Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holidays Mark the Time for More Home Safety Emphasis

From toy safety to safe driving – November through February is a time to remind people about a variety of safety messages. In particular, around the home, don’t forget to bring attention to the following areas:
  • Button batteries – these are in many “adult-specific” items and may not be secure for little hands/mouths.
  • Toys – age appropriate, small parts, lead
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • TV tip overs – new flat panels arriving in homes can be very dangerous if not secured.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pre-K Smart From the Start Grant Program

National PTA® and the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) have expanded their partnership to bring Smart from the Start, an early childhood health education grant program, to PTAs across the country.

 Through the Smart from the Start program, National PTA will award 10 Smart from the Start: Community Outreach grants of $10,000 each to district, council and regional PTAs to focus on a specific neighborhood community in which to improve access to healthy foods and safe physical activity options for young families. Applications for the grants will be available beginning in January 2014 at The deadline to submit applications is March 28, 2014.

 In addition to the community outreach grants, 25 Smart from the Start: Pre-K grants of $2,000 also will be awarded to PTAs in 2014 to implement the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation’s Energy Balance Pre-K curriculum. This grant application will be available in Spring 2014.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

WSPTA Website Updates

If you haven’t visited the WSPTA website lately, you might want to take a quick peek to see the updates recently made in an effort to make it more user-friendly. On the home page you will note four new sections: News Briefs, Upcoming Events, Deadline Dates and Quick Links.

 The News Brief section will be updated with news and information from the WSPTA (these items will later be moved to a News Room located in the About Us section so you can read past news of the WSPTA). The Upcoming Events and Deadline Dates sections will be updated regularly and are located directly below the News Briefs. On the right side of the web page, you will see Quick Links, which will be updated periodically throughout the year to provide you with easy access to items commonly searched for at specific times of the year.

 In addition, we changed a few tab names and moved a few items around to make things easier to find. Thank you to all those who made suggestions regarding the website. We are always looking for ways to better serve you.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

College Funding Seminar in Eastern Washington

Charlie Hoff, a former college admissions official, is offering a college funding seminar for students in 8th and 9th grades and their parents in Medical Lake on December 12. His advice and insight provides ways to receive tuition for college.  For more information, please contact him at:

NPTA School of Excellence Update

For those PTAs enrolled in the National Schools of Excellence program the deadline for submitting the Family-School Partnership Scan has been extended to December 6. Schools should submit their scan online at

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Partnership With Verizon/Etrak

Verizon/eTrak, a new affinity partner with the WSPTA, which offers parents a device to help keep their kids safe, has announced a new pricing schedule for their service. PTA parents get the GPS location tracking system with a personal alert button a child can push if he/she gets lost, has an accident or perceives danger for only $199; the offer includes the device plus one year of service with no monthly fee! Plus the WSPTA, National PTA and local PTAs all receive donations for each subscription purchased!

Here’s how it works:
  • PTA parents go to or call 800-279-1261 to obtain their free device and subscribe to the tracking service.
  • eTrak will ship your device and bill your credit or debit card. eTrak will send donations to National, State and Local PTA  units, with a cumulative total of $10 for each subscription ($6 to local unit, $2 to State PTA, $2 to National PTA). For more information, click here.

Certificated Outreach Training Workshop Available

Registration for this training is now open to the entire WSPTA membership!

Exciting News! Limited space is now available for any WSPTA member to attend the WSPTA’s new Certificated Outreach Skills Training on December 14-15, 2013 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Highline Community College! Because of its importance to our mission, and what we do for children, this professional, high-quality, certificated outreach training, (taught by industry experts), is available to members, first-come, first-served, (the cost is being supported by a foundation grant, and the training, provided at no-cost to WSPTA members). Email today to sign-up and reserve your space!

Training sessions include, but are not limited to:

  • Public Speaking
  • Project Management
  • Meeting Facilitation
  • Conflict Management
  • Cross-Cultural Competence
  • Collaborating

More information is available here. Please join us at this exceptional and relevant training event!

If you are the outreach volunteer in your local unit, on your council, or on your region service delivery team or involved in outreach at the state PTA level, this training is for you! This exclusive, certificated training event is happening 12/14-15/2013 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Highline Community College.

Outreach is extremely important to WSPTA, and a part of our overall strategy to enhance leadership, advocacy, membership and programs. This workshop is provided as a benefit of WSPTA leadership (no charge) and made possible by a grant. There are a limited number of spaces available and if you are interested in attending this exceptional training opportunity, please email as soon as possible.


Parent's Guide to Preventing Underage Marijuana Use

Written by Dr. Leslie Walker from Seattle Children’s Hospital and Dr. Kevin Haggerty from the University of Washington’s Social Development Research Group, the new booklet A parent’s guide to preventing underage marijuana use, is resource that includes information about:
·         Marijuana and teen health.
·         What parents can do to prevent teen marijuana use.
·         What the new law means for minors.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Projekt Karma

New Partnership: Projekt Karma

The Washington State PTA is pleased to announce a new affinity program partnership. Projekt Karma provides PTAs with a simple and efficient fundraising program that allows PTAs to share their projects with the community through social media so potential donors will find out about projects and make donations to the PTA’s designated account in support of its efforts for children. For more information, click here.

MADD's Power of You(th) Underage Drinking Prevention Program Video Contest

MADD’s Power of You(th) underage drinking prevention program is seeking submissions from youth for a video contest that speaks to the importance of how today’s decisions about alcohol impact the future.  The student submission with the best video answer will win $1,500.  In addition, the school who submits the most entries will also win $1,500! The contest is super simple and a great way to start a prevention conversation.  Please encourage participation at your school.  For more information, go to or email Kim Morris, National Program Manager at

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Region Director Elections

The deadline for nominating candidates for two year terms as Region Directors 2, 4, 6, 10, 12 and 15 is November 25 and for region 8 the deadline is December 4. Please refer to your region webpage on the WSPTA website for the nomination form and more information.

KCTS Golden Apple Awards Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the KCTS Golden Apple award: KCTS Golden Apple Award.   Our WSPTA President, Heather Gillette, was selected as one of the judges of this award and she was impressed by the quality of the teachers nominated. We appreciate the teachers in our state and would like to thank you for all that you do for our children!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Child Advocate Now Available

The November issue of Washington State PTA’s parent engagement publication, The Child Advocate, is now available online. This issue provides articles on motivating your students at school and beyond.   You can read the issue here.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Question of the Week

Can a local PTA/Council be involved in support of a bond/levy within their school district?  If so, to what extent?

A local unit PTA or a PTA council may take a stand on a ballot measure (such as school levy or bond), a legislative bill, initiative, or a referendum. The following information is provided to assist in this process.

Taking the Position:
• A formal position regarding a ballot measure can be taken by the general membership of a local unit PTA or PTA council or the board of directors. It is best practice to have important ballot measure decisions made by the general membership.
• The issue can be included on the agenda as an “action item” at a regularly scheduled meeting or a special meeting. To fulfill legal requirements of notice, ten days’ notice of the meeting must be given to all members/board members.
• An approved facilities use form must be completed for the local unit or council meeting if the meeting is held on school property.
• Best practices would be to present both the “pro” and “con” positions of any issue to the body making the decision to support/oppose.

Communicating the Position:
• Any communication which is persuasive in nature cannot be sent through school district property. This includes “kid mail” (flyers sent home with students), electronic methods which use district email/websites, or flyers posted/circulated on school property. Communications sent through school district property are limited to publishing factual information that does not imply opinion or ask voters to vote one way or another.  For example, you can say “don’t forget to vote on February 12”, but you can’t say “please vote yes (or no) on February 12.”
 • A PTA newsletter may contain a meeting summary which includes the position taken, if a meeting summary is customarily included in newsletters throughout the year.
• Units/Councils may send persuasive information to members regarding the position taken, and supporting materials via U.S. postal mail.

Teen Driving Grant Available

Car crashes remain the number one cause of death for adolescents. An important program called Project Ignition is bringing together students, teachers and communities to address teen driver safety. You can be part of this successful program by helping a high school apply for a $2,000 Project Ignition grant for the 2013-2014 school year! Learn More. 

PTA Men Essay Contest for Students

This program recognizes the significant and different contribution that men make in children’s lives and their education. All men involved in a youngster’s life—fathers, uncles, grandpas, brothers, step-fathers, mentors, neighbors, pastors and friends— impact the children they care about. Washington State PTA sponsors a statewide essay contest—open to any student from kindergarten through 12th grade—to explore this vital relationship. For more information or to enter a student’s piece, go to; deadline March 1, 2014.

Outreach Training Available--Space is Limited

For those local unit or council outreach chairs, the WSPTA is hosting a special outreach training conference to PTA leaders. Outreach is extremely important to WSPTA, and a part of our overall strategy to enhance leadership, advocacy, membership and programs. This workshop is provided as a benefit of WSPTA leadership (no charge) and made possible by a grant. There are a limited number of spaces available and if you are interested in attending this exceptional training opportunity, please email as soon as possible. More information is available here.

U.S. Department of Education Releases School Improvement Grant (SIG) Data Analysis Improvement Continues for Disadvantaged Students and Communities

The U.S. Department of Education announced today the release of 2011-12 school and district-level state assessment data and a brief analysis of School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools. The Department’s analysis compares the average proficiency rates of SIG schools in the 2011-12 school year to rates in the year prior to receiving grants.

The SIG program is a key component of the Department’s strategy for helping states and districts turn around the nation’s lowest-performing schools. Under the Obama Administration, more than 1,500 schools have implemented comprehensive turnaround interventions aimed at drastically improving achievement. Cohort 1 schools began implementing SIG turnarounds during the 2010-11 school year and Cohort 2 schools began implementing turnarounds during the 2011-12 school year.

The brief analysis that accompanies today’s announcement shows continued progress across various SIG models, school levels and locations. Despite historically difficult learning environments, SIG schools have increased proficiency rates in math and reading, demonstrating the importance of targeted investments over time.

“The progress, while incremental, indicates that local leaders and educators are leading the way to raising standards and achievement and driving innovation over the next few years,” said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “To build on this success in our disadvantaged communities, we must expand the most effective practices to accelerate progress for students and prepare them for success in college and careers.”

Additional Highlights from the SIG Data release:

SIG schools are making gains – on average, proficiency rates have increased in both math and reading. Because of changes in state assessments and school structure, not all SIG schools could be compared over multiple years of data. For this reason, the analysis includes roughly half of SIG Cohort 1 schools and about two-thirds of Cohort 2 schools.

  • On average, Cohort 1 schools continued to improve in the second year of receiving SIG funds
  • When compared to all schools nationally, SIG Cohort 1 schools demonstrate larger increases in average proficiency rates in both math and reading, while Cohort 2 schools demonstrate larger increases in math, but similar increases in reading
  • On average, Cohort 1 and 2 SIG schools show gains across all SIG models
  • On average, Cohort 1 SIG schools show gains across all school levels, while Cohort 2 schools show small gains for some school levels, but not for others
  • On average, Cohort 1 SIG schools show gains across all localities, while Cohort 2 schools show small gains for some localities, but remain constant for others
  • On average, Cohort 1 and 2 SIG schools show larger gains in math than in reading
Examples from schools:

  • At Oak Hill Elementary School, in a high poverty area of Guilford County, N.C., the school day was extended by 45 minutes and the school year by 10 days to give struggling students extra one-on-one time with teachers. Kindergarten teachers conduct home visits, and other teachers touch base with parents monthly to talk about their child’s progress.  These efforts, among others, worked: student performance scores in math rose from 59 percent in SY 2009-10 to 86 percent in SY2011-12. In reading, scores rose from 34 to 50 percent, and science skyrocketed from 34 percent to 85 percent. The school, ranked last among elementary schools in Guilford County three years ago, is now 28th in the district.
  • At Baltimore’s Frederick Douglass High School, the second oldest historically integrated public high school in the United States, the dropout rate was cut in half and proficiency in English language arts jumped from 41 percent to 53 percent in the first year of the grant. Scores have continued to improve at the school with nearly 90 percent Free and Reduced Lunch enrollment. The school opened a night school where students can get tutoring or take credit recovery classes and added a recording and media production studio where career and technical students can train. The school also began offering students the chance to take dual enrollment classes at nearby Baltimore City Community College.
  • Findley Elementary School in Des Moines, IA, instituted a strong leadership focus, unwavering emphasis on Iowa Core academic standards, and an intense attention to data. Math proficiency rose from 59 percent in SY 2009-10 to 67 percent in SY2011-12. During the same timeframe, Findley improved its proficiency in reading from 54 to 72 percent.

This release continues the department's commitment to transparency of school-level data to better inform parents, community members and the general public about changes in schools in their communities.

The data being released are reported to the Department under the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended, and are available at, the administration’s online site providing public access to high-value, machine-readable datasets generated by the executive branch of the federal government. New tables are being published as part of this release and may be accessed by visiting or by accessing the files directly:

Since the SIG program began three years ago, the Department has released national- and school-level data for SIG schools and SIG leading indicator data in June 2013. In addition, the Department has released full school-level assessment data for SY 2008-9 through SY 2010-11.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

WSPTA Legislative Director Sherry Krainick Testifies at Quality Educaton Council Meeting

The Quality Education Council (QEC) met in Olympia on November 18, 2013.  This was the third of four meetings to be held this fall by the QEC as they prepare their report to the 2014 legislature.  Washington State PTA Legislative Director, Sherry Krainick has attended each of the meetings and provided testimony on behalf of Washington State PTA at the November 18, 2013 meeting.  The meeting can be viewed on TVW here.

Topics covered at this meeting included an update on SB 5491, 24 Credit diploma, Innovative Schools, ESEA Waiver and revisions to TPEP, and Standards implementation (Common Core State Standards – CCSS and Next Generation Science Standards - NGSS).  In addition, the committee discussed Professional Learning as it relates to TPEP, CCSS, and NGSS, Compensation, Technology Readiness, Capital Needs and the Funding Plan.    Discussion included the possibility of adding Learning Improvement Days (LID) as professional development for teachers.

The State Board of Education (SBE) shared outcomes and goals from their meeting on November 14 and 15.  Sherry Krainick shared the priorities on the Washington State PTA legislative platform and addressed challenges with funding of family engagement coordinators in the prototypical school funding model, including the challenge of transparency of the use of the funds locally.  Sarah Butcher, Vice President of Bellevue Special Needs PTA also testified before the QEC on November 18 in support of meaningful inclusion of Special Education in the goals around Career and College Readiness (CCR).

The final QEC meeting of the year will be held in Olympia on December 4.  To learn more about the QEC, view agendas and documents from previous meeting, follow this link to their website.

The Quality Education Council (QEC) was created by the Legislature in ESHB 2261, the major education reform bill passed during the 2009 session. Its purpose is to develop strategic recommendations for implementation of a new definition of Basic Education and the financing necessary to support it.

In addition to guiding implementation of the bill, the QEC must also:
  • Develop strategic recommendations and update those every four years.
  • Identify measurable goals and priorities for a 10-year period for the educational system, including ongoing strategies to eliminate the achievement gap and reduce dropout rates.
  • Consider the OSPI system capacity report.

Grant Writing Workshop

Tacoma Fire Department and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grant writing workshop in Tacoma, January 23-24, 2014.  Click here for details.

Save the Date: February 4, 2014--WSPTA Focus Day!

Be sure to mark February 4, 2014 on your calendar for the WSPTA Focus Day in Olympia. Please check on the WSPTA website for updates on this fun and engaging event!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Question of the Week

Are PTAs allowed to provide a stipend to a staff member to attend evening board meetings as liaison?

Thank you for your question. We love to have teachers and staff members as members of our PTAs. They provide a wonderful depth of knowledge and experience that is beneficial to all PTAs and they should absolutely be encouraged to join and attend PTA events. However, regarding a stipend, PTAs should not pay for any member to attend a meeting. If a teacher’s union would like to pay a stipend for a staff member to attend a PTA meeting, this is entirely within their right to do this and something for the teacher and teachers’ union to negotiate. However regarding PTAs paying stipends, this is a different situation. As a nonprofit, tax-exempt association, PTAs have to be very careful to avoid an inurement to an individual.

Below is some information directly from IRS regarding 501(c)(3) organizations so that they do not lose their tax-exempt status:

A section 501(c)(3) organization will jeopardize its exemption if it ceases to be operated exclusively for exempt purposes. An organization will be operated exclusively for exempt purposes only if it engages primarily in activities that accomplish the exempt purposes specified in section 501(c)(3). An organization will not be so regarded if more than an insubstantial part of its activities does not further an exempt purpose. A 501(c)(3) organization:
                    must absolutely refrain from participating in the political campaigns of candidates for local, state, or federal office
                    must restrict its lobbying activities to an insubstantial part of its total activities
                    must ensure that its earnings do not inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual
                    must not operate for the benefit of private interests such as those of its founder, the founder's family, its shareholders or persons controlled by such interests
                    must not operate for the primary purpose of conducting a trade or business that is not related to its exempt purpose, such as a school's operation of a factory
                    may not provide commercial-type insurance as a substantial part of its activities
                    may not have purposes or activities that are illegal or violate fundamental public policy
                    must satisfy annual filing requirements

In addition, the WSPTA Bylaws in Article 2, Section 1 (d) has the statement: “No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, directors, trustees or other private persons except that the organization shall be empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article…”   All PTAs (this includes 501(c)(4) organizations) may not benefit a member or officer for private purposes.

Strength, Balance Exercises May Help Prevent Sports Injuries

Strength training and balance exercises are more likely to help prevent sports injuries than stretching, a new look at the evidence suggests. Read here for more information.

Welcome New Local Unit!

I’d like to extend a special welcome to Shoreline Special Needs PTSA 6.12.215, a new local unit! Thank you for joining us! Please feel free to call the WSPTA office at (253) 565-2153 or 1-800-562-3804 if you have any questions or if we can help you in any way.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Disability Rights Washington Training Available

On Thursday November 21, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at Catholic Community Services in Tacoma (5410 N 44th Street). Disability Rights Washington (DRW) will give a live training about the proposed settlement in their children's mental health lawsuit (T.R. v. Quigley), a class action lawsuit regarding Medicaid-funded mental health care for youth. Youth and family members interested in learning more about the roll-out plan for a statewide community-based wraparound program for kids who use Medicaid insurance should attend. Wraparound services help support WSPTA’s number 3 priority, Closing the Opportunity Gap. For more information, click here.

Improving Physical Activity in Schools

Studies have shown that school-based physical activity can help improve academic performance, such as grades, test scores, and better concentration and attention in the classroom. For resources, click here.

Region Director Elections

The deadline for nominating candidates for two year terms as Region Directors 2, 4, 6, 10, 12 and 15 is November 25 and the deadline date for region 8 is December 4. Please refer to your region webpage on the WSPTA website for the nomination form and more information.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Reflections - Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to the Reflections User’s Guide where Rules and Guidelines for each category are detailed. Below are some frequently asked questions.

How do I contact the WSPTA Reflections Chair?
The WSPTA Reflections chair is Virginia Muniz. You can reach her at or phone: 360-403-9731

Where do we send our entries?
If your local unit is part of a council, contact your council Reflections chair to find out where and when entries should be delivered. A local unit which is a part of a council cannot send entries directly to WSPTA. Non-council local units may send entries directly to the WSPTA.

How many entries can we send to WSPTA? 
Non council local units may forward up to a total of 18 entries if special artist entries are included or up to 12 traditional entries if no special artists are included, to be considered for the State PTA competition.

What is the Reflections Listserv?
The Reflections listserv is a networking tool to help connect Reflections chairs at all levels with each other and with the WSPTA Reflections chair. The WSPTA Reflections chair posts reminders, changes and up-to-date information on the listserv. Questions are asked and answered, ideas and information are exchanged, complaints are addressed, encouragement is always available. All Reflections chairs are strongly encouraged to join the listserv by contacting the WSPTA office.

What is the Reflections theme?
The Reflections theme is “Believe, Dream, Inspire”. The theme is determined by National PTA. Students may submit theme ideas by using the Reflections Theme Entry Form available on the WSPTA website under the programs/Reflections page. The next theme will be announced in early spring.

What is the deadline for submitting Reflections entries?
Each local unit and council sets its own deadlines. If your local unit is part of a council, the local unit must submit entries to the council by its deadline so plan your program accordingly. Contact your council to find out its deadline. The deadline for a council or a non-council local unit to submit entries is Tuesday, January 21, 2014. The deadline is a deliver by or postmark by date.

How do I know if my local unit is part of a council?
Contact your PTA president, region director, or the WSPTA office.

Who can enter the Reflections contest?
Reflections is a National PTA arts contest open to students in grades preschool through 12th grade. Although membership in a PTA is not required to enter the contest, a Reflections program is a benefit of attending a school where there is a PTA. Students must enter the Reflections contest through a local unit (school) PTA in good standing. A local unit PTA may, but is not required to, accept entries from students who do not attend it's particular school (i.e. home schooled students, students from schools where there is no PTA). Students who do not attend a PTA school but wish to enter Reflections should contact the Reflections chair at a grade-equivalent school PTA in their school district to ask if their entry will be accepted by that PTA. PTA councils, Washington State PTA nor National PTA may not accept a Reflections entry directly from an entrant.

Where can I find Reflections forms and rules?
Reflections forms and rules are available on the WSPTA website under the programs/Reflections page. Some forms are password protected. Contact the WSPTA office for instructions to access password protected forms. Please use ONLY WSPTA forms. Your local unit and council presidents were provided with a Reflections User’s Guide in the Leadership Packet. If you have not received the User’s Guide, please ask your president or download it from the WSPTA website.

Why does the PTA box on entry form ask for two PTA ID numbers?
Your PTA has both a National PTA number and a WSPTA number. Your local unit president and/or secretary can provide these numbers to you. Your National PTA number is an 8-digit number that usually starts with zero. Your WSPTA number is divided by periods in between 3 sets of numbers. For example, 2.12.123. Both numbers need to be included on the entry form.

Do children have to sign the entry form?
Yes. The entry form must be signed by the submitting student (even if it’s just a printed first name) and the student’s parent/guardian. If the student is at least 18 years old, only the student must sign.

What does “sturdy backing” mean for visual arts and photography entries?
This means that the entry must be mounted in a way that it cannot be folded, rolled or bent. Acceptable backing includes corrugated cardboard, foam board and thick mat board. Poster board and construction paper are NOT acceptable backing materials. Entries not mounted on a sturdy backing may be disqualified. An entry that is surrounded by a mat but is not backed to prevent folding, rolling or bending may be disqualified.

How should film and dance entries be submitted?
Film and dance entries must be submitted on a CD/DVD and the entry MUST be saved as a FILE on the CD/DVD. This means that when the disc is inserted in a computer the entry shows as a file that the viewer must open. If the disc is inserted in a computer and the entry starts playing without the viewer opening it, the entry is not in a file format. Entries not saved as a file, may be disqualified. Judges view entries on a computer, not on a TV/DVD player. No video tapes are accepted. Submit the required number of copies indicated in the Rules and Guidelines.

What are the recommendations for quality recordings?
  • Make the room you record in as quiet as possible. Close windows and turn off all noise-making devices in the room (air conditioners, fans, telephones, etc.). ----Do not place the recording devise on top of an instrument or speakers.
  • Do not record at too loud a level (in the red zone on the meter) or too soft a level (meter barely moving).
  • Record a short test and listen to it while watching the meter. If needed, improve recording quality by changing the record volume or microphone location.
  • Return to the beginning of the CD and record two seconds of silence; then start performing your composition. Finish with another two seconds of silence.

Can more than one person create and submit the same entry?
No. Only one person can submit the entry.

How many entries can one student submit?
Your local unit or council should make this decision. WSPTA does not set these limits.

