Programs + Events

Virtual Summer Leadership Academy

UPDATE: Registration is now closed.

California State PTA is holding its first-ever Virtual Summer Leadership Academy! Summer is the perfect time for you as a PTA leader to hone your leadership skills in preparation for the coming school year, and get up to speed on what you need to know to more effectively run your PTA.

This training will be spread out over three sessions in July and August. In July we’ll offer training for treasurers and presidents, plus classes in compliance, membership basics, and how to use the TOTEM electronic membership system. The August sessions will be issue-based, and will cover subjects such as advocacy, family engagement, fundraising and education. Learn more by browsing the schedule below.

The fee is $20 per PTA unit, and your board members can attend as many classes as they’d like.

SESSION 1: JULY 13-16

Monday, July 13th, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

  • PTA Welcome: California State PTA President Celia Jaffe will join us for a brief inspirational speech.
  • I’m a PTA Board member, What do I need to know? General information all board members and committee chairs should know, what are the different types of meeting we should be holding, what are the 3 PTA basics we all need to follow? Great refresher for a long time leader as well as a great place for a new leader to start their PTA education.
  • PTA Finance for All Leaders: Certain financial duties are the treasurers job but fiduciary responsibility belongs to every board member and committee chair. Find out what governmental forms need to be filed every year. Also, learn money handling guidelines to protect the PTA’s assets.

Tuesday, July 14, 6:00-8:45 p.m.

  • President, Part 1 (6:00-7:15 p.m.): This innovative workshop, offered in two parts, will explore your new responsibilities, providing you with the tools needed for today’s PTA and empowering you to be an effective president.  We will walk you through creating a partnership with your principal, setting the calendar, developing meeting agendas and how to build your committees.
  • Secretary (6:00-7:15 p.m.): Whether you use paper, electronic tablet, laptop or cell phone, bring it to this workshop and learn how to be the best Secretary. This session will help you write the minutes that everyone knows what occurred. We will discuss what to include and what not to include in this permanent record.
  • President, Part 2 (7:30-8:45 p.m.): This class is a continuation of President, Part 1
  • “I Matter Because….” – How to Run a Successful Reflections Program in our Altered Reality Virtual World (7:30-8:45 p.m.): Learn how to have a successful Reflections Program at your school, unleash students’ creative talents and be inspired and get teachers, parents and students excited and participating. Categories are music composition, dance choreography, film production, literature, photography and visual arts.

Wednesday, July 15, 6:00-8:45 p.m.

  • Treasurer and Finance Officers, Part 1 (6:00-7:15 p.m.): This workshop provides information on financial procedures for PTAs as 501c3 associations. Topics include banking, budgets, money handling, financial reporting and more.
  • Getting Started with Social Media – A Class for Beginners (6:00-7:15 p.m.): In this 75-minute-long session we will help you understand the audiences on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and websites to determine which platforms fit your PTA best.  We will help you find engaging ways to post your messages and give you tips for having the best social media experience possible. Bring all of your questions and our social media experts from the Communications Commission will be there to answer them.
  • Treasurer and Finance Officers, Part 2 (7:30-8:45 p.m.): This class is a continuation of Treasurer and Finance Officers, Part 1.
  • TOTEM Electronic Membership System (7:30-8:45 p.m.): TOTEM is a great way to collect membership at your unit. Learn how to set up the system and then promote online membership to your families. We will also go over the TOTEM Dashboard and all the great things you can do with the system.

Thursday, July 16, 6:00-8:45 p.m.

  • Treasurer and Finance Officers, Part 3 (6:00-7:15 p.m.): This class is a continuation of the Treasurer and Finance Officers Part 1 and 2 classes.
  • Volunteer Recruitment (6:00-7:15 p.m.): Struggling to find volunteers to help at events or run for board positions and can’t figure out why? Or better yet, you know why but don’t know how to get them motivated to volunteer to help out? This workshop will help address these issues and give you tips and real-world ideas on how to find those future leaders and everyday volunteers and how to keep them!
  • Budgets (7:30-8:45 p.m.): Have burning questions about building your budget? Come get tips on what to include, and what not to include. This workshop would benefit Presidents, Treasurers, Programs and Fundraising Chair People, Membership Chairs, and Auditors.

SESSION 2: JULY 20-23

Monday, July 20th, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

  • Engaged Families are the Key to Students’ Success! (6:00-7:15 p.m.) This workshop will be an interactive opportunity to share and discuss several different authentic family engagement strategies by using the National Standards for successful family-school partnerships. By attending this workshop, you will be able to gain awareness about:

– The power of family and community involvement.
– An understanding on how to cultivate involvement through specific programs and practices.
– Celebrating successes as your school sees increase involvement to ensure students success.
– Meeting the challenges of engaging your families during distance learning.

  • Team Building and Working with Conflict (7:30-8:45 p.m.): This workshop will focus on building leadership skills to assist in developing and managing cohesive relationships in your PTA work. We will walk you through practical steps to prevent and manage conflict.  The information learned can be useful in other aspects of your personal life as well.

Tuesday, July 21st, 6:00-8:45 p.m.

