Family Engagement is a Shared Responsibility


By Heather Ippolito, Vice President for Family Engagement , California State PTA

Whose job is it to create partnerships between families and the schools that serve them? That question has driven the work of Dr. Karen Mapp, a Harvard professor and a contributing expert to the PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships that we have been sharing over the past few months. 

At a really basic level, her answer to that question is that both school personnel and family members are crucial to making the partnership work.

Dr. Mapp has spent her career working with educators and parents to cultivate partnerships between schools, families, and the community to support the best outcomes for our students. In 2019 she updated her Dual-Capacity Framework to better reflect the challenges faced by both educators and families and to give more direction on how we can work together in our schools.  

The framework contains four sections. Addressing all four can provide crucial support for strong family, school and community partnerships. Let’s go through each section briefly:

#1 – Challenges.  Dr. Mapp notes that before we talk about all the things that need to happen for successful partnerships we need to address the barriers and challenges that schools and parents face for family engagement.  

Barriers educators face include not having received much training in this area and, with the exception of very few, not seeing family engagement done well.  Parents’ challenges include not feeling welcomed on campus or having negative experiences with their own education that color their feelings towards a school setting.  

#2 – Essential Conditions. There are two different types of essential conditions; process and organizational conditions.  

Process conditions include things like having family engagement linked to student learning and making sure it is culturally responsive. Additionally, Dr. Mapp says that in the process category family engagement should be collaborative and interactive with a focus on building relationships. The organizational conditions that need to be met include family engagement being visible across the entire educational system meaning that family engagement needs to be supported by everyone from teachers to superintendents in order to be effective.  There must also be resources devoted to the program and it should be embedded in all aspects of education. 

#3 – Policy and Program Goals. There are “4 C” areas that Dr. Mapp feels must be met in the policy and program areas- Capabilities, Connections, Confidence, and Cognition.  

Capabilities include skills and knowledge. Schools need to understand the community they are working in and they need cultural competencies to be able to work with the families at their school. Parents need to have a better understanding of the educational system and strategies they can use at home to support learning.  

Connections are the important relationships and networks built on mutual trust and respect that need to be formed between parents and teachers, parents and parents, and the school and community.  

Both families and educators need confidence in working together. They need to have time to develop self-efficacy as they navigate this work and educators and parents of diverse backgrounds need to be encouraged to participate and be included in positions of leadership.  

Finally, cognition refers to families needing to see themselves as key partners in their child’s educational success. Schools need to be committed to working with all parents and see the value of including families in all aspects of the educational experience. 

#4 – Capacity Outcomes.  If we build up the capacity in our parents and educators then the real work of coming together to make improvements for our schools and our students can begin. Parents become supporters, advocates and co-creators at the school and educators create welcoming school cultures where families are encouraged to be co-creators and acknowledged for the skills and talents they bring to the campus. 

Our role as PTA leaders is to understand that schools and families need to work together.  We can use the Dual Capacity-Building Framework in our work with families and we can offer parent education to help parents understand how to navigate the education system or see how they can support their child at home. PTA programs can help to shift parents’ perspectives about school from negative to positive as we help them create positive interactions with teachers, administrators, and school staff at our events. 

To learn more about National PTA’s Transformative Family Engagement work, visit the Center for Family Engagement

Dr. Mapp, in collaboration with the Institute for Educational Leadership, has videos, graphics and lots of resources for anyone who is wanting to dive deeper into this. They can be accessed here:  https://www.dualcapacity.org/

Media Literacy: Should it be part of your school’s curriculum?

By Mary Perry, California State PTA Communications Commission

In the era before internet and social media news, we looked to a limited number of media sources (e.g. newspapers and magazines, TV networks, and radio broadcasts) for the facts and information that helped us understand the world. Right or wrong, for the most part we assumed those media were trustworthy. Or at least we all were familiar with the same basic set of facts. 

Young people today cannot make that assumption about their information sources, and neither can we. With hundreds of news sources available online, we as a group rarely share the same understanding of the news or even of basic facts. 

Thanks to cellphones, social media channels, and computers, the internet has become a constant part of how we work, how we play, how we connect with other people, and how we get information about the world. The same electronic media have also become  a constant part of our children’s lives. 

Experts increasingly agree that schools have a role to play in directly teaching young people about how to be literate and responsible consumers of information in this new media world. This blog is the first in a series from California State PTA that will explore how California’s education system and other organizations support teaching media literacy in schools, what more is needed, and how community members can help. 

PTA Leaders Say Media Literacy Should Be Part of Schooling

Leaders in the California State PTA Board of Managers who responded to a recent survey were nearly unanimous in saying it’s important for schools to provide specific instruction to students about media literacy and for adults to improve their media literacy as well.

Media Literacy refers to the abilities to access, analyze, evaluate, and communicate various media messages in a variety of forms. To teach those abilities in the classroom, instruction needs to cover a broad set of skills and dispositions. According to a recent research study by Common Sense Education, students should be “learning how to assess the credibility of online sources, understanding how and why media is produced, and reflecting on their responsibilities as thoughtful media creators and consumers.”

In November, 2021, the California State PTA Communications Commission surveyed our state leaders about the topic of media literacy. We received responses from 53 members of the Board of Managers and Board of Directors.

Three-quarters of those who answered said they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “Facts, data, and analysis are playing a diminishing role in our political and civic discourse.”

The respondents also reported on the types of media they personally use to get news. More than 80% said they regularly or always get their news from the internet. Compare that to just a third saying the same about print sources and radio, and about 40% saying they regularly or always use TV news and about 40% saying the same about social media. 

Acknowledging that this was a small survey and may not be generalizable to the state as a whole, their self-reporting on their own media habits provides some insights into how adults could strengthen their own media use of media and set an example for young people. The options on the survey were based on a project from RAND, called Truth Decay, that includes recommended standards for teaching media literacy.

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Results of survey completed by CA State PTA Board of Managers, November 2021

Do schools teach media literacy now?

As is true with most questions about curriculum and instruction in California, the first response to that question is “it depends.” School districts, schools, and teachers differ in the importance they put on the topic of media literacy and their capacity to take up this area of instruction. Families also vary in their knowledge and capacity, but they are crucial because of the broad and deep influence they can have on media usage and expectations. 

With all of that said, in coming weeks this blog series will provide you with background and some answers to these three broad questions:

  • What state policies and expert research guide the teaching of media literacy? 
  • What resources are available to support schools, classroom teachers, and families in teaching our young people about media literacy?
  • What do we know about the extent to which this is happening in California schools and steps we can take to make it stronger?

If you, your family or your school has some answers to the media literacy challenge, or other questions you’d like to pose, drop us a line at communications@capta.org.

Online Security for PTAs

By Mireira Moran, California State PTA Communications Commissioner

If you receive an email/text or social media message that seems a bit strange – you might be a target of a scam. You may have received an email that seems like it’s from someone on your board, maybe from their actual email address (or something close). If the message asks you to pick up gift cards or make some other financial transaction, be on high alert.

As a non-profit association, PTA can be vulnerable to these types of cybercrimes at all levels. As a PTA leader, you are a person most likely to receive these types of emails, especially if you are the president or treasurer. 

Here are commonly asked questions to help you better understand and deal with the situation. 

Why are they sending these emails?

The goals of these emails are to gain access to your information, often for financial gain. But it may not be obvious at first. 

What should I be watching out for?

  1. Email Phishing – typically from fraudulent or spoofed email messages – appear to come from legitimate sources. The message will usually direct you to a spoofed website or otherwise get you to divulge private information (such as bank account information or account passwords or even ask you to purchase gift cards). The perpetrators then use this private information to commit identity theft or trick you into sending money in some form.
  2. Ransomware/malware –a virus that installs covertly on the victim’s computer system and encrypts the victim’s files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. Often malware is triggered by downloading files or clicking links from untrustworthy sources which appear to be legitimate.

How do the scammers have access to real email addresses?

  1. Spoofing – This usually occurs when spammers gain access to another user’s data and clone their contact list. From there they can replicate any of the contacts’ email addresses. These email addresses will appear to be legitimate. This does not necessarily mean that their email has been “hacked”, the email address may have been forged.   
  2. Fraudulent emails – This is when spammers have access to names but are not able to access accounts. Often you will see the person’s name but when you look at their email address it will be different (example: John Smith <1615168@nonsenseemail.baloney>).

So how should you handle this sort of situation?