Why are there so many rules - isn’t Reflections a program to encourage students to be creative?
Reflections does encourage creativity, but it is an art contest. Like all contests, there are guidelines, rules and deadlines. National PTA requires state PTAs to submit entries to the final level of judging following specific rules and guidelines. WSPTA requires that entries submitted at the state level follow the same rules and guidelines National PTA requires. At the local unit level, you are free to accept and award entries that do not meet the rules and guidelines. You should not, however, submit entries not in compliance with the rules and guidelines to the next level.

If we have entries that make it to the state level, how and when will our entries be returned? 
WSPTA and NPTA return only visual arts and photography entries. Please keep a copy of all other entries. Entries that do not win awards at the State level are returned to your region director at the WSPTA Annual Convention in April. It is the region director’s responsibility to distribute the entries to their councils and/or local units. If you have not received your entries back by the end of May, please contact your region director (contact information available on the WSPTA website under the regions tab). Entries winning awards at the state level are returned following the awards ceremony to their owners or to council or region directors if the award recipient is not present. National may keep the entries for up to 3 years if part of the National tour.

What is considered copyrighted material subject to disqualification?
An entrant may use copyrighted material in a Reflections entry as long as that material is not the primary focus of the entry, or if the entrant is not trying to pass off the copyrighted material as his/her own creation. For example, if a photograph is taken where someone is wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt, that entry is acceptable as long as the Mickey Mouse character is not the primary focus of the photograph. Even if the entrant takes a photograph of a family with Mickey Mouse at a theme park, that would still be an acceptable photograph if the subject of the photograph is the family and not the Mickey Mouse character. If an entrant creates an entry that includes Mickey Mouse as a primary subject in the artwork, that entry would be infringing on copyrighted material and would be disqualified. Sometimes, like in the case of a collage, possible copyright infringement would need to be determined on a case by case basis and the WSPTA Reflections Chair should be consulted.

What if I would like to be removed from the Reflections Listserv?
If you want to be removed from the Reflections listserv, please do not reply to a listserv post or make a new post on the listserv about removing your name. When you do this the request goes out to everyone on the listserv. The unsubscribe link at the bottom of the listserv e-mails does not work but we're hoping it will get fixed someday. Please start a new e-mail (not through the listserv) addressed to asking to be removed. Or you can call the WSPTA office at 800-562-3804.

Reflections Rules Clarification
The WSPTA has received some phone calls regarding the rules for photography and literature entries. Please make it clear to your student artists that electronic is an optional way to submit, hard copies are preferred. Thank you for your help in clarifying these rules.

National PTA Applauds Bi-Partisan Legislation to Expand Access to High-Quality Early Learning Programs

This week, the Strong Start for America’s Children Act of 2013 was introduced in the House and Senate as a means to ensure that every child has access to high-quality early education.

“The education of our nation’s children must begin long before they enter school as research shows that providing effective, targeted supports and interventions to children and parents starting at birth will better prepare them for academic and career success,” said Otha Thornton, National PTA President. “National PTA applauds this bi-partisan legislation and encourages the House and Senate to take swift action to move forward the issue of early childhood education to expand access to high-quality programs for all children.”

The Strong Start for America’s Children Act, introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Representatives George Miller (D-Calif.) and Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), would increase access to and quality of programs for children from birth to kindergarten. The legislation consists of four measures that would:

  • Accelerate states’ efforts to provide high-quality preschool to low and moderate income families;
  • Increase the quality of infant and toddler care in center-based and family child care settings;
  • Support quality improvements in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG); and
  • Encourage continued support for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.
National PTA supports federal and state incentives for high-quality child care and preschool programs for children from birth to age five. These programs should be affordable and accessible; developmentally appropriate; coordinated at all levels (federal, state and local); and characterized by high standards for teaching, training, health and safety. National PTA also encourages the inclusion of a strong family engagement component in all early childhood programs.

National PTA is committed to working with Congress to strengthen programs that further the success of our nation’s earliest learners. For more information about the Strong Start for America’s Children Act of 2013, click here.

College Funding Seminar

Charlie Hoff, a former college admissions official, offers a free seminar the 2nd Sunday of each month @ 1:30 at 1925 South 341st Place in Federal Way for students in 8th and 9th grades and their parents. His advice and insight provides ways to receive tuition for college.  Charlie also does presentations for PTAs. His contact email is:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November is the Month of the Military Family

The month of November is recognized as Military Family Appreciation Month. Throughout this month, military families serving around the world are honored through a variety of observances and recognized for their commitment and the many contributions they make every day in support of the military and our nation. Below are some links  to help you and family appreciate military families:
 For military family support resources, including parenting resources specific for the needs of military families, go to

Reflections Rules Clarification

The WSPTA has received some phone calls regarding the rules for photography and literature entries. Please make it clear to your student artists that electronic is an optional way to submit, hard copies are preferred. Thank you for your help in clarifying these rules.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Congratulations Silver Membership Award Recipients!

Due to the complexity and volume of membership entries this year, we have decided, and WPSTA Board President and Membership Director have agreed, that all membership awards should be based purely on enrolled members rather than paid.  The WSPTA feels this is a better way to serve members. Thank you to all of you who so diligently worked to increase your membership this year. We are grateful for your enthusiasm for our association and for its mission for kids! Congratulations to the following local units—recipients of this year’s Silver Membership Award!

·         Green Mountain PTA 1.3.9
·         Cottonwood PTSA 1.3.10
·         Hilder Pearson PTA 1.7.5
·         Vinland PTSA 1.7.11
·         Kingston Middle PTSA 1.7.20
·         North Kitsap High PTSA 1.7.25
·         Olalla PTA 1.8.9
·         Sunnyslope Community School PTA 1.8.10
·         Hawkins Middle PTSA 1.9.20
·         Eastside Home School PTSA 2.3.40
·         Newport Heights PTA 2.3.60
·         Sherwood Forest PTSA 2.3.75
·         Somerset PTSA 2.3.80
·         Sunset/Puesta Del Sol PTA 2.3.95
·         Woodridge PTSA 2.3.110
·         Highland Middle PTSA 2.3.120
·         Tillicum Middle PTA 2.3.140
·         Tyee Middle PTSA 2.3.145
·         Big Picture PTSA 2.3.149
·         Newport High PTSA 2.3.155
·         Cascade Ridge PTSA 2.6.2
·         Clark PTA 2.6.7
·         Maywood Middle PTSA 2.6.40
·         Skyline High PTSA 2.6.70
·         Rachel Carson PTSA 2.8.7
·         Ben Franklin PTA 2.8.15
·         Helen Keller PTA 2.8.30
·         Lakeview PTSA 2.8.35
·         Horace Mann PTA 2.8.37
·         Norman Rockwell PTA 2.8.47
·         Samantha Smith PTA 2.8.57
·         Laura Ingalls Wilder PTSA 2.8.66
·         Finn Hill Middle PTSA 2.8.70
·         Inglewood Middle PTSA 2.8.73
·         Kirkland Middle PTSA 2.8.77
·         Renaissance School PTSA 2.8.83
·         Lake Washington High PTSA 2.8.95
·         STEM High PTSA 2.8.105
·         Tolt Middle PTSA 2.16.25
·         Cascade View PTA 2.18.7
·         Opstad PTA 2.18.21
·         Snoqualmie PTSA 2.18.23
·         Twin Falls Middle PTSA 2.18.40
·         Daybreak PTA 3.6.3
·         Helen Baller PTA 3.6.5
·         Orchards PTA 3.6.27
·         Pleasant Valley PTA 3.6.30
·         South Ridge PTA 3.6.35
·         Grass Valley PTA 3.6.65
·         Sarah J. Anderson PTA 3.7.5
·         Chinook PTSA 3.7.7
·         Salmon Creek PTA 3.7.70
·         McLoughlin Middle PTSA 3.7.96
·         Evergreen Forest PTSA 4.4.3
·         Meadows PTSA 4.4.18
·         Seven Oaks PTA 4.4.29
·         Chehalis Combined PTA 4.6.5
·         Orting Combined PTA 5.2.35
·         Frederickson PTA 5.3.7
·         Naches Trail PTA 5.3.13
·         Roy PTSA 5.3.15
·         Thompson PTA 5.3.20
·         Frontier Jr PTSA 5.3.31
·         Weyerhaeuser PTA 5.3.50
·         Kibler PTA 5.4.5
·         Southwood Elementary PTA 5.4.15
·         Firgrove PTA 5.7.5
·         Spinning PTA 5.7.50
·         Wildwood Park PTA 5.7.70
·         Edward Zeiger PTA 5.7.79
·         Maple Lawn PTA 5.8.20
·         Mountain Meadow PTA 5.9.15
·         Frank Love PTA 6.10.27
·         Woodin PTA 6.10.50
·         Leota Jr High PTSA 6.10.65
·         Brookside PTA 6.12.15
·         Echo Lake PTA 6.12.20
·         Highland Terrace PTA 6.12.25
·         Parkwood PTA 6.12.55
·         Ridgecrest PTA 6.12.60
·         Adams PTA 6.15.20
·         Jane Addams (K-8) PTSA 6.15.24
·         Bryant PTSA 6.15.60
·         FH Coe PTA 6.15.70
·         Thurgood Marshall PTA 6.15.75
·         Concord PTA 6.15.76
·         B. F. Day PTSA 6.15.85
·         Gatewood PTA 6.15.120
·         Green Lake PTA 6.15.135
·         Friends of Hawthorne PTA 6.15.155
·         K-5 STEM PTA 6.15.183
·         Laurelhurst PTA 6.15.200
·         Madrona K-8 PTSA 6.15.223
·         McDonald PTA 6.15.234
·         John Muir PTA 6.15.250
·         Queen Anne PTSA 6.15.288