  • Elevating Your Social Media Skills – A class for intermediate/advanced social media users (6:00-7:15 p.m.): In this hour-long session we will build on the basics covered in the beginner class by discussing social media post scheduling, differentiating your messages for each platform, and how to use the analytics provided in each platform. Bring all your questions for our social media experts from the Communications Commission will be there to answer them.
  • Audits (6:00-7:15 p.m.): Learn the purpose behind biannual audit requirements and how to properly conduct an audit. We will also go over the new requirement of the Audit Review Committee.
  • Parliamentarian Basics (7:30-8:45 p.m.): Who does what at a meeting to make them run smoothly? Find out more about the ways to rely on parliamentary basics to make meetings more effective. Build your skill sets with how-tos on parliamentary basics that will make all of your members feel engaged and heard.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 6:00-8:45 p.m.

  • Everything You Need to Know About Compliance but Were Afraid to Ask (6:00-7:30 p.m.): Compliance is the job of every officer and committee chair on a PTA board. Learn the 5 W’s of compliance: Who, What, Where, When and Why. We will show you examples of the various forms and have great resources that you can use to help keep your organization in good standing with the Federal and State Government.
  • Legislation and Advocacy (6:00-7:15 p.m.): Advocacy efforts start with parents learning how to support their own kids and then become a champion for all children. Acquire information and skills to leverage your power and build a local team to inform, inspire and influence at every level to spark changes that benefit all our kids.

Thursday, July 23rd, 6:00-8:45 p.m.

  • Taxes (6:00-7:30 p.m.): State and Federal Taxes are a requirement of every non-profit in the State. Join the
  • Bylaws (6:00-7:15 p.m.): Start the year right by learning more about your key roles as a PTA parliamentarian. Get the 411 on what’s in the bylaws to help you work smarter as a PTA leader. Take away tips on ways to update your Bylaws and use the e-Bylaws Program in this training.
  • Membership Basics (7:30-8:45 p.m.): This workshop will cover membership basics and more.  You will learn effective marketing and goal setting.  We’ll share tips to get the most from your membership campaign and exchange ideas and focus on ways to increase membership, participation and volunteerism at your local PTA.

SESSION 3: AUGUST 10-13

Monday, August 10th, 6:00-8:45 p.m.

  • Tracking and Supporting our Children during the Pandemic (6:00-7:30 p.m.): The presentation will offer practical considerations on how parents can talk to and support their children during the pandemic, provide an overview of reactions and adjustment difficulties commonly seen in children and suggestions on how to address them, and discuss how to talk to and support grieving children. Time will be left for questions and discussion. Presenter: David J Schonfeld, MD, FAAP, Director, National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • Navigating Distance Learning Platforms (6:00-7:15 p.m.): Learn about the various Distance Learning Platforms schools use to connect to your student.  This class is designed to help parents navigate and understand the tools of distance learning to support their students. The Education Commission is here to help you step into the Brave New World.
  • Marketing your PTA (7:30- 8:45 p.m.): Everyone can be an influencer. Learn how to use online and offline methods to create members who are so loyal, so addicted, and so passionate, that they go out of their way to bring new members with them each time they come back.

Tuesday, August 11th, 6:00-8:45 p.m.

  • Family Engagement During COVID-19 (6:00 – 7:15 p.m.): COVID-19 caught everyone by surprise, and just overnight all schools in our state were closed, and all our children were to remain home without friends, teachers or educational services. Is this truly a challenging problem or should we look at it as a golden opportunity, as it has allowed us to be creative and find ways to keep our students and families engaged with the educational system from home? Webinar participants will learn from parents and school personnel about strategies being used around our state to foster family and community engagement. In addition, participants will be introduced to best practices implemented by school districts as we all approach and prepare for the new school year under our new normal. Now more than ever, our families need to feel our presence and support, and know that their socio emotional needs can be met by continuously engaging with their local PTA and their school. Are you ready to convert the challenge into a golden opportunity?
  • Public Speaking (6:00-7:15 p.m.): Learn how to become a better communicator and public speaker. Get tips on effective techniques for presenting, storytelling, and speaking in front of audiences. We will also share tips for public speaking during this time of online meetings, so you won’t want to miss out!
  • Fundraising (7:30-8:45 p.m.): Learn the dos and don’ts of fundraising for your PTA, then brainstorm some new ideas for the new school year.
  • Advocacy for Student Learning Styles (7:30-8:45 p.m.): In this class parents will learn how to support their student’s learning, whether navigating an IEP or 504 or just advocating for the specific learning needs of their student while doing distance learning.

Wednesday, August 12th, 6:00-7:15 p.m.

  • Empowering Parents to Help Their Teen Make Smart Decisions Behind the Wheel…Whether as a Driver or Passenger (6:00-7:15 p.m.): This workshop is designed to engage, educate, and empower parents with the strategies they can use to help keep their child safe
  • Understanding Racial Equity, Part 1 (6:00-7:15 p.m.): What is racism? How does it differ from prejudice, discrimination, bigotry?
    Are you uncomfortable talking about race but want to be an ally? Join this two part series to learn how the social construct of race has affected our societal systems throughout history since 1600s for a foundational understanding of racism in practical terms, and how to identify it, in the first class.

Thursday, August 13th, 6:00-7:15 p.m.

  • Understanding Racial Equity, Part 2 (6:00-7:15 p.m.): In this second class, dive deeper into how racism shows up in our organization and the institutions we work with, participate in a racial equity audit, and walk away with resources, programs, bibliography you can bring back to your unit.