  1. If you receive an email from a fraudulent email address, please report it to your email provider immediately and delete the email. This process differs depending on your email provider.  Don’t click on links from people you don’t know.
  2. If you receive an email from an email address you recognize but you suspect it is not the actual person: do not click on any of the links, do not forward to anyone, do not reply to the email. Contact the person another way–call them, text them, email them and alert them to the situation. Delete the email immediately. This is likely email spoofing. If this happens on your PTA email account, send a message to: ITAlert@capta.org

How can I prevent this from happening?

Though it is not possible to entirely prevent these things from happening there are a few things you can do to protect yourself, your accounts, and your contacts. 

  1. NEVER SHARE FINANCIAL INFORMATION IN AN EMAIL (including gift cards)
  2. Always double-check where the email is actually coming from. 
  3. Do not click any links or download any attachments in the suspicious email
  4. If you are in doubt as to the validity of an email, contact the person directly (call/text)
  5. Use anti-virus software on all your devices
  6. Run regular updates on your devices
  7. Establish 2-factor authentication whenever possible
  8. Do not connect to unfamiliar or unsecured Wi-Fi
  9. Do not use the same password for multiple accounts

Make Sure You’re Prepared for Your PTA’s Annual Meeting

By Michael Morgan, Vice President for Leadership Services

Your PTA is required to have an annual association meeting. Your California State PTA Leadership Services Commission is here to help you. A few simple tips will ensure the official business is done correctly and more easily than you might think. 

Publish a Notice About the Meeting

Your PTA board must announce to members the planned business to be conducted at the annual meeting and do so at least 30 days in advance. 

  • Review your bylaws to determine the day and month of your annual meeting and work your way backward in planning from there. 
  • A crucial piece of business at this annual meeting is the election of officers for the coming term. 

The election of officers should be included on the annual association meeting notice whether a nominating committee was or was not elected. As you plan for your annual meeting and particularly for the election, keep these things in mind:

  • The Secretary should bring the current membership list and black pieces of colored paper to use for balloting, should there be multiple candidates for an office.
  • PTA Members eligible to vote must have been members for at least 30 days.
  • Anyone who is nominated from the floor must accept the nomination.
  • For information about the ballot process during a teleconferenced meeting, refer to FAQs for Elections via Teleconference and Google ballot form.

Prepare and Announce the Slate of Nominees

Your PTA will need to post the names of those nominated for office by the nominating committee. This notification must be at least 28 days before the annual meeting. The 28-day allowance takes the short month of February into account, as annual meetings typically happen in March. 

Before notifying the membership of the nominees, the Nominating committee will present its report to the current PTA president. The Nominating Committee Report lists the nominees, the dates the committee met and is signed by all members of the committee. In the event the slate is incomplete or a nominee withdraws, the nominating committee continues its work up to the election and may present a revised report.

If your PTA did not elect a nominating committee, the annual election is still noticed and the election is still conducted. However, with no nominating committee, all nominations are taken from the floor.

Holding the Election

It can be nerve-racking to stand in front of your membership and conduct elections. That’s why we have prepared a guide and script that will take you through it all step by step. We’re going through much of the same information here. 

To start the election, the president follows these steps:

  • Calls the meeting to order and conducts any other business on the agenda.
  • Calls upon the parliamentarian or designee to read from your local PTA bylaws Article V, Sections 1, 2, 4 a, 4 e, 5-8, 11
  • Calls upon the nominating committee chair to read the report of the nominating committee. The president rereads the slate. 
  • For each elected position, open the floor for additional nominations so any member may participate. Nominations from the floor do not require a second. (Be patient if seconds are voiced.) Anyone nominated from the floor must consent to the nomination. When there are no further nominations for the position, the president closes nominations for that position. 
  • The procedure is repeated for each elected officer position, allowing for optimum participation by members. The parliamentarian, nominating committee chair, and/or secretary help record the nominees. After all nominations are closed, the president pauses and quickly confers with the parliamentarian about the nominees for each position. 
  • The president reads the title of each position and its nominees for the association members. 

If there are no nominees for an elected office, the president announces: Any positions not filled at the annual election are considered “vacant positions” to be filled by the board-elect according to the bylaws. 

For the positions with one nominee, the president has two options. 

