Teens and Sleep Webinar

This August 2022 webinar focused on the importance of sleep for our teens. It also explained the law, under Senate Bill 328 (2019), requiring later start times for middle and high schools which goes into effect in the 2022-23 school year. Featured speakers included California State Senator and SB 328 bill author Anthony Portantino and Lisa Lewis, author of The Sleep-Deprived Teen: Why Our Teenagers Are So Tired, and How Parents and Schools Can Help Them Thrive.  Learn more about the “myths” and the scientific facts surrounding teens’ sleep circadian rhythms.


PTA members, parents and caregivers are encouraged to watch the video of this webinar to learn more about the importance of teen sleep and how it relates to school start times. 

Watch the video from the Teens and Sleep Webinar.

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Additional resources for PTA Leaders are available on the Leaders Website.

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This webinar was sponsored by the California State PTA Family Engagement, Education, and Health and Community Concerns Commissions.

Health and Community Concerns Survey

We are inviting all PTA members to participate in our Health and Community Concerns survey to get a pulse on the topics that are important in your local schools and neighborhoods. We encourage local PTAs to share this survey with other interested community members. The survey will be available on our website through the end of June 2022.

The Health & Community Concerns Commission of the California State PTA addresses issues related to the support of the whole child within the home, school, and community. Your input will help drive our work and support children, youth, and families across California. Click here to take the survey

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Find Low-Cost (or Free) Internet and Computers Through CETF

CETF logoThe coronavirus epidemic has left many families struggling to pay bills while simultaneously trying to help their children learn at home. That’s why access to low-cost or free internet and affordable computers is now more essential to more people than ever before.

California State PTA has partnered with the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) to help those in need access the technology that can help their children succeed during this difficult time — or anytime.

CETF is a non-profit organization that can connect you with a wide range of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and device providers that feature affordable computers and internet solutions, and now, they can even help connect you with internet providers offering free service (for a limited time).

Click here to read CETF’s flier in English or Spanish to get more information about how to qualify, and who to contact. Click here to visit CETF’s website to find providers in your area.


On June 17, 2021, we held an important and informative webinar about bridging the digital divide, where we discussed the impact of integrating technology into learning, and revealed highlights from the CETF-USC statewide survey on distance learning.

Featured speakers included former California State PTA President Celia Jaffe, representatives from the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) and Dr. Pedro Noguera, Dean of the Rossier School of Education at USC.

Click here to watch a recording of the webinar.

California State PTA Urges Community Engagement to Prepare for Coronavirus

SACRAMENTO, March 10, 2020 – California State PTA is working with parents to be informed and prepared during growing concerns about coronavirus. Families should work closely with school officials to learn about local preventative measures being implemented in their communities.

“Hearing daily about new cases of COVID-19 is troubling,” said Celia Jaffe, President of California State PTA. “But we are pleased to see so many school districts collaborating with their city and county governments, as well as their health officials, to determine the best approach for preventing exposure in their local community.”

The worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus disease, including cases in California, has created concerns within school districts about how to inform and educate school communities, and how to respond in the event that students or families are forced to confront the disease more directly. Fortunately, school districts across the state are developing important information, valuable resources and procedures for how schools should handle the coronavirus.

“We encourage all parents and families to help limit the spread of this virus by following common sense practices such as thorough handwashing, staying home when sick, and other actions recommended by health agencies,” said Jaffe. “Families should take advantage of the various resources many school districts are putting forth to support their communities and stay ahead of further coronavirus outbreaks.”

California State PTA is working alongside school officials and partner associations to stay informed and guide parents to valuable coronavirus resources, such as the following information from the California Department of Public Health, the Association of California School Administrators, and additional resources which can be found on our website.

Guidance for Families Facing School Closures During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The worldwide outbreak of illness caused by coronavirus, which includes cases in California, has created concerns among families regarding potential risks their children may face at school.

Fortunately, school districts across the state are developing important information, valuable resources and procedures for how schools should handle the coronavirus, and are informing and educating school communities about how to respond in the event that students or families are forced to confront the disease directly.

California State PTA encourages families to work closely with school officials to learn about preventative measures being implemented in their local communities.

We have also teamed up with school officials, partners associations and government agencies to provide the following valuable resources to help parents stay informed:

To view the main coronavirus information page, which contains a wealth of resources to help your family, school and PTA navigate the outbreak, click here.


Tips for Helping Children Cope with Recent Wildfires

California State PTA offers tips for helping children cope with the recent wildfires throughout the state:

  • Reassure: Your children need to know that they will be safe and that things will get better.
  • Spend More Time with Your Children: Your children need comfort and reassurance. Spending time with you and experiencing affection such as hugs and special time together are important.
  • Keep an Open Dialogue: Listen to your child’s fears and concerns and provide accurate, age appropriate information.
  • Maintain Routines: Try to keep a regular schedule for meals and bedtime. Routines are comforting and help provide a sense of normalcy for your child.
  • Limit Media Exposure: News coverage of the disasters can cause anxiety and fear and be damaging to young children, causing them to relive the disaster.
  • Model Healthy Ways of Coping: Your children will look to you for how they should feel and react. Try to remain calm and reassuring


Learn more about direct aid at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. More information on the federal Individual Disaster Assistance program is available online.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA, operates a 24-hour, 7 days a week, toll-free Disaster Distress Helpline providing access to counselors at the closest crisis center in their nationwide network at (800) 985-5990. There, staff provide immediate, confidential (multilingual) counseling, referrals and other needed support services.

Many of the surrounding areas are facing air quality issues.  CDC has a fact sheet on the hazards of smoke from fire and precautions that should be taken.  Access the fact sheet here.


Here are some additional resources on how to help your children cope in the aftermath of a natural disaster: