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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
John Martin District 10 Director, Georgia PTA firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.gaptadistrict10.com