  • The president may declare these uncontested nominees elected by acclamation: For the positions of x, y, z there is but one nominee. I declare these nominees x, y, z, duly elected by acclamation. Congratulations! 
  • For a voice vote, the president says, For the positions of x, y, z there is but one nominee. We can proceed with a voice vote. All those in favor say aye. All those opposed say no. Congratulations! These candidates have been elected. (as long as the candidate receives one vote they are elected)

When there are multiple nominees for an office, a ballot vote is required (Toolkit: The Election, Ballot Vote). The need for a ballot vote triggers several steps:

  • Each position with its nominees is listed (on a white board or in a manner where members can see or hear names).  An individual ballot vote may be taken for each elected position, or a single ballot may include all contested positions. 
  • The president appoints a tellers’ committee of three members, the first appointee is the chair: If there is no objection, I appoint A, B, and C to serve on the teller committee. Hearing no objection these individuals will serve on the committee. Note: a nominee may not be a teller committee member. 
  • The president asks members eligible to vote to stand, and the tellers count the house. This number will later be compared to the ballot count.
  • The teller committee members distribute one ballot to each member eligible to vote (30-day member status required). The secretary should have the membership list and blank pieces of colored paper to use for balloting ready. 
  • The president restates each office and its nominees, instructing members to carefully and legibly include the name of the office with their preferred candidate on the ballot; ballots are folded one time or in half. 
  • Each voting member then raises their hand, and a teller committee member takes the ballot. Ballots are not passed. Ballots are only handled by tellers. 

During the ballot, there is no conversation or teleconference communication. When all ballots have been collected, the teller committee retires to a location to count ballots. During the tabulation, the president proceeds with the other business of the organization. For the permitted ballot process during a teleconference meeting, refer to FAQs for Elections via Teleconference and Google ballot form.

Determining Who Is Elected

The tellers open each ballot, tally the votes for each office, and record those ballots that are blank or illegible or disqualified when a voter uses an incorrect name. The report is signed by the tellers’ committee members and presented to the president. 

Upon receipt of the teller report, the president determines whether each contested office has a candidate with 50% of the vote. These nominees may be declared elected. For those offices where no candidate received 50% of the vote, another ballot must be taken. At this point the president reports the ballot outcome to the association and the complete tellers’ report is recorded in the minutes. Unless requested, it is not required to orally report the votes received by each candidate. 

The president’s announcement might go something like this:

   There were 24 ballots cast, one was illegible.
   President: Congratulations, Cathy is elected president. (Cathy 13; Mary 10; one blank.)
   Secretary: No nominee received a majority vote. (Denise 7; Sherry 7; Bob 8; one blank.)
   Another ballot vote must be conducted for the position of secretary. 

For contested offices, the ballot vote continues until one candidate receives a majority vote or until candidates withdraw. When a second vote is required, the house must be recounted. 

When the election has concluded, the tellers’ chair makes a motion to destroy all ballots. The president conducts the vote to destroy ballots. Any objections to the election procedures or outcome must be made prior to the meeting’s adjournment. 

The nominating committee process and the notice of who is on the slate emphasize to association members the importance of identifying leaders for the following term. It also alerts association members and current officers that they should recruit qualified nominees. At the annual meeting, nominations from the floor are always in order, regardless of the slate the nominating committee has prepared. The annual election is important. It determines the ongoing viability of your PTA, member engagement, and future successful programs.

Here are additional resources from the California State PTA to help you through the election process:

https://capta.org/pta-leaders/run-your-pta/nominations-and-elections/
https://capta.org/pta-leaders/run-your-pta/nominations-and-elections/officer-transition/tips-for-elections/
http://toolkit.capta.org/running-your-pta/nominations-and-elections/the-election/
http://downloads.capta.org/parl/ElectionsScript.pdf (document revised.)
http://downloads.capta.org/toolkit/RunningYourPTA/PTAElectionChecklist.pdf
http://downloads.capta.org/parl/ElectionsPerBylaws.pdf

PTA Perspective on Federal Infrastructure Bill

By Dianna McDonald, California State PTA Advocate

New laws around Infrastructure, jobs, and climate change will impact California’s children and families. California is due to receive about $45 billion dollars from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which became law in November of 2021. This will likely be for roads, bridges, and public transportation including California’s bullet train. There will also likely be several billion dollars set aside for improvements to our water system which is critical for our state.

The California State PTA urges our federal, state, and local governments to serve as role models for practices that promote energy conservation, alternative energy sources, reducing dependency on automobile travel, and encouraging sustainable practices. We believe that climate change is a children’s issue and  improving our transportation and water systems will have a long-term positive impact on the future of our children.

 A decision is still pending on the federal Build Back Better Act  which would fund a variety of services for children and families. National PTA has issued a formal statement urging passage of the measure.