·         John Rogers PTA 6.15.300
·         Sand Point PTA 6.15.315
·         Wedgwood PTA 6.15.355
·         Hamilton Middle PTSA 6.15.385
·         Madison Middle PTSA 6.15.425
·         McClure Middle PTSA 6.15.430
·         Cleveland High School Eagles PTSA 6.15.433
·         The Center School Community Assoc. 6.15.463
·         Franklin High PTA 6.15.465
·         Chief Sealth PTSA 6.15.505
·         Vashon Island Community PTSA 6.17.10
·         Eagle Creek PTA 7.1.5
·         Kent Prairie PTA 7.1.23
·         Hazelwood PTA 7.2.50
·         Alderwood Middle PTA 7.2.120
·         Garfield PTA 7.3.10
·         Hawthorne PTA 7.3.15
·         Jackson PTA 7.3.20
·         Madison PTA 7.3.35
·         Monroe PTA 7.3.40
·         Silver Lake PTA 7.3.45
·         Whittier PTA 7.3.55
·         Woodside PTA 7.3.57
·         Eisenhower Middle PTSA 7.3.65
·         Everett High PTA 7.3.85
·         Henry M. Jackson Hi PTSA 7.3.95
·         Pinewood PTSA 7.4.20
·         Marysville A & T PTSA 7.4.55
·         Horizon PTA 7.5.11
·         Olivia Park PTA 7.5.15
·         Serene Lake PTSA 7.5.20
·         Elger Bay PTA 7.6.12
·         Twin City PTA 7.6.46
·         Frank Wagner PTA 7.6.50
·         North Lake Middle PTSA 7.6.62
·         Park Place Middle PTSA 7.6.63
·         Sky Valley Ed. Center PTA 7.6.95
·         Coupeville PTA 7.7.7
·         Bayview PTA 8.2.10
·         Friday Harbor PTA 8.2.22
·         Whitney PTA 8.2.55
·         Birchwood/Cordata PTA 8.3.15
·         Larrabee PTSA 8.3.40
·         Fairhaven Middle PTSA 8.3.80
·         Crescent Harbor PTA 8.7.6
·         Hillcrest PTA 8.7.10
·         North Whidbey Middle PTA 8.7.43
·         Oak Harbor High PTA 8.7.55
·         Alpac PTA 9.2.5
·         Ilalko PTA 9.2.17
·         Lea Hill PTSA 9.2.20
·         Arthur Jacobsen PTSA 9.2.22
·         Gildo Rey PTA 9.2.35
·         Cascade Middle PTSA 9.2.45
·         Mt. Baker Middle PTA 9.2.48
·         Adelaide PTA 9.4.5
·         Brigadoon PTA 9.4.10
·         Nautilus PTA 9.4.35
·         Enterprise PTA 9.4.37
·         Star Lake PTA 9.4.55
·         Sunnycrest PTA 9.4.60
·         Federal Way Public Academy PTSA 9.4.86
·         Gregory Heights PTSA 9.5.50
·         North Hill PTSA 9.5.127
·         Raisbeck Aviation High PTSA 9.5.747
·         Crestwood PTA 9.7.11
·         Fairwood PTSA 9.7.15
·         Kent PTA 9.7.23
·         Sawyer Woods PTA 9.7.57
·         Martin Sortun PTA 9.7.72
·         Sierra Heights PTSA 9.11.70
·         Hazen High PTSA 9.11.105
·         Glacier Park PTSA 9.14.5
·         Rock Creek PTSA 9.14.10
·         Beachwood PTA 10.4.10
·         Park Lodge PTSA 10.4.75
·         Birney PTSA 10.9.40
·         Delong PTA 10.9.60
·         Fawcett PTA 10.9.75
·         Geiger PTSA 10.9.90
·         Lowell PTA 10.9.115
·         Manitou PTSA 10.9.130
·         Sherman PTSA 10.9.200
·         Lincoln High PTSA 10.9.295
·         Key Peninsula Middle PTSA 10.11.80
·         Kopachuck Middle PTSA 10.11.90
·         Ahtanum Valley PTA 11.1.5
·         Cottonwood PTSA 11.1.12
·         Mountainview PTSA 11.1.15
·         Robertson PTA 11.2.60
·         Terrace Heights PTA 11.4.30
·         Smith School PTA 11.4.62
·         Sunnyslope PTSA 11.5.30
·         Goldendale Middle PTA 11.6.50
·         Jefferson PTA 12.5.5
·         Tapteal PTA 12.5.23
·         Chief Joseph Middle PTA 12.5.28
·         Chewelah Combined PTSA 15.1.2
·         Grand Coulee Dam PTA 15.1.25
·         Adams PTSA 15.2.10
·         Ponderosa PTSA 15.2.37
·         Trent PTA 15.3.47
·         Franklin PTA 15.6.10

This new process will continue for our other membership awards—gold and platinum. The Gold Membership Award will recognize PTAs with a 10% increase from the previous year’s membership enrolled by January 25. The Platinum Membership Award will recognize PTAs with a 20% increase from the previous year’s membership enrolled by March 30.