stopped being passive about racism; a time when influential leaders in society and policy makers in capitol buildings listened and took steps towards reform. 

There will be more to say on this later in the summer. These are my thoughts, please read National PTA’s statement in the sidebar, and be on the look out for a strong statement from Georgia PTA soon, and I encourage you all to think of how we can grow from there. 

Both Atlanta Public Schools and Fulton County Schools have issued surveys for parents regarding re-opening of schools. Hopefully, you participated in these and let your voice be heard, because the decisions based on these surveys are coming soon. To that end, incoming APS Superintendent Lisa Herring and FCS parent Tara Surratt (who happens to be PTA District 10 Assistant Director and Sandtown MS PTA President) participated in a session of Under the Gold Dome with two South Fulton Georgia House representatives. You can watch that video here: https://www.facebook.com/underthegolddome/videos/776637936428540/

Excellent job, Tara!

SPLOST – The Special Local Option Sales Tax – is coming back for renewal. PTA usually asks Local Units and Councils to budget some funds to donate to the SPLOST campaign.   Also, once the SPLOST resolution is made public, we will review it at the District level and possibly pass a resolution. For now, please educate yourselves, these sites are slightly out of date, from the last renewal, but outline some of the projects that have been planned/completed through SPLOST funds:
APS: https://www.atlantapublicschools.us/esplost
FCS: https://www.fultonschools.org/Page/903

If you want to get involved in supporting the SPLOST campaign, please contact me

MemberHub Training 

There is a variety of MH training being offered – see below for dates/times and connection information. 

Getting Started with MemberHub
Monday, June 29, 8pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMuf–vpz8pE9NlJSqN-pKrAIEILiuhUPF7 
Tuesday, July 14, 11am: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYlde6uqzssHNJ4nw-K9Ns7rZJGgy_h36Xa 
Wednesday, July 15, 7:30pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUvceivqjsoGdXjA-H9SLQ0AEr873K0Cb0k 
Thursday, July 16, 3pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAoduqsrDgtHNDKjOtEU18kfmBgtiIT4xPV
 
Using MemberHub as a Communication Platform
Monday, July 20, 8pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIodeihpjIuE9drGoh7g8jJqesMCh3eBVVF 
 
Working with the MemberHub Store
Tuesday, June 30, 8pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcpdOqrrD8iE9VxmfsQFR6I4ZK3FGHFFajI 
Monday, July 13, 8pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0pduigqjkiHdSo1W7PRan_qwoaDWL6GP6z 
Tuesday, July 21, 8pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqf-utrDwsHdQgS0vIMyCG0W15IkzcNif5 
 

For the District, we are scheduling training specifically for District 10:

  • Wednesday, August 5, 8pm
  • Saturday, August 8, 10am

When I have the online conference information, I’ll send it out. 

As a reminder – upload your officers to MemberHub ASAP because the newsletter feature will roll over from 2020 to 2021 very soon – your school needs these updates! If you haven’t held an election, please add your current officers (2019-2020) and then replace them later.

It’s time for me to take an out of office break. My personal policy is to respond to PTA emails within 24 hours, with a followup every few days until the issue is resolved. From Tuesday through Saturday, I’ll be away from this desk, and likely start to respond to the backlog on Sunday, July 5. Remember that while I’m always willing to help, your Council leaders are your first line of support.  

Thank you for all you do for the children, and all you have been through during this extraordinary time.

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Virtual Town Hall – Resources for you

Thank you to everyone who supported and participated in the District 10 Town Hall – at least 75 of you watched as we discussed PTA End of Year Planning Under Extraordinary Circumstances. 

The PDF of the PowerPoint presentation is here.

Town Hall Apr 2020 PDF

The video is here, it is rather large: 540MB or so:

Follow along with the public chat here. Private messages have been removed, or, for relevant questions discussed in the video, the sender’s name has been removed.

 

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Join us at the D10 Virtual Town Hall and get your questions answered!

 

 

 

From the Desk of John Martin, District 10 Director

There is a virtual bombardment going on right now. Questions are flying in from local units to Councils and District, and from all of us up to Georgia PTA and National PTA, and so we all connecting with state PTA leaders, school leaders, and others – asking questions, getting advice, researching bylaws, and providing information as best we can. 

Keep it coming! However –  I think we all might benefit from some face to face time, and getting your questions answered in person. 

So let’s meet. Virtually, of course!

District 10 is hosting an online Town Hall on Tuesday April 21, at 6:40 p.m. to disseminate information, answer your questions, and find out what else you need. 

Our State PTA President Karen Hallacy and State Treasurer Amanda Weber have offered to attend as well. 

This is meant to be a video conference if you can. Find a webcam, use your phone, or peel the tape off your laptop camera. Then go to this link:

https://join.freeconferencecall.com/jmartin66

You can use your computer for audio.

If you don’t have a microphone: call (978)-990-5000
Then enter the access code: 102343
Then enter the pin number given to you by the system at that time.

Tentative Agenda (no votes/motions will be taken at this meeting):

– Welcome
– Introduction of Special Guests
– Information on holding general PTA meetings virtually
– Guidance on transition period
– Council updates
– Q & A
– Feedback/stories from local units
– Adjourn

I just checked my Georgia PTA inbox and the word “unprecedented” appears in 24 conversations from March 20 to the present. Before that, the word was only used in an announcement about Memberhub last July. This is as close to a shared experience this nation has ever experienced. We are all going through this together, all at the same time. As I know we have been supporting these kids through it, we shall be even stronger on the other end of it. Thank you for all that you do!  

Please stay safe and I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday,

 

John Martin
District 10 Director, 2019-2021
jmartin@georgiapta.org

 

 

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