New Law Helps Schools Better Serve Homeless Students 

By Amy Rickard, California State PTA Advocate


California’s population of homeless youth is growing. Assembly Bill (AB) 27, supported by California State PTA and recently signed into law, assures that our homeless students will now be counted and given assistance, and schools will be able to provide much needed resources to our most vulnerable families. 

AB 27 uses the federal definition of homeless youth: individuals without a “fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” This includes moving into the houses of friends or family and living with multiple families in a single family home, car, or RV. Additionally, this includes unaccompanied minors, defined as a homeless youth who is not in the custody of a parent or guardian.

The new law establishes a standardized process for all school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to (1) administer a questionnaire regarding housing insecurity, (2) identify youth and families, and (3) report the results annually to the California Department of Education. Additionally, the law facilitates the creation of three (3) regional technical assistance centers (TACs) that will create resources and other materials to help identify the needs of our homeless youth and families.

Visit our website to learn more from our Health & Community Concerns Commission on how your PTA can help and support homeless students and families in your community. 

Start 2022 With a New Membership Campaign 

By Membership Services Commission

MEMBERSHIP TIP: The New Year Calls For New Membership Campaigns

Let’s ring in the new year by bringing in new members to our PTAs so we can continue to support children and families in our communities!

This is the ideal time to try some  new membership campaign ideas! Start small with 22 new members for 2022, or aim big with 125 new members in January to celebrate 125 years of PTA! Whatever your goal, it makes a difference when you know what you’re aiming for. 

California State PTA Membership Service Commission’s Favorite Resource

As we’ve counted down to kick-off the new year, we’ve also counted 101 Ways to Increase PTA/PTSA Membership. Loaded with ideas, this is our top pick because it gives you the opportunity and inspiration to apply new ideas to your  membership campaign. As you read through these ideas, look at your membership and decide where you need to focus in 2022 to expand and enrich your PTA/PTSA membership in the new year. Let’s continue to grow in 2022.

Get Students Involved

One great membership idea is to focus on the students! Get them excited, involved, and help them join the PTA so they can find their voice. Involving students can give your PTSA more perspective and understanding of what  your school needs to thrive. Learn more at Building Student Membership or in the toolkit. And remember, students of any age can be PTA members, whether you have a PTA or PTSA.

This is also a great time to publicize the California State PTA Graduating High School Senior Scholarship and the membership requirements for scholarship applicants.

DON’T FORGET! You can win prizes for your PTA!

Click here to view the 2021-22 California State PTA Membership Incentives and Challenges. There are still SIX Membership Challenges available! We have prizes and recognition that reward all your hard work including free 2022 Convention registrations, Membership Marvel pins, convention ribbons and a PTA banner!  

Family-School Partnership Standard #6: Collaborating With Community 


By Kathleen Fay, California State PTA Family Engagement Commission Consultant

The PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships offer best practices for increasing authentic family engagement in our schools. The sixth standard, Collaborating with Community is the final standard and concludes our series (find links to the entire series below).  This standard encourages families and school staff to work with their community to provide expanded learning opportunities, offer community services, and promote civic participation.

Parents and school leaders can collaborate with businesses, community organizations, and institutions of higher education to strengthen the school, make resources available, and build a family-friendly community. Here are some ideas:

Connect families with local resources. 

  • Partner with your school to create a resource station offering brochures and flyers about local colleges, health services, sports teams, and service-learning opportunities.  
  • Include PTA and school or district programs offered throughout the year, such as a used clothing or athletic equipment exchange, dental clinic, or summer program expo.
  • Provide information online through your school or PTA website.  

Identify and work with community partners.  

  • Consider having your PTA publish lists on its website or hold a resource fair to let families know about partners, programs, and services, such as after-school programs and summer camps offered by community partners.
  • Invite community organizations and businesses to sponsor events like family science, math or reading nights, or offer donations and/or scholarships to programs like student leadership academies.   
    • Tip for PTA Leaders: review and follow the California State PTA Toolkit guidelines for cash and in-kind Donations
  • Ask local specialists to present parent education forums virtually or in person about their areas of expertise, such as health, raising adolescents, and keeping kids safe online. 

Partner with other community groups to support student success.  

  • Promote student skills to the community by partnering with the school to help high school students start up a local café and bookstore, offer graphic design and printing services, or do carpentry and light home repair.  
  • Work with local groups to solve problems by getting supplies and labor donated so families and students can fix up a deteriorating park, renovate a home for a family in need, or plant a community garden.  
  • Partner with other community groups to organize or participate in a resource fair, health expo, cultural celebration, or a job fair at your school.

These ideas are all designed to help PTA connect the school and the community in ways that benefit both and build stronger ties. Do you have a great suggestion for supporting student success?  Please share it with us and you may be featured on our social media.

This article is part of a series covering the PTA Standards for Family-School Partnerships.  You can see the other blog posts in this series below: 

How Your PTA Can Engage Even the Busiest Working Parents

By Heather Ippolito, Vice President for Family Engagement 


To be as inclusive as possible, every PTA needs to provide opportunities for all parents and families to be involved. So far on the blog we’ve given you some ideas for engaging middle school families, men, high school families, and military families. Today we want to share some ideas for including on your campus working parents whose schedules are inflexible or particularly demanding.

Provide creative ways for working parents to donate time and participate.
They can help complete tasks at home that still benefit the PTA. Helping your PTA create fliers, social media posts, or plan events are all things that working parents can do on their own time, off campus. Offering hybrid meetings using Zoom or other teleconferencing platforms helps parents who want to attend meetings be present at your association or school meetings.

Be realistic about your expectations for your volunteers, especially working parents.
Don’t schedule meetings or events at 10 a.m. and then bemoan the fact that the same parents keep attending. Try to not only vary your meeting times, but also provide opportunities for volunteering and participation at different times of the day mornings, afternoons, evenings, and weekends to give working families more chances to help out and participate.

Make sure Communications are clear and transparent.
All parents are busy but working parents especially don’t have extra time to figure out where or when your meetings are happening. Have a one-stop shop where parents can find information about events, volunteering opportunities, etc. this could be a website, Facebook page, or using an app that parents have access to.  

We have loads more ideas for you in our communicating effectively blog post. 

Be generous with your gratitude.
All PTA volunteers should be recognized and thanked for their time and talent regularly. As previously noted, working parents may not be able to attend meetings to hear thanks given to those at the table. To be as inclusive as possible,  consider new ways to acknowledge everyone who contributes publicly in your newsletter or listed on your association agenda.

Remember to ask even the busiest working parents to help.
Sometimes these parents think that you don’t need them or that you don’t want their help.   You can fit the request to the parents’ specific interests. For example, if there’s a parent in a top executive position, ask them to share their skills during a job fair or to connect you with their business for donations or services. When your PTA branches out and seeks volunteers beyond “the usual suspects,” you make it clear that you value and appreciate assistance from every family at the school..   

Every parent wants to feel connected to their child’s school, let’s work together to give them that opportunity and make every parent a part of PTA.

Family-School Partnership Standard #5: Sharing Power

By Heather Ippolito, Vice President for Family Engagement

When families and schools work together as equal partners in decision-making, students succeed. Parents/caregivers, students, school staff, and administrators should partner to develop programs, practices and policies that have the best interests of all students at heart.  

Here are a few ideas for how your PTA can help foster collaboration using our Family-School Partnership Standard #5: Sharing Power, on your school campus:

  • Show parents the importance of participating in the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) meetings. By law, parent (and student) input must be taken into account when a school district creates their annual plan, but if parents aren’t participating and sharing their thoughts or suggestions their voice is lost. Informing families when LCAP meetings are and how they can participate is a great way to ensure that the parent voice is reflected in the LCAP. 
  • Sponsor parent information events for families when new textbooks, curriculum, or school district policies are being proposed. This shows parents their input is valued in school or district decisions. PTA newsletters or websites are great places to advertise these events so parents can add them to their calendar. 
  • Include parents on school and district committees. To ensure that parent voice is included, families need to know what opportunities there are for participation and what the requirements are to join the committees. PTA units and councils can share this information with families and encourage participation. 
  • PTA leaders should be trained in facilitation skills that encourage families from diverse backgrounds to speak up. Helping our local leaders understand how to lead meetings and events to encourage participation from all parents will help to ensure that PTA programs truly address the needs of all families in your school. Your local PTA council or district is a great resource for training in this area (or plan now to attend workshops at our statewide PTA Convention in April of 2022).

This article is part of a continuing series covering the PTA Standards for Family-School Partnerships. You can see the other blog posts in this series below: